Laura CliffordRachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) is on the national desk of Washington-based Capital Sun-Times when a source reveals to her the information that will out covert CIA operative Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga). The volatile story shakes the core of the Agency and the government demands that Rachel give the name of the source. Her refusal thrusts her into a life of hardship, legal battles and her commitment to her First Amendment rights in “Nothing But the Truth.”
Rod Lurie is a straightforward craftsman-like director with his works, “The Contender,” “The Last Castle” and “Resurrecting the Champ.” His latest, “Nothing But the Truth,” affirms his meat and potatoes filmmaking skills that give us a decent treatise that is, outwardly, about Rachel’s ambitions as a reporter. But this leads to the core of the story Rachel standing up for her right of freedom of the press, going against the government’s quest for national security.
The best thing about “Nothing But the Truth” is Vera Farmiga as CIA spook and suburban housewife Erica, bu the actress is only in the film’s first half. Farmiga is an underrated actress who fills her characters (she was extremely moving as the wife and mother in recent “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”). Her interplay with Kate Beckinsale is the high point of the film but it soon shifts gears to Rachel’s ordeal in protecting her source. Beckinsale gives a forthright performance that moves, with the film, straight ahead without real surprise until, that is until the surprise ending that I did not see coming.
The good supporting cast has the likes of Alan Alda as Rachel’s attorney, Angela Basset as her editor, David Schwimmer as her husband and Matt Dillon as the ambitious prosecuting attorney. Other, unfamiliar character actors help flesh out the background players. Techs are solid. I give it a B-.
Laura also gives "Nothing But the Truth" a B-. So-so film with a killer ending that's all the better for the filmmaker having told us who the source was all along...
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