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Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams are reporters for the Washington Globe (aka Post) trying to unravel the mysterious death of a congressional aide; she was sleeping with the boss, a mediagenic senator (Ben Affleck), and investigating the abuses of the giant military contractor PointCorp (aka Blackwater, aka Xe). This rote paranoid thriller was adapted from a 2003 BBC miniseries, with a few topical headlines folded in and some cursory attempts to make newspapers seem au courant (Crowe is a slovenly old-school investigator tweaking lightweight blogger McAdams). But like Rod Lurie's recent fiasco Nothing but the Truth (2008), which fictionalized the Valerie Plame and Judith Miller stories, this manages to make the real seem generic, rather than the other way around. Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) directed; with Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, and Jason Bateman. PG-13, 127 min.

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