ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY The Fifth Estate★★★★ 12.35-2.45am C4 Premiere
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Julian Assange in a creditably pacey thriller based on five years in the life of the Australian hacker turned freedom-of-information advocate and enabler. Whether you consider the boss of WikiLeaks a hero or traitor, his rise to notoriety is fascinating, and Josh Singer’s screenplay sticks close to two factual accounts. Director Bill Condon, who moves easily from the blockbusting fantasy of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn to quieter biopic fare like Kinsey, keeps the story moving and seems to take pleasure in depicting the fusty reality of the offices of the Guardian newspaper, whose part in publishing the classified “Afghan War Logs” was key. (A pre-Doctor Who Peter Capaldi plays editor Alan Rusbridger.) But the meat of the drama is the fractious relationship between Assange, arrogant and stubborn, and his German collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl). The result is as much human story as news story.
Ben Affleck directs and stars in a smart crime thriller where he takes aim at the money in a bank vault – and finds himself a hit with one of the pretty hostages. Trouble is, she doesn’t know he was one of the masked gunmen. Awkward…