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Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Angela Bassett, Alan Alda, Vera Farmiga ... see more see more... , David Schwimmer , Courtney B. Vance , Noah Wyle , Floyd Abrams , Preston Bailey , Kristen Bough , Julie Ann Emery , Robert Harvey , Michael O'Neill , Kristen Shaw , Angelica Torn

A tense political drama ripped straight from the headlines, Rod Lurie's Nothing But the Truth tells the tale of a Washington, D.C. reporter who is targeted by the government after refusing to reveal h... read more read more...er source for a story that identified an undercover CIA operative. Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) is an ambitious young reporter working at the Capitol Sun-Times, one of Washington, D.C.'s biggest newspapers. When the paper published Rachel's incendiary story revealing the identity of covert CIA agent Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga), charismatic special prosecutor Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon) demands that she reveal her source for the story. With the support of her husband, Ray (David Schwimmer); her editor, Bonnie (Angela Bassett); and the paper's in-house attorney, Avril (Noah Wyle), Rachel defies Patton's request and all hell breaks loose. When Rachel likewise refuses to reveal her source even to U.S. District Court Judge Hall (Floyd Adams), she is cited with contempt of court and thrown in the D.C. Detention Center until she decides to cooperate. As Rachel's attorney, Albert Burnside (Alan Alda), argues her case all the way to the Supreme Court, the public begins to question why the embattled reporter would sacrifice both her family and her career to maintain her journalistic integrity. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Flixster Users

73% liked it

12,304 ratings

Critics

80% liked it

56 critics

R, 1 hr. 47 min.

Directed by: Rob Lurie

Release Date: September 8, 2008

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DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009

Stats: 1,076 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,076)


  • March 24, 2012
    Really good political thriller! The cast is absolutely fantastic...
  • August 23, 2011
    Nothing but the Truth is a well-crafted, gripping and tense thriller that features fantastic performances from Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga and Alan Alda.
  • June 14, 2011
    A compelling story and strong acting make this a winner. Dillon plays a real son of a bitch.
  • April 18, 2011
    Excellent star-filled cast. Very thought provoking movie with a surprise ending....I have to say- I didn't see that one coming at all!! I understand the reason behind her decision (and everyone who sees this movie will also), but how we react to her decision is what makes this a ... read moregood movie. Kudos to the writer of this one!
  • February 10, 2011
    Kate Beckinsale delivers one of her best performances in this political thriller. She plays the role of a journalist who is imprisoned for not revealing the source who gave her information for a controversial news report. And finally when it is revealed to the audience who the so... read moreurce is, we realize that she had more reasons than professional integrity, for not betraying her source.
    Although Beckinsale is the focal point of the movie, the supporting cast, especially Vera Farmiga and Alan Alda, were solid in their performance.
    Alan Alda does get the best lines in the movie :
    "A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity... but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather."
    "Sometimes a mistake is like wearing white after Labour Day, and sometimes a mistake is invading Russia in winter!"
  • October 31, 2010
    It is a beautifully acted, deftly written examination of the tension between freedom of the press and the power of the state.
    Kate Beckinsale keeps the story going easily with her brilliant performance. The story is of course, focused on her, and the effect of imprisonment and i... read morenterrogation can be seen on her face when she sees her son through the glass of visiting hours, or when Dupois questions her in court. Matt Dillon is also a brilliant actor.
    The characters are dark, but also with redeeming qualities. David Schwimmer's character of the husband does hurtful things, but out of weakness rather than malice. Dillon's character is ruthless in his prosecution, but in truth, he is just doing his job well. Even Beckinsale's character is not the underdog hero that this film could have been about.
    I found the solution who was the source at the end that surprised me as what I believe Beckinsale's character was innocent as well as she kept promise to her source.
  • June 22, 2010
    Far less wishy-washy than The Contender, Nothing But the Truth is a similar look at staying committed to a principle despite personal cost.

    Rod Lurie has a notable gift for drawing strong performances out of his cast, especially his actresses. His feminocentric look at politics ... read moreis a refreshing change from what you'd come to expect from many movies about the government, as they tend to be men's games. Regardless of gender, his actors always seem to have a very sophisticated grasp of the politics they're dealing with. Joan Allen was great in The Contender, and predictably, Vera Farmiga is powerful as a fictional reimagining of Valerie Plame who's too angry to show that she's terrified. The real surprise is Kate Beckinsale. We all remember her from her crappy movies, like that Underworld slough and Van Fucking Helsing, neglecting to remember that she's actually had a few pretty substantial roles in some smaller indies. Here she gets to look something big in the eye and stare it down, and she is incredibly admirable. She's prone to letting her character get weepy a little too often (though not when it "counts," whatever that means), but the movie regularly confronts her with the personal toll of the choice she's making, which would make it understandably difficult on anyone in her situation. Who wouldn't cry at the thought of being stranded in jail, missing the best years of their child's life? On the levels of technical proficiency, she's controlled and intense. In terms of what casting Beckinsale herself actually brings to the table, you get someone who is easy to underestimate at first glance, which is subsequently reconciled with an admission of greater but not limitless strength, and finally proves herself unshaken by circumstances that she really can't win against. In that way, there are some parallels between the actress and the character here. Maybe I'm giving her too much credit, but I was truly impressed, and I hope to see more of such work from her in the future.

    The rest of the movie? It's a glossy, well-oiled look at journalistic shield law, which eventually unfurls into a greater examination of civil rights and our freedoms versus our security. This isn't really unique, potent or colorful enough to become all that valuable to most people, but it's a surprisingly swarthy political thriller in an era that's really turning a blind eye to them. It's a shame that the movie's distribution company buckled, essentially stranding this with a DVD release, but I wonder if it would have made that much money in the theaters anyway.
  • March 31, 2010
    This is an excellent political thriller which was based on the true story of journalist Judith Miller but is primarly fiction according to director Rod Lurie. Great performances shine throughout, but I'll have to single out Kate Beckinsale's. I had only seen her in the special ef... read morefects-laden vampire films, so this gritty performance was an unexpected treat. Alan Alda, also delivered a brilliant role, and his speech to the Supreme Court was mezmerizing. It would be a provoking civics lesson. While the film is intelligent and compelling,it also has the feel of several stories pasted together. Its very suspenseful, leading to the surprise climax, which I won't give away.

    This is a movie about principles and their consequences. Whatever side of the political spectrum you occupy, this is definitely worth viewing.
  • January 30, 2010
    I really expected this one to be totally boring, (saw the words "political" in the blurb which normally means over complicated and not that excting), but was pleasantly surprised with it. Compelling and interesting all the way through and acting excellent. Apparently based on a... read more true story - I couldn't decide if I admired her determination or wanted to shake her and say "just tell them!".
  • August 8, 2009
    Pretty decent thriller with stunning performances from the lead actors. The ending kinda ruined the movie a bit for me, otherwise I'd have rated it 5/5. Wish the writers had planned something better on how to end it (the alternative ending wasn't any good either)!!!

Critic Reviews


Roger Ebert
May 1, 2009
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

A finely-crafted film of people and ideas, of the sort more common before the movie mainstream became a sausage factory. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
April 28, 2009
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Every once in a while, for reasons as random as a Hollywood executive's taste or an economic meltdown, a perfectly decent movie slips through the cracks, never receives a theatrical release and is rel... Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
February 6, 2009
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Writer-director Lurie makes dramas that whole-headedly engage ethical quandaries yet dodge easy judgments. Full Review

Ben Lyons
December 22, 2008
Ben Lyons, At the Movies

It's Kate Beckinsale who is fantastic and she is able to hold the strong premise long enough to keep my interest in a politically-charged thriller. Full Review

Ben Mankiewicz
December 22, 2008
Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies

I thought the performances were great, particularly Vera Farmiga. Full Review

Peter Rainer
December 19, 2008
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

All this plays out in brisk fashion, and the actors, who also include Alan Alda as Rachel's venerable lawyer, mostly seem to be having a high old time. Full Review

Sam Adams
December 19, 2008
Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times

The last-minute switcheroo suggests, perhaps unintentionally, that Rachel is less a martyr to the cause than a schemer looking to cover her tracks. Full Review

Stephen Garrett
December 17, 2008
Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York

There's a halfway point when the rush of watching the inner machinations of power players turns into the listless predictability of a TV courtroom drama, crossed with the voyeurism of a mild grindhous... Full Review

Peter Travers
December 17, 2008
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Lurie has crafted a different kind of thriller, one with a mind and a heart.

Kyle Smith
December 17, 2008
Kyle Smith, New York Post

The sexing up/dumbing down fails to compensate for the gobs of punishingly dull blah-blah about crusading reporters. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

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Facts


    • Albert Burnside: Some time ago, I began to feel the personal human digression on Rachel Armstrong. And I told her that I was there to represent her and not her principle. And it was not until I met her that I realized that with great people there's no difference between principle and the person.
    • Erica Van Doren: I know you can't tell me who your source is. I respect that, okay? I know about keeping secrets.
    • Albert Burnside: Sometimes a mistake is like wearing white after Labour Day, and sometimes a mistake is invading Russia in winter!
    • Albert Burnside: A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity, but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather.
    • Patton Dubois: Now for some reason, you don't reveal your source, you'll be held in contempt. And that means jail time. And we're not talking about some sort of a Martha Stewart cell with a butler nonsense.
    • Erica Van Doren: Just tell me this: was it someone close to me? Someone I know?

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