With the release of The Post, Steven Spielberg’s superb study of the Washington Post war to publish the truth which is also a seething allegory about the Trump presidency, I began to go back and explore the great films about journalism, both print and broadcast. It is fascinating to see how times have changed, reporters once doing their jobs with hours of research and dead ends, now blessed with the internet and immediate news. There was always something exciting and noble seeing the journalists eyes light up while following a lead to their assignment, or realizing they had just broke a major story. Good writing and television reporting is about obsession, putting a hook in a story and never letting go. Digging in, never backing down, fighting for the truth. Nothing else matters but the truth.
The single aspect that has not and hopefully will not ever change is the truth, that relentless search for reporting what is true. In many instances, this regard for truth, for integrity is placed above everything, even profit. The Constitution of The United States gives freedom to the press, making clear the press is to inform those governed, not be controlled by the government.
Most of the very best films about outstanding journalism remain about the relentless quest for the truth, as though credibility meant everything, should it not in this case? In order of greatness, here’s the list of top films about journalism and the press — either print or broadcast — of all time. You can watch several of these best journalism movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. The Insider (1999)
Well directed by Michael Mann, this powerful film deals with the famous 60 Minutes expose on big tobacco, bringing in a tobacco executive hoping he will speak out. Jeffrey Wigand is portrayed with a quiet fury by Russell Crowe, nearly unrecognizable in the role, arguably the best performance of his career. Mann shoots the film as a fast paced action film as the producers and host of 60 Minutes fight to get the report aired. Christopher Plummer gave rebirth to his career as Mike Wallace in a pitch perfect performance while Al Pacino is solid, not as prone to yelling in this film. Crowe is the story here, earning the first of three consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Actor. How they managed to ignore Plummer forca nomination I have never understood.
Read More: Best Gambling Movies of All Time