Nothing But the Truth: Don’t Reveal the Source (2009)

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Drama, Political, Thriller

In the midst of turbulence in South America, a reporter in Washington DC has uncovered the identity of a CIA agent who was involved in the discussions to order air strikes in Venezuela. Rachel Armstrong has her sights set on taking down a president and earning a Pulitzer, but her research only created more trouble for her to reveal her source. Backed by her colleagues, she chooses to conceal the person who outed the agent and finds herself face to face with a shark of a lawyer, Patton Dubois. In her very first court hearing, she is challenged by the attorney and the judge and thrown into jail. Believing that she will only be in for a short time, she pushes her son away from seeing her locked up and puts her faith in her own attorney, Alan Burnside. Federal laws and regulations continue to put pressure on Rachel as she begins to lose her family and sanity.

Starring: Kate Beckinsale (Rachel Armstrong), Matt Dillon (Patton Dubios), Angela Bassett (Bonnie Benjamin), Alan Alda (Albert Burnside), Vera Farmiga (Erica Van Doren), David Schwimmer (Ray Armstrong), Courtney B. Vance (Agent O’Hara), Noah Wyle (Avril Aaronson)

With all of her inner strength, Rachel Armstrong tries to fend off the attack of Patton and the horrors of jail. Kate Beckinsale goes through stages of deterioration as she shows how convictions do not match up well with stubbornness. Fighting to force her to rat out her source, Matt Dillon is tenacious every step of the way. He challenges the process and seems to maintain nearly all of the control through each part of the court proceedings. Alan Alda attempts to be Rachel’s savior and does so with some quick wit, but he ultimately fails to find protection for her civil liberties. Vera Farmiga plays the loose-lipped CIA agent, Noah Wyle is the brash co-worker and David Schwimmer is the undedicated husband who abandons his wife in a time of crisis.

Nothing But the Truth is a political thriller that causes the viewer to question whether to save oneself or protect your convictions. Rod Lurie uses this story to show the coldness of the judicial system and the conflicting values of different parts of the law. While Rachel could have simply said she received the information accidentally and turned the tables on Patton to prove she was lying, the dramatic tone of the film focused on the selfless of protecting a source while sacrificing nearly everything he had. Her will was stronger than Patton would ever be able to break, and as she kept having parts of her life taken away, she grew ever closer to having nothing left to fight for. Erica Van Doren also had pressure descending on her, but she was protecting her own life to avoid sharing her inability to keep her identity private.

This is definitely an interesting film but it has a somewhat large plot hole with the failure to reconcile the type of source from the very beginning. It still is an interesting case of will versus pressure.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


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