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Kill the Messenger (2014 film)

Kill the Messenger
File:Kill the Messenger poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Cuesta
Produced by
Written by Peter Landesman
Based on Kill the Messenger 
by Nick Schou
Dark Alliance
by Gary Webb
Music by Nathan Johnson
Cinematography Sean Bobbitt
Edited by Brian A. Kates
  • Bluegrass Films
  • The Combine
Distributed by Focus Features
Release dates
  • October 10, 2014 (2014-10-10)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million[2]
Box office $2.5 million[3]

Kill the Messenger is a 2014 American crime thriller film directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Peter Landesman. It is based on the book of the same name by Nick Schou and the book Dark Alliance by Gary Webb. The film stars Jeremy Renner (in his first film as a producer), Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Paz Vega, Oliver Platt, Richard Schiff, and Michael K. Williams. The film was released on October 10, 2014.[4]


Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb, the film takes place in the mid-1990s. Webb uncovered the CIA's alleged role in importing crack cocaine into the U.S. to secretly fund the Nicaraguan contra rebels. Despite enormous pressure to stay away, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series called "Dark Alliance". He then experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA, during which he found himself defending his integrity, his family and his life.[5]



On March 5, 2014, Focus Features announced that the film would be released on October 10, 2014.[4]


Principal photography began on July 16, 2013 in several Georgia locations, including Atlanta, Cobb County and Decatur.[6][7]


Nathan Johnson composed the score for the film,[8] and Back Lot Music release a soundtrack album on October 7, 2014.[9]


Kill the Messenger received a regional theatrical release on October 10, 2014.[4][10]

Critical reception

The film has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 77%, based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's consensus reads, "Kill the Messenger's potent fury over the tale of its real-life subject overrides its factual inaccuracies and occasional narrative stumbles."[11] On Metacritic, the film currently has a rating of 60 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]


  1. "KILL THE MESSENGER (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 10, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  3. "Kill the Messenger (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Cunningham, Todd (5 March 2014). "Jeremy Renner's ‘Kill the Messenger’ Gets Fall Release Date". Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  6. "Jeremy Renner movie, ‘Kill the Messenger’, filming in Decatur, GA". 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  7. ""Kill The Messenger" films in east Cobb and downtown". 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  8. "Nathan Johnson Scoring ‘Kill the Messenger’". March 31, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  9. "‘Kill the Messenger’ Soundtrack Details". October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  10. "Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October". March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  11. "Kill the Messenger". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  12. "Kill the Messenger Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 

External links