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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 158
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  1. May 2, 2011
    10
    Seldom does a film pontificate such an intellectually prescient concept to their film the way "Good Night and Good Luck" did so brilliantly! To comprehend the full gist of this movie is to ruminate the prevailing era in this country during McCarthyism. What Edward R Murrow hoped to accomplish with his news show was to format objectivity in a manner whereby the truth on any given issueSeldom does a film pontificate such an intellectually prescient concept to their film the way "Good Night and Good Luck" did so brilliantly! To comprehend the full gist of this movie is to ruminate the prevailing era in this country during McCarthyism. What Edward R Murrow hoped to accomplish with his news show was to format objectivity in a manner whereby the truth on any given issue required a full perspective, and, not just one politician's point of view! Today, the dichotimizing of various philosophies concerning different positions on any given issue, seem relatively second nature to the dynamic of the news media, however, in 1954, it was an intrepidly new concept in which Edward R Morrow essentially gave birth to. To theorize on the veracity of any particular concept becomes an intellectual endeavor which broadens our horizons as Americans. Such an esoteric epigram from "Good Night and Good Luck" is what made this film so intellectually spellbinding! So often in films today, the fusillade of special effects supercedes the basic cerebral element of human nature. The success of most films are determined by their box office budget. Steve Soderbourgh and George Clooney attained a clairvoyant effervescence to decide to produce this film. "Good Night and Good Luck" effloresces into a precis for academic fervor in establishing the very real purpose of television. Edward R Murrow became the single biggest purveyor for unprecedented accuracy in the news world of television just by virtue of delving into every angle of a volatile, and formerly misunderstood issue. Issues such as Communist paranoia, which was vehemently advocated by Joe McCarthy! It was probably the hacked out stoicism to predetermined news programming which Edward R Murrow wished to severely abbreviate. Murrow's philosophy of the news was to conceptualize the aggregate circumstances to a news story to determine the accuracy and significance of the actual controversy pertaining to this news item. Newsworthiness became a prerogative of every American in the United States after Murrow's entrance in the news realm of professionalism. The fact is, the truth is multi faceted, and the simple mendacity to the American News Media, is that is was not represented by that criteria! What was placatory doggerel back then, became hard bitten reality thanks to Edward R Murrow. By 1954, it was time for stilted national heroism to be dragged down from the soap box and revolutionized to the paradigm which accommodated the overall wishes of the American public. For now, television was not just about ratings and innocuous entertainment, it was incumbent upon someone such as Edward R Murrow to introduce the informative element of television as a foundation to enhance professional integrity. The visceral outlook in which the film "Good Night and Good Luck" assumed was an intelligent and an enlightening perspective that brought the birth of prolific news media coverage to the American people. Was this film exciting? No! It could not possibly be. This movie is about the truth, and, the truth is not exciting. The truth is stubborn, the truth is wry as well as abrasive, but, most of all, the truth is a necessary evil which keeps our eyes wide open to determine the full scope of political philosophy as opposed to another. This acute presentation of fundamental principals and policies which Edward R Murrow established as a precedent for news anchormen in the ensuing years ahead, made the film "Good Night and Good Luck" a cogently accurate account of how Americans have dissected the accuracy of hard bitten news on television. The film "Good Night and Good Luck" is unbelievably brilliant in the overall premise by which it purveys. Put it this way: Christopher Columbus discovered America, and Edward R Murrow discovered objectivity for television news shows. While I thought this film was fabulous, if people didn't like it, it is good in some ways, mostly because we do not realize how much we have taken the privilege of a well rounded perspective on a political issue for granted., therefore, we do not perceive that this film was groundbreaking in any way, but,, it most assuredly was! A simple solution for a seemingly complicated issue is merely a simple response! This movie "Good Night and Good Luck" is what made me just say that. One more thing, make sure you go out there and vote!! Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    7
    "Good Night, and Good Luck" isn't really a masterpiece as the critics claim, but it has it's sophisticated entertainment values thanks to the wonderful direction / performance of George Clooney and his crew.
  3. WakoJako
    Nov 16, 2005
    0
    BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIING!!! Unless you are a middle aged old fart with soft spot for those particular times, this movie will put you to sleep. It lacks plot or any other device that makes a movie what it is supposed to do. Do not waste your money on this piece of crap.
  4. billys.
    Nov 9, 2005
    5
    The critics are right. Good Night and Good Luck is a socially relavent, timely lesson on the power of media and the role it plays in politics, both historically and currently. The technical credits are all top-notch and Oscar worthy, as is the briiiant performance of David Strathairn. The use of newsreel footage of Senator McCarthy, however, gave the whole movie too much of a documentary The critics are right. Good Night and Good Luck is a socially relavent, timely lesson on the power of media and the role it plays in politics, both historically and currently. The technical credits are all top-notch and Oscar worthy, as is the briiiant performance of David Strathairn. The use of newsreel footage of Senator McCarthy, however, gave the whole movie too much of a documentary feel and left you wondering what an actor like Pacino or DeNiro would have done with such a choice role as Strathairh did with Murrow. The one thing the critics have not mentioned though, and maybe its me, but this is one hellavu boring movie. This years designer "film" with a gimmick, but i'll watch Zelig when I want gimmicks! Expand
  5. PatD.
    Oct 5, 2005
    10
    I saw this at the Opening Night of the New York Film Festival where it received an extended standing ovation by the audience. It is an amazing film. A must see.
  6. TomM.
    Oct 7, 2005
    10
    While we didn't have a television at home I do remember the newspaper and movie newsreel coverage of the McCarthy hearings. It was a time when things got a little crazy as they were driven by a Senator who thought he was doing the people's business. This excellent film provides an inside look at how a group of journalists at CBS recognized their obligation to the public and While we didn't have a television at home I do remember the newspaper and movie newsreel coverage of the McCarthy hearings. It was a time when things got a little crazy as they were driven by a Senator who thought he was doing the people's business. This excellent film provides an inside look at how a group of journalists at CBS recognized their obligation to the public and risked everything to tell the story. Unfortunately, Murrow was right in his closing remarks where he expressed his concern that the medium would become "nothing but wires in a box". Good Night, and Good Luck has much to say about the times we live in. Expand
  7. MisterThomYorke
    Feb 4, 2006
    9
    I'm 22 and thought the movie was incredibly powerful. I really think cinema must have died around the time of my birth (maybe at the hands of an increasingly mentally incapable audience) because people nowadays can't handle anything that functions on a more intellectual level (I'm not saying the movie went over the naysayers' heads, just that they demand more I'm 22 and thought the movie was incredibly powerful. I really think cinema must have died around the time of my birth (maybe at the hands of an increasingly mentally incapable audience) because people nowadays can't handle anything that functions on a more intellectual level (I'm not saying the movie went over the naysayers' heads, just that they demand more in-your-face entertainment - the kind of people who would prefer "Transporter" to "Taxi Driver." Oh God, I feel sick...) What this movie is about is the power of the medium of television: how it can be used to shift the course of human history at its best, or serve as an amusing distraction for the masses at its worst. Oh yeah, and Strathairn was great as Murrow. Murrow's character was incredibly moving and makes you wonder if journalism and the media will ever be used for such a high cause again. His jokes were funny (these might have gone over naysayers' heads since they didn't involve feces or sex). Also, how was this movie liberal? You conservative critics need to cool it with the "L" word. Logical doesn't equal liberal. Expand
  8. VirginiaD.
    Mar 27, 2006
    10
    Murrow is one of my heroes. I thought he came to life so vividly in this depiction. Clooney masterfully created an era for the view of many young adults that have not touched the 50's. I've been there and my father was a news man. This movie caught the guts of the era and the need for the woman's rights movement. This was an era of male domination and Clooney does not miss Murrow is one of my heroes. I thought he came to life so vividly in this depiction. Clooney masterfully created an era for the view of many young adults that have not touched the 50's. I've been there and my father was a news man. This movie caught the guts of the era and the need for the woman's rights movement. This was an era of male domination and Clooney does not miss a beat. Many social movements a rose from this era. It reminded me how far I have come. Expand
  9. FrederikF.
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    One of the best films this year.. As involving and entertaining as the Godfather.
  10. ForaO.
    Oct 15, 2005
    1
    Within the first 5 minutes I knew what a horrible experience watching this movie would be. Not only was the movie extremely boring, it was an excruciating experience to watch it. I found myself constantly checking the time to find a way to put myself out of my misery. If you have problems sleeping this is the movie for you. Never have I fallen asleep during a movie, but this film was just Within the first 5 minutes I knew what a horrible experience watching this movie would be. Not only was the movie extremely boring, it was an excruciating experience to watch it. I found myself constantly checking the time to find a way to put myself out of my misery. If you have problems sleeping this is the movie for you. Never have I fallen asleep during a movie, but this film was just the lackluster performance to do so. Unless you are over 70 years of age, this is a nightmare of a movie to see. Trust me the theater was filled with old farts who laughed at the corniest jokes that it made me wantt to puke. Don't put yourself in the pain I endured trying to watch this movie. Expand
  11. LadyLiberty
    Dec 25, 2005
    1
    Can a movie be more boring? I walked out after an hour. Simply awful.
  12. E.Vera
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    Every American should watch this film and pray that somewhere in the television, radio and print swamp of journalism that exists today an Edward R. Murrow will arise with the guts to take on 'the big boys' and the injustice they wreak upon the rest of us.
  13. C.B.
    Oct 24, 2005
    8
    Well directed, superbly acted and a great portrayl of an american icon.
  14. SHFB
    Dec 5, 2005
    9
    Very unique and interesting movie. I found the black&white format quite lovely and sumptous and very evocative of a certain time/place. And the acting was truly suberb. I think it's a compliment that so many people say that this feels like a documentary - it's because the acting is not overwrought. You could be watching real people in real time. As for the so-called liberal Very unique and interesting movie. I found the black&white format quite lovely and sumptous and very evocative of a certain time/place. And the acting was truly suberb. I think it's a compliment that so many people say that this feels like a documentary - it's because the acting is not overwrought. You could be watching real people in real time. As for the so-called liberal slant: I've noticed that many conservatives find that the *truth* has a liberal slant. lol. Get over it. Expand
  15. susang.
    Oct 6, 2005
    10
    Saw it at a screening with David in attendance. He was Murrow down to every gesture in this film. Magnificent!!! The story was spellbinding.
  16. NigelW
    Jan 10, 2006
    9
    Awesome. David Strathairn's lead performance shone through and showed the crucial role that good journalists play in holding our governments to account. Excellent supporting performances all round. The clever use of McCarthy footage and the mood created by the black and white filming created an authentic and powerful message that seems all the more relevant in today's politicial Awesome. David Strathairn's lead performance shone through and showed the crucial role that good journalists play in holding our governments to account. Excellent supporting performances all round. The clever use of McCarthy footage and the mood created by the black and white filming created an authentic and powerful message that seems all the more relevant in today's politicial climate. Outstanding. Expand
  17. OlegM.
    Jan 27, 2006
    2
    What is this movie about, I wonder? How the dour journalist upset McCarthy? (unconvincing, that). How freedom of speech rules in the US? (it does indeed; but CBS is hardly the beacon of free speech). It is about how Clooney assembled a great team of actors and failed to come up with a clear message. Let alone an good story. Very un-entertaining and un-elucidating effort. Clooney should What is this movie about, I wonder? How the dour journalist upset McCarthy? (unconvincing, that). How freedom of speech rules in the US? (it does indeed; but CBS is hardly the beacon of free speech). It is about how Clooney assembled a great team of actors and failed to come up with a clear message. Let alone an good story. Very un-entertaining and un-elucidating effort. Clooney should stay in the Sexiest-Man-Alive list and not venture anywhere. Expand
  18. PeterS.
    Jan 5, 2006
    9
    I'm curious about the people who found this film wanting. My guess is that they're under 50 and have no sense of the time this film accurately portrays. So, to them I say: Ask not what a movie can bring to you, but what you can bring to a movie. Know your history, folks. You're living the results of it.
  19. MikeG.
    Jan 6, 2006
    6
    Watchable, but not as crisp or sharp as I expected. There's nothing wrong with the acting, story, direction or anything else, but I feel like I've seen 10,000 movies about Joe McCarthy right now, and this story seems trivial compared to some of the stronger movies or books about the same subject. I also didn't feel that the movie was as poignant or timely as others who saw Watchable, but not as crisp or sharp as I expected. There's nothing wrong with the acting, story, direction or anything else, but I feel like I've seen 10,000 movies about Joe McCarthy right now, and this story seems trivial compared to some of the stronger movies or books about the same subject. I also didn't feel that the movie was as poignant or timely as others who saw it did. If we need to be told that violating Americans' 1st Amendment rights is wrong in 2005, then we've got more problems than a movie is going to solve. Expand
  20. JonathanH.
    Feb 22, 2006
    5
    Take a very average episode of The West Wing, switch White House for CBS 1950 studios, film it in black and white and you've got GNAGL. Dwelt almost exclusively on the McCarthy thing. Murrow's background is sketched out in speech at an award ceremony of 1958. Everything is studio based and feels very static. Some big fat cliches e.g. The newroom meeting a la All The Take a very average episode of The West Wing, switch White House for CBS 1950 studios, film it in black and white and you've got GNAGL. Dwelt almost exclusively on the McCarthy thing. Murrow's background is sketched out in speech at an award ceremony of 1958. Everything is studio based and feels very static. Some big fat cliches e.g. The newroom meeting a la All The President's Men: room full of earnest newsmen - What we got storywise? We got this. We got that. Look into it! We need some tape for six o'clock. I'll speak to editor but you're putting us all on the line etc etc. Bigs up journos at CBS as though they were massive heroes. Let's not forget these guys wrote their own history. Odd thing was the film gave the impression that Morrow was pretty much pushing an open door on the downfall of McCarthy. Pretty dull, and desperately worthy. Expand
  21. WillW.
    Feb 3, 2006
    5
    This movie started out as a 9. Then George Clooney's whiny voice and bad acting filled the screen. Okay, so a 8. Then they added on a pointless story about a married couple (Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downey Jr.) about how one would have to leave their jobs working for Murrow. Now a 7. 6 because it had a low budget and George Clooney couldnt pour anymore of his millions of dollars This movie started out as a 9. Then George Clooney's whiny voice and bad acting filled the screen. Okay, so a 8. Then they added on a pointless story about a married couple (Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downey Jr.) about how one would have to leave their jobs working for Murrow. Now a 7. 6 because it had a low budget and George Clooney couldnt pour anymore of his millions of dollars in it (makes no sense, even for a artistic point of view that he has such a small budget for this film). Finally 5 because it ended way too soon. Expand
  22. D.B.
    Feb 5, 2006
    8
    Director George Clooney crafts an absolutely riveting drama that packs an extremely relevant political punch. It's stylish, simple, and sensationally well acted; a very solid little film that is enjoyable and thought-provoking. While it might not change your life, it might change your mind.
  23. LostV.
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    Although it runs a little short, it is still an excellent film. What is most extraordinary is that Murrow fortold the future of the medium quite accurately. In Murrow's vision of infotainment, it is a rewarding experience to see and even imagine what real national media must have been like in an earlier time and seemingly on a different planet given the state of things today.
  24. AdamL.
    Apr 6, 2006
    5
    Highly overrated, a plotless piece of moral rhetoric devoid of all the things worthwhile in a moviegoing experience, including, but not limited to, plot, pacing, and purpose. A film you admire more than you love.
  25. Dicks
    Jan 20, 2008
    10
    Every citizen should see it before they ever vote again. The Bush administration would not have happened if top journalists were as brave as Murrow and his associates.
  26. CassianJ
    Jan 6, 2008
    8
    This is a class movie by a class director full of great subtle performances by the whole cast. Clooney directs and fills a supporting role in this movie based around the media
  27. ChadS.
    Nov 13, 2005
    9
    "It's over already?" murmured some lady behind me, and yes, "Good Night & Good Luck" seems a little short. But then again, George Clooney appears to have done his job and showed everything that's relevant to Murrow's stance against Ann Coulter's hero. What's quietly brilliant about the screenplay is that all of its domestic scenes are handed to its supporting "It's over already?" murmured some lady behind me, and yes, "Good Night & Good Luck" seems a little short. But then again, George Clooney appears to have done his job and showed everything that's relevant to Murrow's stance against Ann Coulter's hero. What's quietly brilliant about the screenplay is that all of its domestic scenes are handed to its supporting players. As Joe & Shirley Wershba(Robert Downey Jr. & Patricia Clarkson) lay down at night, "Good Night & Good Luck" gives you the impression that Murrow is burning the midnight oil, and not making little Edward Juniors and Edwinas with his wife. This film is about journalistic integrity. To show a man balancing his personal and professional life is extra fat that could've brought "Good Night & Good Luck" closer to two hours, but Clooney decided to keep it lean, probably wisely. The black & white photography is, of course, appropriate. It gives "Good Night & Good Luck" a "you are there" feel to David Strathairn's readings, so why not dramatize the McCarthy hearings? Strathairn is very good, but it's Frank Langella as William Paley that makes the John Sayles player seem real. Expand
  28. AddisonD.
    Nov 19, 2005
    3
    An unusual format, pseudo-documentary, taking us back to the supposed style and mood of the '50s. However, the movie is overburdened with sanctimonious liberalism as well as historical distortions. For persons with even the slightest conservative orientation or appreciation of what the Cold War was like, don't bother with this production.
  29. [Anonymous]
    Nov 22, 2005
    9
    Excellent; thoughtful, informative, interesting.
  30. VictoriaC
    Nov 28, 2005
    9
    I'm surprised to see any negative reviews. I felt like I was actually in the studio in the 50s, and experiencing things firsthand. I thought the acting was well done, and the sets suberb. The original footage from the 50s blended in seamlessly. I think that some of the issues the movie addresses (such as the an edited media bias, the push television made/makes to create tv shows with I'm surprised to see any negative reviews. I felt like I was actually in the studio in the 50s, and experiencing things firsthand. I thought the acting was well done, and the sets suberb. The original footage from the 50s blended in seamlessly. I think that some of the issues the movie addresses (such as the an edited media bias, the push television made/makes to create tv shows with lower cost and more entertainment but little content (think reality tv), and the responsibility we have to stay informed about the news) are very important today. The paralells between the communist scare and the current terrorist scare make this a very timely subject matter to reflect upon. Expand
  31. ArnoldP.
    Oct 14, 2005
    10
    Above all: the B&W time warp to the 5o's, the exceptional acting (Strahairn and Langella excell), it was a cinamatic civic lesson that is more relevant today than ever, and you were breathless ever one of the 93 minutes. forget about any minor flaws, every American must see it, lest we forget . Bravo Clooney you are following the director's path of Robert Redford.
  32. DW
    Oct 15, 2005
    5
    I'm sorry, it's just not a movie. True stories are difficult to make work because you have to stick to the untheatrical truth (or, as with "A Beautiful Mind," bastardize it). I love to be educated, but I think the test has to be: would this still make an interesting story if it weren't true. With nothing of the personal lives and no great performances to pull you into the I'm sorry, it's just not a movie. True stories are difficult to make work because you have to stick to the untheatrical truth (or, as with "A Beautiful Mind," bastardize it). I love to be educated, but I think the test has to be: would this still make an interesting story if it weren't true. With nothing of the personal lives and no great performances to pull you into the human story, all that's left is the politics, which are actually rather vague. Expand
  33. JanetteY.
    Nov 6, 2005
    10
    A film shot with superb eloquence and sophistication - and so rich with details as any praiseworthy docudrama. The message, it brings, rings clear and loud, and so seemingly endless with time. Great cast and performances! The film never stops in forcing me to face the ugly and shocking realities of the McCarthy era. A very intense movie that succeeds in keeping me trembling in my seat. A film shot with superb eloquence and sophistication - and so rich with details as any praiseworthy docudrama. The message, it brings, rings clear and loud, and so seemingly endless with time. Great cast and performances! The film never stops in forcing me to face the ugly and shocking realities of the McCarthy era. A very intense movie that succeeds in keeping me trembling in my seat. Definitely a solid, powerful and unforgetable film to keep me cheering for Democracy and Freedom! Expand
  34. BenR.
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Really I don't want to preach to the choir. I just hope Clooney recieves the recognition that he deserves for this film at the end of the year. Yeah.. he isn't subtle with his themes, but I must say, the fantastic execution of them are astounding! Bravo Mr. Clooney, Bravo!
  35. ScottM
    Dec 1, 2005
    9
    Extremely engrossing. Hell of a debut from Clooney.
  36. AndrewK.
    Dec 8, 2005
    9
    Amazing film. Anyone who says this film is boring has absoluetly no attention span. This movie had such a great feel to it. Great acting, great everything. One of the few films that truly deserves all the praise that's been given to it.
  37. Monty
    Dec 9, 2005
    3
    Well-intentioned political drama about Edward R. Murrow is unfortunately fumbled by a script that doesn't work hard enough and direction that - I hate to say - is plain weak. One wonders what this film might have been like in more expert hands - but, then, it took the clout and integrity of a George Clooney to make it happen. A solid performance by David Strathairn gives the material Well-intentioned political drama about Edward R. Murrow is unfortunately fumbled by a script that doesn't work hard enough and direction that - I hate to say - is plain weak. One wonders what this film might have been like in more expert hands - but, then, it took the clout and integrity of a George Clooney to make it happen. A solid performance by David Strathairn gives the material some gravitas but it never rises to the potential of its compelling subject. Seems like a tv movie; and not a terribly good one, unfortunately. Expand
  38. BenG.
    Jan 28, 2006
    10
    confims George Clooney's Status as his generations Robert Redford....a truly encapsulating marvel of a film
  39. DaveS
    Jan 3, 2006
    9
    Very engaging and impeccably shot. David Strathairn's performance is amazing!
  40. Conundrum
    Feb 17, 2006
    8
    Excellent. A gripping, well-crafted story. David Strathairn inhabits the role of the legendary Edward R Murrow, and reminds us of why he is a legend. The use of actual film of the contemptible Sen. McCarthy is brilliant. The only negative thing I would have to say is that the characters could have been better developed. An important reminder of a dire and dangerous moment in American history.
  41. DrunkenMaster
    Mar 14, 2006
    9
    The best film of 2005, hands down. Clooney does more in and hour and a half than other filmmakers can achieve in three. Lyric cinematography accents the really fine acting by David Strathairn. Brilliant.
  42. JoeP.
    Mar 19, 2006
    5
    Good acting, more of a history lesson. This is a snoozer.
  43. WayneB.
    Apr 12, 2006
    10
    Hands down the best film of the year. Better than Crash, far better than Brokeback, better then Capote, better than anything else out there. This is a monumental masterpiece of filmmaking.
  44. AndrewT.
    Apr 2, 2006
    3
    Sorry, this is just not entertaining. I do not go to the movies to be lectured to. Although the acting is excellent and the 1950's setting is realistic, the focus on CBS's fight with McCarthy does not make a very compelling movie.
  45. ChrisR.
    May 25, 2006
    8
    This is a tight little gem of a flick, which seems to go out of its way to simply portray the story and reveal the intense hubris and zeal of the real main character (Sen. McCarthy), and the role that the newly canonized media/soma machine known as television played in his misguided crusade. The jazz soundtrack and seemingly tacked-on hidden marriage between Downey and Clarkson serve to This is a tight little gem of a flick, which seems to go out of its way to simply portray the story and reveal the intense hubris and zeal of the real main character (Sen. McCarthy), and the role that the newly canonized media/soma machine known as television played in his misguided crusade. The jazz soundtrack and seemingly tacked-on hidden marriage between Downey and Clarkson serve to subtly illuminate the cultural context of the time period, providing flavor if not real substance. Strathairn's performance is stellar; both subtle and powerful; possibly the best character acting work seen in a long time. Clooney's work is also subtle, but more everyman; he consciously takes on a supporting role which does not shine outright, as if to concentrate the focus on the story itself, and not so much on the supporting cast. Oscar worthy? Not so much, but at least worth admiration, considering his devotion to getting this flick made. The picture shines in its minor, seemingly unobtrusive details; the pen-tap on the leg signaling Murrow that he's live; Murrow watching another television feed while in the midst of conducting an interview, the ever-burning cigarettes (and silly ads to boot) so en-vogue, and the intense, "way-it's-done" shuffling of film canisters and on-the-fly splicing of interview with live overdubs that defined the television news experience long before magnetic video tape was ever used. A slice-of-life journalism piece which never sways from its own crusade or purpose, much like the men and women who did what was right because it was simply their job, and calling, to do so. Refereshing, given today's media glut. All-in-all, well worth watching. Expand
  46. AndrewH.
    Jun 23, 2006
    10
    One of the best films of the year. And my personal pick for Best Picture
  47. ShannonP.
    Jul 9, 2006
    3
    Way over-rated. This film presupposes that you know details about McCarthy and Murrow, and that you agree the former was pure evil and the latter a saint. It then invites you to wallow in the resulting pious sentiments. McCarthy may well have been a bad man and Murrow a good one, but this movie lacks the context necessary to show why. It's not so much a story as a self-indulgent Way over-rated. This film presupposes that you know details about McCarthy and Murrow, and that you agree the former was pure evil and the latter a saint. It then invites you to wallow in the resulting pious sentiments. McCarthy may well have been a bad man and Murrow a good one, but this movie lacks the context necessary to show why. It's not so much a story as a self-indulgent exercise in political correctness. Expand
  48. caras
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    This movie is a fantastic portrayal of the behind-the-scenes view of the courage of Ed Murrow and the media's role in such a crucial time period. This is by all means my favorite movie of all time. I am seventeen years old, so it is hard to find people who write movies that actually have relevence or some substance today. Ed Murrow's actual words were used in this movie, which I This movie is a fantastic portrayal of the behind-the-scenes view of the courage of Ed Murrow and the media's role in such a crucial time period. This is by all means my favorite movie of all time. I am seventeen years old, so it is hard to find people who write movies that actually have relevence or some substance today. Ed Murrow's actual words were used in this movie, which I am thrilled about, and also the real footage of the McCarthy hearings are also fantastic. This movie is so close to looking at the real thing it gives me chills. Thank you to all the wonderful people who made this movie. Expand
  49. Riren
    Jan 28, 2007
    8
    Unlike some Best Picture nominees at the Academy, Good Night and Good Luck features some actual characters and a plot that isn't forced forward. It benefits from its plot progression being part of history instead of fiction, but still - even as a black and white film in the era of color - is a more genuine piece of film making than you would find in theatres that year. It's Unlike some Best Picture nominees at the Academy, Good Night and Good Luck features some actual characters and a plot that isn't forced forward. It benefits from its plot progression being part of history instead of fiction, but still - even as a black and white film in the era of color - is a more genuine piece of film making than you would find in theatres that year. It's weakest points are its grimness and unrelenting moral stance, which inhibit it from exploring or debating these positions. In that sense, it is as much a black and white picture as it is a black and white story. Still, it earns what it makes of itself, and its contemporary political overtones are for the most part subdued enough to be something that could remain worthwhile viewing decades from now. Expand
  50. Lindsey
    Nov 12, 2005
    2
    The acting is superb and the period is captured perfectly. Then why such a low score you ask? As I sat through this black and white recreation I felt as if I was watching a documentary and not a movie. Instead of giving the viewer an inside look at the two major characters and what drove each to the left and right, instead we get a tedious slow moving boring documentary. I felt as if I The acting is superb and the period is captured perfectly. Then why such a low score you ask? As I sat through this black and white recreation I felt as if I was watching a documentary and not a movie. Instead of giving the viewer an inside look at the two major characters and what drove each to the left and right, instead we get a tedious slow moving boring documentary. I felt as if I was watching paint dry or moss grow on a rock. Part of the audience started walking out after 45 minutes. If you are looking into the soul of the characters you will be greatly disappointed as no one is home. Avoid. Expand
  51. Adrian
    Nov 16, 2005
    0
    Walked out after an hour. Just a bunch of stiff acting but little insight.
  52. JamesB.
    Nov 22, 2005
    9
    This film might not be for those too young to appreciate it, but they should watch it just the same. An important AND relevant piece of history. It makes you feel like you're right there. Brilliant acting all around; along with the screenplay and directing. Clooney has become a huge Hollywood powerhouse and deserves it.
  53. RodS.
    Nov 29, 2005
    9
    Extremely relevent.
  54. David
    Oct 16, 2005
    10
    A tour de force of journalistic integrity and courage, highlighting a dark chapter in American History, one which we should never forget, lest we revisit it.
  55. MatthewL.
    Nov 6, 2005
    10
    Just...wow. George Clooney has made a masterpiece. "Good Night, and Good Luck" left me astounded, wanting to stand up and cheer not only for Clooney and his amazing movie, but for Edward R. Murrow, who had the guts to stand up to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, and for his stern warning of the power of television as a tool to educate and enlighten, Just...wow. George Clooney has made a masterpiece. "Good Night, and Good Luck" left me astounded, wanting to stand up and cheer not only for Clooney and his amazing movie, but for Edward R. Murrow, who had the guts to stand up to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, and for his stern warning of the power of television as a tool to educate and enlighten, or to dull the masses into a fat, complacent crowd of simpletons. Simple, powerful, unnerving, and frighteningly, urgently relevant. This is one film everyone should see. Expand
  56. Dave
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Excellent, one of the best films of the year!
  57. yanab.
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    A great interesting movie, maybe the best one of the year.
  58. JeromeH.
    Dec 5, 2005
    9
    "Movie goers don
  59. MarkB.
    Oct 25, 2005
    8
    I don't know who first uttered the truism, "The more things change, the more they remain the same", but it's clear that George Clooney, the co-writer/co-star/director of this riveting account of CBS News during the Joseph McCarthy witch-hunts of the early 1950s, has clearly taken it to heart. We may have 300 TV channels to choose from rather than 3, with most black-and-white I don't know who first uttered the truism, "The more things change, the more they remain the same", but it's clear that George Clooney, the co-writer/co-star/director of this riveting account of CBS News during the Joseph McCarthy witch-hunts of the early 1950s, has clearly taken it to heart. We may have 300 TV channels to choose from rather than 3, with most black-and-white programming restricted to Turner Classic Movies or TV Land, and if a broadcaster or commentator offends our political stance, all we need to do is push a button rather than walk across the living room to change the channel. But as Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov repeatedly demonstrate, it was just as possible then as it is now for less than completely scrupulous, agenda-driven political figures to try to control the content and tone of news coverage by intimidating networks and sponsors. Thank God newsmen Fred Friendly and Edward R. Murrow (an astonishing portrayal by David Straithairn, who expresses emotion with his two cigarette-holding fingers as vividly and eloquently as Gromit the dog does with his two eyebrows) refused to be intimidated, but what a shame that few of their present-day descendants have even come close to reaching their standards of ethics and courage. Some liberal moviegoers (and in all probability conservative pit bull and McCarthy groupie Ann Coulter) may feel somewhat let down by Good Night's cool, cerebral approach to its subject, but its refusal to rely on easy scores or cheap shots is precisely what makes it work so well. (It may even make some viewers extremely nostalgic for the days in which such antagonists as Murrow and McCarthy, as diametrically opposed as they were and as much was at stake for each of them, conducted their debate in such a relatively genteel fashion: when was the last time you clicked on any cable or radio news show and heard two people quoting Shakespeare to one another?) Those who have nitpicked Clooney for giving Murrow and CBS too much credit for McCarthy's downfall are missing the point: the movie tells the story of the McCarthy area AS IT AFFECTED CBS and is no more an overall view of Tail Gunner Joe's reign of terror than the movie Patton was a panoramic view of World War II. I loved the early scenes of Murrow doing "Person-to-Person" celebrity interviews--a tradeoff for being allowed to do the hard news he was really interested in--because any accusations of Murrow being a knee-jerk liberal clearly fall by the wayside as we witness his clear disgust at being forced to promulgate the falsehood of entertainer Liberace's heterosexuality, even though Murrow knew that outing him would've destroyed his career; the look on Murrow's face clearly shows us that he prized the truth above any type of doctrine. That's why I think Good Night's pivotal point--and the one that speaks most clearly to us today--deals with McCarthy's tarbrushing Murrow as a Communist sympathizer because of the latter's friendship with a Socialist author whom he disagreed with but still shared a mutual friendship and intellectual respect. Watch this sequence and weep a little for what we've lost in the climate of our current political dialogue: how far is it from "If you don't support McCarthy's actions, you're at least a pinko" to "If you're not completely behind the War on Terror, the Iraq invasion and the USA Patriot Act, you're on the side of the terrorists"? Except that although Murrow's eventual victory turned out to be a Pyrrhic one at CBS, chances are that if he were around today, his show would've been dropped by CNN or CSNBC after only 13 weeks for not being sufficiently deferential to the Fox News-watching audiences that those networks are trying to scoop. Expand
  60. MarcK.
    Oct 26, 2005
    6
    A Hollywood wet dream. While not as obvious as "The Contender," this film is clearly slanted to the left. This film will definitely get a slew of Oscar nominations...partly because 2005 has been a lackluster film year, and partly because Hollywood loves left-leaning films that self-congratulate themselves on how "enlightened" they all are.
  61. Filmfan
    Oct 29, 2005
    6
    I left this film disappointed. In the end there was nothing really memorable or revealing about it, at least for anyone even superficially knowledgeable about this period. Strathairn was great, as usual, but for the most part this felt like a hollywood period piece. Better than most, and more intelligent than most, but still too much about style while neglecting to create true cinematic drama.
  62. MichaelL.
    Mar 14, 2006
    9
    Clooney did an average job of presenting the story, but the story has so much relevance to our time period that it makes this movie that much more inspiring. Talk of the red scare, and tv losing its intelligence find its way to our particular social situations. (i.e terrorism, and america becoming increasingly stupid) David Strathairn carries the entire movie and message. This movie Clooney did an average job of presenting the story, but the story has so much relevance to our time period that it makes this movie that much more inspiring. Talk of the red scare, and tv losing its intelligence find its way to our particular social situations. (i.e terrorism, and america becoming increasingly stupid) David Strathairn carries the entire movie and message. This movie should not be missed. Expand
  63. JanisD.
    Mar 28, 2006
    10
    Solid entertainment and a work of art that asks questions of the soul.
  64. M.Mills
    Apr 15, 2006
    2
    A disappointing failure to portray Murrow as a brave journalist in a social and journalistic context. The film is a collection of Murrow vignettes that touch upon the issues of McCarthyism and growing corporate control of television. The acting is one-dimensional, the plot partially developed and the pacing uneven. The choppy editing is stitched together with a jazz thread which adds A disappointing failure to portray Murrow as a brave journalist in a social and journalistic context. The film is a collection of Murrow vignettes that touch upon the issues of McCarthyism and growing corporate control of television. The acting is one-dimensional, the plot partially developed and the pacing uneven. The choppy editing is stitched together with a jazz thread which adds nothing to the drama. Murrow and the values he stood for deserve better. Expand
  65. TonyB.
    May 21, 2006
    5
    Perhaps well-intentioned and definitely well-acted, but good intentions and good acting do not always make a good film. The pretentious graininess of the cinematography becomes unsettling after a while as does the choppy editing. The musical interludes serve no purpose except to add several minutes to a relatively short film. George Clooney's performance did not deserve an Oscar, or Perhaps well-intentioned and definitely well-acted, but good intentions and good acting do not always make a good film. The pretentious graininess of the cinematography becomes unsettling after a while as does the choppy editing. The musical interludes serve no purpose except to add several minutes to a relatively short film. George Clooney's performance did not deserve an Oscar, or even a nomination. Frank Langella was far superior to Hollywood's current golden boy. What was the point of the Robert Downey-Patricia Clarkson relationship? And finally, the scene in which someone reads Jack O'Brian's review is absolutely absurd, if not downright deceptive. O'Brian wrote for the Journal American, a NY afternoon daily which certainly would not have been on the street as early as the film says it was. Who knows what other discrepancies this overly rated film has? Expand
  66. JohnS.
    Nov 25, 2005
    10
    Great movie - the best I have seen all year. Really captures the feel of the times (yes I was alive then) and central issue that has returned to haunt us -- the equation of dissent with disloyalty. Only now, instead of a junior senator, we have the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis challenging our constitutional rights. A chilling wake up call.
  67. AaronS
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    One of the best films of the year. Very timely in that it's the right movie at the right time.
  68. JimG.
    Nov 27, 2005
    7
    Wow. Why don't we get more black and white movies? Forget the excess of Sin City, black and white truth is stranger than pulp fiction. Lots of style: Visually very interesting, punctuated with breathy vocals by Diana Reeves. What's better is the lesson that history repeats "first as tragedy, then as farce." Most timely, the clip of Eisenhower talking about the importance of Wow. Why don't we get more black and white movies? Forget the excess of Sin City, black and white truth is stranger than pulp fiction. Lots of style: Visually very interesting, punctuated with breathy vocals by Diana Reeves. What's better is the lesson that history repeats "first as tragedy, then as farce." Most timely, the clip of Eisenhower talking about the importance of habeas corpus. (Look it up, naysayers.) Don't know whether hawks have started with potshots about historical accuracy yet, but the quoted material on its own, particularly McCarthy's words, speak for themselves and offer significant drama. If only we'd learn. Expand
  69. AdamH
    Nov 29, 2005
    7
    David Strathairn is excellent as Murrow and there is some great writing, but the movie as a whole is just a bit of a slog even if I admire its intent. My lack of solid enthusiasm may be due to the very dirty and distracting print that I saw.
  70. S.Gold
    Dec 17, 2005
    8
    Great performances and one of the best scripts of the year highligh a film with a very timely messages with 2 cons being an ongoing style pattern and sloppy camerawork.
  71. richardb.
    Dec 18, 2005
    4
    I wanted to like this movie. Its important that audiences today learn that American journalists can, and have, stood up to powerful men abusing their power. But somehow, the life-draining, period drag of this movie got in the way of what should have been an easy dramatization of a stirring real-life battle. This is one colorless film, and not just because it's shot in black & white. I wanted to like this movie. Its important that audiences today learn that American journalists can, and have, stood up to powerful men abusing their power. But somehow, the life-draining, period drag of this movie got in the way of what should have been an easy dramatization of a stirring real-life battle. This is one colorless film, and not just because it's shot in black & white. Why,after about a half hour in, did I feel like I was watching a weak 30's melodrama, instead of an updated The Front Page or All The President's Men or Broadcast News? Movie journalists have rarely been this dull. Was Ed Murrow really that constipated, such a self-important Shakespearean name-checker,so insufferably urbane? What did he do off the job, and how come we never saw how his wife and family figured in his career? In fact, why did we waste so much screen time on Robert Downey and Patricia Clarkson's secret marriage, at the expense of learning more about Murrow, or anything at all about Fred Friendly, or Bill Paley? What's especially weird is that stock footage Joe Mc Carthy becomes, by default, the most appealing character in the flick.He's a red-blooded ranter, sometimes rabid, sometimes clever, but always a lot more human than you'd expect. I'm sure that's hardly the message George Clooney means to send his audience but, when it comes down to it, beasts'll beat bores every time. Check out Emile de Antonio's 1964 documentary, Point of Order, if you want to know what really happened. Expand
  72. RhettW.
    Dec 28, 2005
    10
    I knew I was going to drown in this movie at the moment the opening rolled with no credits just actor's faces and the jazz soundtrack.
  73. BKM
    May 2, 2013
    5
    Given the relevant subject matter and the talent involved, it's quite surprising that Good Night, and Good Luck is such an inert film. A large part of this seems due to the rudderless direction and writing of George Clooney who can't seem to find the proper approach for the material. Strathairn is excellent as Murrow, but he's stuck in a movie where no one seems to realize that the mereGiven the relevant subject matter and the talent involved, it's quite surprising that Good Night, and Good Luck is such an inert film. A large part of this seems due to the rudderless direction and writing of George Clooney who can't seem to find the proper approach for the material. Strathairn is excellent as Murrow, but he's stuck in a movie where no one seems to realize that the mere depiction of the events don't qualify this as a great movie. Things like complexity, passion, characters and plotting matter too. Expand
  74. Mar 14, 2015
    9
    The fight against the powerful takes bravery, such as shown Edward R Murrow and the people he worked during the witch-hunts of McCarthyism. "Good Night and Good Luck" displays that fight brilliantly. George Clooney gives his best directorial work and David Strathairn as Murrow gives his best performance to date, in one of the best films about journalism since "All The Presidents Men". ItThe fight against the powerful takes bravery, such as shown Edward R Murrow and the people he worked during the witch-hunts of McCarthyism. "Good Night and Good Luck" displays that fight brilliantly. George Clooney gives his best directorial work and David Strathairn as Murrow gives his best performance to date, in one of the best films about journalism since "All The Presidents Men". It may not be high flying sensationalistic twists and turns, but all the little details, the beautiful black and white cinematography, and the great cast of a number of known names, add up to a compelling piece, and a timeless story about what it takes to stand up for what's right. Expand
  75. Feb 7, 2014
    5
    The acting is great, but this film is classic director George Clooney for me. It is a very interesting subject matter that moves at a snail's pace and all interest in the story is lost, ultimately winding up being a quite boring film. I wanted to like it, but I simply cannot.

    However, I felt as though the black and white worked well, as I said before, the acting was really well done,
    The acting is great, but this film is classic director George Clooney for me. It is a very interesting subject matter that moves at a snail's pace and all interest in the story is lost, ultimately winding up being a quite boring film. I wanted to like it, but I simply cannot.

    However, I felt as though the black and white worked well, as I said before, the acting was really well done, and I really liked the blending of the real newscasts with the events going on in the screening room.
    Expand
  76. Jun 7, 2013
    7
    Good film. Great cast. George Clooney directs the heck out of this film; I liked his subtle approach of the material, but I also feel like that held the film back a bit. Also, it's a little short.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    20
    Clooney has littered his film with such a high quantity of mistakes that it is hard to know where exactly to begin finding fault.
  2. The biggest little movie of the year - and one of the best ever about the news media.
  3. Clooney may be a specialist in embattled camaraderie--he helped revive "Ocean's Eleven," after all--but as in that caper remake, there's no depth to these characterizations, and Downey and Clarkson are squandered in a goes-nowhere subplot about their secret marriage.