User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 164

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. JoeP.
    Mar 19, 2006
    5
    Good acting, more of a history lesson. This is a snoozer.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
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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.