User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 156
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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. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. FrederikF.
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    One of the best films this year.. As involving and entertaining as the Godfather.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. [Anonymous]
    Nov 22, 2005
    9
    Excellent; thoughtful, informative, interesting.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. ScottM
    Dec 1, 2005
    9
    Extremely engrossing. Hell of a debut from Clooney.
  21. 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.
  22. BenG.
    Jan 28, 2006
    10
    confims George Clooney's Status as his generations Robert Redford....a truly encapsulating marvel of a film
  23. DaveS
    Jan 3, 2006
    9
    Very engaging and impeccably shot. David Strathairn's performance is amazing!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. AndrewH.
    Jun 23, 2006
    10
    One of the best films of the year. And my personal pick for Best Picture
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. RodS.
    Nov 29, 2005
    9
    Extremely relevent.
  30. 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.
  31. 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
  32. Dave
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Excellent, one of the best films of the year!
  33. yanab.
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    A great interesting movie, maybe the best one of the year.
  34. JeromeH.
    Dec 5, 2005
    9
    "Movie goers don
  35. 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
  36. JanisD.
    Mar 28, 2006
    10
    Solid entertainment and a work of art that asks questions of the soul.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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
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.