The Fifth Estate

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Fifth Estate (Touchstone Movie)

“The Fifth Estate” is a biographical drama thriller film released in 2013. The movie is directed by Bill Condon and is based on real events surrounding the controversial website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

The film follows the rise of WikiLeaks, a website created by Julian Assange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (played by Daniel Brühl). WikiLeaks is known for publishing classified and sensitive information from anonymous sources, exposing government and corporate secrets to the public.

“The Fifth Estate” explores the complexities of the relationship between Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg as they work together to change the world of journalism and digital information dissemination. At first, the two share a strong bond and work passionately for the cause of transparency and accountability.

However, as WikiLeaks gains prominence and starts to publish classified documents from various governments, the film delves into the ethical dilemmas and consequences of their actions. The movie also depicts the tension between Julian Assange’s pursuit of radical transparency and his lack of willingness to filter sensitive information, and Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s growing concerns about the potential risks posed by WikiLeaks’ activities.

As WikiLeaks gains attention and notoriety, it faces intense scrutiny from governments worldwide. The film also highlights the role of journalists and the traditional media in reporting on the information leaked by WikiLeaks and the ethical debates that arise from publishing classified information.

“The Fifth Estate” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Julian Assange and the film’s exploration of the complexities of digital journalism. However, others criticized its portrayal of Assange and the accuracy of certain events depicted in the movie.

The film’s title, “The Fifth Estate,” refers to the concept of a virtual public space where independent media and citizen journalism can play a significant role in shaping public opinion and challenging traditional media and institutions.

Additional Details


  • Benedict Cumberbatch: Julian Assange
  • Daniel Brühl: Daniel Domscheit-Berg
  • Anthony Mackie: Sam Coulson
  • David Thewlis: Nick Davies
  • Moritz Bleibtreu: Marcus
  • Alicia Vikander: Anke Domscheit-Berg
  • Stanley Tucci: James Boswell
  • Laura Linney: Sarah Shaw
  • Carice van Houten: Birgitta Jónsdóttir
  • Peter Capaldi: Alan Rusbridger
  • Dan Stevens: Ian Katz
  • Alexander Beyer: Marcel Rosenbach
  • Alexander Siddig: Dr. Tarek Haliseh
  • Philip Bretherton: Bill Keller
  • Lydia Leonard: Alex Lang
  • Hera Hilmar: Wikileaks staffer
  • Nigel Whitmey: General Thomason


  • Director: Bill Condon
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Brad Dorros and Michael Sugar
  • Screenpplay: Josh Singer

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.