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Movie Review: Shattered Glass

Story: Put down that newspaper or magazine you are reading (it's probably not true anyway) and run to see this true story about Stephen Glass, the 24 year old wunderkind, who duped The New Republic magazine (and its readers) by making up 27 out of the 41 articles he wrote for them over several years.

It is a 'must see' for seekers of the truth and anyone interested in journalism. The New Republic is a serious, respected, political publication with a small but influential readership. How this kid managed to charm, lie, manipulate and fabricate his way to celebrity and success is a fascinating study of the times in which we live. He gets tripped up by an online publication, Forbes Digital (now defunct) as it investigates one of his last stories called Hacker's Heaven.

Screenwriter and director Billy Ray does an amazing job as he methodically unfolds the story. The characters are all treated with respect and we slowly change our allegiances as this fraud is uncovered and we, the audience, also feel as if we were duped.

No one likes to be lied to - and the truth, this time, wins out. But every now and then a Stephen Glass, a Jason Blair, a Matt Drudge or the folks who bring us Fox News will rear their heads and try to fool us. Hang in there - their falls from the top can be wonderfully satisfying.

Acting: Kudos to a great young cast. Hayden Christianson (Star Wars) is perfect as Stephen Glass. He is charming and annoying at the same time. Peter Sarsgaard (Boy Don't Cry, K-19, The Widowmaker) as Chuck Lane is wonderful as the editor who bravely challenges Glass and ultimately gets to the truth. Chloe Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Hank Azaria and Melanie Lynsky all nail their roles.

Predilection: I like true stories.

Critters: None.

Food: Lots of Chinese take-out.

Visual Art: Mostly covers of the New Republic.

Blatant Product Placement: Diet Coke and Fritos.

Soundtrack: Director Billy Ray chooses background sound very well. When tension is highest he selects to have no soundtrack. You can almost hear the beating hearts of the actors.

Opening Titles: Black background with a superimposed typewriter font.

Theater Audience: Some New Republic readers I suspect.

Predictability Level: Even though I knew what was going to happen (I saw the piece on this guy on 60 Minutes last spring) there is still tension in the storytelling.

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: No nits to pick

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. For some other films about journalism try some of these winners: The Year of Living Dangerously, Under Fire, The Killing Fields, Not for Publication, Mean Season, Fletch, Jack and Mike, Salvador, Welcome to Sarajevo, Citizen Kane, The Front Page, All the President's Men, Absence of Malice, Continental Divide, A Case of Libel, The Pelican Brief, The Paper, Broadcast News and very fabulous Insider.

Length: 90 minutes.