Stephen is a staff writer for the new republic & freelance writer for publications such as rolling stone. By the mid-90s his articles had turned him into one of the most sought after young journalists in washington but a b... more »izarre chain of events suddenly stopped his career in its tracks. Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent. Release Date: 09/14/2004 Starring: Peter Sarsgaard Chloe Sevigny Run time: 94 minutes Rating: Pg13« less
Elizabeth B. (bethieof96) from NINETY SIX, SC Reviewed on 6/8/2013...
I thought this movie was very good and it's based on a very true story. This guy was so smart that he could have succeeded doing things the right way. 5 stars here.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Julia P. from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 3/18/2011...
Not bad, but somewhat disappoining.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
THOSE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 04/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a superb directorial debut by Billy Ray, who also wrote the script for this engrossing film. It tells the true story of how one journalist, Stephen Glass (Hayden Christiansen), a star journalist for the self-styled, in-flight magazine for Air Force One, "The New Republic", bamboozled his editors for years with bogus stories. This was to have a devastating impact on a magazine that was well-respected in the political community.The film is a riveting study of a pathological liar who had the need to be the center of attention. For years, Stephen Glass had regaled his colleagues with journalistic feats, only to have them eventually discover that they were mere mumbo jumbo, as few of them had little more than a grain of truth to them. Stephen Glass is portrayed as a slightly obnoxious, self-deprecating character, who binds his colleagues to him through his smarmy, somewhat ingratiating. personality. Michael Kelly (Hank Azaria) is the first editor of "The New Republic" with whom Stephen Glass worked. When Kelly finds something questionable in one of the stories submitted by Glass, Stephen is able to explain it away, and the incident is glossed over. When Kelly is fired by the publisher, Chuck Lane (Peter Sarsgaard) takes over under difficult circumstances, as the staff is loyal to Kelly and resentful of Lane. Still, Lane perseveres, occasionally crossing swords with Stephen Glass.All comes to a head when a reporter from another publication questions the veracity of one of Stephen's stories. An inside investigation by an anguished and angry Chuck Lane clearly shows that Stephen's story is not fact based but, rather, an elaborate deceit, false from beginning to end. Stephen's journalistic house of cards comes tumbling down around him, rocking the integrity of The New Republic. Chuck Lane is placed in the difficult position of exposing the full breadth of Stephen's journalistic perfidy, which ended up being widespread.The cast of the film is excellent overall, though I did find that Hayden Christiansen's portrayal of Stephen Glass paints him as too obvious a liar. I found it a tad difficult to believe that his colleagues gave him as much credence as they did. Chloe Sevigny contributes a fine performance as fellow journalist, Caitlin Avey, who was one of Stephen's bamboozled friends. Hank Azaria gives a fine portrayal of popular editor Michael Kelly, which shows that he can handle serious dramatic roles as adeptly as he handles comedic ones. The stand out performance, however, is that of Peter Sarsgaard, whose understated, poignant portrayal of Kelly's replacement, the beleaguered, unpopular Chuck Lane, is sensitive yet very powerful and complex.The DVD has first class audio and visuals, as well as an excellent audio commentary by both the director and Chuck Lane. It also has a must see 60 Minutes interview with Stephen Glass, which took place about five years after the events in the film. It is well worth seeing.All in all, this is an outstanding film that will keep the viewer riveted to the screen. It is one that is well worth having in one's personal film collection. Bravo!"
The Fourth Estate a Glass House?
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 04/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1999, "The New Republic" magazine that so prided itself on insightful political and social commentary was plunged into scandal when it was discovered that one of the magazine's star reporters, Stephen Glass, had fabricated many of his stories. "Shattered Glass" is the story of Stephen Glass' fall from bright young star to pariah of the journalistic community. Hayden Christensen plays Glass, whose self-deprecating, obnoxiously ingratiating manner somehow blinds his co-workers to his machinations, all while he makes self-righteous speeches about journalistic integrity. Christensen's portrayal of Glass is convincing enough to paint the man as a real character, but I hope Glass was a better liar in reality than he is in this film, because it left me dumbfounded that anyone would have ever believed a word he said. The film's stand-out performance is Peter Sarsgaard's portrayal of "The New Republic" editor, Chuck Lane, under whose authority Stephen Glass was exposed and sent packing. Chloe Sevigny and Hank Azaria also give memorable performances as fellow journalist Caitlin Avey and Michael Kelly, who was the magazine's editor before Chuck Lane, respectively. Stephen Glass was a pathological liar and a con artist, but far more interesting than Glass are the holes in journalism's fact-checking systems that his success revealed and the willingness of a bunch of the nation's supposedly bright up-and-coming journalists to believe things that were so obviously preposterous. Director Billy Ray has done an admirable job of dramatizing this true story with an impressive script which he wrote himself, based on an article by H. G. Bissinger. "Shattered Glass" is an interesting look at integrity, gullibility, and delusion in those who write the news and those who read it. And Peter Sarsgaard's performance is one of the best of 2003.The DVD: There aren't many bonus features, but what's there is excellent. There is a "60 Minutes" interview with the real Stephen Glass in which he recounts how and why he started fabricating new stories. There is also an audio commentary by director Billy Ray and the real Chuck Lane, the editor who discovered the extent of Stephen Glass' deception. This is one of the best audio commentaries I've heard on a film. Ray and Lane are both articulate and engaging. The commentary doesn't meander or have awkward silences. Lane contributes a lot of additional information on Glass and the workings of "The New Republic". Ray talks about filming, editing, and story-telling decisions. Sitting through the film a second time to listen to the commentary won't bore you to tears. If Stephen Glass' story interests you at all, I highly recommend both the commentary and the "60 Minutes" interview."
Powerful, Outstanding Performances
crazyforgems | Wellesley, MA United States | 12/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Find "Shattered Glass." It is an important movie albeit one that works within a small scale. It also boasts several of the year's best acting performances. Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) is a young hotshot writer at The New Republic in the late 1990's. The New Republic may not have a large circulation-80,000-but everyone of those 80,000 does something important in Washington. Or so TNR's staff thinks. As the movie tells you several times, "The New Republic" is inflight reading on Air Force One.Glass is adored by everyone, well almost everyone, in TNR's offices. He compliments the secretaries on their choices in lipstick, he has heart-to-hearts with the bright young women on the staff, he serves as a mentor to the interns. And he produces. Story after story, expose after expose, Glass never seems to stop working at his job--except of course at night, when he attends Georgetown Law. He is able to produce these great stories because he has one fabulous source for all of them: himself. He simply fabricates facts, people, settings. Although The New Republic supposedly has a prestigious fact checking structure, he slips through the (many) cracks. Finally, a reporter at an Internet site runs into a number of holes as he prepares a follow-up to one of Glass's stories. Then the house of cards begins to fall...Glass's previous editor, Michael KElly (Hank Azaria), had had a suspicion or two but cared so much for the young reporter that he rid himself of his doubts. But his new editor, Chuck Lane (Peter Saasgard), is forced to delve deeper...and deeper...and deeper.Great performances run through this movie. Hayden Christensen inhabits this character so thoroughly that you can feel him curling up in your office and trying to "pitch" you. Peter Saasgard is AMAZING--he plays a low key, slow burning, honorable individual with a restrained passion. Chloe Sevigny is great as a brilliant reporter who is blindsided by her loyalty to Glass. This movie also depicts office politics as well as any movie that I've ever seen. And not just the politics in a newsroom but in most American offices. There's always the unpopular boss, the kid who made a few mistakes that everyone thinks should be excused, the blindly loyal co-workers. One flaw in the movie: Ray lets The New Republic off the hook for their culpability in this matter. There have been journalists like Glass around for many years-their system failed as much as he did. Still it is a riveting, well-acted movie."
One of 2003's very best movies. Highly recommended
guillermoj | Washington, DC United States | 06/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a gem of a movie should have received more commercial acclaim than it did when, as I think that it's one of 2003's very best. Although I did not see it during its theatrical run, I am glad that listened to a friend of mine who loved the movie when he saw it at the movies. It's so good that I am going to buy it, and I am not a big DVD buyer.
Although many of you are already familiar with this hard to believe true story, as it received much press and even appeared in the television show "60 Minutes," nothing you've heard can prepare you for this movie as its strength lies in its sublime acting, and even more importantly in the way the story is framed by writer and first time director Billy Ray. It makes for a quite a suspenseful and thrilling ride.
Possible spoiler ahead: If you've never heard of Steven Glass or the events that this movie chronicles, you may want jump to the next two paragraphs as not knowing anything in advance could make your movie experience may even more pleasurable than for those who know a little about it. In a nutshell the movie tells the story of a journalist at The New Republic" magazine, who had the unique talent to come up with and chronicle colorful stories that were a shot in the arm to a traditional magazine that was a must read mainly for policy-makers (yes, even Presidents) and other politicos.
Even those of you who know that Mr. Glass will not be remembered for his reporting but for the series of events that led to his ultimate downfall, will enjoy what is in essence a universal story about ambition, power, manipulation, reinvention and that we should not always believe what hear or even see in print. This message is especially important with the advent of the internet.
For those who skipped the previous paragraphs, the water is safe now. The movie brilliantly chronicles the ups and downs of a young journalist (played by Hayden Christensen in one of the year's best and most underrated performances) of a high-brow political magazine. At the start I mention that the movie's main strength lies in the manner in which it is framed, and I won't give that away.
One interesting fact that you will find out in the director's commentary (which is an invaluable extra on this DVD) about the movie's greatest strength is that was originally not told in its eventual framework. It was a last minute decision made when the original structure failed to impress anyone, including the director himself. From seeing the movie, you'd never know that to be the case, and it's one of those inside stories that to me represent the very best of what DVD extras should be about.
If it had not been for an additional couple of days of shooting after the initial wrap, the result was still have been good, but certainly not brilliant. While the release has no deleted scenes or outtakes (which is for the best as there is usually a reason for their exclusion from a film), I was overjoyed to hear the director's commentary over the entire movie as it is a lesson in filmmaking from a guy who directing his very first movie. The commentary was so interesting that I wound up in essence seeing the whole movie twice, as I saw it and immediately jumped into the commentary and I could not stop until it ended. Thank God that the movie is very tight and lasts just over 90 minutes.
As indicated above, Hayden Christensen's performance as Stephen Glass is as good as there was during 2003 and shows that he's not a one trick pony. He should in no way be judged solely on his wooden work in the underwhelming "Star Wars" series as there must be a dumbing down bacteria in water of where George Lucas is filming this trilogy. Peter Sarsgaard who portrays Chuck Lane, Glass' editor of The New Republic, gives one of the most nuanced and brilliant performances ever captured on film. He plays a guy you want to dislike, but you just might find yourself rooting for before the movie ends. Sarsgaard would have been a major movie star in the '70s, yet I hold hope that this performance makes other directors see what a talent he is. The performances would be considered outstanding even if they were not based on real people, but downright brilliant when one considers how hard it is to walk the line between caricature and an honest portrayal of real people, especially when some of the real people in the story were actually present during the making of this film.
There is really not a single performance that is not solid and it shows what great things can happen when a writer-director gives his all and is supported not only by a great cast but a crew that makes him look so masterful. In the commentary Ray gives specific credit to several experts in their respective fields who also supported him as a first time director. Even as a seasoned movie buff, I was surprised at my lack of appreciation of the people who make good directors look even better. Whether it's lighting, framing, scouting, or casting, the commentary made me want to know much more about the role of the people who we never get the public recognition that those in the forefront do. The director's commentary (maybe out of homage to journalism) highlights the few artistic liberties that he took in making this movie, which were supported by Chuck Lane, who also comments and expands on the words of Billy Ray.
The last five minutes of the movie are worth seeing time and time again. Although this may not mean anything right know, pay close attention to the group of people that Glass is speaking to as there is more than irony in those scenes. No, there is no big shock that is revealed, but something entirely more subtle and honest to the movie's structure. This is a must-see film which easily earns 5 stars."
Stop the presses!
Miles D. Moore | Alexandria, VA USA | 11/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a professional journalist, I know how hard it is to get your sources to trust you. Dishonest reporters like Stephen Glass make it all the harder for honest reporters. That's why I was surprised to end up feeling some sympathy for the lying little weasel at the end of Billy Ray's "Shattered Glass." As played by Hayden Christensen, Glass is a recognizable human type, different in degree but not in kind from people we know in our everyday lives. Padding around the New Republic's offices in his stocking feet, offering constant compliments and endless little kindnesses, Christensen's Glass (at least at first) is the lovable kid brother we all wish we had. Even knowing all about him coming into the movie, we can't help but like him. So it hits us just as hard as his movie colleagues when Glass' treachery is finally revealed. For Stephen Glass will do ANYTHING to be loved and admired--even sacrifice his own honor and the reputation of the magazine he works for. Even after Chuck Lane (Peter Sarsgaard), Glass' editor, has come to realize what a pathological liar Glass is, Glass still can't help playing for sympathy, like a puppy who had an accident on the rug. Christensen's superb performance dominates the movie, but Sarsgaard also is excellent as Lane, a dogged and honorable newsman who sees through Glass (pardon the pun) long before most others do. There is also great work from Chloe Sevigny as Glass' closest friend on the New Republic staff; Hank Azaria as Michael Kelly, the likable and charismatic editor forced out in a dispute with his publisher; and Steve Zahn and Rosario Dawson as the Forbes Online reporters who first discover the holes in Glass' tapestry of lies. The film makes suspenseful, compulsive viewing throughout, as Ray guides us through the internal politics of the New Republic and shows us how those politics made it possible for Glass to get 27 wholly or partially fabricated stories into the magazine. As good as the film is, however, it feels too narrow; we never get a picture of the story's larger significance. Ray tells us that the New Republic is an important political magazine, "The In-Flight Magazine of Air Force One," but he never makes us feel it. An extra scene or two, showing political bigwigs refusing to talk to Chuck Lane and other New Republic reporters, would have gone a long way toward making us feel the full impact of Glass' lies. But what's actually on screen is impeccable, and it's rare in these days of overlong, bloated epics that a movie leaves us wanting more."