‘Bombshell’ Has Plenty To Offer Under The Surface (Movie Review)

Bombshell Movie ReviewBombshell is a film I’m only here for because of the 3 leading women, most notably Harley Quinn…err I mean Margot Robbie.  I pretty much will see anything with her nowadays, but I digress.  Other than that I had originally thought there was really no reason for me to be here.  While I am totally for the women exposing the audacious acts against them here there were a few moments in the trailer I didn’t particularly care for.  On the surface I thought it was going to be a lot of political propaganda.  I‘ll usually leave it at that because politics is something I never talk about or at least I do my best to try not to, but I do need to still address it here.  Truth be told though there was also something very trippy and mesmerizing in that first Bombshell trailer that hook, line and sinker caught ahold of me and never let me go (that song and the leading ladies in the elevator).  So that’s why I’m here!

Bombshell is directed by Jay Roach from a screenplay written by Charles Randolph.  The film stars the aforementioned three leading ladies Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie plus John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell, Allison Janney and more.  It’s based  upon the accounts of several key women at Fox News that bravely exposed CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and literally showed the world the creep he is (or should I say was).  The movie hits home for me with recent events like with what happened in 2017 with NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer or made relevant this year by Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, which is outstanding by the way.

Bombshell Movie Review

Interestingly enough this project really wasn’t brought to fruition in the real world until the death of Ailes (whom Lithgow portrays here) in early 2017.  Also, Bombshell has already garnered a lot of positive reviews (open in limited release on December 13th) and even two Golden Globe nods.  Wow!  Theron and Robbie were nominated for Best Actress – Drama and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.  Go Robbie go!  Truth be told too I have always been a huge Nicole Kidman fan.  I mean how can you not be?  Moulin Rouge baby!  Now that I completely went off topic again let’s reel you back in and discuss what you can expect with Bombshell, eh.

First things first, let’s talk the P-word, politics.  So we all know that Fox News is pro Republican, right?  That shouldn’t come as a surprise.  And sigh…we all know that President Trump is featured prominently in the trailers and he’s very relevant during all of this, right?  Well that’s just it.  Despite these two controversial points, Trumps women hating comments and more Bombshell kind of just reports the facts.  There’s nothing taken to the extreme or any hidden messages in here saying you have to be a liberal or else you’re the devil.  No!  It just replays the circumstances with what went down in the media during this time and how Fox News just like in real life is known for being very conservative.  That’s all.  I like this approach because it didn’t feel like I was watching a propaganda film.  All this is important to know too for background information, but it’s truly the story of these women that’s really front and center, which I think should be the case anyway.  So let’s talk more about this story!

Bombshell Movie Review

The three leading women in this movie are all trying to make it as front desk newscasters in this men’s world here at Fox News.  The defiant one, portrayed by Kidman, is on her way down with Ailes pretty much making life miserable for her.  The up and coming beautiful one, played by Robbie, is quickly learning this is a comply or get out organization if you want to make it at Fox News (meaning the shorter the skirt the further you will go).  She, however, has loyal ties to Fox News because it’s all her conservative family watches and she was literally raised on it.  So she wants to make a good impression!  Theron is a dead ringer as Megyn Kelly and she unfortunately is being awoken by everything going on.  She’s kind of in a damn if you do and damn if you don’t say anything kind of situation.  It was interesting to re-live the awkward predicament Trump kind of put her life into as well for over a year.

So above is the scenario.  If you don’t make Mr. Ailes happy, your career isn’t taking off (and he’s not afraid to tell you).  The guy is an absolute P-I-G and Lithgow nails him perfectly.  Furthermore, I would go as far as to say all the performances throughout Bombshell were both believable and extremely well executed.  The narrative literally flows too thanks to the engaging story and quick paced edits.  There were never any moments where I felt like things were slowing down at all.  It was riveting from start to finish and the tears, harassment and more felt genuine and real.  There’s also moments of historical footage and real audio clips sprinkled throughout that kind of make the impact hit home harder and lend itself to the authenticity of the scandalous situation. Truth be told it did truly hit home for me seeing Cleveland so prominently featured in this one due to the Republican National Convention being held at Quicken Loans Arena during this time period.  When I saw the outside establishing shot of the arena my heart nearly jumped out of my chest.  I miss my hometown (I digress again).

Bombshell Movie Review

All in all I think outside of the exceptional performances and wonderful “guest” cast Bombshell shines because it holds your attention to a tee, but never crosses that fine line of being too risky, too propaganda like and all-in-all just too much.  It’s the right balance of what is believe to have happened (minus some sequences inserted for dramatic effect) coupled with the atrocity of it all, but never puts you in that awkward position (sans one slightly uncomfortable scene) of going too far onscreen (you get the big picture through the words alone).  Instead of delivering knock out blows and forcing propaganda down your throat Bombshell executes nearly flawlessly in my opinion by getting its point across effectively and shining a clear spotlight on how things truly are in the media world, and let’s face it in other office worlds for women too.  It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and Bombshell brings that message to the big screen in commendable fashion, but I fear many people will want that MORE onscreen factor.  However, I loved what I saw under the surface of it all.  I hope you get the chance to check it out.  Enjoy!

Bombshell Movie Review


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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