The Best Anti-Corruption and Whistleblower Movies to Stream on International Anti-Corruption Day

Movie reel with blue and red light seeping through.

International Anti-Corruption Day allows us to educate the public on how corruption impacts all areas of society. Everyone has a role to play to tackle corruption and build a better world for all. Whistleblower Network News has compiled a list of some of the best anti-corruption and whistleblower movies and documentaries available to stream. Learning about past instances of fraud and corruption and the role of whistleblowers and informants in bringing them to light will hopefully inspire others to join in the global fight against corruption.

Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by interfering in elections, perverting the rule of law, and creating an environment that encourages the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged, and small businesses often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption.

Whistleblowers can play an essential role in exposing corruption. They often put themselves, their families & colleagues at risk when coming forward. Many are threatened, fired, arrested, or assaulted. Governments around the globe must enact strong and effective whistleblower protection laws. These laws should provide secure and anonymous reporting channels and reward whistleblowers for coming forward despite the tremendous risks they face.

Below is a list of anti-corruption and whistleblower movies available for streaming on various platforms.


Snowden (2016)

Directed by Oliver Stone. With Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jaymes Butler. The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press. Trailer:

The Big Short (2016)

When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media, and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking, where they must question everyone and everything. Based on a true story, directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers), The Big Short stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt. Trailer:

Black Mass (2015)

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in South Boston’s history, became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Trailer:

Semper FiAlways Faithful (2014)

The documentary follows Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger’s mission to help thousands of soldiers and their families exposed to toxic chemicals at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune. His fight reveals a grave injustice at Camp Lejeune and a looming environmental crisis at military sites across the country. Trailer:

The FifthEstate (2013)

A 2013 biographical thriller film directed by Bill Condon about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney are featured in supporting roles. Trailer:

Edge of Darkness (2010)

Directed by Martin Campbell. With Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic. As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the murder of his activist daughter, he uncovers a corporate coverup and government conspiracy that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence. Trailer:

The Informant (2009)

A biographical-crime comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh. With Matt Damon, Lucas McHugh Carroll, Eddie Jemison, Rusty Schwimmer. The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre. Trailer:

The Most Dangerous Man in America (2009) 

“The Most Dangerous Man in America” is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of classified documents, decides to challenge an “Imperial” Presidency-answerable to neither Congress, the press, nor the people-in order to help end the Vietnam War. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg shook America to its foundations when he smuggled a top-secret Pentagon study to the New York Times that showed how five Presidents consistently lied to the American people about the Vietnam War that was killing millions and tearing America apart. Trailer:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

A documentary film based on the best-selling 2003 book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a study of one of the largest business scandals in American history. Trailer:

North Country (2005)

Directed by Niki Caro. With Charlize Theron, Thomas Curtis, Elle Peterson, Frances McDormand. A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States, Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit. Trailer:

The Insider (1999)

A fictionalized account of a true story. Based on the 60 Minutes segment about Jeffrey Wigand, a whistleblower in the tobacco industry, covering his and CBS producer Lowell Bergman’s struggles as they defend his testimony against efforts to discredit and suppress it by CBS and Wigand’s former employer. Trailer:


The Laundromat (2019)

A widow (Meryl Streep) investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners (Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas) exploiting the world’s financial system. Steven Soderbergh directs. It is based on the book Secrecy World, about the Panama Papers scandal, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jake Bernstein. Trailer:

Official Secrets (2019) 

Official Secrets is a 2019 British drama film based on the case of whistleblower Katharine Gun. She leaked a memo exposing an illegal spying operation by American and British intelligence services to potentially blackmail United Nations diplomats tasked to vote on a resolution regarding the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Directed by Gavin Hood. With Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans. Trailer:

The Great Hack (2019)

American independent documentary film about the organization established by Julian Assange and people involved in collecting and distributing secret information and media by whistleblowers.Trailer:

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

American independent documentary film about the organization established by Julian Assange, and people involved in the collection and distribution of secret information and media by whistleblowers. Directed by Alex Gibney. Trailer:

Prime Video


When their hacker son is targeted by the U.S. government, an average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets. Trailer:

Crypto (2019)Demoted back to his hometown, a young Wall Street banker is drawn into investigating a tangled web of corruption and fraud in Upstate New York. A film about money laundering involving cryptocurrency. Directed by John Stalberg Jr. and starring Beau Knapp, Alexis Bledel, Luke Hemsworth, and Kurt Russell. Trailer: (Also on YouTube)

The Report (2019)

FBI agent Daniel Jones performs an exhaustive investigation into the CIA’s torture of suspected terrorists.The Report is a 2019 American political drama film written and directed by Scott Z. Burns and starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Ted Levine, Michael C. Hall, Tim Blake Nelson, Corey Stoll, Maura Tierney, and Jon Hamm. Trailer:

Shock and Awe (2018)

A group of journalists covering President George W. Bush’s planned invasion of Iraq in 2003 is skeptical of the President’s claim that Saddam Hussein has “weapons of mass destruction.” Directed by Rob Reiner and written by Joey Hartstone. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden, Milla Jovovich, and Jessica Biel. Trailer:

Citizenfour (2014)

Citizenfour uncovers the secret and illegal practices of the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program using classified documents revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Directed by Laura Poitras. (Also on YouTube). Trailer:

The Whistleblower (2011)

Directed by Larysa Kondracki and starring Rachel Weisz. Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan wrote the screenplay, which was inspired by Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska police officer who was recruited as a United Nations peacekeeper for DynCorp International in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999. Trailer:

Breach (2007)

Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe), a low-level surveillance expert with the FBI, believes he is accomplishing his dream of becoming a full-fledged agent, with his unexpected promotion and assignment to work with renowned agent Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper). However, he soon learns that his promotion is to gain Hanssen’s trust and find proof that he is a traitor to the country. Based on the true story of Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and later Russia for more than two decades, and Eric O’Neill, who worked as his assistant and helped bring about his downfall. Directed by Billy Ray. Trailer:

The Constant Gardener (2005)

Assigned to a new post, reserved British diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) relocates to Kenya with his lovely young wife, Tessa (Rachel Weisz), an activist for social justice. When Tessa is found murdered in the wilderness, circumstances point to her friend, Dr. Arnold Bluhm (Hubert Koundé), but it is soon clear that he’s not the killer. Grief-stricken and angry, Justin sets out to uncover the truth behind Tessa’s murder — and in the process, he unearths some disturbing revelations. Trailer:


Collective (2019)

In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Collective club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system and to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistleblowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best. Director Alexander Nanau. Trailer:

Crime + Punishment (2018)

Directed by Stephen T. Maing. With Manuel ‘Manny’ Gomez, Sandy Gonzales, Rukia Lumumba, Edwin Raymond. A group of brave NYPD officers risks it all to expose the truth about illegal quota practices in police departments. Trailer:

The Post (2017)

The Post depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers, a set of classified documents regarding the 20-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War and earlier in French Indochina back to the 1940s. This American historical political thriller film is directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. (Hulu with Live TV) Trailer:

Michael Clayton (2007)

It chronicles the attempts by attorney Michael Clayton to cope with a colleague’s apparent mental breakdown and the corruption and intrigue surrounding a major client of his law firm being sued in a class-action case over the effects of toxic agrochemicals. Trailer:


XY Chelsea (2019)

The historical story of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, whose 35-year sentence in an all-male maximum-security prison was commuted by President Obama in 2017. The film was shot over two years and features exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes verité with Manning. It picks up on the momentous day in May when she leaves prison and follows her through her journey. Trailer:

Dark Waters (2019)

Dark Waters is a 2019 American legal thriller film directed by Todd Haynes and written by Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan. The story dramatizes Robert Bilott’s case against DuPont’s chemical manufacturing corporation after they contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals. It stars Mark Ruffalo as Bilott, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Pullman Trailer:

The China Syndrome (1979)

The China Syndrome is a 1979 American disaster thriller film directed by James Bridges starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas. It follows a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. “China syndrome” is a fanciful term that describes a fictional result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, “all the way to China.” Trailer:


Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

Directed by Peter Landesman. With Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn. The story of Mark Felt, who under the name “Deep Throat” helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1972. Trailer:

Fair Game (2010)

CIA operative Valerie Plame discovers her identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband wrote criticizing the Bush administration. Fair Game is a 2010 biographical political drama film directed by Doug Liman and starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It is based on Valerie Plame’s 2007 memoir Fair Game and Joseph C. Wilson’s 2004 memoir The Politics of Truth. Watts stars as Plame and Penn as her husband, Joseph C. Wilson. Trailer:


Exit mobile version