Veronica Guerin (2003)

Imdb Ranking 6.8

Cate Blanchett plays real-life reporter Veronica Guerin in 1990's Dublin, where drug lords fought for control of the city. The movie opens with Veronica in court because of almost 1200 parking tickets, several speeding tickets for going over 100 miles per hour. While driving away from court two men on a motorcycle pull up and smash the window in her car.

The movie then goes back two years earlier:
In 1994, illegal drug trade drove crime rates to the highest level ever recorded in Ireland. 15,000 people injected heroin every day and methadone clinics registered addicts as young as 14.That year Veronica Guerin, a journalist known for reporting church scandals and corporate corruption, started writing about crime.

Veronica walks across the needles and the spoons and in to a drug house. She introduces herself to the druggies and starts asking them questions. We then see some gangsters as they torture an informant. Veronica can't believe that no one is writing about this stuff.

When a parents group marches against drugs, Veronica marches with them. She then goes to a gangster's house an asks him the names of the kids who are selling drugs for him. Meanwhile the gangsters are fighting for control. Even thought the gangsters are doing the killing, the police are blaming the IRA, and Veronica questions them on it. One of the gangsters calls Veronica and give her some bad information on the killings.

The next thing you know there is a bullet shot through the front window of Veronica's house. Then, in the middle of a party, a helmeted gunman comes in to her house and shoots her in the leg after first firing a blank at her head. Veronica then starts digging in to the books of some of the gangsters' companies.

When Veronica tracks doen the main guy. John Gilligan, and goes to his house to interview him, you know nothing good is going to come of it. When she asks him where he gets his money he punches her in the face and then beats her. She goes to the paper and gets pictures taken of her bruised face. John Gilligan then calls and tells her that if she writes about him or goes to the police he will kidnap her son and then kill her.

Veronica decides that as a journalist she can't back down. She decides to press charges. After going to court for her traffic tickets a couple of Gilligan's men follow Veronica on a motorcycle. When her car stops they break her window and shoot and kill her.

Veronica's death galvanized and turned the tide in the drug wars. Thousands of people took to the streets weekly in marches. The Irish Constitution was changed within a week of Veronica's death and allowed the government to freeze the assets of suspected drug lords. A criminal turned state's evidence and Veronica's killer was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. By the following year crime rates had dropped 15%.

A very good movie about someone who was truly a heroic character. The movie shows that one person can indeed make a difference.