‘All The President’s Men’ is so famous it doesn’t need to be on this list. That movie details how journalists Woodward and Bernstein investigated Nixon’s crooked administration into extinction, aided by their top-secret insider source, nicknamed ‘Deep Throat’, after the 1972 porn film of the same name. But nobody knew who Deep Throat was. Well, now we do! It was this guy, and he’s played with steely gravitas by Liam Neeson in this low-key but effective expose that came out a decade or so after the 2005 revelation of Felt’s identity.
Watch the movie for the story of who Mark Felt was and why he did what he did. It doesn’t stray far from his life and career in the immediate lead-up to the Watergate investigation but despite the lean and modest scope it is absolutely fascinating. So many movies and documentaries cover the events of 1972-5 in Washington that this one doesn’t bother rehearsing them or baby-sitting the audience, it assumes a prior knowledge of the timeline and instead focuses on the internal motivation of the most famous anonymous source in the history of journalism.
It’s a subdued and understated treatment in drab, icy, greyed-out colors with a sometimes comically doomy soundtrack, but that suits the subject matter in what turns out to be a cerebral and masterly meditation on corruption and integrity.