SHATTERED GLASS recounts the rise and fall of Stephen Glass, the real-life journalist who ruined his career by writing fictional articles for The New Republic magazine. The film, set in scandal-frenzied Washington D.C. at the end of the Clinton era, portrays Glass (Hayden Christensen) as a mild-mannered, precocious, and charismatic journalist whose successes quickly accrue. Glass is a darling to the magazine's staff and to the sources who feed his stories. But when Christopher Lane (Peter Sarsgaard), replaces editor Michael Kelly, Glass finds his work under much greater scrutiny. Glass's writing, in fact, has been fishy all along, and he is finally found out by an Internet-based media reporter (Steve Zahn) who does his own fact-checking, introducing the trope of what a good journalist can do. As more of the facts emerge, the film pits integrity, honesty, and trust against Glass and his desire to entertain. The film boasts a number of excellent performances from its youthful cast, and offers poignant commentary on the world of media.
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