George Clooney has impressed me in the last few months, first with Syriana, a well-done look at the overlap between middle eastern (and american) politics and the oil industry. It also managed to reference some of the problems and realities facing working-class citizens of said countries. With portions of the film in English, French, German, Farsi, Urdu and Arabic, both I and a friend who'd studied Arabic found the movie particularly good.
Yesterday I saw Good Night, and Good Luck., Clooney's sophomore directing effort and first writing credit. The movie, a historipic about CBS's Edward Murrow and his efforts to speak up against Senator Joe McCarthy, made clear and deserved remarks against blind patriotism and loyalty driven by fear. David Strathairn's Murrow had a strong take-home message: though McCarthy (or, implicitly, any single person/group in power) was surely in error for his actions, the American people themselves were at fault for the frenzy that followed. Their apathy (even aversion) towards unpalatable news and their complacent loyalty were exactly the reason McCarthy was able to go unchecked for so long.
The movie itself is an independent one, back in small theatres in big cities because it's been given an Oscar nod.