She Said:

Content warning for mentions of abuse, harassment, and assault 

I don’t want to say the ‘journalism film’ is rare– I’m not even sure the ‘journalism film’ exists– but I do want to say it’s unexpected. Currently, the box-office is ruled by action movies with Top Gun: Maverick (highly enjoyable), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (I’ve yet to see it), and Jurassic World: Dominion (made perfect sense without the predecessors), having the highest domestic grosses for 2022 according to This doesn’t expand on the full power of Marvel, which alone accounted for 40% of the most profitable movies this year.

She Said was written by Rebecca Lenkiewizc and directed by Maria Schrader.

So in the midst of this movie era, it’s a risky choice to create a movie like She Said, which does not fit into the genre or tone of current successful entertainment. I certainly think She Said is thought-provoking and important on its own, but I also think it becomes even more thought-provoking and important when considering the time it was made.

She Said is based on a true story. It’s set in the aftermath of the 2016 election, and follows two female journalists– Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan)– as they start an investigation into normalized harassment in the workplace. What starts as a broad indictment of misogyny in Hollywood quickly becomes a focused criticism of Miramax studios, as the reporters begin to see a pattern of abuse, harassment, and assault– eventually leading to the pair revealing the countless crimes of Harvey Weinstein.

What sets She Said apart is its understanding of context. The opening of the movie addresses abuse by Weinstein that took place over twenty years prior to the bulk of the story, and the audience’s introduction to Twohey sees her investigating harassment and assault perpetuated by Donald Trump. She Said does not attempt to comfort its audience by acting as if Weinstein’s crimes existed in isolation– rather the movie forces the audience to consider the circumstance that allows a known abuser to continue working and being successful.

Thus, guilt does not belong solely to the perpetrator– who must also face consequences– but also with those who enabled them. The lawyers who settled court cases and covered up files, the coworkers who knew but didn’t say anything, and the employees who made unwanted comments are all part of the problem. 

Normalized violence and harassment are not borne of one person; they are the product of a larger culture. And there isn’t any easy way to fix either of these problems. Firing known-offenders often takes years as there is complacency around violence, and lack of support for survivors. Changing workplace culture necessitates interrogating everything, and tearing down everything. It’s not a quick-fix so much as a process of rebuilding on a new foundation– yet again those in charge are hesitant to do this at threat to their own power. 

She Said doesn’t try to falsely give the audience a neat ending, rather it lays out the problems established in the film and asks the audience to start questioning everything. Because if the pressure is great enough and support large enough, those in charge will have no choice but to change.

However, despite its focus on abuse and ingrained misogyny, She Said does not give the perpetrators the voice of the narrative– that belongs to the survivors. 

This is accomplished in numerous ways. Notably, She Said never shows Weinstein’s face or allows him to address the audience. She Said also opts to use extended monologues for the survivors to share their stories, making the audience deeply uncomfortable with the facts of the situation while also bringing them closer to the survivors themselves. She Said avoids reducing the survivors to an unnamed mass by giving them all names. This is not the story of those in power hurting and repeatedly abusing those in inferior positions of power– this is a story of strength. 

She Said is the story of Ashley Judd (as herself), Zelda Perkins (Samantha Morton), Rose McGowan (voiced by Keilly McQuail), Gwyneth Paltrow (voiced by herself but not seen), Laura Madden (Jennifer Ehle), and Rowena Chu (Angela Yeoh). It is the story of Kantor and Twohey trying to help the women around them while also trying to build a better world for their daughters. 

Violence may be institutionalized, the movie shows us, but that does not mean it is acceptable. Violence is never justified, it is never right, and the systems that perpetuate and allow violence are not right either. 

She Said shows us that we cannot go back in time and prevent the abuse that occurred– but we can prevent it in the future.


9.5/10 would watch Twohey and Kantor investigate again

Further Breakdown:

Writing Quality: 9.5/10         Enjoyability: N/A

Pace: 10/10                              Visual elements: 9/10

Plot development: 10/10       Insightfulness: 9.5/10

Characters: 10/10