Before Donald Trump made "fake news" the buzzword of choice for dissemblers and autocrats, Japanese netizens were already starting to question the veracity of what they read in the papers, albeit for very different reasons.

The media's handling of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, in particular, convinced a generation of online warriors that most news organizations weren't so much speaking truth to power as speaking whatever the people in power wanted them to.

There's ample drama to be found in the relationship between the government and the press, and "The Journalist" is a brave, well-intentioned attempt to package it into a conventionally entertaining thriller. That a film like this even exists is heartening, even if the end product is far from perfect.