The political drama has a good friend in Rod Lurie, who makes intelligent, earnestly liberal movies that are meaty and watchable, if not always great. He has a thing for strong female protagonists, too. He was first noticed for The Contender, about a female vice-presidential candidate being grilled about her past, and he created the lady-president TV drama Commander in Chief for ABC. His latest, a spiritual sister to The Contender, is the arbitrarily titled Nothing But the Truth, in which thorny ethical dilemmas once again mess up the life of a woman.

She is Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale), a Washington D.C. newspaper reporter who learns that America's recent missile strike against Venezuela may have been unjustified. It was done in retaliation for that country's supposed involvement in an assassination attempt against the U.S. president, but Rachel has learned that a CIA agent filed a report indicating Venezuela was not to blame -- a report that the president ignored, ordering the military strike anyway.

Rachel's news story makes waves in Washington, not just for its damning evidence against the president, but for outing the CIA agent who made the report. She is Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga), the wife of an ambassador and supposedly just an ordinary soccer mom. Her undercover profession as a government spy is over now, of course; nobody wants a spy whose name has been plastered all over the news.

Now the question is which high-level government employee leaked Erica's identity to the press? A special prosecutor named Dubois (Matt Dillon) is appointed to find out; Rachel refuses to reveal her sources; Rachel is held in contempt of court and sent to jail; stubbornness and principle-upholding ensue.