With his second film as a director, George Clooney details how two powerful forces in American life -- politics and show business -- can affect each other. Clooney's understanding of television and its power has informed both of his films, although Good Night, and Good Luck is the first to make a direct link between the force of the medium and the world of politics. The straightforward docudrama approach betrays Clooney's rather modest goals for this film; he wants nothing more than to lay out how Edward R. Murrow brought down Joseph McCarthy by doing nothing more than showing the American people McCarthy's tactics. With the help of the great cinematographer Robert Elswit, Clooney employs a black-and-white look that recalls both the time period and underscores the seriousness of his intentions. The straightforward material is also elevated by the first-rate performances, particularly David Strathairn as Murrow. His stillness and seriousness ground the film, but there are subtle motions -- a raised eyebrow, a twitching foot, a subtle double take -- that reveal the stress and emotion inside the man. Strathairn is able to embody the gravity and importance that the screenplay and the direction place upon Murrow, but he humanizes the man as well. Good Night, and Good Luck solidifies Clooney's status as a talented, intelligent director with a good eye and a great ability with actors.