First the title: the fifth estate refers to a class of society beyond the clergy, the nobility, the commoners and the press. In this relatively stodgy film, the fifth estate is personified by Julian Assange accompanied by Wikileaks.
Director Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" immediately establishes the "company" of the title with archival footage of the 1960s radical Weather Underground. The fictionalized film jumps to the present as one of the previous members, Sharon Solarz, prepares to turn herself in for involvement in a Michigan bank heist that left an officer dead three decades ago.
Margin Call imagines insiders' actions and reactions when, in 2008, they realized the financial world faced immediate, catastrophic collapse. A fictitious, 107-year-old, international Wall Street firm claims $8 trillion in assets, soon to be unequivocally worthless. This well-written scenario, "inspired by real events," unfolds over 24 hours of tense power plays, confrontations, and loss—emotional as well as monetary.