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"She Said" is a good movie that could be great if it didn't keep reminding you of other, better movies.

Those titles, just to get them out of the way, are "All the President's Men" and "Spotlight." Like both, "She Said" follows journalists on the trail of a gigantic story that took eons to report but, when it finally appeared, led to huge changes in the way Americans think. It's more like "Spotlight" than "All the President's Men" because, instead of the latter's suspenseful energy, "She Said" has a mournful, unhurried quality that suits the material.

Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) were the New York Times reporters, both young mothers, who spent months tracking down women who had been abused by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Then, they spent months more convincing sources — including big names as well as Weinstein employees who weren't famous — to go on the record.

Director Maria Schrader and her team do an incredible job on the details. Most art about journalism screws up the journalism part (I'm liking TV's "Alaska Daily," but it's more like "Alaska Detectives"). "She Said" does not. The duo seems to have an unlimited budget, but everything else about journalism — the notebooks, the offices (some of the movie was shot in the actual Times building), the interactions between reporters and editors — feels right. Speaking of editors, Patricia Clarkson and Andre Braugher are authoritative as a pair of them; I'd hand my copy to either of them in a minute.

Journalism, which has a lot to do with phone calls and typing, is not the easiest job to make look absorbing, but Rebecca Lenkiewicz's screenplay accomplishes, that, too. Borrowing a technique or two from the Carl Bernstein/Bob Woodward playbook, staccato scenes show the women putting in the legwork to assemble pieces of a story that shook the entire movie industry.

"She Said" also wants us to remember that the real stars of this story are the women who spoke up, and there, it's less successful. Ashley Judd plays herself in a bold stroke that pulls too much focus. And while Jennifer Ehle and Samantha Morton, in particular, are excellent as women who helped push the story forward, Schrader keeps mixing in flashbacks to the younger days of Weinstein's victims, a tactic that gets the movie off to an odd start and never really pays off.

In the present, too, Schrader makes a frustrating cut from a scene of Weinstein showing up at the Times offices, and Twohey saying, "I've got this" to a scene in which nothing happens to help us understand what she's "got."

With Weinstein on trial again for rape and sexual assault as a direct result of events depicted in the film, the timing of "She Said" couldn't be better. Unfortunately, given what we've learned in the five years since Twohey and Kantor's Pulitzer Prize-winning work, this sort of abuse has been around for the entire, century-long history of Hollywood.

'She Said'
*** out of 4 stars
Rated: R for language.
Where: In theaters.