Did President George W Bush pull strings to gain a cosy billet as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974, thereby dodging service in Vietnam? And did he subsequently go AWOL from the Guard before his term of duty was up?

CBS news producer Mary Mapes was trying to ask these questions on the eve of the 2004 presidential election and came under blistering fire from right-wing politicians and bloggers in return. The outcome wasn’t pretty, as Truth – writer-director James Vanderbilt’s tense, absorbing, and clear-sighted reconstruction of those events – reveals.

Anchored by a blazing performance by Cate Blanchett as the resolute Mapes and a studiedly cooler one from Robert Redford as legendary US newscaster Dan Rather, Truth delivers a gripping account of the efforts of Mapes and her team (played by Elisabeth Moss, Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid) to nail down the veracity of their story, only to find undeniable proof slipping from their grasp as witnesses recant and revelatory documents are denounced as forgeries.

Truth screens at the Odeon Leicester Square today at 6.30pm and tomorrow at 2.30pm and goes on general release in the UK on 4th March 2016.