I’ve been a reporter most of my life, and “Richard Jewell” was unsettling. I’ve been in media packs staking out a story on some front lawn, the people frightened and unprepared and hiding inside.

“Richard Jewell” has been criticized for hinting that an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter — the woman who broke the story that Jewell was a suspect — offered to trade sex to an FBI agent for the leak on Jewell.

It wasn’t proved, and was a terrible accusation against a now-dead reporter, and Eastwood should not have included it in the movie.

And still, for all that, Richard Jewell is an important film because it illustrates the herd mentality of journalism on a breaking, emotional story and how that can go horribly wrong.