Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room details
|Starring:||John Beard, Jim Chanos, Carol Coale, Peter Coyote|
|Studio:||20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT|
Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room
|Rental release:||11 Sep 2006|
By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
A prying documentary that follows the demise of one of America's biggest companies, Enron...
Most helpful review
A Great WatchBy aneurin (19 reviews) from Oxford , 07 Aug 2007
[Highly rated reviewer]With the advent of Michael Moore, sermonizing documentaries attacking every aspect of how the American Dream can fail have become a genre of their own in America. Enron The Smartest Guys in the Room is easily one of the best, surpassing its rivals by avoiding the pitfall of painting everything black and white, indulging in the melodramatic half truths much beloved of Michael Moore.
You simply couldnt make up the Enron story if you tried, and to director Alex Gibneys credit hes realised this, allowing the bare facts memos, phone calls, conversations to do the incriminating. The overall effect isnt flashy, but for that very reason is all the more credible.
Gibney cares much more about the how than the what: we know what the Enron executives were criminals but it is how they became criminals which is so interesting. The film gives us a peek inside the parallel universe of delusional, tortured logic that passed for reality at Enron. I did not find myself in sympathy with Lay, Skilling or Fastow, but I felt that afterwards I at least understood their motivations beyond simple greed.
As a story about how a company dedicated itself to hiding the truth and confusing people, it is no small triumph that Gibney is able to explain clearly what fraud was committed and how. The judicious use of footage showing Enron executives lying through their teeth set against the actual facts eloquently expresses how deep the dissimulation went.
Where the film was weak was on the shady political dealings with the Bush White House and with regard to Governor Gray Davis recall. Clear and incontrovertible arguments which were everywhere else apparent were conspicuous by their absence in these sections, and I was left unclear as to with what Gibney was actually accusing those involved.
This documentary is superior to others in its genre because it seeks out the uncomfortable truths. Complacency cannot be prosecuted, but it was clearly as much to blame as the greed of Enron executives for what happened. The ease with which so many otherwise ethical people lost their moral compass is remarkable and reminds us that not only could it happen again, but next time it could be us.
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Enron-The-Smartest-Guys-in-the-RoomBy charliepap (12 reviews) from London , 13 Jan 2010Excellent docu and how insane risk and greed leads to inevitable downfall. And these guys were as bad as it gets rigging an energy crisis...amazing that there are so many highly qualified fraudsters out there doing what 'criminals' could only dream of.
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Scary!By OldTom (49 reviews) from Berkhamsted , 07 Jan 2010The way in which the story is told is staight-forward. Its not flashy or strident, and its all the more chilling for it. I found it more scary than any horror film. The film was made before most of the verdicts in the case were handed down, but makes clear that nothing had been learned by Corporate America to stop exactly the same thing happening again. A couple of years later it did- but on a much larger scale. Nothing much seems to have changed even now. Scary!
EnlighteningBy cwoodhams (23 reviews) from London , 04 Jan 2010Nice documentary, well edited, good combination of archive and actual footage. Very interesting subject matter. Strongly recommended!
Enron - The Smartest Guys in the RoomBy Declan6107 (138 reviews) from Glasgow , 14 Dec 2009great documentary from Alex Gibney.Rent It Out 10 Out Of 10
A factual, understandable and captivating documentary on recent historyBy SpikeM (1 review) from Leeds , 11 Nov 2009I knew little of the plainly criminal fraud that crippled the Enron corporation until I saw Alex Gibney's fantastic documentary. '...The Smartest Guys in the Room' takes its name from the employee's nicknames for the CEOs, and tells the story from a hind-sighted and balanced perspective, using facts, figures and interviews to tell the story direct to the viewer, and is blissfully free of 're-enactments'.
This documentary took a difficult and not inherently captivating subject, a bankrupcy of an energy trading company, but explains the history of events in an understandable matter. By having a strong introduction at the beginning, and having clear chapters based on individuals and/or certain stages in the company's history, this story of corruption, greed and dishonesty from the CEOs that trickled down into the fabric of the company ethos is captivating stuff and a must watch. This can't be allowed to happen again.