Chasing Madoff


Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 24, 2011
    Jeff Prosserman's riveting documentary takes a question that haunted the Bernie Madoff scandal - how did he fool everyone for so long? - and answers it with a decisive "He didn't."
  2. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Sep 8, 2011
    The movie is anything but flawless. There are flourishes that seem plucked from Errol Morris' work but aren't as good, and some re-creations of past events are hokey. It's the film's content that packs a punch.
  3. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Aug 29, 2011
    The movie ends in bitterness. Unable to prevent catastrophe, the most honorable man in this entire affair - an outcast among frauds and the cannily acquiescent - considers himself a failure.
  4. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Aug 25, 2011
    His sorry tale is worth re-telling, if only to piece together the connective tissue between government, big business and, to a lesser degree, the media institutions that propped up what most insiders knew or suspected was a massive fraud for years before Madoff got his comeuppance.
  5. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Aug 23, 2011
    In a sense, this is not a financial thriller so much as a financial mystery. Which gets a bit lost in the movie's stylized presentation.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 31, 2011
    Chasing Madoff is not a very good documentary, but it's a very devastating one.
  7. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Sep 2, 2011
    A documentary that clearly aspires to the highest standards of cinematic muckraking but makes for a frustrating experience.
  8. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 26, 2011
    Chasing Madoff is as much a journalistic exposé of Madoff as it is a love letter to Markopolos, shot in the style of "Natural Born Killers" by a director terrified of boring his audience. In Proserman, the documentary genre finds its own Michael Bay.
  9. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Gold
    Aug 25, 2011
    The film is frustratingly uneven in its presentation.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Aug 25, 2011
    The unintended take-away is that you can grasp why the Securities and Exchange Commission - terribly negligent though it was in investigating Madoff - might dismiss the claims of someone so theatrically odd.
  11. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 25, 2011
    Chasing Madoff is a useful reminder that all is far from well with our financial institutions, which continue to lobby for less regulation rather than more. But the human element of the film is so weirdly distracting it often deflects from its primary target.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Aug 25, 2011
    Director Jeff Prosserman's retelling borders on reprehensible, as he attempts to heighten an already powerful tale with a parade of needless bells and whistles, from flashy camera work to melodramatic reenactments. What a shame, because the story is truly astonishing.
  13. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Aug 25, 2011
    Chasing Madoff is mostly that sort of movie, the kind you make when all you've seen is other movies and television shows about crime, when you want someone to know what you can do with a juicy story that takes some effort to ruin.
  14. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 23, 2011
    Too bad Prosserman can't trust his material: Overloading the screen with aesthetic dross, the director offers up tiresome symbolic imagery of blood-soaked hands, burning money, and out-of-focus documents. Rather than amping up the intensity, these fast-cut sequences prove disastrously distracting.
  15. 38
    Viewers get very little about Madoff himself. While the film is primarily about Markopolos, it makes little sense without much insight into his nemesis.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 26, 2011
    Markopolos repeatedly tells us he was scared for his life -- accompanied by hokey archival clips and music -- though nothing actually happened to him.
  17. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Aug 22, 2011
    The fawning personal-life segments are overdone, and undermine the film's compelling reportage about Madoff's ruse and downfall.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jan 30, 2013
    A must-see documentary, mind-blowing by it's content, which is sadly hurt by a messy construction and an over-the-top melodramatic tone. TheA must-see documentary, mind-blowing by it's content, which is sadly hurt by a messy construction and an over-the-top melodramatic tone. The story being told was already powerful enough to spare some intense close-ups or reenactments. The Filmmaker's choice to solely focus on the "hunters team" and thus telling so little about Madoff himself was a brave one that turns out to pay off, as it helps create this mystical and unreal status Madoff did enjoy during the decade preceding his fall. Full Review »
  2. Aug 26, 2011
    This movie made no sense. Jeff Prosserman's misunderstanding of the story, characters and the event is perplexing. The cheesy, overdone,This movie made no sense. Jeff Prosserman's misunderstanding of the story, characters and the event is perplexing. The cheesy, overdone, superfluous effects paired with the knock-off Phillip Glass score (the film's only savior) makes this noir documentary a bad comedy. It's a shame too, the idea is a good one. The director: not such a good one. Full Review »