Magnolia Pictures | Release Date: April 22, 2005
8.4
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 41 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
36
Mixed:
3
Negative:
2
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10
SamB.May 1, 2005
Intelligent, Informative. I was engrossed the entire time and never lost interest.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PaulL.May 9, 2005
The documentary does an excellent job of explaining the culture, the key players, and the schemes that led to the downfall of Enron. I was a bit turned off, however, when it started making some one-sided insinuations of Bush's and even The documentary does an excellent job of explaining the culture, the key players, and the schemes that led to the downfall of Enron. I was a bit turned off, however, when it started making some one-sided insinuations of Bush's and even Schwarzenneger's (who wasn't even elected until much after Enron's fall) culpability, when most of the corruption occured during the Democrat's watch - Clinton and Davis. This unnecessarily gave the film a political tone, when the cause of the downfall, it seems, was more a case of the Emperor's New Clothes. Check out Frontline's documentary for a more balanced albeit less thorough account. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BillS.Jun 3, 2006
A reflection of how many CEO's have forgotton their real role...to protect their organization, their employees and stockholders...not to fill their pockets and egos.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
RitB.May 2, 2005
I have a problem with the title of the film, specifically the title tag - "the smartest guys in the room". After seeing the film, I would say that the guys referred to were devious, dishonest, shifty, greedy, unscrupulous and arrogant. I I have a problem with the title of the film, specifically the title tag - "the smartest guys in the room". After seeing the film, I would say that the guys referred to were devious, dishonest, shifty, greedy, unscrupulous and arrogant. I wouldn't call them 'the smartest' because if they really were smart --- Enron and Arthur Andersen would be successful companies and thousands of employees would still be earning paychecks. This movie gives Capitalism a big fat black eye and it makes me wonder why students from other countries want to come to the USA to study in our business schools. And I wonder if business ethics classes are taught in our prestigious business schools. Professors can structure a good course in business ethics and make this movie mandatory viewing. It contains many lessons and students who watch it will be able to see that: 1. 'Organized Crime' is a term that can be applied not only to the Mafia, but also to American big business. 2. There is no correlation between a person Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
mariamMay 29, 2005
Contrary to Big Crunch below, I think the documentary did a good job at evoking the audience sympathy for former Enron Employees. Too much of the "I'm a former employee of Enron and I've lost everything" testimonies and the Contrary to Big Crunch below, I think the documentary did a good job at evoking the audience sympathy for former Enron Employees. Too much of the "I'm a former employee of Enron and I've lost everything" testimonies and the documentary loses its tight structure. The piece is supposed to be about the corporate corruption and what happened on the 'inside'. While the consequences of what happened were certainly felt more by the employees, I'm glad that the documentary used more facts and corporate testimony than the emotional rhetoric of justifiably disgruntled employees. A wonderfully made film that left me wanting to throw up. I guess it did its job. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
J.SkillMay 9, 2005
Uh, Rit - the filmmakers we're being facetious. Sarcasm anyone. This movie is very well done and gives you a real insight into the rise and fall of the corporation. If you can withstand the psychotic liberal spin the filmmakers spew Uh, Rit - the filmmakers we're being facetious. Sarcasm anyone. This movie is very well done and gives you a real insight into the rise and fall of the corporation. If you can withstand the psychotic liberal spin the filmmakers spew out, then you should find this movie enjoyable. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnC.Jun 5, 2005
Manages to be entertaining and funny as well as informative. Terrific music and pacing. Never a dull moment.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
EvanS.Feb 8, 2006
It's surreal, arresting and depressing to see this kind of thievery in high places. The tone is never shrill or manipulative which feels right once you meet these crooks. Most of those charged in the scandal will be slapped on the hands It's surreal, arresting and depressing to see this kind of thievery in high places. The tone is never shrill or manipulative which feels right once you meet these crooks. Most of those charged in the scandal will be slapped on the hands with a maximum ten year sentence, but after watching this film, it's appalling to think these criminals are running free in Sugarland. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
hollycMar 10, 2006
Wow---well made documentary. Easily one of the better movies I've seen recently. I think all Americans---should see the documentary. It is simply an outstanding "crime story" mostly, but illustrates the lone problem in all corporations: Wow---well made documentary. Easily one of the better movies I've seen recently. I think all Americans---should see the documentary. It is simply an outstanding "crime story" mostly, but illustrates the lone problem in all corporations: stripping individuals of responsibility--and the culture that arrises. It's easy to rape California if that's your job and you're ordered to do so by an authority you've deemed qualified. Heck, this is basically a film ready-made for corporate ethics classes now required at most business schools. I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't used in those classes already! Well done--and I'm certainly now interested in reading the book it was based on. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
[Anonymous]Apr 22, 2005
The movie does a good overview of the Enron scandal. However, it does not get into the nuts 'n bolts of the fraud and I left the theater feeling like I didn't learn anything. The movie makes you either want to get a book on Enron The movie does a good overview of the Enron scandal. However, it does not get into the nuts 'n bolts of the fraud and I left the theater feeling like I didn't learn anything. The movie makes you either want to get a book on Enron or leave the theater depending on your attention span. Also, why does every documentary director now think he's Michael Moore? The musical interludes and transitions were just plain cheesy. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JoshK.Apr 27, 2005
I loved it - It is unbelievable to see all of what happened consolidated into a tight documentary. Kudos to the guys who made it. JK.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
PatrickC.May 22, 2005
Great documentary - I hope they make a movie about worldcom this good.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BillF.Jun 11, 2005
Very entertaining as documentaries go. The directors tell the story of how while keeping it entertaining; something that isn't an absolute in documentaries. I consider myself to be well versed in current events and I have to say I had Very entertaining as documentaries go. The directors tell the story of how while keeping it entertaining; something that isn't an absolute in documentaries. I consider myself to be well versed in current events and I have to say I had no idea what really happened at Enron prior to watching this film. The directors do an excellent job of painting the picture. The movie does manage to get political at one point and it's slanted left (which is fine with me ;). It's an interesting take on a situatiuon but it's conspiracy theory. The only reason I mention this is because I have a friend that always gets pissed at political leanings in documentaries. Are you still reading? Go out and see this movie already!!! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ChadS.Jul 20, 2005
Give us a screed. "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" loses its way, temporarily, when the psychopathic behavior of Enron traders is rationalized by an academic study, which infers that me or you, if put in the same position, might do the Give us a screed. "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" loses its way, temporarily, when the psychopathic behavior of Enron traders is rationalized by an academic study, which infers that me or you, if put in the same position, might do the same time. They use the Nuremberg defense. We were just following orders. Please. If you're doing a film about Enron, go for the jugular and don't let go. The film's framing device, the suicide of an Enron executive, is all wrong too because it steals some sympathy points away from the employees. You sense a compromise was made to be relatively fair and balanced against Enron's top brass in order to secure the on-camera testimony of a Jeffrey Skilling sympathizer. And the "Unsolved Mysteries"-like opening is a little cheesy. But what ultimately offsets all of this film's flaws is the secret recordings of Enron traders who helped orchestrate the California power shortage. Absolutely chilling. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
IanD.Aug 4, 2005
Terrible. i have no trouble believing these guys are evil, but this is heavy-handed pre-determined schlock. annoying abuse and misuse of tom waits lyrics too. i walked out.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JAFeb 1, 2006
the Tom Waits tune comes up during the credits...when everyone walks out... Anyways, good film, explained a lot to me but I beneffited from having someone with 25 years banking and accounting experience watching it with me, to sort out some the Tom Waits tune comes up during the credits...when everyone walks out... Anyways, good film, explained a lot to me but I beneffited from having someone with 25 years banking and accounting experience watching it with me, to sort out some of the complicated stuff and point out LIES (I.e- the one about Bush's relationship with Kenneth Lay being unprecented...ha...) The whole thing really comes down to accounting books being cooked and Jeffrey Skilling initially implementing mark to market to wholly take advantage of illegal bookeeping. The emperor has no clothes. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
BigCrunchMay 24, 2005
Yes, it is a well shot and edited documentary that moves at an engaging pace. However, for anyone who paid attention to the news during the heyday of the Enron scandal, there is nothing here that is really all that new. The recordings of the Yes, it is a well shot and edited documentary that moves at an engaging pace. However, for anyone who paid attention to the news during the heyday of the Enron scandal, there is nothing here that is really all that new. The recordings of the floor traders are shocking as are some of the quotes from the top Enron execs, but honestly, if you followed this story, then this is just remedial. On a more negative side, I was disturbed that only one Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MikeC.Jun 11, 2005
An informative look at the worst of American business. Anything for Wall Street and personal gain. I would have liked to have seen a little more about the poor employees who had their retirement savings/security stolen from them.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
LarryS.Sep 15, 2005
This is better than Roger Moore and his diatribes disguised as
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
TaylorJan 22, 2007
Interesting scandal. Horrible movie! So poorly put together.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JoePDec 12, 2006
Excellent movie, shows how greed affected the entire country and almost brought the country to its knees in the biggest corporate scandal in US history.
0 of 0 users found this helpful