The Century of the Self Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Adam Curtis' acclaimed BBC documentary series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty. (BBC Four)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Rapt, heady, and startling: the most profound documentary I've seen this decade.
  2. An unusually cerebral filmed essay that demands focus and patience from its audience as it sets about the task of unearthing a secret history of the 20th century. Adam Curtis, the film's director and writer, saves the proceedings from being overly dry with his visual wit and deft touch with archival materials.
  3. 80
    An engrossing quartet of hour-long films by British documentarian Adam Curtis, doesn't so much challenge Freud's theories of the unconscious as shadow them through the corridors of corporate and political power. What emerges is nothing less than a history of 20th-century social control.
  4. It will make you laugh, and feel like crying.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    Consistently engaging due to the wealth of generally unfamiliar archival footage, which reveals social trends, sweeping overview should provoke healthy debate.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. EdwardC.
    Feb 7, 2006
    10
    Shamefully unique in it's ability to show how our society became the way it is today. Adam Curtis deserves a tv channel of his own. If Shamefully unique in it's ability to show how our society became the way it is today. Adam Curtis deserves a tv channel of his own. If this isn't worth watching, then nothing is. Expand
  2. BrianC.
    Sep 9, 2005
    10
    Living life without knowing the information exposed in this film would be tragic.
  3. JoelM.
    Sep 20, 2006
    10
    This doc should be required in American schools. More valuable than most what's taught in Social Studies, The Century Of The Self This doc should be required in American schools. More valuable than most what's taught in Social Studies, The Century Of The Self explains not alone why the country is the way it is, but why you are the way you are. Expand
  4. NicholasM.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    At about the age of 10 I began wondering why is the world like it is, in particular why are we bombarded with advertising and made to feel At about the age of 10 I began wondering why is the world like it is, in particular why are we bombarded with advertising and made to feel incomplete. At 24 I took an MBA, which included modules in marketing and psychology and some of the questions were answered. When Century of the Self aired the whole picture came into view and it has confirmed my opinion that you should lead your life the way you want. Reports that appear on television about High Street sales figures in the lead up to Christmas or the New Year, reports about the Property Market etc all fit into the picture Curtis paints - they are propaganda designed to modify your behaviour. If its Freud's Theories that have been used to drive the society we now have, will they be seen in years to come as theories that played a significant role in causing Global Warming? Expand
  5. ThanasisI
    Jun 25, 2007
    10
    The most interesting film i have seen the last years. Independent in opinion, illustrates the things as it is. No more brainwashing, animals wake up.
  6. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Unbelievable recount of how psychoanalysis was both the spark of a new era of individualism, and its foreshadowing downfall into consumerism's wet dream of comprehensive market research.

    This film is the answer to how the 60's died.
    Expand

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