Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: A documentary by the Israeli director Dror Moreh which consists of interviews with six surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency established in 1949 which has engaged in counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering, among other things.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Feb 16, 2013
    100
    For a film that consists largely of a series of talking-head interviews, The Gatekeepers is a riveting a documentary.
  2. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Feb 26, 2013
    100
    There are many films that rail against the inherent injustices of any given power structure. Much rarer are the documentaries like The Gatekeepers which expose that the faithful stewards of a certain foreign policy no longer believe in said policy. This is an important film, showing the constant reaction and counter-reaction of each side.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Apr 8, 2013
    100
    Insightful, revelatory and profound, Moreh's Oscar-nominated documentary combines riveting interviews, archive footage and - yes - state-of-the-art photographic effects to offer a unique perspective on the Israel-Palestine issue.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 30, 2013
    91
    The six men have different personalities that suggest varying styles of leadership, but what's remarkable about The Gatekeepers is how they speak in one voice about the moral complexities of their former jobs and their extreme pessimism about the future.
  5. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Mar 14, 2013
    88
    Although The Gatekeepers lacks the stylistic inventiveness of “Fog,” it is nonetheless a compelling account of what can go wrong when power is unrestrained.
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Nov 26, 2012
    88
    The filmmaker doesn't speculate about why these men are talking, but he leaves you with an excellent guess.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 29, 2012
    60
    A fascinating and informative, if sometimes stodgy, documentary about the most secret wing of Israel's anti-espionage unit.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Mar 2, 2013
    10
    Outstanding documentary. Essential viewing for those who care about the future of Israel (as opposed to those who prefer to score cheap points by taking an easy position on Israel-Palestine). Compelling, frightening, and very insightful. One of the most memorable films I've seen in years. The humanity and the internal conflict of the interviewees shines through. Expand
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    An absolute must for anyone who has followed the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but from the mouth of one side looking back on history, and from people who should know, and who are amazingly frank and self reflective. Former leaders of Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service, are interviewed and are surprisingly candid, wise, philosophic and even rueful about their business. A cautionary tale indeed and quite appropriate in this day of occupation,drones and special ops. Now if we could only get something similar from the other side! Expand
  3. Feb 4, 2013
    10
    Still, for all the exploits and moments of success, the prevailing tone at the end is one of near-despair over the future of Israel on the part of knowledgeable patriots who have spent their lives manning the ramparts. The climactic comments of all six participants lament weak-willed leadership, an Israel that's become a “police state,” and a point at which “We've become...cruel.” Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2013
    8
    I'd recommend this film to anyone interested in the gray areas of modern democracies. It's not just about the Shin Bet, or Israel, or the Middle Eastern situation. Ultimately, it's about any country that has to straddle the line between transparency and human rights on the one hand, and the safety of its citizens on the other. The real strength of the film and its main selling point is that Moreh mostly lets these men talk, and the interviews offer brutally honest confessions and profound questions that you just won't get from someone who hasn't spent years steeped in the conflict. Collapse
  5. Apr 16, 2013
    6
    A fascinating and interesting documentary about the Shin Bet, Israel's security agency. The film expertly mixes archive footage with six talking heads, who were former leaders of the organisation, to present a disturbing portrait from all sides. As one former leader says 'One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter'. The film does get a bit bogged down with less interesting asides, but generally it's on the money. It also lends credence to the famous quote 'What's the definition of hell on earth'? Answer Other People! After watching this I can only agree. Expand
  6. Jul 18, 2013
    5
    This is a fascinating movie no doubt. It is also depressing in the extreme, be sure to take a double dose of your favorite anti-depressant before and after you go. This movie gives credence to the adage that power corrupts. The power of the Israeli intelligence agency has been and continues to be a terrible thing. I left the movie feeling so sad not just for the Palestinians, but for the Israeli citizens, who have had to endure 60 plus years of strife. What a shame. Expand
  7. Jul 19, 2013
    1
    Dramatic documentary about colonial occupation and murder of indigenous inhabitants told without remorse. Its a movie one would expect in a parallel universe where the bad guys won but horrifying it exists in ours. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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