Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

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Critic Reviews

  1. Anyone with any doubt as to the importance, in a functioning democracy, of American newspapers - with working newsrooms full of professional, paid journalists - needs to see this movie.
  2. An exciting cloak-and-dagger thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Ends on a note of triumphant populism, but the film’s bitter aftertaste hints that when we ignore the details, we only ensure they’ll be repeated.
  4. 88
    Manages to be both engrossing history and astonishingly germane to present-day political debates.
  5. Suffers from several goofily tacky animated reenactments and a music score that unnecessarily underlines the significance of key events, but for those who lived through the turmoil of Vietnam, and for the generations that have come since, the film is an important document in its own right.
  6. Ellsberg, his full-scale personal trajectory laid bare, emerges as a more complex man than both the right and the left have generally given him credit for.
  7. The gripping story of how hawk-turned-dove Ellsberg's explosive actions circuitously led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon and, in turn, an end to the Vietnam War is comprehensively detailed in Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's evocative documentary.
  8. Those who lived through the Vietnam War era, and paid attention, will find this documentary short on revelation but long on poignant reminders.
  9. 75
    It is a skillful, well-made film, although, since Ellsberg is the narrator, it doesn't probe him very deeply.
  10. 75
    The film sometimes feels like the kid brother of “Fog of War,” Errol Morris’s far more compelling account of the mind of Robert McNamara, Ellsberg’s one-time boss. There’s reality and depth here, but a chill, too, that the filmmaking never quite manages to melt.
  11. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum.
  12. 70
    Makes a few distracting embellishments--re-enactments (some shabbily animated), melodramatic cloak-and-dagger scoring--but in the main, it's a professional job, standing above the crowd of politico documentaries that proliferate like kudzu over arthouse screens.
  13. Offers a brisk and eye-opening approach to recent history. The title, by the way, comes from Henry Kissinger.
  14. 70
    On the spectrum from heroic patriot to craven traitor, this detailed, clearly told and persuasive film, directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, is firmly on the side of heroic.
  15. 70
    Ehrlich and Goldsmith carve out their own little place in the canon by focusing on the ethical journey of one man who refused to shrug off his own responsibility for the war and atoned for it with a seismic act of civil disobedience.
  16. 67
    It’s a fascinating story, it doesn’t always make for a fascinating documentary.
  17. It's a bit surprising that a documentary with such an unwieldy title offers such a streamlined and resonant account of history.
  18. 60
    His “treason” gave credence to ending the war, helped push a corrupt administration toward its ruin and underlined the importance of the First Amendment. Rickety doc or not, Ellsberg deserves every ounce of hero worship he gets here.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 4, 2010
    The title is not as clear as it may sound. The Most Dangerous Man In America... is about the war of Vietnam and how Daniel Ellsberg gave theThe title is not as clear as it may sound. The Most Dangerous Man In America... is about the war of Vietnam and how Daniel Ellsberg gave the public a whole new view of the war. The documentary gathered lots of facts that had been buried for years and delivered the facts quite elegantly. Daniel Ellsberg appeared in the film telling his own story. From when he leaked the top secret documents to the time when he made President Nixon resigned. The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers is an elegant documentary with a great storytelling of what exactly happened during the Vietnam War. Full Review »