The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: This film was originally aired as a BBC documentary comprised of three one-hour episodes "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "The Phantom Victory" and "Shadows in the Cave." The documentaries question whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda reallyThis film was originally aired as a BBC documentary comprised of three one-hour episodes "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "The Phantom Victory" and "Shadows in the Cave." The documentaries question whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organised network. (BBC) Expand

Where To Watch

Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. It's a fluid cinematic essay, rooted in painstakingly assembled evidence, that heightens and cleanses your perceptions.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    A superb, eye-opening and often absurdly funny deconstruction of the myths and realities of global terrorism that is marked by a balance, broadmindedness and sense of historical perspective so absent from many recent political-themed documentaries.
  3. 88
    It's intriguing stuff, but Curtis overplays his hand when he underplays the existence of any real threat (Madrid? London? Amman?), proposes that Al Qaeda is a fiction and risks undermining the credibility of an otherwise compelling argument.
  4. 80
    The Power of Nightmares is essentially polemical. As partisan filmmaking it is often brilliant and sometimes hilarious-a superior version of "Syriana" (which also prudently subtracts Israel and the Palestinians from the Middle East equation).
  5. Eye-opening political documentary focuses on "the strange world of violence and fear, fantasy and deception, in which we now live."
  6. 50
    It is startling that a three-hour film dealing largely with the history of the Middle East should find no time to mention either the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the role of oil in the region. And it is more than a little unsatisfying to see the complex history of American conservatism reduced to the dreams and schemes of a handful of intellectuals.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Earth shattering documentary. Changed some of the fundamental ways I perceive America's role on the world's stage. Adam Curtis has a remarkable way of taking complex modern historical events and making a coherent and ruthless argument for his agenda. This film has had inspired me to continue reading modern political philosophy. Expand
  2. LeeS.
    Jan 24, 2006
    10
    Best documentary I have ever seen on the war on terror! Mind blowing!
  3. GregS.
    Jan 18, 2006
    9
    This is a fascinating documentary about the similarities between the American Neoconservatives and Islamic Fundamentalists, showing both of This is a fascinating documentary about the similarities between the American Neoconservatives and Islamic Fundamentalists, showing both of their extremist agendas of paranoia and fear. Highly recommended. Expand
  4. PeterS.
    Jan 5, 2006
    6
    When i saw this, I felt that I had been reeducated about the forces at work in the world today. That Al Qaeda was not a vast, centralized When i saw this, I felt that I had been reeducated about the forces at work in the world today. That Al Qaeda was not a vast, centralized organization was news to me and somehow seemed right. But now, six months later, I'm not so sure. I need more information. The vote is still out. Expand

Related Articles

  1. DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: August 2016

    DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: August 2016 Image
    Published: July 28, 2016
    Find a complete guide to TV and movie titles heading to Blu-ray and DVD throughout the month of August, including The Nice Guys, Keanu, The Jungle Book, The Lobster, Weiner, and more.
  2. What Movie Should I See This Weekend?

    What Movie Should I See This Weekend? Image
    Published: July 27, 2016
    Preview all of this weekend's new theatrical releases (including Jason Bourne, Nerve, Bad Moms, Indignation, and more), with Metascores and trailers for each new film.
  3. 23 Buddy Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best

    23 Buddy Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best Image
    Published: July 25, 2016
    We rank some of cinema's most notable buddy films by Metascore.
  4. What to Watch Now on Netflix

    What to Watch Now on Netflix Image
    Published: July 25, 2016
    Get a list of the best movie and TV titles recently added (and coming soon) to Netflix streaming, updated frequently. You can also find a list of titles expiring soon.