Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Jonathan Kiefer
    Apr 1, 2014
    60
    Rumsfeld's impenetrability makes him fascinating, but only to a point.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 26, 2014
    60
    Morris's new subject looks relaxed and comfortable as ever lobbing out the same old evasions. He probably loves the attention from the Oscar-winning director.
  3. 50
    It's hard to know whom to blame for this futile exercise: Morris or Rumsfeld.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Mar 31, 2014
    50
    Viewers' tolerance for Errol Morris's apparent sheepishness will hinge on their prior appreciation of the filmmaker's investigative acumen.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 17, 2013
    50
    An unsuccessful attempt to get inside the head, under the skin or through the looking glass of Bush administration Secretary of Defense and Iraq War proponent Donald Rumsfeld.
  6. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Sep 17, 2013
    50
    From a procedural perspective, the film is an insightful look into the life of a Secretary Of Defense, but as an exploration into how the war in Iraq was allowed to happen, it’s much, much less satisfying
  7. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Sep 17, 2013
    40
    Morris gives it the old college try, but Rumsfeld is too smooth an operator to let anything slip.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Aug 23, 2014
    3
    I want to believe the underlying point of this documentary is to remind us that Donald Rumsfeld isn't going to say anything that goes beyondI want to believe the underlying point of this documentary is to remind us that Donald Rumsfeld isn't going to say anything that goes beyond the mandate of his positions in government, and if that was the underlying point then this documentary did just that. The Unknown Known is exactly what was portrayed -- we already didn't know what Rumsfeld knows.

    That said, if you're looking for another Fog of War, this documentary is almost the complete opposite of it. Nothing is revealed on the part of Rumsfeld other than the Known Knowns.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 19, 2014
    5
    The Unknown Known is a documentary about Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense and one of the leading minds behind the Iraq war.The Unknown Known is a documentary about Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense and one of the leading minds behind the Iraq war. Errol Morris does a fantastic job interviewing Rmsfeld. Questions that Morris asks Romsfeld and gives him enough time not only to respond, but also to think about his responses and express how he feels about them. Very often Romsfeld answers a question in a way that he think is smart and elegant then he reacts to his own response with a smug smile but his answers are more nicely worded sentences with no substantial meaning and significance.

    I'm not giving a high score to this movie because it does not reveal anything interesting about Romsfeld's career and the truth behind the war. The movie, however, shows how the course of Romsfeld's carrier could have been different and how it could make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2014
    10
    You should watch this movie to understand a great deal more about a generation of elderly white men clinging to power. I haven't had such aYou should watch this movie to understand a great deal more about a generation of elderly white men clinging to power. I haven't had such a satisfying documentary experience since the two Gasland movies. It is fascinating to witness such a powerful figure as Rumsfeld, explain the motives of his actions. The twist and turns of logic this obviously extremely intelligent person takes, to obfuscate and to dodge questions. It seems this ability also works against himself.

    tl:dr - Movie is amazing, why are you not watching it already?
    Full Review »