We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists Image
Metascore
66

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

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: They’ve been called criminals, “hackers on steroids” and even terrorists. But the vast majority of those who identify as Anonymous don’t break the law. They see themselves as activists and protectors of free speech, and tend to rise up most powerfully when they perceive a threat to internetThey’ve been called criminals, “hackers on steroids” and even terrorists. But the vast majority of those who identify as Anonymous don’t break the law. They see themselves as activists and protectors of free speech, and tend to rise up most powerfully when they perceive a threat to internet freedom or personal privacy. WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists, takes us inside the complex culture and history of Anonymous. The film explores early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater, and then moves to Anonymous’ own raucous and unruly beginnings on the website 4Chan. (Luminant Media) Collapse

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 17, 2012
    80
    Strong, entertaining portrait of a hard-to-pin-down online phenomenon.
  2. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Oct 17, 2012
    70
    Former "Frontline" producer Brian Knappenberger's fascinating, incisive social history of the online network known as Anonymous.
  3. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    Oct 17, 2012
    70
    A cumulative feeling of urgency and you-are-there world-beating are key to the picture's seductive appeal, though lack of informed dissenting opinions reps an unfortunate editorial choice.
  4. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Oct 18, 2012
    70
    The film is most illuminating in showing how democratic practice can still find a new voice and innovative means with each generation. The fascinating efforts of Anonymous can be messy, but so are many freedoms when asserted so boldly.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Oct 20, 2012
    70
    As a tale of digital power-tripping both exhilarating and terrifying, We Are Legion stands as a useful 21st century narrative.
  6. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Oct 16, 2012
    38
    The doc's straightforward and chronological structure is its own worst enemy.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 1, 2013
    8
    The message that continuously appears during ‘We Are Legion’ is the idea of community, the idea of a collective group that look out for oneThe message that continuously appears during ‘We Are Legion’ is the idea of community, the idea of a collective group that look out for one another, Anonymous is this collective group, they have rose to more prominent means in the last few years for their high profile hacks on the likes of PayPal and even the FBI, this documentary looks at the humble beginnings of the “hacktivists” as they started small pranks which eventually led to the crippling of large scale companies, online and off. I suppose they could be viewed as vigilantes to an extent, freedom is often considered a rare trait, with the watchful eye of big brother, sooner or later there would be a rebellion. The beginning of the film outlines how those who have made quite a living through computers, have actually broken the law to an extent such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, we all see the ‘Anonymous’ handles on websites for those who don’t want to reveal their identity, this becomes the point of the movement, that it is everyone, a collective voice. They started on such sites as where content was unfiltered. Their mission for the greater good takes the fight to Neo-Nazis and even the Church of Scientology, the latter being one of the defining moments of this group, as the church allegedly fought back with quite a bite. What started as silly yet effective pranks on kids gaming websites was soon turning into quite serious and giant stands against censorship and of course, freedom of information. The Scientology incident led to mass protests across the world, interviews given by certain members outline how they couldn’t have anticipated such a response, but the power of the internet is in full swing. These interviews are honest and often forthright from members, some keep their faces hidden, others are talking directly without any covers, the transformation of a group once trying to make everything a little more open, also shows a division of standing up against government or continuing to play pranks on jokes across the web.
    The documentary can feel very one-sided in the favour of Anonymous, even though many parts within the collective movement aren’t doing very savoury things, but this is a shady area as different parts, such a Lulzsec, take a different view to who should be targeted. Aside from its drawbacks, this is quite an in-depth and honest look at difference trying to be made, legally or not to have a more free and open world, many of the participants of the documentary have legal battles that they have went through or are going through, yet their message remains strong. Its a feel good moment but also frightening to contend perhaps how easy others can access your life, food for thought anyway.
    Expand

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