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Shadow Company (2007)

Shadow Company


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,194


Movie Info

Filmmakers Jason Bourque and Nick Bicanic explore the trend of private militaries around the world in this documentary examining the increasingly blurred distinction between soldier and mercenary. In a time when powerful multinational corporations are contracting private mercenaries to fight wars, the risks of allowing profit-motivated conglomerates to outsource war are chilling. Who do these private armies answer to, and what are the motivations of their financers? The private military draws in … More

Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Oct 28, 2008


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Critic Reviews for Shadow Company

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

Shadow Company provides a pretty thorough examination of the unknown soldiers doing a lot of the heavy lifting there, outside the conventional rules of warfare.

Full Review… | October 6, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Drawing a line between official and unofficial forces is irrelevant since both are paid with our taxes, Shadow Company throws light on that bottom line in the war on terror.

Full Review… | October 5, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Though it offers interesting stories, Shadow Company does feel a little scattered.

Full Review… | September 15, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

[A] fascinating, evenhanded documentary.

Full Review… | September 13, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Shadow Company is a lesson in how to get audiences who know little and care even less about the Iraq War to sit up and pay attention.

Full Review… | September 13, 2007
Top Critic

There isn't as much exposé as you might expect in Shadow Company, but there's considerably more thoughtfulness.

July 6, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

This documentary touching on both the historical evolution and contemporary phenomenon of mercenaries feels uncomfortably like a promotional campaign for private security firms, as they're more euphemistically termed.

Full Review… | September 27, 2007
WBAI Web Radio

Should be seen by anyone who still romanticizes war, the troops, or the stated motives behind any sort of military conflict.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Film Journal International

Contrary to the popular image of the gung-ho cowboy contractors, they can and do take into account ethical frameworks.

Full Review… | August 16, 2007

Beneficiado por entrevistados com vasta experiência em uma indústria pouco conhecida do público em geral, o documentário traça um retrato alarmante e informativo sobre a atividade de mercenários no Iraque e em outras regiões do planeta.

December 1, 2006
Cinema em Cena

A fascinating documentary, shining some needed light on the individuals who are called upon more and more to take fill in the gaps left by a diminished standing military.

Full Review… | March 21, 2006
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Shadow Company

"Shadow Company" is an eye-opening documentary about the history and current state of military contractors(or mercenaries, if you like) with a special emphasis on the Iraq War. For a start, this is nothing new which is how countries did business until the rise of the nation state in the 19th century, when soldiers were started to be rewarded with a sense of duty and patriotism more than money. After the white minority government was removed in Rhodesia, the white soldiers went to South Africa. And they were again out of work with the fall of Apartheid, setting up their own company, Executive Outcomes, in response.

According to "Shadow Company," a lot of military contactors act as bodyguards and security personnel in potentially hostile situations.(For this reason, one commentator deems them as evil, since they potentially keep away things from people who might badly need them.) Their stock price, unlike most other businesses, went through the roof after 9/11 and they do a steady business in Iraq, even replacing some departing coalition troops, where an "accountability gap" also exists.(Contractors were killed in Fallujah because the insurgents thought they were CIA.) As some contractors testify, cowboy tactics are frowned upon, as training in the rules of engagement are provided, especially when dealing with the military. And mercenaries overthrowing third world governments is total fantasy, as the situation in Equatorial Guinea proved once and for all.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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