Unraveled Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2013
The financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing Ponzi scheme unravelings in 2009 make for very compelling stories, lessons, and character studies. In unraveled, director Marc Simon looks at the case of Marc Dreier, whose case seemingly embodies all of the above. Dreier, a supposedly hugely successful New York attorney, was found to have engaged in a $400 million dollar fraud that had him bizarrely impersonating, and hiring others to impersonate for him.

While an interesting premise, Simon fails to really seize the opportunity. Filmed in the 60 days prior to his sentencing, this was a unique opportunity to paint an intimiate portrait of a man that was deeply torn. Instead, the film gives him far too much leeway. Drier is his own narrator, and seemingly dictates the flow of the film. Good documentaries take a more objective look, and force the subject out of their comfort zone. In Unraveled, that comfort zone is never pushed. Dreier seems remourceful yet prone to excuses and rationalizing, never being conforted to the contrary.

This results in a documentary that feels far too safe, and devoid of the sort of insight one would expect. We get plenty of Dreier's rationalizing and humanizing, yet never fully get to the heart of what went wrong, the intimate details of the fraud, nor a profound change in character of Dreier.

An overall bland and disappointing effort.

2.5/5 Stars
½ May 23, 2014
If you can let go of your natural distaste for someone like this and just watch it open minded and without predisposed ideas which is tricky it's actually quite compelling in how sad a story it all is. Sad for all he affected as ell as himself. If you don't get that point of the whole thing, we lose our grasp on how this kind of sh!t happens
April 24, 2014
He seems only sorry and remorseful because he got caught. 20 years in jail is a little lenient for a Ponzi scheme this size. Dreier probably deserved at least 40 years considering Madoff received 150 years for the same crime. The documentary is interesting overall: He deserves a little bit of credit for explaining every detail on camera, unlike Madoff who decided not to talk. Showing him under house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse, and showing him spending other people?s money on expensive toys is a bit spitting on the victims? faces. It is hard to find any pity for this crook.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2013
The financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing Ponzi scheme unravelings in 2009 make for very compelling stories, lessons, and character studies. In unraveled, director Marc Simon looks at the case of Marc Dreier, whose case seemingly embodies all of the above. Dreier, a supposedly hugely successful New York attorney, was found to have engaged in a $400 million dollar fraud that had him bizarrely impersonating, and hiring others to impersonate for him.

While an interesting premise, Simon fails to really seize the opportunity. Filmed in the 60 days prior to his sentencing, this was a unique opportunity to paint an intimiate portrait of a man that was deeply torn. Instead, the film gives him far too much leeway. Drier is his own narrator, and seemingly dictates the flow of the film. Good documentaries take a more objective look, and force the subject out of their comfort zone. In Unraveled, that comfort zone is never pushed. Dreier seems remourceful yet prone to excuses and rationalizing, never being conforted to the contrary.

This results in a documentary that feels far too safe, and devoid of the sort of insight one would expect. We get plenty of Dreier's rationalizing and humanizing, yet never fully get to the heart of what went wrong, the intimate details of the fraud, nor a profound change in character of Dreier.

An overall bland and disappointing effort.

2.5/5 Stars
October 15, 2013
An arresting picture of a financial criminal that dares to ask the right questions. It takes enormous risks in suggesting that Mark Dreier isn't a bad guy, just someone presented with an opportunity, and claiming that people presented with a similar opportunity would do the same thing. It pays off well.
½ July 27, 2013
I don't get it. The guy is convicted of massive fraud but they allow him to continue to live in luxury until he is sentenced? Throw the bum in jail until he's sentenced.
August 18, 2012
He's a creep. I feel sorry for his son.
April 13, 2012
While Hollywood has romanticized financial crime in films like Oceans Eleven, the documentary Unraveled provides a surprisingly honest look at large-scale white-collar crime in America. By following Marc Dreier during his house arrest, director Marc Simon captures a once-in-a-lifetime glance into the mindset of a criminal. This true story is propelled by real news clips about the incident and has a very cinematic, narrative feel to it. At times, I forgot I was watching a documentary and not a fiction piece. Dreier's crimes are so large and creative that they seem to be taken straight from a Hollywood film. Unraveled examines the financial climate at the time of Dreier's crimes and follows his activities from the opening of his law firm in 1998 until his sentencing in July of 2009. The film also analyzes the effect Dreier's crimes had on his personal life, especially regarding his relationship with his son and dog.

Unraveled explains how Dreier build his empire on shaky stacks of debt and lies, then follows how it all came falling down. It also relates his case to Bernie Madoff's similar case also going on at the time. During his interviews, Dreier shows remorse and a sense of responsibility for his actions. The documentary leaves you understanding the position Dreier was in, and also learning enough of his personality to understand why he committed the fraud.

Overall, Unraveled does an excellent job explaining the inside situation surrounding Marc Dreier's case and provides a great explanation of the economic climate during the last 20 years. When it was over, I was left feeling informed and sympathetic, but also sure that Dreier got what he deserved.
April 12, 2012
I watched Unraveled at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2011 and thought it was a great doc. They managed to capture a unique portrait of Marc Drier's story because you watch the failed attorney turned crook sitting in his lavish 10 million dollar NYC penthouse as he is waiting to be sent to prison for a very long time. It was interesting to see how glamorous his apartment and possessions were at one point in time and then the end result of barren walls and packaged boxes. I watch American Greed and that type of show on a regular basis (which Drier was featured on) so this doc was on my must see list. The animations were well done and added a cool look to the movie. If you have a chance to see this I would definitely recommend...Overall a great doc with an interesting story.
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