Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Reviews

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August 22, 2014
The main difference between this and many other documentaries is in the way that all the main players are allowed just to say what they want on the subject. There was no grilling by a biased interviewer harassing a certain interviewee, just to make him/her feel uncomfortable or to get a quick and cheap reaction.

There was so much involved in the fall of Eliot Spitzer and that should be the main focus here. The inner workings of the politics that rule our world are both fascinating and disgusting. In the end, it's all about money and power.

Somewhere Frank Underwood is smiling proudly. Well done boys. Well done.
July 28, 2014
Ex-post-facto Spitzer is likable and eloquent. Fortunately, the news footage and interviews with his opponents showcase his epic hubris. The "two Spitzers" create strong counterpoints in this compelling narrative.
March 11, 2014
Gripping documentary. This guy pissed off alot of people and they came back for vengeance.
January 26, 2014
Uneven, uninspiring docudrama that should have been way more interesting than it was; failed to follow up on a host of interesting questions.
½ September 3, 2013
Excellent documentary with a narrative as compelling as film noir with a cast of characters refracting with their views a surreal, postmodern kaleidoscope on power in the big city and the downfall of a politician whose investigations into the Wall Street financial corruption that brought on the more8 economic meltdown. The director uses an ironic, hip and medium-cool soundtrack as a counterpoint to the unfolding drama that cuts like the diamonds on the escort service used to rate the high-class call girls Eliot Spitzer paid for sex. A morality tale for our times that also surprisingly funny as the personal tragedy of Spitzer is threaded within the larger corruption of the society he wanted to reform yet ignoring his own hubris seeking greater fame as he climbed the ladder of success.
February 3, 2013
An engrossing Documentary that serves as a cautionary tale about making powerful enemies and leaving yourself game for character dissection. A fantastic story well told.
½ December 8, 2012
Elliott Spitzer came to fame as "The Sheriff of Wall Street", using his position as NY's Attorney General to aggressively prosecute misconduct in the financial services industries. His enormous profile and populist credentials enabled him to become Governor of New York... but for only a little more than a year. In time the FBI revealed that he had been using the services of a $3,000 a night call girl service and he was forced to resign.

To my surprise, this documentary sets out to defend Spitzer. It acknowledges that Spitzer made his bed and chose to lie in it, but argues that it was his influential enemies that kicked down the door and brought in the photographers.

Filmmaker Alex Gibney has gotten access to nearly everyone in the drama. He interviews Spitzer extensively, and the Governor is rather candid... to a point. He can't deny anything, of course, but brushes aside the accusations that his approach to the law was like a rabid pit bull. Those accusations come from his enemies, who are also featured in interviews. They are also candid... to a point.

The third party in the affair is the set of call girls and managers of the escort service that the Governor patronized. They're interviewed too... and you do get to learn a few interesting things about the world of the top flight of prostitutes that earn thousands of dollars an hour. Most memorable was the call girl who said that her wealthy clients were so decent and polite that she's given up on dating because the men she meets just can't measure up to the ones she services for a living.

This movie is slick. Lighting and editing are gorgeous - and I expect that Gibney may move on to dramatic features in the future. The visual presentation also serves a thematic purpose. When one of Spitzer's self-proclaimed enemies is photographed relaxing on his Manhattan penthouse balcony, with the NYC skyline in the background - an in fact ALL of his subjects are shown in lush surroundings - the message is that this game of cowboys and indians is being played for high stakes by those with the most sophisticated weapons of power at their disposal.
½ November 16, 2012
4.25 stars. Great movie on Eliot Spitzer. Be careful the exhuberance with which you pursue certain goals. It can backfire at times. Very good documentary.
½ November 14, 2012
though his actions aren't admired, he is respected.
September 10, 2012
Alex Gibney strikes again (in a sense) with another great documentary about "The Sherrif Of Wall Street". Taking you from his rise to power (New York State Attorney General in 1998 to Governor in 2007) to his fall, but, at the hands of whom? Himself? Greedy Wall Street Bankers? Politicians who got crossed wrongly? Ultimately. it's left in the hands of the viewer. The movie does a great job leaving a lot to be pondered and slightly empowers you to do some research of your own. Like so many of Gibney's documentaries, they get you fired up because it makes you wonder what lengths people go to make money or conceal the truth to save their own legacy or business. Two of my main problems with this movie is that:

1. It doesn't offer alot of cold hard facts about the truth behind Spitzer's downfall. It has a lot of circumstancial evidence and hints about what "may" have been a plan but it doesn't amount to much of a conviction. The upsetting part is that we have MANY politicians still in power to this day that have done worse and didn't go through what Spitzer did.

2. The timeline of events seemed to jump around alot. It started out nice with Eliot Spitzer delivering his speech of stepping down as a nice foreshadowing but the constant jumps between the escort segments and him taking down Wall Street tycoons (back and forth) seemed to take away from the overall suspense and can be a little confusing. I even found myself wondering why some scenes weren't used sooner or later too.

It blended a good mix of humor and straight political points too (hot poker anyone??) that get you thinking about how bad of enemies Eliot Spitzer made. It seems, through the movie, that Eliot did what Eliot wanted. As governor, he stepped on alot of toes of the wrong people but did even worse with his time as state Attorney. Good man with good intentions but victim of his own a sense. Highly recommended!
½ July 14, 2012
Overly-long and needlessly includes several terrible interviews with inconsequential, irritating wannabes. It's also uncertain whose side it's on - and not in an objective way.
April 22, 2012
The world needs the return of Eliot Spitzer to lead the People against the white-collar criminal gang that controls New York and Washington, the people we have written about and discussed for the past eight years. Not one of those thieves has been indicted for crimes that make Bernard Madoffâ??s pale in comparison and yet that crook was sentenced to 150 years in prison. The rest of them, knowing there is no longer a fearsome cop on the beat, smugly continue to steal whatever they can from us... Their crimes against society just has to stop... Maybe if and when you see this film youâ??ll appreciate my utter contempt for those who brought him down.
March 15, 2012
This was on BBC 2 last night. An excellent examination of a very driven man. Despite everything, I was impressed with Spitzer. You need men who have that kind of arrogance to fight against embedded interests. A great film.
January 11, 2012
Damnit, Eliot. You really could've been our first Jewish president - one bad-ass, down w/ the big wall street Jewish president. This is a very, VERY well made, entertaining doc - it has an interesting trajectory, a great soundtrack, good camera work, and at its core, one hell of a fascinating central character. Watch it on Netflix now!
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2011
For those of you who might have forgotten or do not live in New York, Eliot Spitzer was the governor of New York who was forced to resign after a year in office, due to a sex scandal. He came to prominence as the state attorney general, going after Wall Street's greedy and immoral practices, foreseeing Wall Street's 2008 collapse.

Even with Spitzer on hand to answer questions, there is really not that much insight in the documentary "Client 9" as to why Spitzer did what he did, concerning his fall from grace, thus helping to destroy the great man theory of history. Said downfall began in March 2006 when he started paying escorts for sex which was also the same time his run for governor began, immediately followed by mentions in the media of a future Presidential run. Before getting ahead of ourselves, rewind to the fact that Spitzer made a great prosecutor where his 'my way or the highway' style worked wonders but did not work as well in the state house where he was a questionable governor at best, unwilling to work with others. And maybe he knew that going in, causing him to self-destruct before things got any farther so as not to disappoint his domineering father. In fact, you could say that Spitzer had a talent for making powerful enemies(including billionaire Paul Langone, AIG CEO Hank Greenberg and State Senate Senate President Joseph Bruno)but not friends, and it should have surprised nobody that they would go after him, eventually exposing him.(By contrast, there are tons of people in this country who would give half of their reproductive organs to get anything on Ralph Nader. The end result: nothing.) And he would probably not have had to resign if he had the backing of his party which he did not. That goes back to what Sydney Biddle Barrows wrote about escorts(of which too much time is spent on in the documentary) in that it is as much about the sex as it is about companionship, especially for somebody who is so lonely.

For the record, I do believe David Paterson was mainly brought up on charges of corruption towards the end of his term of office due to his poor chances of winning election to a full term. This is one of only three conspiracy theories I actually believe in.
December 15, 2011
extremely interesting even as a non American who has no prior knowledge on the story. i know i always say it but its another documentary about how corrupt the US government is and we have no control... worst thing is... the 'act' of corruption (sex) in this flick is not nearly (or even comes close) to the crimes we see in other docs (global warming, corporation etc) yet the drop is a lot further for its effect.
½ November 7, 2011
This film is good to pair with Inside Job. I learned a lot more about what happened and all of the poitics that were involved in this issue
October 27, 2011
A titans power-play.
½ September 13, 2011
Why I will never run for office...mess with the powerful and they'll dig out all your skeletons...and our skeletons are much jucier and entertaining than simply hiring an escort.
August 31, 2011
It seems like the Spitzer case was just a lot of circumstantial evidence, and this film also paints a really ugly picture of Wall Street. Was interesting to hear from Spitzer himself.
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