Big Men (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Big Men (2014)

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A good movie gives you a ticket to a secret world and Big Men delivers again and again, taking you into rooms you have no business entering. You'll eavesdrop on meetings about oil deals worth billions of dollars and watch heavily armed militants preparing to strike. It's a fast-paced tour through the high-powered world of African oil deals - a quest for money and power and influence that affects us all. (c) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Big Men

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8)

This moral-economic drama plays out in backroom deals that Boynton records in all their stunning and at times shameless candor.

Full Review… | April 4, 2014
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The constant machinations can get a little confusing. Thankfully, Boynton, a dogged reporter, manages to keep the story on a human scale.

Full Review… | March 20, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Fanon would have said that eventually "the wretched of the earth" will wake up and learn their lesson. If this vivid, compassionate but unstinting film is any indication, Rachel Boynton is not convinced.

Full Review… | March 14, 2014
Salon.com
Top Critic

In "Big Men", Rachel Boynton offers a case study in how the promise of big wealth brings out the ruthless self-interest of all the parties concerned.

Full Review… | March 14, 2014
RogerEbert.com
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Dropping us into a perfect storm of avarice, this cool and incisive snapshot of global capitalism at work is as remarkable for its access as for its refusal to judge.

Full Review… | March 13, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

There are three categories of schemers in Big Men, Rachel Boynton's illuminating documentary about the oil business in West Africa: businessmen, politicians and bandits. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell the types apart.

Full Review… | March 13, 2014
NPR
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Big Men

5/7/15 Amazon Prime One more excellent documentary. High stakes, huge money, political corruption, lawless citizenry this covers it all. The opening credits has quotes about greed and they all come to life here.

Nick Ueber
Nick Ueber
½

A very level-headed look at the economics and politics of resource exploration and exploitation which become especially complicated in places like Ghana and Nigeria where things operate a bit differently than in wealthier countries with more firmly established political and legal institutions. Boynton's access to so many of the players offers us revealing insights into both differences and commonalities.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

In the 1970 Doctor Who serial 'Inferno,' one parallel world on the brink of calamity due to a drilling incident gone terribly wrong serves as a warning for the other earth. Of course, reality does not work like that, even on a much smaller scale, like say that of countries. But in the case of Ghana and Nigeria, maybe for once it does, while it should be pointed out that of course all African countries are not the same. In 2007, Kosmos Energy took a huge risk and discovered oil off the shore of Ghana. As negotiations and elections follow, eyes turn toward Nigeria as an object lesson in what a country should not do with its share of the oil money, as Nigeria became rife with corruption, thus leaving many whose lives should have been improved by government development, instead forced to make a risky living on the oil black market to eke out a subsistence living.(The Norwegian suggestion concerning taxation is by the most fair for everybody involved.) That also causes some to turn to militancy in sabotaging the pipelines to get their point across. In the very incisive documentary and cinematic essay "Big Men," Rachel Boynton not only talks to those same insurgents to get a sense of what they want(and also some keen interpretation on what a documentary means), but also to those sitting in the boardrooms in New York, like James Musselman, the front man for Kosmos. And then she talks to everybody in between to get as many points of view as possible while also showing the high stakes involved for all parties, even those not directly affected.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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