The Corporation

Critics Consensus

The Corporation is a satisfyingly dense, thought-provoking rebuttal to some of capitalism's central arguments.



Total Count: 110


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,757
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Movie Info

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today's dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first institution to defy history. Based on Joel Bakan's soon-to-be-published book, "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power," this documentary is a timely, critical inquiry that examines the very nature of the corporation-its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. We begin by learning that under the law, corporations have all the rights and yet few of the responsibilities of people. By viewing the behavior of the corporation through the prism of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (or DSM III, the gold standard of psychiatric evaluation) the filmmakers discover that if the corporation were indeed a person, the person would be considered a psychopath. Featuring candid interviews with CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits, the chronicle charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this seemingly invincible force. Once you see it, you may find yourself thinking twice about what you eat, what you wear, what you watch and what you read.

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Critic Reviews for The Corporation

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (33)

  • This smart, informative and lively polemic makes a strong case for viewing the corporation--which enjoys the legal status of an individual--as a psychopath run amok.

    Mar 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • A history lesson, a warning shot and damning personality profile, all backed up with expert interviews.

    Oct 29, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
  • Carries a powerful, albeit not new, message. It is frightening.

    Oct 22, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The rare movie that sets out to alter the audience's consciousness -- and succeeds.

    Sep 17, 2004 | Rating: 4/4
  • This documentary's extra-long running time and a narrator who sounds like a sedated Star Trek computer won't win many converts.

    Sep 16, 2004 | Rating: 2/5
  • This is all rigorous, challenging stuff.

    Sep 4, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Corporation

  • Dec 24, 2010
    Def. "Corporation": The Devil amongst us. No, literally. The appearance of Michael Moore in this informative and nothing-more-than-fun documentary should have warned me since the beginning. I can't fully complain, since University made me re-watch this. Well, definitely the debate we had in class and the books we read regarding Problems of Contemporary Civilization were several times more interesting than this pretentious documentary that tells nothing new. Everything is known already. However, the filmmakers decided to extend this to two and a half hours, which is something remarkable already, since they had more than twenty hours of footage initially. Watch the first half and have a good time; then, you can happily switch off. The Corporation is even hypocritical: it presents one-sided arguments throughout and, in the end, it urges people (err... Michael Moore urges people) to take action. Are solutions provided? No. That can be interpreted as: "Final conclusion: Stop buying products from corporations and let's return to the farming times." Grade: C 63/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2010
    One of the best documentaries I've seen. I was quite shocked at some points. It's utterly compelling and really lays out how corporations have been screwing us and the world over all in the name of profit.
    Mark C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2010
    I really had my sights set on a battle royal (or at least some juxtaposition) of Chompsky vs. Moore somewhere in this movie, but never happens. Their segments are definitely spaced apart in the movie. On the positive side is Ray Anderson CEO and Founder of the largest modular carpeting manufacturer in the world discusses his own and his corporations view on industrial ecology and sustainability. In the end the movie is 2/3 sentimental heart-string plucking with about a 1/3 of really good content.
    Bill C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2008
    A very important documentary because it touches on EVERYTHING that should be important to everyone - the environment, human rights, public health, justice, government, politics, etc. It's very educational and easy to watch - you learn a lot! The diversity of people interviewed was also great.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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