Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2005

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Critics Consensus

A concise, entertaining documentary about the spectacular failure of Enron.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 119

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,530

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Movie Info

This documentary explores the fall of the Enron Corporation, arguably the most shocking example of modern corporate corruption. The company is linked with several illegal schemes, including instigating the California energy crisis as a way to drive up utility prices at the expense of the average American. In a hyper-competitive environment, Enron traders resort to all kinds of underhanded dealings in order to make money at any cost and keep their high-paying jobs.

Cast & Crew

Mark Cuban
Executive Producer
Todd Wagner
Executive Producer
Joana Vicente
Executive Producer
Maryse Alberti
Director of Photography
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News & Interviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Critic Reviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (3)

  • Gibney's film never forgets the human side: the macho execs nearly killing themselves on boys' vacations with motorbikes, sky-diving and general risk-enhanced bonding; the suicide of one, the scapegoat imprisonment of another.

    October 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Audiences jeered and shouted at the screen in outrage. It has that kind of impact, without resorting to any of Michael Moore's below-the-belt tactics.

    November 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Alex Gibney takes a notorious tale of corporate greed and plays it as Greek tragedy, Texas-style.

    June 25, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Deft, entertaining and infuriating documentary about one of the most egregious cases of corporate corruption in American history.

    June 10, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • A meticulously researched and ably handled chronicle of one of the largest corporate scandals in American history.

    May 26, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • This thorough and thoroughly depressing account of the biggest corporate bankruptcy in history, and the rip-off that accompanied it, is so infuriating and dispiriting that your blood will boil, if not properly watered down.

    May 20, 2005 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • Jun 01, 2011
    This documentary spins the tale of the nation's most disastrous failure of accounting standards and corporate greed in recent memory. The narration and visuals uniquely balance a straight presentation of the facts and an indictment of the scandal's main players. We get images of lurid strip clubs, where one of the Enron executives spent his billions of loot, and we also see sober, intelligent investigative reporters telling us about mark-to-market accounting and stock options. However, I think, by the end of the film, the balance tips in favor of pathos arguments, as the film attempts to get us more outraged. Also, the film hints at a broader social commentary, but I don't see this followed through. One "talking head" says, "[The Enron scandal] could happen again." I'm assuming this is even after Sarbanes-Oxley. Likewise, we're instructed by the film to get to know these characters, and by knowing them, perhaps we could see their hubris elsewhere. However, as I said, I don't see these themes explored with the depth they deserve. I want to hear people smarter than I explaining why Americans feel the obsessive need to compile what eventually amounts to Monopoly money. After all, it's virtually impossible to spend a hundred billion dollars in a lifetime, but we sure do try.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • May 26, 2011
    The Smartest Guys in the Room is a fascinating and well made documentary. It chronicles the rise and fall of Enron and it's corrupt leaders. It balances the serious situation with some humor well, making it an entertaining look at Enrons fall.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2010
    Documentary about those naughty boys at Enron and the financial disaster that gets caused by the greedy and arrogant being allowed to play unchecked in the higher echelons of corporate power. It's uncharitable to say but I hope when Jeff Skilling's old and dribbling in an OAP home, the employees there show him the same lack of consideration & respect he showed people when he was multi-million-dollar earning CEO. The git. .
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    One of the better contemporary documentaries I've seen, this film is thorough but accessible, and it's on rock-solid footing, based on the book by journalist Bethany McLean as it is. Even if you're not well-acquainted with the business section of your daily newspaper, you will stay with this one until the end. Enron is a stunning story, and this doc captures it well. What the film does best is this: it answers its own questions. I watched it with my girlfriend, who might be the only person I know that's less business savvy than me, so we paused a few times to discuss. Every time we hit play, the film answered the question that we had just asked. A very conscious and worthwhile film.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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