The Shock Doctrine (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shock Doctrine (2009)




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Movie Info

The team of Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross returns with their most intriguing provocation to date, an adaption of Naomi Klein's best-seller, which argues that U.S. "disaster capitalism" promotes its free-market agenda on the back of disasters, whether natural or manmade. A challenging, powerful vision of the world economy today.

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Critic Reviews for The Shock Doctrine

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

This movie, clearly assembled in haste, throws surprisingly poor archival footage into the mix with a Klein lecture, scant original interviews and a narration from on high that will brook no dissent.

January 25, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

In a lucid way clears up how America is now in the midst of a severe financial crisis through questionable free market policies.

Full Review… | September 24, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The worst that comes out of the documentary's final moments is the sense that Winterbottom and Whitecross ultimately don't know what their film is supposed to be about.

Full Review… | January 31, 2010

Pure capitalism unmasked

Full Review… | January 30, 2010

A movie that describes the scorched earth policy associated with free market fundamentalism, continuing with the current occupant of the White House.

Full Review… | January 29, 2010

The back story to the political and economic landscape of our times and the reasons why the rich are getting richer and the world is in such a mess.

Full Review… | January 28, 2010
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for The Shock Doctrine

In this documentary Naomi Klein exposes how extreme free-market policies & corporations have ripped off several nations across the globe using disaster capitalism. The film is thought provoking. I am very interested in a lot of Klein's views. I was also impressed with the fact that she exposes the repressive dictatorship that essentially replaced the democratically elected leader Allende in Chile in 1973. I am well read on the subject & appreciated her candor on it. The CIA & Corporate America were behind the coup. Klein exposes the sad fact in her documentaries that almost everything in life comes down to money.

David Bocek
David Bocek

"The Shock Doctrine" is an insightful documentary that starts not so innocently enough back in the 1950's at McGill University where a psychologist discovered you could use shock therapy to disrupt somebody enough to make them susceptible to suggestion and even being overwritten. As you can imagine, the CIA had a collective erection when they found out. That's nothing compared to the free market thinkers at the University of Chicago who saw what could be done with this on the national scale, first at Chile, then Argentina, and right down to the present day in Iraq. The problem is that free market capitalism does not always equate with personal freedom. Plus, as everybody found out, once you end regulation, the markets are more open to instability and wild fluctuations, thus forcing the common person to suffer under the yoke of massive inflation. Of course, they don't really care about them, since this all benefits the wealthy, anyway. While most of this might not sound exactly new, especially to those of us who read Naomi Klein's book of the same name, it is interesting to see her critical theories placed in historical context and illustrated as well as they are here.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Pretty good, better than some of Winterbottom's other docs, but I can't help feeling the whole thing would be stronger if it were by Adam Curtis or Errol Morris. The ideas are much less controversial now than when the book was released, and from what criticisms Ive read of the book, the film seems immune to the specificities of their claims. Occasionally approaching political hyperbole, but never going overboard in to Micheal Moore wonkyness or conspiracy theory(I know, whats the difference right?). The early portions about Chile and Argentina are the strongest, but I'm not sure all the comparisons to Afghanistan and Iraq are accurate. More later...

Joseph Sylvers
Joseph Sylvers

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