The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby Reviews

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Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 19, 2012
At once a deeply personal film and an important historical document, The Man Nobody Knew leaves us with an incomplete portrait of a man.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 16, 2011
There's a reason spies are called spooks; it's as if they have no human essence. If William Colby had one, his son hasn't found it in this film. But he has found the emptiness. And that's something.
Nell Minow
December 16, 2011
This is a riveting and important film that does not rest too heavily on the connection between its subject's personal emptiness and the moral failures Colby would come to regret.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
December 9, 2011
Shows little sign of the deep emotional undercurrents one might expect in a son's treatment of his father, but it does present a clear, incisive yet tantalizingly incomplete portrait of a fascinating and complicated man.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 8, 2011
It takes far too long for "The Man Nobody Knew" to get to the point.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brent Simon
December 7, 2011
A movie seemingly about the blinkered awakening of a conscience, but one that dances around intrigue without ever consistently engaging it.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
December 2, 2011
Well-constructed, but to little purpose other than the personal.
Top Critic
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
November 17, 2011
Presumably, Colby would be pleased to know he comes across as neither compelling nor vivid - which in some ways makes him all the more interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
November 15, 2011
A great guy? Not really, and fortunately son Carl Colby avoids sentimentalizing his dad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 28, 2011
To some degree, its subject remains tantalizingly unknowable, even after all the witnesses have taken the stand.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Willie Waffle
October 28, 2011
Goes a bit further than that to become a study of American foreign policy and CIA involvement
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 20, 2011
Tony Medley
Tolucan Times
October 14, 2011
...a must-see for anyone interested in what happened from 1945-mid '70s, and why. With fascinating audio tapes from the Kennedy White House, it's a prologue for where we are today.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
October 14, 2011
A remarkable feat of personalized biography.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 13, 2011
Powerful isn't the word, although shattering may be, for the conclusion that the son reaches at the end of his lonely quest.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
September 23, 2011
Uniquely personal look at one of the 20th century's most important spy figures.
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
September 23, 2011
Although much of the documentary is given over to its subject's private life... The Man Nobody Knew never feels particularly intimate
Kalvin Henely
Slant Magazine
September 23, 2011
The Man Nobody Knew is a character study that doubles as a history lesson.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
September 23, 2011
Fascinating, deeply researched documentary about the long career of elusive CIA spymaster William Colby by his son provides more lessons about how access counts in both espionage and filmmaking.
Top Critic
Andy Webster
New York Times
September 22, 2011
Carl Colby's smart, fact-packed film "The Man Nobody Knew" operates on many levels, all riveting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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