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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for language and some nudity
not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 22, 2005 (wide)
Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures
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Copyright, Magnolia Pictures

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Featuring: Peter Coyote, Kenneth Lay, Jeff Skilling, Andy Fastow
Director: Alex Gibney
Producer: Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner, Joana Vicente
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “The inside story of one of history’s greatest business scandals, in which top executives of America’s 7th largest company walked away with over one billion dollars while investors and employees lost everything. Based on the best-selling book The Smartest Guys in the Room by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind and featuring insider accounts and incendiary corporate audio and videotapes, Gibney reveals the almost unimaginable personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The film comes to a harrowing denouement as we hear Enron traders' own voices as they wring hundreds of millions of dollars in profits out of the California energy crisis. As a result, we come to understand how the avarice of Enron’s traders and their bosses had a shocking and profound domino effect that may shape the face of our economy for years to come.”

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Positive—This is a suprising and important movie. Although it may be tough emotionally for many evangelicals to see a darker side of of Texas politics (including GWB), a strong Christian would have no qualms. The movie focuses on the founders of Enron and their moral depravity. This movie gets beneath the glossy mainstreme media soft sell and to the root of Enron’s business model: deception. A culture of sin was fostered and rewarded at Enron. Traders were encouraged to make money by any means necessary. If it meant asking fully functional power stations to shut down amidst the roving black outs in California, they did (you will hear the phone calls). There are a few curse words, but they are in context to recorded phone calls from the traders. There is also a scene of a strip club when describing the habits of Enron executives, and even then the women were covered up. This movie is aimed at adults and should really only be watched by adults; the only exception would be if your children have a knack for commodities trading and questionable accounting methods.
My Ratings: Good / 3
Wesley C, age 66