Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer

Directed by Alex Gibney
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
April 21, 2005

It's scarier than The Amityville Horror, as scandalous as Fahrenheit 9/11 and loaded with more conspiracies than The Interpreter. Alex Gibney's riveting documentary is a rape story, with the public trust as the victim. The perp is Enron, the Houston power company led by Kenneth Lay and his wingman Jeff Skilling. Based on the book of the same name that traced the events that brought down Enron in 2001, the film is no rehash. It's a ringing indictment of corporate greed that extends to the Bush family and the legal loopholes Enron exploited to steal employee benefits and put thousands out of jobs. There's even gallows humor: After a speech praising Enron, Lay reads a written question from the audience: "Are you on crack?" Nah. The drug of choice here is hubris.

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