New York Times - 04/22/2005
"ENRON is a tight, fascinating chronicle of arrogance and greed..."
Los Angeles Times - 04/29/2005
"It's a chilling, completely fascinating documentary that reveals the face of unregulated greed..."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/29/2005
"[A] deeply straightforward yet beautifully crafted documentary that turns the vortex inside out, and does it with a thrilling moral clarity."
USA Today - 04/22/2005
"[A] tale of swaggering arrogance and untrammeled greed....The film's most climactic moments involve the chilling audiotapes of avaricious Enron traders as they toy with California's energy crisis, wringing millions in profits from the misfortune of an entire state."
Rolling Stone - 05/05/2005
"[R]iveting....It's a ringing indictment of corporate greed..."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2006
"Gibney's documentary is a taut, focused essay asking why at every turn, methodically moving from key player to key player."
Total Film - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a staggering, often blackly comic account of the American dream gone sour..."
Uncut - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 4 -- "This excellent film communicates both the business story of fraud and failure, and a human drama of hubris..."
Ultimate DVD - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "Gibney's film is packed with more drama, sleaze and wickedness than your average Hollywood pot-boiler....[T]his manages to be both shocking and compelling."
This searing examination of the Enron accounting scandal reveals the psychology of greed and corporate corruption that facilitated the company's rise to power and also its fall. When Enron went bankrupt in 2001, the principals walked away millionaires--but later faced legal proceedings and jail sentences. Meanwhile, many employees and investors were left with nothing, not even their 401k retirement savings. Shedding light on the new economy of the 1990s when predictions and book-cooking flourished without actual profits, the film shows how it was not Enron alone but a network of bankers, traders, and accountants who turned a blind eye to the company's clearly suspicious numbers. CEO Ken Lay and top dogs Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow give candid interviews that illustrate their skill at deflecting hard questions and egotistically boasting about the company's success. In one of the company's cold and calculated moves--which caused the California power outages, and lead to the ousting of governor Gray Davis--Enron employees are shown laughing at forest fires. Unbelievable footage of employees reveals unbridled greed, lust for risk-taking, and guiltless cheating, all while thinking they could never be caught. Finally, a few brave whistle-blowers stepped forward, including Bethany McLean, author of the Enron novel upon which this film is based, who wrote an article in Fortune magazine calling the company's bluff. A remarkable documentary which packages the events of the scandal into a cohesive story, this is one film not to miss.
This film screened in the 2005 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.