MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 964 this week

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,306 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 44 critic

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 20 Jun 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 19 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.

Director: Chris Paine
Stars: Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson
Inside Job (2010)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson
Stars: Matt Damon, William Ackman, Daniel Alpert
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An examination of the social costs of corporate interests pursuing profits at the expense of the public good.

Director: Michael Moore
Stars: Michael Moore, Thora Birch, William Black
GasLand (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a... See full summary »

Director: Josh Fox
Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, William Branner
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott
Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country.

Director: Charles Ferguson
Stars: Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke, Ali Fadhil
Too Big to Fail (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt
Food, Inc. (2008)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner
Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, Chelsea Manning
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The rise and fall of the Enron company, as seen from the perspective of employee Brian Cruver, based on his book.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Christian Kane, Shannon Elizabeth, Cameron Bancroft
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
John Beard ...
Himself - Former Enron Accountant
Tim Belden ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Chanos ...
Himself - President, Kynikos Associates
Dick Cheney ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Carol Coale ...
Herself - Ex-Stock Analyst, Prudential Securities
...
Narrator
...
Himself - Former Governor of California
Reggie Dees II ...
Himself - Young man the stripper dances in front of (as Reggie Deets II)
Joseph Dunn ...
Himself - California State Senator
Max Eberts ...
Himself - Former Spokesman, Enron Energy Services
Peter Elkind ...
Himself - Co-Author, 'The Smartest Guys in the Room'
Andrew Fastow ...
Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California's deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron's rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Come see where all your money went. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 2006 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Black Magic  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the protesters who disrupt the meeting with Jeff Skilling at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club is Marla Ruzicka, who was killed on 16 April 2005 in Iraq by a suicide bomber. She founded CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict) which worked to help the victims of the war in Iraq and she was a former Global Exchange activist. See more »

Quotes

Analyst: You are the only financial institution that can't produce a balance sheet or cash flow statement with their earnings...
Jeffrey Skilling: You, you, you... Well, uh... thank you very much. We appreciate it... asshole.
See more »

Connections

Features The Simpsons: Special Edna (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer
Used by permission of Famous Music Corporation
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of Geffen Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Stylish but Soft-Hitting
9 August 2007 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" is suave and well-crafted, but betrays some wishful thinking and apologist tendencies.

Some ex-Enron workers venture poetic but unmerited speculations about their corrupter associates, conjuring hypothetical images of their former friends now reflecting back on their transgressions and experiencing ethical remorse. We are subjected to clichés about their having to face their own "shadows" and whatnot, all of it speculative, and in spite of any evidence that they ever experienced a moral twinge or regretted anything other than getting caught.

There's also an insidious "slippery slope" message, some philosophical waxing upon the blurriness of ethical lines, and depictions of compulsive personalities, all of which introduce unwarranted moral ambiguity. Bethany McLean, one of the investigative journalists, surprisingly lays overmuch of the blame on Andrew Fastow, declaring that the fraud started with him (!) even though Fastow is elsewhere shown to have been recruited into a company already corrupt from the top down. There is some subtle attempt at containment here. This film skewers the culprits one moment, but then shrinks from the implications.

The WORST example is a naive question given undue emphasis by being left "provocatively" open-ended. The narrator, Peter Coyote, asks, "What motivated the corrupt traders? Was it their million dollar bonuses? Or was it docile complicity?" (I'm paraphrasing here) A no-brainer answer you might think, but then - I kid you not - the documentary suggests the second possibility and launches into the fascinating but entirely irrelevant Milgram experiment, in which reluctant subjects are persuaded by an authority figure to voluntarily electrocute others. But Enron traders were a uniformly sanguine lot, evidenced by testimonials and taped conversations displaying naked greed and delight (generous clips of which are included in the documentary). Yet we are supposed to imagine they were the victims of obedience training?

It's a bit much...

Maybe two or three of the commentators don't pussyfoot around, and through them "The Smartest Guys" successfully conveys the perils of the free market and deregulation; but these lessons get watered down by wistful undertones and feigned ambiguity. Post-Enron, the communist charge that capitalists are "cannibals" now seems undeniably apt. Yet we forever flatter ourselves, rehearsing the cant of the free market ideology, according to which the profit motive encourages 1) innovation and 2) hard work. Granted. But what the pundits and economists invariably overlook is that the profit motive also encourages 3) robbery. Adam Smith's *other* "invisible hand," if you will ...hidden behind the back and gripping a knife! Enron calls for an inquiry into the nature of capitalism, not an explanation based upon specific personalities. Human nature is what it is, and there will always be people ready and willing to cut throats when given motivation and opportunity. To misquote the NRA: People don't kill people.. incentives do.

Final criticism: a bit of shabby hypocrisy. One of the Enron execs is portrayed as having sleazy encounters with strippers; the viewer is then dutifully treated to lots of footage of nude strippers... ha!


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lu Pi davidwarfel
So what about 'Blondie' ? tomboston191
Ask why, *#$hole bizerta
Were any of the Power Utilities Prosecuted murray_johnc
Philip Glass's 'Einstein on the Beach' . . . honkerdude
White Collar Prison bigdan7885

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?