Watch Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
- 1 hr 49 min
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a documentary directed by Alex Gibney which explores the downfall of one of the largest and most revered corporations in American history. The film was released in 2005 and is based on the book of the same name by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. The documentary features interviews with key players in the Enron scandal, including former executives such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as journalists, financial experts, and politicians. The film also incorporates actual footage from Enron meetings and events, as well as news reports and other archival material.
The film begins by laying out the company's beginnings, as a small pipeline company which grew into a major player in the energy industry. The documentary then moves on to explore the culture of Enron during its heyday, a culture which emphasized aggressive expansion, visionary leadership, and cutting-edge financial practices. It is an era that is referred to in the film as the "Enron era."
As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the Enron era was built on a foundation of lies, deception, and greed. The company's executives engaged in fraudulent accounting practices, using convoluted and opaque financial instruments to hide debt and inflate profits. They also engaged in insider trading, pumping up the company's stock while they themselves sold off shares.
At the same time, Enron employees and investors were being duped into believing that the company was a model of success and that their investments were secure. In reality, Enron was a ticking time bomb, headed for a spectacular implosion.
The film delves into the various factors that contributed to Enron's downfall, including the role of the company's auditors, the complicity of Wall Street banks, and the lack of regulatory oversight. It also explores the human cost of the scandal, such as the employees who lost their jobs and retirement savings, and the energy consumers who were left without power during the California energy crisis.
The documentary is masterfully crafted, weaving together interviews, archival footage, and investigative reporting into a compelling and suspenseful narrative. It is a scathing indictment of corporate greed and corruption, and a warning about the dangers of unchecked capitalism.
Throughout the film, the viewer is left with a sense of incredulity and outrage, as they witness the sheer audacity of Enron's executives and the moral bankruptcy of the system that allowed them to thrive. The film is a powerful reminder of the need for transparency, accountability, and strong regulatory oversight in the financial sector.
Overall, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in the intersection of business, politics, and morality. It is a riveting and thought-provoking film which leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2004 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.