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Critics reviews
Zero Days
Alex Gibney United States, 2016
The documentary Zero Days by Alex Gibney is, on the level of content, an extremely important film that I hope will be widely seen.
July 18, 2016
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With Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear and other impressive titles to his credit, Alex Gibney has established himself as an incredibly prolific and gifted documentary-maker who is also extraordinarily courageous: he goes where other filmmakers dare not go. But his latest, Zero Days, almost belongs in a category by itself. Easily the most important film anyone has released this year, it is a documentary that deserves to be seen by every sentient citizen of this country – and indeed the world.
July 08, 2016
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Naively perhaps, Gibney wonders when the great powers will cop to cyber-trickery such as Stuxnet and begin to put in place rules to govern its use. All wars have rules — at least they used to — and Zero Days aims to inspire something more high-minded than the current mantra of both the bad guys and the good: Do What You Can Get Away With.
July 08, 2016
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It’s natural that two of our most talented and adventurous filmmakers, Gibney and Mann, [in Zero Days and Blackhat, respectively,] would take up the challenge of depicting how virtual manipulation can lead to physical destruction. These filmmakers stumble partly because they can’t cut a clear course through uncharted waters or overcome the visual and dramatic monotony of the digital universe, no matter how fancy and insistent their CGI effects.
July 07, 2016
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Gibney embraces the well-worn clichés of the espionage thriller, only they don’t bring a hint of levity to the proceedings. Like much of the filmmaker’s earlier work, Zero Days remains as serious as a heart attack and every bit as grim.
July 07, 2016
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Zero Days’ recurring interview with New York Times correspondent David Sanger mostly inspires the desire to read Sanger’s articles, rather than listen to him recite an extemporaneous précis of them. There was no compelling reason to make a Stuxnet documentary, apart from Gibney’s apparent need to be making a documentary at any given moment. Isn’t it time for this dude to take a well-earned vacation?
July 06, 2016
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It casually turns from a ballsy investigative documentary on cyber warfare and secret service cabals into a rumination on the nature of reality in the digital age.
April 29, 2016
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Alex Gibney’s latest doc could not be more different from Rosi’s Golden Bear-winner; it’s fast-paced, cleverly edited, packed with assertive talking heads, and peppered with eye-catching graphics… It’s a complicated subject, but Gibney certainly manages to convey the sheer scary scale of the threat we all face from cyber warfare.
February 26, 2016
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While the urgency of the message emerges powerfully, the details are often hard to absorb, as Gibney skips from political information to technical specs… Talking heads zip by in quick succession, and by the end, just as the film calls for moderation and caution in pursuing computer war, you end up feeling that lucidity could similarly be useful for documentarists dealing with such byzantine cyber-complexities.
February 17, 2016
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What Zero Days lacks in subtlety and formal innovation, however, it compensates for in breadth and lucidity. Gibney once again enlists a truly impressive roster of interviewees, including senior officials of agencies such as the NSA and CIA, and packs a staggering amount of information into two hours, all of it communicated in clear and accessible terms.
February 17, 2016
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