Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Lists: Documentary

Brief Synopsis: "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 documentary film based on the best-selling 2003 book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a study of one of the largest business scandals in American history. McLean and Elkind are credited as writers of the film alongside the director, Alex Gibney. The film examines the 2001 collapse of the Enron Corporation, which resulted in criminal trials for several of the company's top executives; it also shows the involvement of the Enron traders in the California electricity crisis. The film features interviews with McLean and Elkind, as well as former Enron executives and employees, stock analysts, reporters and the former Governor of California Gray Davis. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006."

Overall Ranking: 262 (Rank from 2005: # 5)

Adjusted* Rating:
(lowest rating dropped)

Ratings Breakdown
(The Mixed Bag)

Buttery 75%
Regular 25%
Half-Popped 0%
Stale 0%
Burnt 0%


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Reviewer Rating Review
David Baruffi97
Dan Fogarty - Fogs Movie Reviews92(full review)
Brittani Burnham of Rambling Film85(full review)
Bryan Lienesch75 - Documentaries like this about stories the average person already knows so much about has to bring something MORE to the table. And while the documentary doesn't reveal any particularly new plotlines, it's the little details that are jaw-dropping. The crassness of the traders in the taped phone calls. The detailed eccentricity of the key players. 'The Smartest Guys In The Room' doesn't just prove that the decisionmakers and Enron DID wrong, but that they WERE wrong by nature.

People Involved

  • Peter Coyote (Narrator)
  • John Beard (Himself)
  • Jim Chanos (Himself)
  • Dick Cheney (HImself)
  • Carol Coale (Herself)
  • Gray Davis (Himself)
  • Reggie Dees II (Himself)
  • Joseph Dunn (Himself)
  • Max Eberts (Himself)
  • Peter Elkind (Himself)
  • David Freeman (Himself)
  • Philip Hilder (Himself)
  • Al Kaseweter (HImself)
  • Bill Lerach (HImself)
  • Loretta Lynch (Herself)
  • Amanda Martin-Brock (Herself)
  • Bethany McLean (Herself)
  • Mike Muckleroy (Himself)
  • James Nutter (Himself)
  • John Olson (Himself)
  • Kevin Phillips (Himself)
  • David V. Porter (Himself)
  • Nancy Rapoport (Herself)
  • Harvey Rosenfield (Himself)
  • Mimi Swartz (Herself)
  • Robert Traband (Himself)
  • Sherron Watkins (Herself)
  • Henry Waxman (Himself)
  • Andrew Weissman (Himself)
  • Colin Whitehead (Himself)
  • Charles Wickman (Himself)
  • Alex Gibney (Director)
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