(2014)

Critic Reviews

88

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The Guardian
Citizenfour is a gripping record of how our rulers are addicted to gaining more and more power and control over us – if we let them.
100
Adapting the cold language of data encryption to recount a dramatic saga of abuse of power and justified paranoia, Poitras brilliantly demonstrates that information is a weapon that cuts both ways.
100
CITIZENFOUR is an expertly crafted expose with unprecedented urgency.
91
Poitras, an expert filmmaker as keyed into pace and mood as the topic they support, delivers a mesmerizing look at both how Snowden managed to release his information as well as why it all matters.
90
No matter one's personal stance about what Snowden did, this revelatory work is fascinating and thought-provoking, if, at the same time, oddly lacking in tension; unlike the provocations of Michael Moore or Oliver Stone, the temperature of this film is very cool.
90
Citizenfour is both an urgent tale torn from recent headlines and a compelling work of cinema, with all the paranoid density and abrupt changes of scenery of a John le Carré novel.
88
Slant Magazine
Laura Poitras teaches by example, providing a privileged insight into Edward Snowden's personality and motivation while keeping the focus on government spying.
80
Citizenfour is at its most eye-opening and essential simply as a portrait of the then 29-year-old Snowden at a point of absolute no-return in his life as he spends almost a week hiding out in Hong Kong before disappearing into an entirely new existence.
80
Village Voice
Poitras shows us history as it happens, scenes of such intimate momentousness that the movie's a must-see piece of work even if, in its totality, it's underwhelming as argument or cinema.
80
The hotel scenes go on a tad long, but what holds us is that we’re right in the room as history is being made — with the guy, the actual guy, soon to be notorious all over the world.

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