Citizenfour (2014) - Documentary, Biography, News

Hohum Score

58

Bearable

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

IMDB: 8.1
Director: Laura Poitras
Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald
Length: 114 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 19 out of 107 found boring (17.75%)

One-line Reviews (105)

A bold film by Laura Poitras, CITIZENFOUR is a riveting first-person look at a the NSA whistle-blowing by Edward Snowden, captured in real-time.

While, given its quite widespread effect and reach, the story and name of Edward Snowden are familiar or even well known to the public at large (or so we think), "Citizenfour" tells the tense and uneasy story of Edward Snowden from his point of view and in his own words, as captured and related by filmmaker Laura Poitras, over the span of a few fascinating days spent in a hotel room in Hong Kong in 2013.

This film could have been riveting, should have at least been interesting, but was absolutely boring.

For, the exciting first scenes of Citizenfour promises the same exhilaration of freedom that Beethoven's opera Fidelio's "Prisoners Chorus" as prisoners emerge from the bowels of prison, into the light of day and gleefully sing "Oh what joy, in the open air freely to breathe again!

The film kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time even as it went through legal proceedings and technology that goes into surveillance systems.

Secret agents, assets, spies, double agents, USA pulling the strings all over the world… shocking and breathtaking (in the disgusting way)!

-The music is alittle repetitive and I can't really remember it.

Very Little is done with the Footage to Spice it up or make it "Entertaining" and Easy viewing.

Sadly, the style of the film is dull for various reasons.

The documentary is a thrilling and terrifying account of the actions that transpired before, during and after the groundbreaking reports were leaked and the turn of events by the American government.

Overall: This documentary really does deserve the Academy Award win for Best Documentary, that year, despite some flaws, as it show exciting investigative journalism.

There are several things that stand out here and despite that slow opening 15 minutes, once Edward Snowden shows up for the first time the documentary begins to take form and the thrills kick in as we realize that we are becoming a witness to the events that occurred in 2013 surrounding the US government involvement in surveillance.

While, it perfectly capture the paranoia days before, during and after Snowden's revelations became the world's top news story with intense scenes of suspicious 'hot mic' phones calls, weird arrivals of repairs vans and downright disturbing coincidence like a fire alarm going off, while the group is in the hotel for over eight days to discuss the data and how best to reveal it to the world, and the repercussions of doing so.

The resulting Times story in 2005 was met with a collective yawn and people went on with their lives.

Shows real behind the scenes footage and is very suspenseful and enlightening

Though it reveals no new information that hasn't already been reported all over the world during the past eighteen months, Citizenfour is fascinating to observe as history unfolds before our eyes, offering the look and feel of immediacy, not that of a historical retrospective.

However I found it slow and still uneventful, so I would say it is totally worth buying in a $5 bin.

This unique look at the situation is portrayed by Poitras in an incredibly tense and suspenseful way and she succeeds in giving the documentary a quasi-thriller feel, which is further compounded by the astute choice of Trent Reznor's goose-bump-inducing music as the soundtrack.

A flip of the coin and one can see the film as sheer propaganda, intense political thriller, or a passionate film about our basic civil rights.

Even the cool, almost calculated way he expresses these thoughts, is breathtaking.

It's the incredible story behind it that makes this film fascinating, not the cinematographic achievements.

Citizenfour is as frustrating as it is compelling, and you're doing a disservice to you and your country if you don't watch it.

A fascinating and amazing story about lengths a government will go to know everything and deny they are doing it ("...

The filmmaker and other journalists basically meet Snowden in person for the first time with cameras running, and it's fascinating to watch them getting to know one another in such a highly charged, high stakes situation.

Overrated propaganda.

This movie, in my opinion, was senselessly dull.

", so maybe they had no idea what they were getting into, maybe at first they thought they were dealing with a crackpot, etc.Some people have said it is boring, and I don't know why.

Besides the initial boredom you'll experience from watching Edward Snowden in his hotel room, the film also randomly puts in the aforementioned footage of the NSA building these sites and of the foreign governments without much context besides the film's obvious message (government surveillance is bad).

This risks the movie to be very predictable and thus be boring in the final product.

It's a vivid, paranoid tale told in a thoroughly compelling way, no matter what you think of the protagonist and his motives.

Laura Poitras's thrilling but sometimes slow documentary takes us to Hong Kong to witness Snowden's alarming the world about the US spying on its citizens and world leaders among others.

Look I mean this is one documentary that many many people will enjoy as I did, but I couldn't help feel although the overriding message is an interesting one and everything that happens, computing system jargon is fairly dull to those of us who are less learned and so some scenes end up just a little too confusing at points.

I'm aware the director was likely attempting to make the film more artsy but all this choice really did was add confusion.

Intriguing .

Citizenfour is a fascinating, risky, and brave film for everyone who is interested in the challenges of truth telling.

More interested in when, why & how Edward Snowden did what he did than who he is, this Academy Award-winning documentary offers an informative & riveting account of NSA's abuse of power and is narrated in a way that makes you want to erase your digital existence.

In reality, it was only roughly 75% Snowden in a hotel room, but the other 25% of the film was just as boring.

A thrilling documentary that will make you think twice .

For all its faults, watching this story unfold in real time is compelling and worthwhile.

Despite its "politcal significance, " Citizenfour is sadly a bore.

I can understand that some may be impressed by its "political significance," but as a "work of art," it's sadly a bore.

This film is slow.

I found this documentary fascinating despite not really having cared much for the story when it first broke out.

"I'm afraid that as I write down this quote from Laura Poitras thrilling documentary I will be added to the NSA's surveillance list.

It's a fascinating film that will surely make you uncomfortable and cause re-evaluation of the chain of events.

) Unfortunately, the film dragged on for 30 minutes too long and reinforced, almost to the point of simply repeating word for word, the same points over and over again.

But beyond that it is also just an incredibly gripping film that turns these events into riveting political drama that bares the weight of a sledgehammer due to its importance to our modern political system.

I was bored to death within 10 minutes.

The film is quite boring most of the time, and unintentionally funny at other times with Glenn Greenwald speaking horrible Portuguese with a thick American accent.

Quite dull .

Good movie, albeit drawn out a little too long.

Riveting real time account, and a MUST WATCH .

It is also thought-provoking, well shot, and a fascinating insight into the human-side of Snowden.

Quite dull.

The story of Edward Snowden is one of the most fascinating events in modern history.

I will say that seeing both sides of the conspiracy was pretty intriguing.

They are not doing enough if something happens, but they are doing too much when nothing happens and we are safe.

It is an imperfect film in some ways, but yet fascinating in its factuality.

Set up like a thriller, but more tedious than thrilling.

The information that was discussed was absolutely stunning.

"Citizenfour" is an alarming and terrifying expose that works as both a tense, real-life espionage thriller and as a thoroughly engrossing documentary.

I watched this off HBO GO the other night, and while I can certainly appreciate the importance of the topic (government surveillance of civilians revealed by former NSA worker Edward Snowden), this documentary really just dragged on and on and on with all these conversations that seemed to go nowhere.

No matter one's opinions, Edward Snowden remains a fascinating person and this documentary analyzes his actions and motives.

Like really slow.

Visceral, compelling, brave, brilliant, essential.

In this Age Of Information of ours, it is mind boggling how nonchalant we seem to be going on about our privacy and our self-worth as fully thinking rational beings, and how easily we surrender our essence, our identity be it flesh-and-bone or digital, to the vague powers that be reigning over us, powers whom we seldomly recognize, define or have an input on the control and influence they exercise over our lives.

Whereas Assange can impress people as narcissistic and Bradley/Chelsea Manning's sexual confusion was only one of a number of facets which distracted from Cablegate, Snowden sounds like a young Ellsberg – very intelligent and well-spoken.

These scenes are quiet, intimate, and creepily banal, like being in Gandhi's bedroom the day he decided to take on the largest Empire in the world.

worth watching.

Amidst the ho-hum rhythm of the big holiday blockbusters endlessly marching to the drumbeat of massive audiences (myself included)sits this year's most important movie, and I daresay of many, many years...

Static narrative, unimaginative camera-work, just terribly boring.

Citizenfour is the better of the two movies but both are well worth watching and both are very captivating and you will find it difficult to take your eyes off the screen.

Largely intriguing human's innate proclivity of inquisitiveness, CITIZENFOUR cunningly proffers the first-hand exposé of Snowden when he hid in Hong Kong and contacted with journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill to go through the scandalous disclosure, meanwhile simultaneously a camera is recording by Poitras on the spot.

Packer argues that, "Even when the pace slows to the verge of boredom, the footage is mesmerizing, because we are watching a private encounter of great political significance unfold.

This documentary is terribly edited, making it extremely boring and hard to sit through.

I also have to take off points for several excessively long scenes of Edward Snowdon doing mundane things - staring at his laptop, looking out the window, fixing his hair.

While it's undeniably engaging to be a fly on the wall in Edward Snowden's hotel room during his historic whistle-blowing of the NSA, the film offers little more than a linear chronology of his actions, providing no fresh perspective.

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)Rating: 4.7/5 starsPart real-life thriller, part sobering examination of 21st century civil liberties, "Citizenfour" transcends an earnest ideology to offer riveting, must-see cinema.

-The story, as controversial as some may find it, is incredibly compelling and true.

The movie plays out as heartbreaking and sad as it does relevant, scary and vividly engrossing.

For most viewers, this level of detail is difficult to follow.

This interaction between the two also offers an absorbing character study of Snowden.

However, it is a badly made and boring film which lacks any structure, making it one of the most overrated films in quite some time.

Indeed, Mr. Packer is correct when he observes that the pace "slows to the verge of boredom.

I like the attitude of encrypting my extremely boring meaningless life to a hardcore level.

Citizenfour is the frontrunner to win Best Documentary in the Academy Awards and deservedly so because it is an intense and gripping documentary that is relevant in today's world.

Borefest .

and they can read my meaningless boring emails.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Citizenfour is that it ends up being a rather interesting and fascinating character study of a man who we've read a lot about over the past year and a half despite not really knowing who he was.

While there was some intrigue initially, as Snowden tries to connect with Greenwald, after that it is pretty dull.

Reall good, but slow.

It does however as previously mentioned have it's moments of brilliance and even in slow moving scenes you still remain enthralled and thrilled at everything that is going on.

Citizenfour however is extremely dull and boring, making the questionable politics even more problematic.

But these sections are in need of some judicious editing as they go on far too long, even if they are historically significance moments in time.

It felt theatrics and an bit propaganda.

I think they were meant to convey his isolation, but they just made me feel bored.

I know I did once I walked out of the movie theatre.

This inner conflict is captured during the intense Hong Kong meetings between himself, Poitras, and reporter Glenn Greenwald who was the man responsible for breaking the story in The Guardian.

I had heard that this movie is compelling filmmaking, that director Laura Poitras really brought the story of Edward Snowden to life.

I ended up bored for most of the first half.

The only negative thing I can say about it is that it opens a bit slow, and the technical aspects of it might scare of some viewers.

The whole film was drawn out like this for no apparent good reason.

" It is a fitting description of whistleblower Edward Snowden, whose story is told by the Oscar-nominated American filmmaker Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country) in her intimate and intense documentary Citizenfour.

Citizenfour is a groundbreaking and thrilling documentary that is worth checking out no matter how you feel about the matter.

These are fascinating images, filmed with a simple hand-held camera and hardly any cinematographic intervention.