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Rated R (MPAA) · 114 min. · 2014

As someone who has zero problem with more video cameras in the streets, eyerolls at the IT guy about multiple backups and laughs at the idea that someone would ever consider this a smart identity to steal—hope you know something about debt consolidation, dinks—a movie like Citizenfour appears, at its outset, to be nerd paranoia with a budget. It’s actually the scariest horror movie in recent memory, revealing that everything The X-Files told you about the US government is true, that you don’t know a thing, and any resistors will be forced to live in hiding in rural goddamn Russia. Director Laura Poitras completes her trilogy of post-9/11 films (in return for her artistic endeavours, she’s been placed on the terrorist watchlist in her native US) with this electrifying, terrifying portrait of Edward Snowden, the smart and sensitive National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked information that the US government was tapping into its citizens’ phones, emails and texts while denying it publicly. His leak sources were Poitras—who we hear, but she never Moores herself into the movie—and journalist Glenn Greenwald, who sat with Snowden for eight harrowing days in 2013 as he revealed his secrets. For a movie mostly set in a hotel room, intercut with typing, Citizenfour is an incredibly dense, intensely compelling thriller. —Tara Thorne
Official Site:
Director: Laura Poitras
Producer: Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
Cast: Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald


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