• Citizenfour (2014)


Release Date: October 24th, 2014

R |1 hr 54 min

Plot Summary

CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwalds encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name CITIZENFOUR, in January 2013. He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film. CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them. CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillanceit makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

Cast: Laura Poitras , William Binney , Julian Assange , Edward Snowden , Glenn Greenwald , Jacob Appelbaum , Ewen MacAskill

Director: Laura Poitras

Genres: Biography , Documentary , Thriller

Production Co: Praxis Films,Participant Media,HBO Documentary Films

Distributors: RADiUS-TWC

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Todd McCarthyThe Hollywood Reporter

    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. show more

  • 90
    Alonso DuraldeTheWrap

    Citizenfour finds its strength in both the story and the telling: The information about government spying is chilling, of course, but the movie also gives us the opportunity to get to know the elusive Snowden. show more

  • 100
    San Francisco Chronicle

    And there lies the greatest flaw with Citzenfour and Snowden himself. Despite the film’s virtues, we’re no closer to understanding Snowden than we were a year ago when this saga began. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com