A real-life Irish massacre offers brutal facts, but little mystery, in Alex Gibney's No Stone Unturned

C+

In June of 1994, masked gunmen entered a pub in the tiny Northern Ireland town of Loughinisland, spraying the patrons with assault-rifle fire, killing six. It was a remarkable act partly because of how unsurprising it was: The charmingly named “Troubles” of Northern Ireland—three decades of bloody, brutal civil war,…

Ones, zeroes, and a disembodied voice delivered one of last year’s best performances

Here’s something I hadn’t anticipated: Nearly a decade and a half after Andy Serkis’ revolutionary collaboration with CG wizards in creating Gollum, neither he nor anybody else has yet been nominated for a motion-capture performance. I genuinely thought this would have been settled by now, given how many characters in…

Zero Days is another cursory info dump from the insanely prolific Alex Gibney

B-

Alex Gibney has turned making documentaries into such a cottage industry over the past decade that it’s increasingly difficult to take him seriously as a filmmaker. Just since 2013, he’s directed docs about WikiLeaks, Lance Armstrong, Fela Kuti, James Brown, Scientology, Steve Jobs, and the Stuxnet worm. That list’s…

Amazon’s The New Yorker Presents puts the best of the magazine into video form

B+

One advantage of Amazon and Netflix’s “post an entire TV season all at once” policy is that there’s no real reason to watch a show in order if it’s not serialized to begin with. So here’s a piece of advice: Don’t start with episode one of Amazon’s new series The New Yorker Presents. Go straight to the second…

Alex Gibney takes a bite out of Apple in Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine

C+

At the start of Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine, the prolific documentarian admits that he approached his latest film—his third released this year—with no small amount of personal bias. Gibney says he feels conflicted about the late Steve Jobs, a man whose leadership of Apple led to products so…

Don’t take the title of Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All with a grain of salt

B

There are two important and illustrative quotes in the opening half of HBO’s documentary miniseries Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All. The first is a statement of purpose, an explanation for the deep, documentary dive that director Alex Gibney (fresh off the scathing Scientology exposé Going Clear) takes into the life…

The Church Of Scientology had something to say about Going Clear, obviously

Alex Gibney’s documentary on Scientology, Going Clear, didn’t contain any information—as bananas as it might have been—that wasn’t already publicly available in any number of news reports, or the book the documentary was based on, or Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology, or even in that one South Park episode about…

Witness the power of giant, blue buildings in this trailer for Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary

We doubt The Church Of Scientology’s followers will let some little HBO documentary shake their deeply held—and to the outside observer, nutso crazy—beliefs, but this trailer for Alex Gibney’s Going Clear does cast the organization in a pretty ominous light. There are voiceovers of people talking about Scientology’s…

Surprise, surprise: The Church of Scientology isn’t into Alex Gibney’s Scientology doc

To the surprise of no one familiar with The Church of Scientology’s “why are you hitting yourself?” approach to its critics, Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, which purports to contain “new revelations about the controversial religion and its famous followers Tom Cruise and…