The Unknown Known
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Morris' film THE UNKNOWN KNOWN is a gripping exploration of the career and philosophy of former U.S Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Using declassified memos, Morris guides Rumsfeld through a discussion of his controversial career as a high-level executive under four different Republican presidents. Such absorbing topics as Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm and the War on Terror are all examined through the words of one of America's most divisive and complex public figures. (c) Fantastic Fest

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Morris is admirably evenhanded, never demonizing his subject, but giving him enough rope to hang himself. Rumsfeld, cool and bemused, refuses to knot the noose."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Morris doesn't "break" Rumsfeld, as some think he did McNamara. He has held a mirror up to the man, and found no reflection. The viewer simply has to realize that what's important is what's not there."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"It's about how human beings make horrific mistakes sometimes without ever understanding why ... and without ever once thinking they did."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"It is, by definition, nonfiction, but at times suggests a horror movie."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Not even Errol Morris' infamous Interrotron - a camera-rig that gazes right into the subject's freaking soul - can pierce an unyielding Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"[A] scary inquiry."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a bygone approach to power, marked by a seemingly contradictory mix of transparency and obfuscation. Rumsfeld embodies that discrepancy."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"Part political portrait, part Iraq war post-mortem, part interrogation, it's a fascinating look at a man who -- like it or not -- will go down in history."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Part investigation, part inquisition and all around fascinating experiment into trying to dig underneath a deeply buried stone wall of charismatic defiance."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"The Unknown Known is like being stuck in a swamp."
‑ Daniel Walber, Nonfics
"By now the director's technique is so savvy, so confident in its visual layering and atmospheric assurance, even a dodgy, cagey camera subject such as Rumsfeld becomes movieworthy."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"A portrait of a wartime leader determined to avoid, at any cost, an honest perspective."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"This documentary interview with Bush-era insider Donald Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"The Unknown Known doesn't paint Rumsfeld into the Shakespearean archetype that Morris intended; instead he toed the company line. This documentary has Rumsfeld winning on points."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"Morris's commentary comes in the form of stunning images ... and a truly beautiful score ... The Unknown Known is revealing, but what it reveals is emptiness."
‑ Jennifer Dworkin, Film Comment Magazine
More reviews for The Unknown Known on Rotten Tomatoes