The Unknown Known
The Unknown Known (2014)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: April 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2014
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Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Viewers hoping to see Donald Rumsfeld admit making mistakes in public office (or hoping Errol Morris will force him to give straight answers) may find The Unknown Known frustrating -- but no less fascinating.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

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.

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John Anderson

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.

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Jason Bailey

He poses simple questions and lets them talk, and talk, and talk. In doing so, he gives them enough rope to hang themselves.

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Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times

[A] scary inquiry.

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Wesley Morris

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.

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Derek Smith
Tiny Mix Tapes

Frustrating and fascinating.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

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.

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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times

A portrait of a wartime leader determined to avoid, at any cost, an honest perspective.

Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Delights in exploring sophistry and fine distinctions of language.

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More reviews for The Unknown Known

Flixster Audience Score: 70% Flixster User Reviews
Greg S
A feature length interview with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield that (perhaps unfairly, perhaps understandably) turns into a referendum on the… More
Dann Michalski
An extraordinary documentary about one of the most interesting figures in American politics, The Unknown Known is a fascinating look at former Secretary of… More