Best Movies by Farr
Citizenfour Poster
Released Runtime Category
2014 114 Documentary
Director Language
Laura Poitras English
Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras


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What's it About

In 2013, filmmaker Poitras starts receiving encrypted emails from an anonymous sender called “CitizenFour”. Five months later she travels to Hong Kong with journalists Greenwald and MacAskill and meets clandestinely with this person, who turns out to be Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor. Snowden makes some explosive and far-reaching allegations about an NSA global surveillance program, and presents highly classified material as evidence. A media sensation ensues when the reporters file the story. The director later follows Snowden to Moscow, where he seeks asylum after the United States charges him with treason and theft of government property.

Why we love it

Unfurling like a thrilling detective tale, this riveting film probes the secrecy and complexity of our post 9/11 world. Poitras contrasts sequences of Snowden disclosing details of the program with footage of NSA officials lying to Congress about the extent of their surveillance operations. But beyond exposing governmental duplicity, she limns the murky area between national security and personal privacy, exploring the disturbing implications of an Orwellian state. Whether you consider Snowden a hero or a traitor, this Oscar-winning documentary warrants your full attention.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"