Totally Under Control (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Totally Under Control2020

Totally Under Control (2020)

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Critic Consensus: Totally Under Control does a commendable job of distilling current events into a clear-eyed overview that's as engaging as it is enraging.

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At this moment 190,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. From July 15 to August 31, the death toll was running at an average of 1000/day. That's double the number of those who perished on 9/11 every week. The carelessly designed lockdowns and their long-lasting economic effects have led to massive job losses (23 million/14.7% in April), widespread hunger, dislocation and a runaway federal deficit. Had the federal government done its job properly -- by following clear guidelines in place based on past pandemics -- most of the death and destruction could have been avoided. While the current administration makes its claims for a job well done, the fact is that the US response to COVID-19 is one of the worst, with 4% of the world's population and 21% of the deaths. How did this happen? On January 20th, 2020 the US and South Korea both discovered their first cases of COVID-19. However, 9 months later, the novel Coronavirus has claimed the lives of almost 200,000 Americans and caused staggering economic damage, while in South Korea, there were no significant lockdowns and, in an urbanized population of 51 million, only 344 lives have been lost. Where did we go wrong? As the presidential election nears, Americans are increasingly enraged by a lack of clear leadership, endemic political corruption and left to wonder how did the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world manage to fail so thoroughly in its response to a global pandemic? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, directing with Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, interrogates this question and its devastating implications in Totally Under Control. With damning testimony from public health officials and hard investigative reporting, Gibney exposes a system-wide collapse caused by a profound dereliction of Presidential leadership. It will be a generation before we know the full extent of the damage wrought by this pandemic, but Totally Under Control will stand as the definitive account of the Trump administration's incompetence, corruption and denial in the face of this global pandemic.

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Critic Reviews for Totally Under Control

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (32)

None of the fancy gimmicky in "Totally Under Control" can top the sheer emotional turmoil on display from its key subjects.

February 7, 2021 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is about as timely as a documentary can be, and yet it's already in need of an update.

February 7, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This isn't the story of an inevitable tragedy. It's the story of a disaster that everyone saw coming and let happen anyway.

February 7, 2021 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It takes a village to burn itself to the ground, and no one is better at contextualizing such huge events, and structuring the information into a clear and transparent narrative, than documentarian Alex Gibney.

February 7, 2021 | Full Review…

A timely and competent first chapter, but it's only a fragment of a story that's still being written.

February 7, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's sobering, often indecently gripping material that, in broad strokes, confirms widely circulated impressions of the Trump White House as a nest of kleptocratic science-bashing vipers.

February 7, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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