The Best Episodes Directed by Alex Gibney
#1 - Zero Days: Nuclear Cyber Sabotage
Storyville Season 2017 - Episode 1
Documentary thriller about warfare in a world without rules - the world of cyberwar. It tells the story of Stuxnet, self-replicating computer malware, known as a 'worm' for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own. In a covert operation, the American and Israeli intelligence agencies allegedly unleashed Stuxnet to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility. Ultimately the 'worm' spread beyond its intended target. Zero Day is the most comprehensive account to date of how a clandestine mission opened forever the Pandora's box of cyber warfare. A cautionary tale of technology, politics, unintended consequences, morality, and the dangers of secrecy.
#2 - Optimal Play
Billions Season 2 - Episode 3
Axe considers buying an NFL franchise, and finds a new ally. Chuck begins a last ditch case against a banking titan by developing a low-level informant. Meanwhile, Wendy makes a controversial appearance at the Alpha Cup Charity Poker Tournament by accompanying Axe's competitor as his performance coach. Lara launches her new business.
#3 - Now It Begins...
The Looming Tower Season 1 - Episode 1
The chief of the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit, John O’Neill, invites rookie Muslim-American agent, Ali Soufan, onto his squad. Fighting to get information from the CIA, they soon realize their work is just beginning…as two American embassies are bombed.
#4 - Hard NOx
Dirty Money (2018) Season 1 - Episode 1
Gibney reveals shocking new details about VW’s corporate deceit, and exposes the unholy alliance between governments and automakers that allowed the automaker to put tens of thousands of lives at risk -- all for the sake of a $500 part.
#5 - My Trip To Al-Qaeda
HBO Documentary Film Series Season 2010 - Episode 16
Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) collaborates with Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright to bring Wright’s titular one-man play to the screen. Wright made waves in 2006 with his best-selling book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, chronicling fundamentalist Islam’s rise to power, and the roots of modern religious extremism and terrorism. In contemplating how to adapt his book for the stage, Wright ultimately chose to refocus on his own experience researching and writing the book, and his struggle to maintain objectivity as a journalist investigating Islamic terror. The resulting work is less a literal adaptation and more a personal, emotional complement piece to the objectivity of his nonfiction book. It debuted to rave reviews in March 2007. With Gibney’s documentary on the performance, the layers of adaptation are taken a step further. Channelling equal parts Spalding Gray and An Inconvenient Truth, Gibney captures both the emotional power and political implication of Wright’s work in a distinctly cinematic way, making My Trip to Al-Qaeda a riveting travelogue/performance piece.
#6 - Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
HBO Documentary Film Series Season 2014 - Episode 26
Through never-before-heard personal stories and explosive concert footage, this feature documentary charts the phenomenal rise and lasting influence of soul singer James Brown, a.k.a. “The Godfather of Soul.”
#7 - Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
HBO Documentary Film Series Season 2015 - Episode 4
Based on the 2013 book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, "Going Clear" not only exposes details about Scientology but also serves as an in-depth explainer for those unfamiliar with the group.
#8 - Taxi to the Dark Side
HBO Documentary Film Series Season 2007 - Episode 6
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.
#9 - The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley
HBO Documentary Film Series Season 2019 - Episode 3
Academy Award winner Alex Gibney directs a documentary investigating the rise and fall of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar healthcare company founded by Elizabeth Holmes. In 2004, Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start a company that was going to revolutionize healthcare. In 2014, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, making Holmes the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world. But just two years later, Theranos was cited as a “massive fraud” by the SEC, and its value was less than zero.
#10 - Client 9: The Call Girl and the Governor
Storyville Season 2011 - Episode 26
Dubbed the Sheriff of Wall Street, Eliot Spitzer made his name as New York's attorney general, prosecuting criminal activity by America's largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful businessmen in the country. When he was then elected New York governor with the largest margin in the state's history, many believed Spitzer was on his way to becoming the nation's first Jewish president. Then, shockingly, his meteoric rise turned into a precipitous fall when the New York Times revealed that Spitzer - a paragon of rectitude - had been seeing prostitutes. With unprecedented access to the escort world as well as friends, colleagues and enemies of the ex-governor, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney explores the hidden contours of this tale of hubris, sex and power.
#11 - Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa
Storyville Season 2013 - Episode 13
Alex Gibney film exposes abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from Wisconsin, through Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. The film investigates the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control and documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the US - a struggle of more than three decades by four deaf young men who set out to expose the priest who had abused them. Their efforts ultimately led to a lawsuit against the former pope, Benedict XVI himself.