Parents' Guide to

The Masked Scammer

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

True crime docu about con artist has strong language.

Movie NR 2022 90 minutes
The Masked Scammer Movie: Poster Image

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In this true crime documentary, the sheer audacity of Gilbert Chikli and the nature of his scams themselves are enough to carry the film. Indeed, The Masked Scammer profiles the unbelievable boldness of Chikli and his ability to convince people with charm, confidence, and urgency. Chikli's master idea is truly brazen and resembles more an idea found in a fictional movie rather than reality. But there it is in all its glory: Chikli wearing a silicone mask of the French Minister of Defense (at the time) Jean-Yves Le Drian, impersonating him, and telling his victims to transfer money "for France" and to help "save hostages from terrorists."

The film is produced and delivered well. There is structure framing this tale of crime that traces Chikli's early life, first girlfriend and accomplice, and all the way to his current ex-wife and his eventual imprisonment. The only major gripe for some viewers, however, might be in the stylization and tone of documentary. In being so focused on delivering a pacey, hip, modern, and exciting tone, the film sometimes risks seeming like it glamorizes Chikli and his crimes more than it probably wants to. What gets lost amidst reveling in Chikli's "genius" are all the victims' stories, how many of them lost their jobs, careers, credibility, and reputations.

Movie Details

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