Parents' Guide to

Totally Under Control

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Clear, coolheaded documentary about start of COVID-19.

Movie NR 2020 123 minutes
Totally Under Control Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

Revealing Docu- Very Timely

This is a great documentary about (current [former?]) President Trump's disgusting mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. A must watch for all.
age 14+

Politics at it's finest....

So political in every way...out of context statements, how could ANYONE have known how to combat this? Also, the task force was not put together of non-scientists. The leader...yes, was VP Pence but mostly put together of scientists and Drs. Also odd...the timing of the release. What a waste of my time.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

As he has done so effectively many times before, Gibney takes a hard, clear, coolheaded look at government corruption -- and, in this case, shocking ineptitude and negligence, too. Totally Under Control -- the title taken from a misleading statement made by President Donald Trump -- is a fine work of journalism, even going behind the scenes a little to show how the movie itself was made safely during the pandemic. We can see layers of plastic surrounding special cameras, designed so that interviewees can speak, safely and unmasked, directly to the camera -- and to viewers.

Speaking with more than a dozen professionals, Gibney and co-directors Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger piece together a U.S. timeline and explain it with more clarity than most day-to-day news reports have had time for. For example, the CDC's faulty test kits are analyzed more fully, and it turns out that the error could have been easily corrected if the emergency had been taken more seriously. But Totally Under Control also looks at the Trump administration, whose virus task force consisted mainly of people with no expertise on the subject ("loyalty was more important than knowledge") and who consistently downplayed the virus's danger. All in all, while the documentary may get dated very quickly, it serves as an important testament for the moment in which it arrives.

Movie Details

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