Corporations use all sorts of gimmickry to boost the bottom line, and The Corporation, the lucid, incendiary Canadian doc about our planet’s ”dominant institution” recognizes that two can play that game. Perversely assembled like a boardroom demonstration, the movie posits the cunning thesis that were a corporation a ”legal person” — as post?Civil War entities actually declared themselves by exploiting an ambiguity in the 14th Amendment — that person, by scientific diagnosis, would be a classic psychopath. The grim sarcasm isn’t lost on writer Joel Bakan and directors Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar, who weave examples of grotesque malfeasance (IBM’s collusion with Nazi Germany, the dehumanization of sweatshop employees) with wry Orwellian forewarning (the patenting of human genes, for instance, has already begun). Yet they conclude by offering us Davids a formula for coexisting with, if not slaying, our profit-obsessed Goliaths. Chiseled down from 450 hours, the movie feels some-what annotated, but the EXTRAS, generously spread over two discs, include deleted footage, filmmaker Q&As, Web references, and more than five hours of additional interview stock, with scores of experts as disparate as Michael Moore and right-wing economist Milton Friedman.

The Corporation
  • Movie
  • 145 minutes