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      The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

      Released Jun 27, 2014 1h 45m Documentary List
      93% Tomatometer 60 Reviews 91% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger explores the life and work of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. Read More Read Less
      The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

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      Critics Consensus

      Informative and enraging in equal measure, The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz uses its subject's tragic tale to deliver an impassioned call to action.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Joe McGovern Entertainment Weekly Talking (egg)heads reiterate outrage over the Obama Justice Department's witch hunt against him, but Swartz's ex-girlfriend adds heart when she tearfully recalls first seeing the ''end date'' on his Wikipedia page. Rated: B Dec 3, 2014 Full Review Mark Kermode Observer (UK) Knappenberger argues that the case against Swartz was overzealously pursued in order to make an example of him and on the evidence presented here it's hard to disagree. Rated: 3/5 Aug 31, 2014 Full Review Leslie Felperin Guardian The film builds up a portrait of a brilliant, driven, complex young man who's likely to be an iconic figure in the future, a sort of digital-age Che Guevara. Rated: 4/5 Aug 28, 2014 Full Review Brent McKnight The Last Thing I See Both moves and outrages, enticing the audience to action. It may not be the most exciting, sexy documentary out there, but it makes viewers feel its subject deeply. Rated: B+ Jul 7, 2020 Full Review Frank Ochieng Popoptiq The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz simmers with sadness, cynicism and starkness yet never once turns its back on the celebrated digital-aged declaration in a chosen soul out to right the wrong and mince politics with printout sheets. Rated: 3/4 Mar 1, 2019 Full Review Benjamin Gummery Battle Royale With Cheese An insightful look into one individual's struggle with government information policy that has much wider implications. Rated: 4/5 Oct 14, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (120) audience reviews
      Tony S From the perspective of "what could have been" that this documentary is trying to paint, it is not that compelling. But it is clear that Aaron Swartz accomplished in his short life more than most of us could hope for in a lifetime. It's also really devastating that such a brilliant mind could not cope with the prospect of admitting defeat to the government. What is most interesting about the subject is Aaron's seemingly genuine altruism. I have no idea as to what the documentary omits, but it truly feels like Swartz's passion for free information was his main driving force. The documentary itself is fine, tries to be overdramatic to its own detriment, and switches to SOPA to such a degree that you'd think that's what the whole film is about. But the soundtrack is decent and some of the moments are really touching, even if the longer it goes on, the less and less you can relate to Swartz on almost any level. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/22/22 Full Review Audience Member Good and compelling. Two hours long but barely felt it. An amazing person, let his soul rest in peace. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member A thought provoking documentary Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 11/08/20 Full Review Audience Member The first half of this documentary tells an interesting tale of a young man with programming talent and a lot of potential. It also spoils the conclusion so I will as well: Swartz commits sucide when facing felony charges for copyright infringement. The actions that led to that prosecution make for a good 45 minute story. Unfortunately the second half is a cross between filler and issue advocacy. It features a lot of people saying that SOPA (the Stop Internet Piracy Act) as proposed at the time was a badly-written bill. Which, perhaps it was. But this was not a quality presentation on the issue of piracy and oegislation. More importantly, it's not part of the story other than the fact that Swartz cared about it. In the end, Aaron Swartz should have used a little self-restraint in his campaign against copyright. And perhaps fittingly, the director should have done so as well. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review vincent h emotion-stirring modern-day tragedy Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A must see movie about the power of a young revolutionary genius and his destruction by the US government. The real irobot. RIP Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger explores the life and work of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz.
      Director
      Brian Knappenberger
      Screenwriter
      Brian Knappenberger
      Distributor
      FilmBuff, Participant Media
      Production Co
      Luminent Media
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jun 27, 2014, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 26, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $48.9K
      Runtime
      1h 45m