A documentary by the Israeli director Dror Moreh which consists of interviews with six surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency established in 1949 which has engaged in counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering, among other things.









Film information

Starring: , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Feb 1, 2013
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for violent content including disturbing images
Official website:
Runtime: 101 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 100
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    If vigilance and preemption, recompense and retaliation is not enough, the film asks, then what is? ...

  • 100
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    It’s about spycraft, but it goes to the source. If for no other reason, it deserves to be seen for arranging decades of events in the Middle East into a chronology that, to an outsider, makes dreadful sense. more

  • 100
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    This is a great and necessary document in support of a two-state solution. Even those who don't believe in such a solution may find their minds changed by The Gatekeepers. more

  • 100
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Omer M. Mozaffar
    The Gatekeepers has a cold air to it: washed-out colors, tan ominous soundtrack, eerily floating satellite footage… The most chilling aspect, however, is the blunt commentary about the work itself. ...

  • 100
    Entertainment Weekly - by Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film, by seasoned cinematographer Dror Moreh, is a feat — of access and of passionate and appropriately unsettling political commentary. more

  • 100
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    The Israeli journalist Dror Moreh has hit a documentarian's trifecta with The Gatekeepers. It's an exemplary piece of enterprise journalism, a vivid history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a polemic that's all the more remarkable for the shared experience of the polemicists. ...

  • 100
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Todd McCarthy
    This is one hot, provocative, revelatory and astonishing documentary, one sure to provoke enthralled interest and controversy wherever it is shown worldwide. ...

  • 100
    Variety - by Justin Chang
    While no film from the narrow perspective of Israeli intelligence could purport to offer a thorough view of the conflict, what makes The Gatekeepers ultimately so compelling is its pervasive sense of moral ambiguity. ...

  • 100
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    A documentary potent enough to alter how you see the world. ...

  • 91
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    The pessimism pervading this film is summed up by Shalom, who says, speaking of the decades of occupation: "The future is very dark." more

  • 90
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    Using the interviews along with news footage and occasional re-enactments, Moreh conducts a kind of primer in the organization’s history, which is, in its own way, a history of modern Israel. It’s fascinating. ...

  • 90
    Village Voice - by Michelle Orange
    The existence of The Gatekeepers is its own chief statement. You don't get the sense that it's any easier for these men to question Israel's leadership from the safety of retirement. more

  • 88
    Rolling Stone - by Peter Travers
    The Gatekeepers cuts deeper than any political thriller. It's a powerhouse. more

  • 88
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    Using archival footage, inventive animated recreations of incidents and chilling aerial smart-bomb views of air strikes as they happen, Moreh creates a simple yet elegantly damning film. more

  • 80
    Time Out New York - by Joshua Rothkopf
    You'll be arguing with your friends about the ethics of secrecy and defense for hours; that's what makes these exit interviews so essential. They come late to the spy game, but are welcome regardless. more

  • 80
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    The Gatekeepers doesn't play like agitprop. The storytelling is strong, the images stark. The camera roams among multiple monitors showing multiple satellite views while an ambient score works on your nerves. more

  • 80
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    If you need reassurance or grounds for optimism about the Middle East, you will not find it here. What you will find is rare, welcome and almost unbearable clarity. ...

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Rick Groen
    As a political testament, the result is revealing and important. Yet as a documentary, it wanders here, there and everywhere – long on intensity but short on focus. more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Mick LaSalle
    Until this film, these Shin Bet directors had never consented to an interview. Now that they've spoken - and have said the unexpected - we can only wonder if their words will have an influence. more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine - by John Semley
    Even when the so-called Gatekeepers offer up damning testimony against their organization, there's no real threat that they'll ever be held accountable for it. more

Movie images
User Comments & Reviews

  1. Liana Shimunova

    There is a powerful moment in [the film] when Diskin, head of the Shin Bet from 2005 to 2011, candidly remarks that for the Palestinians he is himself a terrorist. That is not relativism but realism, and the welcome sign of an empathetic imagination.