I'm a fan of Alex Gibney's. I own five of his films (this, "Casino Jack...", "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room", "Taxi to the Dark Side", and "GONZO...") and I watch them all more times than I really should. He has an understanding of character and story that few people in Hollywood right now seem to have. I prefer to think of him as a nicer Michael Moore.
I only saw the trailer for this one before I bought the DVD, it didn't play in any theater where I live. I watched it and was totally engrossed by it. What he's really good at is bringing the humanity out of even the most despicable characters, and there are some pretty despicable characters like Roger Stone. He's an unapologetic prick who says he "believes in the 'Gonzo' brand of politics". But he still comes across as a fascinating character. So does Eliot Spitzer. The film isn't a defense of his actions, Eliot himself doesn't defend himself and does a pretty bad job of explaining why he did what he did. He does this by avoiding questions directly related to that while being powerfully articulate on other issues such as corporate crime and the financial crisis. He does say, and I have to give him credit for this, that he "brought himself down" and he doesn't blame anybody else for it. Gibney makes a convincing argument that other forces might be at play, but it was still Spitzer's choices and combative style that did him in.
The other choice Gibney made, which I found fascinating, was that he decided to take an interesting approach when dealing with Spitzers main woman at the escort agency. I don't mean Ashley Dupree, although he does spend a good amount of time talking about her and how she capitalized on what she did with Spitzer. There was another woman that he got to and the way he decided to do it was pretty original. Not wanting to reveal her face or real name, he cast an actress to "perform" her interview and the actress is so good, not to mention one of the most beautiful women I've seen in a long time, that you'd swear she was the real person. She comes across as what she is, beautiful and intelligent.
This film really made me think, and that's what I like best about Gibney's films. I always walk away from them feeling like I learned something. It's a film ulitmatly about choices and responsibility, both personal and political. It also made me think of a line from C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters":
"The truth is that whenever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relationship is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured."