Deep Web (2015)

My knowledge of the deep web is pretty basic which is why I decided to watch Deep Web, with the hope of learning something about the dark and dangerous side of the Internet. But I'm not sure I found in this documentary what I was looking for. 

Though the plot everywhere suggests that Deep Web is a documentary that explores the rise of the darknet, one specific website/black market, Silk Road, a place where people can sell/buy basically everything online, illegal stuff of course, like drugs, guns, hitmen even, it is barely about that.

And it kind of angers me because it started off pretty well. At the beginning, Deep Web indeed explains very well what the deep web is (and Keanu Reeves as a narrator is a bless), and there are way more useful than there are illegal ways of using it. 

Then, unfortunately, Alex Winter's documentary, gets lost as it becomes about the arrest of Ross Ulbricht also known as Dread Pirate Roberts (yes, the guy from The Princess Bride) who is believed to be the mastermind behind Silk Road, and his trial.

It is quite informative at first, I'll give it that, but eventually, Ulbricht's story compromises a huge part of the documentary as it eventually turns the documentary into a more or less emotional plea for Ulbricht. Winter puts a lot of effort into underlining how Silk Road actually does good, what a useful tool is to eliminate drug-related crime, saying how it could stop the war on drugs, and goes as far as saying that the government is to blame for the victims of the drug war. Not to mention that he tries to make the commercialization of a DIY printable gun look like a good thing. 

Winter tries to balance this totally biased documentary with interviews of senators and various police enforcement officers connected to the case, but it still isn't enough as it gives more importance to the interviews of Ulbricht's family, friends and admirers, and some home videos of Ulbricht that show he is more than a drug lord. Actually, if anything, those interviews and videos seem to be saying that Ulbricht is not a criminal. 


  1. I've never heard of this, and the premise does sound interesting. It's a shame they didn't follow through. There was a doc that came out a few years ago called The Internet's Own Boy, about the founder of reddit that I really enjoyed. You should check that out if you haven't

    1. I haven't seen it but I'll check it out. Thanks!

  2. I have not heard of this but I think I will steer clear of this.