Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos (Frontline)

There are surprisingly few in-depth documentaries about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

This is surprising given Bezos’s importance to Earth’s future.

Think about it:

He is funneling most of the cash that Amazon generates to explore moving many of us to space.

This 2020 doc from Frontline is the best doc on Bezos I’ve found so far. There are no real gotchas and I remain bullish on Bezos.

I’ll add more Bezos docs as I find them.

Trailer for “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos”

Watch “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos”

You can watch the full “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos” documentary for free on YouTube at


  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

Review of “Amazon Empire”

The Frontline doc doesn’t have any real gotchas. But I think it’s important that you watch Bezos up close in the interviews. This is very important man for the future of the U.S. and the world.

Here are some of the items covered in the doc (I time-stamp topics where possible (some items are mentioned “throughout”):

  • Amazon’s Growth and Influence: Amazon, led by Jeff Bezos, has expanded into various sectors, including retail, cloud computing (Amazon Web Services), digital advertising, and media. The company’s market cap is close to $1 trillion. [Throughout the documentary]
  • Leadership and Vision of Jeff Bezos: Bezos, the richest person in the world even after a $38 billion divorce settlement, has guided Amazon with a customer-centric approach and a vision for future technology and space exploration. [Throughout the documentary]
  • Controversies and Challenges: Amazon faces criticism for its market dominance, treatment of employees, privacy issues, and competitive practices. The documentary discusses Amazon’s impact on small businesses, its approach to taxes, and its relationship with government entities. [1:08:21-1:10:01, 1:16:23-1:16:57, 1:19:38-1:21:11]
  • Amazon HQ2 Saga: Amazon’s search for a second headquarters (HQ2) led to a contest where 238 cities participated. The company chose Arlington, Virginia, and New York City, but faced backlash for the nearly $3 billion in subsidies and tax breaks offered by these cities. Subsequently, Amazon pulled out of New York City due to political and public opposition. [1:34:15-1:36:47]
  • Government Relations: Amazon’s involvement in cloud computing includes a $600 million contract with the CIA. The company has been lobbying extensively, spending millions yearly. [1:08:21-1:10:01, 1:45:00-1:45:54]
  • Technological Innovations: Amazon’s introduction of products like Alexa and the Ring doorbell camera has raised privacy concerns. Their facial recognition technology, Rekognition, is being marketed to law enforcement, sparking debates about its accuracy and ethical use. [1:12:01-1:12:55, 1:13:01-1:13:52]
  • Antitrust and Regulatory Scrutiny: Politicians and regulators, including the FTC and the EU, are scrutinizing Amazon’s practices. Proposals include limits on business activities and stricter data use regulations. Discussions are ongoing about potentially breaking up Amazon due to its size and influence. [1:45:08-1:45:54, 1:50:04-1:50:17]
  • Space Exploration: Bezos invests a billion dollars annually in his space exploration company, viewing space as essential for future generations and the preservation of Earth. [1:50:37-1:51:10]

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc