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Fuel (2008)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 8,286

My Rating

Movie Info

In this feature-length documentary, filmmaker and biofuel advocate Josh Tickell explores the origins of America's dependence on fossil fuels, eventually detailing the cross-country road trip that he took in his biodiesel-converted van, campaigning for the more sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel. Tickell interviews people in his film from all over the spectrum of fuel use, from oil company executives to those devastated by water contamination stemming from oil companies to Midwestern


Documentary, Special Interest

Johnny O'Hara

Jun 22, 2010

Greenlight Theatrical - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (5)

Thanks to an informative, buoyant tone and the director's own restless intelligence, the film preaches to the unconverted with passion, energy and graphics so clear that they would make Al Gore weep all over his PowerPoint.

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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A peppy, bouncy documentary that is watchable and informative, although Tickell's celebrity name-dropping at times detracts from the serious message.

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It's a slickly enjoyable production (if unfocused and bloated), and his bullet-point tips are persuasive; but dude, there are better ways to humanize these issues than crying on camera.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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There's not a single (even moderately) dissenting voice in Fuel; you're either on the biodiesel bandwagon or raping the planet.

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice | Comments (2)
Village Voice
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One of the refreshing traits of this action-nudging documentary is Tickell's willingness to wrestle his own biases.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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Smartly animated interstitials, memorable archival material and a lively soundtrack round out the fast-paced proceedings.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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shows the not-so-shocking connections between the auto industry, the oil industry and the government, prescriptively offering alternatives ...

July 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comment (1)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Tickell keeps the film hopping along, far more interested in the positive than a woe-is-us mentality

November 17, 2009 Full Review Source:

A good natured cheer-leading session for clean vehicles, "Fuel" is several measures short of the intensity it will take to put Hummers where they belong---in museums.

October 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Another fervent call-to-arms from one side of the aisle.

September 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comments (2)
Slant Magazine

For a film about energy, it's marvelous that Tickell ultimately gives us all the proverbial power.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online
Indie Movies Online

Tickell makes his case in an entertaining and hence all the more effective manner.

February 26, 2009 Full Review Source:

Fuel's message is clear -- oil is bad; alternative energy is good -- and its goals are simple -- put Big Oil out of business by selling the American public on the virtues of cleaner energy sources, such as wind, solar, ethanol, hemp, and world music.

November 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Comments (5)
Austin Chronicle

... a rousing documentary on the real costs of petrochemical dependence and the practical alternatives within reach.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for Fuel

This thesis-driven documentary makes the case for biofuels as a viable replacement for oil.
On another site, I make the case that conflating our involvement with the Middle East with oil only is a myopic point of view (link at the end of the review), and this is just one of the arguments presented in Fuel that bothered me. Additionally, almost every other argument was a pathos argument that deployed the same overblown sentiment: "What about the children? We're borrowing the environment from our children." In the words of George Carlin, "Fuck the children." Even if you're not angered by the obsession with children that this film deploys, you'd have to admit that the argument loses its effectiveness after it's repeated almost every five minutes. I also wonder if people fifty years from now will look at the scene in which two people drink bio-oil the same way we look at footage of people fifty year ago drinking DDT.
Overall, there is some good information in this film, but the arguments get repetitive and tired.
July 6, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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