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Revenge of the Electric Car (2011)



Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,210

My Rating

Movie Info

In 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back... with a vengeance. In "Revenge of the Electric Car," director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of car is America's


Documentary, Special Interest

P.G. Morgan, Chris Paine

Jan 24, 2012


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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (12) | DVD (1)

The techie stuff is light and the mood mostly optimistic, which makes for a slightly bland experience.

July 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Revenge of the Electric Car" lacks the urgency of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" But Paine's thorough knowledge of his subject, and engaging way with an interview, make the follow-up film a fun ride.

November 23, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As filmmaking goes, Paine's follow-up is a dud.

November 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you thought you'd never mist up at a nonfiction movie about plug-in autos, you're in for a surprise. This is a surprisingly emotional trip, and a very enjoyable one.

November 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once a muckraker, Paine now acts mostly as a cheerleader, and his slick new movie trades heavily in the sort of flattering CEO profiles that grace the covers of business magazines.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first film was charged with drama. "Revenge" is somewhat anticlimactically charged with a wall plug.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a slick and reassuring follow-up, if a naggingly superficial one...

July 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

It's an unexciting story, told in an excited manner...

July 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A surprisingly optimistic progress report.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Following up his 2006's Who Killed The Electric Car, film-maker Chris Paine has a more difficult task here.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Does Paine owe capitalism an apology? The market for electric cars was there, after all, and electric cars finally came along.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

I await the next, more adjusting swing of the roundabout for Paine and volt-powered automotion: perhaps, The Electric Car Settles into a Median State Equidistant Between Success and Failure.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Here's a rarity: an environmentally themed documentary that's got a positive story to tell.

July 16, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
The List

There were high hopes of a warts-and-all follow-up to Paine's first film exposing the big guns of automotive, but it hasn't materialised.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The resulting puff-piece is a warning to crusading filmmakers about what happens after they've beaten the system.

July 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This is more superficial rah-rah than investigation. I'm sure it serves its ideological purpose, but as a documentary, it's uninspired.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

I doubt "Revenge of the Electric Car" will change any minds, but I could see it shifting them slightly, and that's not nothing.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Endlessly fascinating for car nuts.

November 7, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Audience Reviews for Revenge of the Electric Car

While not having the blood, gore or mayhem one usually associates with a movie with 'revenge' in the title, "Revenge of the Electric Car" is still an astute, if flashy, documentary about the reemergence of the electric car after being unceremoniously trashed only a few years previously. The new developers include Nissan/Renault, GM and upstart Tesla, led by Elon Musk who is not the inspiration for Tony Stark unless he somehow funds a working time machine in the future which I am not exactly ruling out at this stage.

The bad news is the documentary does not know what to do with the unprecedented access it has been given to people in power, spending a lot of time on already thoroughly covered territory concerning the recent recession and almost complete failure of the American auto industry. In fact, the documentary would have fared much better if it had focused exclusively on Elon Musk, not in a scrappy underdog kind of way, but because he has more in common with a riverboat gambler with past successes that include Pay Pal and SpaceX and huge struggles in getting his Tesla off the ground which I had been curious about ever since seeing one on an early episode of "Leverage" in 2008.
March 30, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Revenge of the Electric Car is a rather pedantic documentary that stretches for material. The film follows the re-emergence of electric car technology in the wake of the 2006 abandonment of the GM EV1. When the electric car appeared to have lost the fight to be the alternative energy vehicle of the future, Tesla Motors rises to prominence along with the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Though this film documents an interesting chapter in the quest for alternative energy vehicles, there's not enough material or distance to objectively analyze the situation. A lot of it is just PR for the car companies, which hurts the "documentary" aspect of the film. Though Revenge of the Electric Car is vastly inferior to the much more compelling original (Who Killed the Electric Car?), this follow-up film explores some interesting topics.
April 2, 2012
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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