The Island President Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 14, 2012
The Island President is an important portrait of a determined man standing fast in a place where the ground is literally shifting beneath his feet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
May 3, 2012
Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 27, 2012
[An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 26, 2012
Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 20, 2012
Shenk expertly weaves Nasheed's extraordinary personal story together with the Maldives' breathtaking natural beauty and a Capra-esque tale of dogged idealism and political courage to create wonderfully vivid cinematic portraiture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 6, 2012
What makes Nasheed's whirligig tactics so urgent is that, unlike most other countries participating in the summit, his own nation is actually in danger of being annihilated by climate change.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 5, 2012
"The Island President"is heartening and unsettling by turns.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
March 30, 2012
"The Island President" is a mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 29, 2012
"The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.
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Noel Murray
AV Club
March 29, 2012
What's fascinating and frustrating about The Island President is how it reveals international politics to be even more polarized and mired in bureaucracy than local politics.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
March 29, 2012
Viewers get an eye-opening look at behind-the-scenes wrangling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
March 28, 2012
A portrait of defiant optimism as a last-chance means of survival, Jon Shenk's The Island President offers not only a Mandela-like tale of political heroism but a much-needed perspective on climate change.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 28, 2012
The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
March 27, 2012
It's fascinating to be so close to a then-sitting head of state as he negotiates for his homeland's survival, and the news that Nasheed was recently deposed in a coup by Gayoom loyalists makes the hard-won victories he did secure all the more poignant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
March 27, 2012
Moves swiftly from political scene-setting to follow Nasheed's every move as he prepares to make an impassioned environmental plea at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
March 27, 2012
Shenk's film is close enough to his subject to catch the leader who rails against carbon-dioxide emissions puffing on cigarettes in parking lots.