Opening

—— The Identical Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
71% God Help the Girl Sep 05
—— The Remaining Sep 05

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $16.3M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $11.8M
39% If I Stay $9.3M
31% As Above/So Below $8.3M
21% Let's Be Cops $8.2M
37% The November Man $7.7M
17% When The Game Stands Tall $5.6M
32% The Giver $5.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $4.6M
34% The Expendables 3 $3.5M

Coming Soon

—— No Good Deed Sep 12
—— Dolphin Tale 2 Sep 12
—— Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? Sep 12
100% The Skeleton Twins Sep 12
100% The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Sep 12

New Episodes Tonight

88% Finding Carter: Season 1
50% Houdini: Season 1
67% Matador: Season 1
—— Rizzoli & Isles: Season 5
—— Royal Pains: Season 6
—— Sullivan & Son: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Anger Management: Season 2
71% Dallas: Season 3
—— Mistresses: Season 2
25% Partners: Season 1
67% Teen Wolf: Season 4
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

The Unforeseen (2008)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 4

A calm documentary that doesn't resort to shrill polemics, The Unforeseen also benefits from great interview subjects and jaw-dropping cinematography.

94

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

A calm documentary that doesn't resort to shrill polemics, The Unforeseen also benefits from great interview subjects and jaw-dropping cinematography.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 841

My Rating

Movie Info

In the 1980s, an ambitious real estate developer came to Austin, Tex., with a dream--to transform miles of pristine wilderness into a sprawling self-sufficient city. When the development threatened a local treasure, a fragile limestone aquifer and a naturally spring-fed swimming hole, the community decided to fight back. Laura Dunn's lyrical and beautifully crafted documentary uses this landmark struggle--a microcosm of what's happening in communities across the country today--to consider the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Laura Dunn

Sep 30, 2008

Cinema Guild - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (4) | DVD (2)

By turns rapturously beautiful and unspeakably sad while considering the consequences of unchecked urban sprawl.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if the director eventually hard-pedals her pantheist imagery into cliché, this inconvenient truth is discreet, intimate and regularly surprising.

May 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plainspoken yet urgent, it makes the wrist-slashingly depressing topic of real-estate development somehow transcendent.

May 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No one who sees this intriguing documentary will want to argue with reporter Greider when he forcefully insists, "We need a more mature regard for the future." We do indeed.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Cinematographer] Daniel has never shot a film for Malick, though you'd hardly guess so, given The Unforeseen's poetic and dreamy shots of nature that, like the images that open the Malick's "The Thin Red Line," hint at an Earthly paradise.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Unforeseen is a poetic and high-minded meditation on American developers' manifest destiny and the cancer it introduces into the natural world.

March 10, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If The Unforeseen has a fault, it would be a slight lack of focus. A flawed, but beautiful documentary.

July 30, 2009 Full Review Source: GreenCine
GreenCine

Powerful study of a landmark struggle between environmentalists and real estate developer in Austin, Texas in the early 90s. A parable for our exhausted, consumerist society that is choking itself to death.

January 23, 2009 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The result is an expansive and ambivalent testament to human ingenuity, human intransigence, and nature's endangered yet enduring power to move.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A thought-provoking documentary that's both informative and strangely poignant--as well as beautifully shot and edited.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Laura Dunn captures the national ecological battle in microcosm...

April 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This one purports to be different by including interviews with the evil, rich developers, but the film is very subtly slanted away from them.

March 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Helmer [Laura] Dunn, though her heart is on her sleeve, gives an even-handed view of things from both sides.

March 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

What do Willie Nelson and one of the world's biggest environmental killers have in common? Austin Texas! A very local perspective on the corporate war on the environment

March 4, 2008
Monsters and Critics

Though fittingly directed by Laura Dunn, one can't help but feel the presence of producer Terrence Malick.

March 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

[Director Laura] Dunn's elegant, full-length debut presents a frightening and powerful argument against the kind of reckless, profit-driven land development that not only threatens natural resources, but life itself.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Calling The Unforeseen a documentary somehow feels crass. It's a work of art.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Audience Reviews for The Unforeseen

Although directed by Laura Dunn, who utilizes landscape shots and historical footage paired with casual interviews in an everyday, passively poetic manner, one can't help but feel the presence of producer Terrence Malick. Also utilized are the dreamlike tones and lush, organic textures even as it dishes out the facts and statistics, having far more in common with the likes of The Thin Red Line than the entertaining and rigid An Inconvenient Truth. However, this documentary does take its' musical cues from Sigur Ros which add to the dreamlike quality.

Terrence Malick, a long time resident of Austin, originally conceived the idea for the film and Robert Redford spent his summers in Austin as a child. He learned to swim in the natural springs which feature so prominently in the film and became actively involved when he learned about the developments. The Unforeseen is inspiring in its examination of the power of the individual to fight for environmental preservation and urges viewers to choose between the importance of protecting the individual American's "right to pollute" and the need to secure a safe environment for our future and to do something about it.
August 11, 2008
DrBenway
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Unforeseen on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

New on DVD & Blu-Ray
New on DVD & Blu-Ray

Draft Day, Universal Monsters

Box Office Wrapup
Box Office Wrapup

Guardians Tops slow Labor Day

<em>Foxcatcher</em>
Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum in a dark drama

<em>Rosewater</em>
Rosewater

Jon Stewart's political drama

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile