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An Unreasonable Man (2007)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 55 | Rotten: 5

A compelling documentary that humanizes the controversial, polarizing politician.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2

A compelling documentary that humanizes the controversial, polarizing politician.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 5,455

My Rating

Movie Info

The life and career of one of America's most tenacious consumer advocates and political activists is brought to the screen in this richly detailed documentary. Born in a small town in Connecticut, Ralph Nader was raised to believe the words of his father that "you can fight city hall," and Nader made a nationwide reputation for his willingness to take on the wealthy and powerful. After receiving a degree from Harvard Law School, Nader first became a household name in 1965 with his book Unsafe at

Jun 12, 2007

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February 1, 2007:
Critical Consensus: "Because" Is Less Than So-So; "Messengers" Not Screened -- Guess The Tomatometer!
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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (5) | DVD (7)

This fascinating documentary examines the issues raised by Nader's runs for the presidency...that shone a powerful light into our grubby political shadows, and also played a part...that twice put George W. Bush into the White House.

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It can't help but remind us that the man Nader prevented from becoming president has since been more instrumental in the war on environmental pollution than any other public figure. Irony abounds.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You may walk away from it still wondering why Nader persisted in running for president in 2004 after being repeatedly begged not to. But, whether or not you admire the decision, the film forces you to admire the determination with which Nader made it.

April 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This documentary starts out as a fascinating profile of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but it ends up getting derailed by a political discussion marked by an abundance of whining.

March 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comments (2)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first half of the movie is an absorbing study of this part of Nader's public life, and then it switches -- as he did -- to politics, where the results for both him and the picture are less cheerful.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An Unreasonable Man pays true homage to a man of vehemently held ideas by forcing us to engage our brains at the same high level of consciousness.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Compelling Nader docu isn't just for lefties.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...the career of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, in an adoring hagiography...

May 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Ralph Nader gives and he takes away.

April 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

... the not-so-subtle message of the movie is that the unreasonableness that gave us seat belts and clean air also gave us Bush, Iraq and the neo-conservative nightmare.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

It's that willingness, even eagerness, to put in such passionate contrary viewpoints that distinguishes "An Unreasonable Man" from the usual political documentary.

April 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

An Unreasonable Man doubles as both a thinkpiece and a sympathetic portrait of its subject. But like Nader, the film is a little long-winded and infuriatingly single-minded.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The filmmakers present compelling evidence of Nader's legacy ... but they also let Nader off the hook [for his role in allowing] the Bush administration's dismantling of that very legacy.

March 30, 2007 | Comment (1)
Salt Lake Tribune

Unlike most recent documentaries, An Unreasonable Man doesn't just preach to the choir.

March 29, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

this incisive and often surprising documentary captures a man of true and deeply held convictions without creating a hagiography

March 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

[K]ind of sad, and kind of telling -- this truly is a man who has dedicated his life to his work, and his work is us...

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Manages to launch a heated argument between Nader's supporters and a few detractors.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Despite Mantel's ties to Rader, the film seems fairly balanced.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

A worthy and compelling look at a unique and essentially American figure.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Audience Reviews for An Unreasonable Man

This documentary tells the story of Ralph Nader's life in the run up to the 2000 Presidential election.
This film is bookended by liberals, who are incensed at Nader, talking about how he ruined the country and tarnished his legacy. Then, the film details his legacy in length, highlighting Unsafe at any Speed and the several other initiatives Nader championed as a consumer advocate. But it eventually returns to a debate about Nader's decision to run in Florida, contrasting liberals' objections with Nader's defenses.
I found myself liking Nader by the end of the film and dismissing his detractors. Nader's tenacity and moral commitment are things I admire, and the film does too.
Overall, I think An Unreasonable Man is worth watching because there are reasons to respect this man no matter what his influence on American politics has been.
November 27, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The directors really know their stuff, and focus on keeping everything from Nader's perspective. Word has it from the directors that Nader enjoys the movie himself, but mostly spent his screening thinking about other ways of helping society. I'm sure most intelligent people will do the same during the course of this picture. Less Nader biography, more "One Man Can Make A Difference" moral.
August 8, 2007

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"An Unreasonable Man" is an enlightening documentary about consumer advocate Ralph Nader, starting with his childhood in Connecticut, through his landmark case against the Big 3 automakers, writing "Unsafe at Any Speed", promoting safety and founding numerous public interest groups. Throughout Nader's career, his relationship with Democratic Presidents is cordial starting with Lyndon Johnson and is optimistic when Jimmy Carter is elected, followed by the disappointment when reality sets in. That is followed by the eventual corporatization of the Democratic party through the rise of the Political Action Committees. Even when dicussing his work, the main focus is on Nader's controversial run for the Presidency in 2000. [/font][font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]It is clear that Nader presented a valid alternative to a right-wing party and a week-kneed corporate party in 2000. Through testimony from both supporters and detractors, the documentary makes an excellent case that Nader should not be held as the scapegoat for the results of the 2000 election, as there were many factors involved.(The 2000 Florida shenanigans are barely mentioned.) And please remember that all candidates have to earn their votes.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The documentary seeks to redeem Nader's reputation but he strikes me as somebody without an ego, whose job and life it is to fight the good fight, in saving lives. In short, he does not care about his legacy.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Note: I did vote for Ralph Nader in both 1996 and 2000. [/font]
February 4, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

This is must see viewing for every human being that thinks he/she is in the know and for every American that considers himself/herself patriotic. This is "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" meets Fox Mulder, but a true story, and without the happy ending. In a time in this country when we need someone with integrity, honesty, perseverance, and diligence, one needs to look no further than the decades of unrewarded selfless acts of this man. Regardless of your political viewpoints, it is hard to argue that if any politician had an ounce of this man's fortitude, we would all be better off. Once in a while a documentary comes along that changes the way I view the world and moves me to act upon it. This is one of those movies.
March 30, 2008

Super Reviewer

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