An Unreasonable Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An Unreasonable Man Reviews

Page 1 of 16
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2007
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.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2007
[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]
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2008
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.
½ January 22, 2013
An interesting enough view into this man's live and practices, but not interesting enough to vault it to "great doc" status.
½ April 4, 2012
This documentary on Ralph Nader is rich and enlightening. A fair portrait of a true American hero to some and the spoiler for the Democrats in the 2000 and 2004 elections for others. This film illuminates his devotion to his causes: consumer protection, fairness and equality, and corporate reform. Even if you disagree with his beliefs, after watching this documentary any rational person would at least respect his courage to take on corporations in order to create safety standards for automobiles (he was the pioneer who made seat belts and then airbags standard safety features) and stand for his values in the face of certain defeat in order to create a better America for tomorrow.
July 8, 2007
A fantastic documentary about the public figure that few of my generation have heard of or even understand. What's great about this is that it has tons of information and the pace is fast so you're never bored. I know democrats have been angry at Nader for costing them the election in 2000, and this doc takes a look at that issue; it looks at both sides of the arguments about whether this is true or not, but doesn't take a clear cut position itself (but I think it does favor Nader). Doing an overview of Nader's career, its hard not to be impressed; its a shame there aren't more leaders and activists like Nader today, those that really get into the nuts and bolts of the facts and exposes social problems in America.
½ May 28, 2010
Because of the subject, I wanted to rate this movie much higher. However, from an aesthetic point of view, it was a boring film. It relied way too much on "talking heads" casting their opinions and perspectives. Especially with the controversy over Mr. Nader's role in the 2000 election, their could have been more done. The filmmakers could have used more documentation supporting both sides that delved into the central question of whether his run "spoiled" the race. Debunking that myth seemed to be the motivation behind this film, yet it deferred too much time away from it.

A more compelling movie could have been made if the creators had delved into other aspects of his run that were only briefly mentioned in the film, and again used more documentation supporting that. In particular, I am thinking of the one motivation mentioned by one of his campaign managers that they wanted to help the Green Party grow and establish new locals throughout the US. As member of the Green Party, I can tell you that if nothing else, his 2000 run did a tremendous in helping the Greens gain traction in places we had struggled before.
The other thing I found disappointing and would have felt would have made a more compelling film was more documentation supporting the claim that Nader's run had drawn more independents and others who traditionally did not vote out to polling booths and that those votes would not have automatically been cast for another candidate. I could go on and on, but I just felt that the film, in its structure, was just too formalized and followed a common, worn out format for documentaries.
January 15, 2010
It is still absurd to me that someone would choose to vote for a presidential candidate based simply on the fact that he/she is the lesser of two evils. How can this be democracy when we only have two major parties that run the entire election? This movie sheds light on some horrifying facts about the "democracy" of the US and how the private corporations run every single election. But more importantly, it shows how Nader keeps us safe in our everyday lives in ways that we never imagined. Nader was instrumental in getting seat belts implemented as safety features in cars through his congressional hearings in his book. This was back in the 1950's when safety was not addressed in cars whatsoever. Take a look, you'll be surprised.
½ December 14, 2009
This film takes a hard look at Ralph Nader, his rise to prominence as an advocate for consumer change, his twenty year crusade against the corporatization of Washington, and his two presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004. Nader is a complicated man who speaks truth to power and has done a lot for the people of our country. I admire him a lot and nearly voted for him in 2000 (when I lived in Florida!). I decided not to for political gamesmanship reasons, but I strongly disagree with the people who blame him for Bush. I feel like the two party system is terrible and we need change, and we won?t get it voting for the same old same old.

My favorite moment in the film is the oscillation between the bitter former Nader fans who blame Nader for spoiling the election and the political scientist who studied Nader?s movements and declared that his strategy was not at all about spoiling. Rabid opinion versus hard fact always makes for good cinema.
½ September 4, 2009
A fair documentary with many interviews with people (including Pat Buchanan!) who have interacted with Ralph Nader throughout his years. The movie starts with a great George Benard Shaw quote, "All progress depends on unreasonable men," a statement with which I certainly agree. This taught me a lot about the history of this man. I didn't know GM sent numerous people after him in an attempt to catch him in an uncompromising position (including a few hotties paid to bed him). Also, I didn't realize the amount of influence he had with Carter administration nor the fact that Jimmy apparently later kicked him to curb when he was getting in the way of party politics. He has attacked many agencies within the government in attempt to get them to do the job we give our money to them to do. The documentary kind of bogged down in the middle - maybe if I had more interest in him, I wouldn't have found it slow in parts. In fact, you can tell he actually understand how the system is supposed to work when he says in reference to the Dems trying to bribe him not to run for president, "Voting for a candidate of one's choice is a Constitutional right, and the Democrats who are asking me not to run are, without question, seeking to deny the Constitutional rights of voters who are, by law, otherwise free to choose to vote for me." He would have been a much wiser choice than the joke we are now stuck with.
July 23, 2007
A look at a man who unfortunately, is now overlooked or not taken seriously enough in the public realm. I would have liked to see more on his decent into the social pariah that he is now; but overall good viewing for Raider's and Haters.
January 22, 2009
Overall, a very good documentary about a man who has been a tremendously positive influence in American history - whether or not you like him. The film is biased - any film/documentary is, and they should be. However, it does give more than one POV. At the end, Nader is painted as a positive figure, though not in a preachy way. My main problem is that the film seemed to be a touch longer than it needed to be. At the same time, I'm not sure what I would cut out.
½ November 29, 2008
A fantastic documentary about Nader... I think it's really important for people to really know what an impact he's had on our lives.
½ November 16, 2008
It's quite absurd the fallout against Nader in the 2000 election.
Do the republicans go on and on about Ross Perot in 92?
It would have been a disservice to his followers to have dropped out.

My main argument against running as a 3rd party candidate is that getting walloped by receiving a relatively small percentage of the vote is not a potent mandate towards your platform. Even though I suspect his platform generates a great deal of empathy to the majority of voters the general wisdom is don't vote 3rd party because you are wasting it.
I say if you are not in a swing state then you are obligated to vote 3rd party if you have such empathy precisely for the reasons nader is promoting, the major candidates are pawns to corporate money and do not act necessarily in the interest of the public.
½ November 11, 2008
the documentary did an excellent job at staying unbiased and getting multiple viewpoints on Ralph Nader as a full-time citizen. Ralph Nader is an inspirational citizen that fights against corporations and government on behalf of the people. because of his efforts, we have seat belts. The auto industry was forced to create safe vehicles instead of taking shortcuts, due to Ralph Nader.

When Ralph Nader ran for president in 2008, he gave me hope. He showed me what a difference people can make when they stand up to corporations and government. he made me believe enough to start fighting the fight, instead of feeling completely hopeless.

Go Ralph! Go People!
October 27, 2008
after watching this, it makes me more proud of communism: "civic globalization instead of corporate globalization" . . .
September 9, 2008
Sure he's unreasonable, but within reason! This is a man who thinks like a Leninist; that the conditions of America need to get worse before they can get better, and he gave it that extra push for the worse, willingly. I was very amused when he stated "I didn't cost Gore the election, Gore cost me the election"! But I digress, this film is about more than just his presidential campaign. It also documents how influential a politician he was in his younger years for the rights and safety of the citizens of America.
July 18, 2008
For all of those who hate this amazing man and are confounded by those who would dare join him in "spoiling" our country's ongoing takeover by corporate interests, this film is a must see. It is an two hour education about how our democracy has been derstroyed. It is also a very strange film in that it listens to the ranting idiots who call names and vilify but (unlike the mainstream media) the filmmakers allowed Nader and his supprters to respond to the accusations and propaganda leveled at him. Watching this film may be the first time that you, as an American voter, have allowed yourself to really HEAR Naders' voice. If you are smart and openminded, you may well be frightened to admit that you agree with much or all of what he has to say.
Page 1 of 16