An Unreasonable Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An Unreasonable Man Reviews

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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.
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]
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[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]
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[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]
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[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 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.
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.
November 20, 2007
Presentation can seem a bit dry at first but if you want to know about who this Ralph Nader guy is this movie does accomplish that. I also like that is also willing to show many different opinions. Some still like him, some used to like him, while others flat out hate him for supposedly being the 2000 spoiler. Also because this deals with the 2000 election and Nader's role in it I thought it was interesting to see how hard it is for 3rd parties to try to be heard.
½ July 18, 2007
A fascinating documentary about a man I thought I knew about, but didn't know enough to scratch the surface. A true hero to our country and a defender of what we should all want for our lives now and in the future.
½ July 13, 2007
I have been a long time Nader fan and supporter. I voted for him and contributed to his campaigns in both 2000 and 2004. This is a fantastic documentary that everyone should see. There are even some appearances by some perhaps unexpected figures like Patrick J. Buchanan. Highly recommended.
½ June 25, 2007
terrific doc. i love how certain liberals want to crucify him for running for president. these are the same liberals that decry bush and bushies for their fascistic tendencies. and the deleted scene describing the meeting between nader and the congressional black caucus is, well, outrageous. the movie is a great examination of one of the finest americans ever, flaws and all, and of the changing nature of politics and democracy in this country. well done.
February 26, 2014
While it was interesting enough, the length seems to lend to the obvious slide from a review of the subterranean political and industrial workings to a glorified, one-sided praise of one man. It would have been greatly improved with the inclusion of opposition interviews, or at least some data on the questionable or even anything-but-saintly of a political attempt.
September 19, 2012
I never really knew a whole lot about Nader, except for the Corvair stuff, so this documentary was a real eye opener. I also appreciated how it revealed the challenges a third party candidate faces against the corporate parties. A lot of food for thought!
May 27, 2012
this guy rocks!!! he should be a president.
½ May 15, 2012
really, eye opening. well rounded view of an interesting guy.
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.
½ July 26, 2008
A very unbiased documentary about one of the most inspiring and disdained individuals in politics.
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.
½ April 16, 2010
A fair and balanced analysis of the political life of Ralph Nader. The very fact that Nader comes out of this documentary with his reputation enhanced is a testament to his character.
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