Critics Consensus

Collapse can't prove its subject's theories, but it poses too many terrifyingly sobering questions to turn away from or ignore.



Reviews Counted: 41

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Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

Michael Ruppert is an independent journalist who has made a minor career out of telling people news that most folks do not want to know. Ruppert, a former police officer, predicted the Wall Street debacle of 2008 several years before the fact, at a time when most analysts were still imagining infinite growth for the stock market and major investment banks. Since then, his vision of the world's future has grown only darker. As Ruppert sees it, civilization and the global economy has yet to wean itself off fossil fuels, and when the world's supply of oil finally runs out, it will lead to a global financial catastrophe that will leave no one unscathed. But while most of what Ruppert has to say bears the ring of truth, there's a small audience for his dire message -- the primary medium for his work is a self-published newsletter, and his most recent book has done so poorly in the marketplace that he faces eviction from his home. Is Ruppert right? And if he is, why doesn't anyone care? Filmmaker Chris Smith profiles Michael Ruppert and gives him a chance to explain his apocalyptic vision of the future at length in the documentary Collapse, which was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Collapse

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (16)

  • If he's even half right, the world our children and grandchildren will inherit doesn't bear thinking about.

    Oct 6, 2010 | Rating: 3/5
  • Chris Smith's documentary centres on a long and disquieting interview with Michael Ruppert, a radical American activist on a mission to expose the "peak oil" cover-up...

    Sep 30, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Smith treats Ruppert both as exhibit and patient, and he comes across as an angry yet compassionate man, secure in his convictions but lost in his emotions.

    Sep 30, 2010 | Rating: 3/5
  • Ruppert unexpectedly breaks down, weeping openly for the lost future of humanity, and at that moment I was startled at how bad I felt for him -- and how nervous I was, suddenly, that this contemporary Cassandra might just be right.

    Dec 11, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's only when he starts to weep for the future of a population that won't heed his warnings that Ruppert shows his humanity. It's made him abandon his cause and quit writing.

    Dec 11, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • There is controversy over Ruppert, and he has many critics. But one simple fact at the center of his argument is obviously true, and it terrifies me.

    Dec 10, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Collapse


A grim and thought-provoking must-see documentary that should leave you terrified for the doomed future that Michael Ruppert foresees and saddened by the shattered life of a man who has tried his whole life to warn people of something he knows he is right about.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Compelling compilation of all your fears for humankind's future. Generally accurate if a little dismissive of humans' ability to solve the problems we face given our track record. Drives home our need for energy sources which actually provide energy without actually contributing further to the energy demand. A sobering but necessary polemic.

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

The best doco to chain smoke too EVER!

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


Thanks to Walter, this interview of investigative reporter Michael Ruppert did finally bubble up my netflix queue, and I've just watched it. Whether you buy into Ruppert's multi-faceted vision of our future or not, you really should ask yourself one question: Do you believe the world supply of oil is infinite? If you do believe it is, then you may not derive much from watching this documentary. If, however, you believe that our oil supply is limited, then you cannot possibly walk away from this film with nothing to ponder.

I'm an old guy. I'm probably within ten years, give or take, of Ruppert's age. I've seen many of the things he's seen, heard many of the things he's heard. Yes, the world we live in is not Disneyland, corruption of many kinds and at many levels is a fact, resources of all kinds are limited, the population is growing more quickly everyday --

and I'm not doing enough to help work toward solutions of our many problems.

If any viewer of this film believes that, as the netflix envelope synopsis says, "Ruppert's monologue explains how the lies and political propaganda fed to Americans by big business will eventually lead to human extinction," then you and I have been watching this from two different perspectives.

After he breaks down on camera, Ruppert turns a corner. His repeated use of the word "hope" is what I choose to carry away from this film.

I admit it: I'm as lazy and self-centered and paranoid as the next person, I guarantee you. But I do believe -- and maybe this is an old-guy thing as well -- that if I make efforts in the direction of thinking about one or two people other than myself, and if I keep getting up off my a** to make a small gesture toward the good of other people, and if I can actually spend a few seconds, from time to time, thinking about the world that future generations will inherit, that I might actually do something, no matter how feeble, that may make the state of the world move in a positive direction.

Of course my primary problem is that I'm an idiot -- certainly no self-proclaimed "critical thinker" -- as you can surely tell from everything I've said here so far, but I'm an idiot, I uncritically think, who's really attempting tiny half-a**ed efforts, when I'm not dozing off or eating bonbons, that I really hope will make a positive difference for us now, and for future generations. I'm almost 100% jaded at this point in my life, for real, but there still is a minuscule chink or two in my armor that allows HOPE to enter in to my thinking process.

Heaven help me, Ray Kurzweil.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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