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Average Rating: 3.1/5

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Movie Info

Take a closer look at the "dumbing down" of contemporary culture in an alternately enlightening and hilarious documentary from filmmaker Albert Nerenberg produced to explore the prospect that willful ignorance has increasingly become a strategy for success in the realms of politics and entertainment. From the Internet to television to popular film and virtually everything in between, stupidity's stronghold over society has reached an all-time high. Despite the vast potential that mass media holds as a tool of education and self-betterment in modern society, why is it that the masses are so determined to simply turn on the television and turn off their brains at the end of the day? In an era where even the mere mention that mass media may be detrimental to our mental development may prove offensive to the vast majority of consumers, director Nerenberg gathers some of the best-known cultural critics, authors, and academics of our generation for a thought-provoking exploration into the potentially damaging effects of film, television, and other forms of media on the modern mind. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Stupidity

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

  • A more deadpan, mock-solemn approach might have lent this concept a veneer of genuine wit. But Neremberg's jokey pastiche plays out in exactly the short-attention-span mode he decries in modern media.

    Apr 3, 2009

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • A movie that's clever, hilarious and -- in its own stylish way -- ironic.

    Mar 25, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • breezy and fun

    Aug 31, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Amusing and horrifying.

    May 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This documentary examines the "dumbing-down" of American culture, but it rarely reaches below the surface to explore why this is happening or what can be done to reverse the trend.

    May 21, 2004 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • The idea that our culture is dumbing down is nothing new, but fortunately Stupidity skips the predictable finger-wagging at our collective idiocy in favour of a more interesting, academic study of stupidity.

    Apr 9, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Stupidity


Despite this documentary, stupidity is a really hard concept to nail down. It's interesting to see how it's an extremely varied thing, from mistakes that seem obvious in hindisight, to knowingly undertaking stunts that will injure oneself, to classical instances of failure to understand, this movie tries to cover them all. It's pretty interesting, but it raises more questions than it answers. I wish I could have participated in this discussion.

Emily Armstrong
Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

Somewhat thought provoking, but really just more "stupid" entertainment. I'm OK with that.

Bill Cavros
Bill Cavros

Super Reviewer


I learned the origins of the words "idiot", "moron", and "imbecile" but I could have unearthed that in an article. I learned who some of the leading authors are in this understudied field of "stupid" but I could have unearthed that in an Amazon book search. I didn't leanr anything about the nature of "stupidity" other than it is hard to find a consensus on the definition of the word, but that lack of consensus hold true for any loaded and complicated subject that tries to pick one all-encompassing word to define it. I was, at least, impressed by the lineup of intelligent individuals the film-makers were able to interview. My biggest sense of being cheated by this film is that it doesn't do something so utterly obvious - interview and explore the lives of the "stupid". The film also never addresses the idea that stupidity, idiocy, etc can all be defined by their antithesis to a system to which most of modern societies subscribe, the fields of "logic" and "ration". This film just does not provoke enough thought on non-thought, and often ignores the elephant in the room of stating that the film-makers, like the researchers they are interviewing and referencing, define stupidity by a lack of awareness. But I guess that is all okay because the opening disclaimer is that the film was made by idiots. Just not a revealing documentary and not worth your time. If you wish to further investigate the realm of stupidity and its brethren, watch a few episodes of Jackass and make your own observations on why and what could be considered "stupid".

_kelly .King
_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

The worst documentary I've ever seen. It has all the sins I hate in docs: the filmmakers pummeling you with their opinions, looking down on it's subjects and becoming unnecessarily political (of course they start referencing George Bush, who couldn't have guessed they were going to do that?) Also, with the flashy editing and multiple inserts they certainly treat their audiences as if they were stupid. Pure, uncut shit.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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