Opening

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—— The Class Of '92 Jul 08

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Bowling for Columbine Reviews

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garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2006
Michael Moore examines the social climate which resulted in the massacre at Columbine High School, when two socially awkward students armed themselves with automatic weapons and went on a killing spree. Michael Moore is very much a Marmite kind of film maker; people either love or hate him and his one man crusades against the established way of thinking. I personally applaud his willingness to stand up to those who would suppress the truth to promote their own agenda and let's face it, the American corporate system is the biggest propaganda machine in the world so anyone claiming that Moore is "biased" really ought to be taking a closer look at his opposition. In Bowling For Columbine he surprisingly does not point the finger directly at US gun culture (although there has to be something to be said for Chris Rock's ammunition pricing system! If it works for cigarettes...) Instead he examines the economic climate in which the local community had been drained of employment and opportunity, the media's sensationalist, fear-mongering agenda and the lack of hope that the educational system cultivates within the disenfranchised. Occasionally a little heavy handed (ending on a confrontation with Charlton Heston which comes across as the meaningless harassment of an old man was a mistake) but always informative and entertaining.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2012
A terrific portrait of a America full of fears and violence, a great masterpiece by Michael Moore. Fresh.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2012
A pretty good look into what happened at Columbine, however although it sets out the premise of being about Columbine, I believe it really is about guns in general. No one doubts that guns can be extremely useful when in danger yourself, for example at war but surely in the West we don't need that kind of protection in our own homes? It brings up a lot of good points especially where Moore compares the US to other countries such as Canada, the UK and Europe but I particularly adored Manson's quote that he wouldn't say anything to the kids, he'd listen. Such a great documentary, a must see.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2012
Bowling for Columbine is a great documentary film from filmmaker Michael Moore. The film takes a look at America's obsession with guns. The film is very revealing in the way Michael Moore raises his points, and he gives plenty of good points, while at times making himself look like a bad guy.
I personally think Michael Moore should have approached it from a different angle. However this film is important, and it can't be dismissed that easily. The film raises important questions, and include great interviews, some of which I found surprising. My favorite interview subject was Marilyn Manson who gave a very intelligent interview, and who was the prime target after the Columbine High School Massacre. There are some aspects of the film that I didn't like, for example when Moore attempted to interview Charlton Heston, and Heston didn't want to answer and walked away, one thing that I thought that Moore shouldn't have done was to chase down Charlton Heston; he clearly didn't want to talk about the issue at hand. I felt it was kind of unnecessary to do that. I don't agree with what Charlton Heston did, but neither was Michael Moore in trying to get a reply. I don't think the way that Moore asked Heston about the issue was handled properly. Bowling for Columbine is a good documentary that raises important questions. If you enjoy a good documentary about important issues, then this is the one to see.
murphmann93
murphmann93

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
Exceptional. I have always followed the story about the 'Columbine Shootings' and to see the victims of it was so poignant and heart wrenching. Really great documentary from Michael Moore. Excellent!
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2011
Bowling for Columbine is undoubtedly one of the best documentaries I have seen. A lot of people hate Michael Moore and that makes me love him all the more. He is a great documentary filmmaker and goes to great extents to make his movies. He addresses some important questions that are well worth looking at and with Bowling for Columbine he addresses violence and gun use in America; using Columbine as the backdrop to Americas violence. He uses humor and irony a lot in this as well. At one point he has a man who runs a bomb producing plant talking about how he can't understand how two kids could be so violent. In the background is a huge bomb that says US Air Force. Although some of the movie does have humor and sarcasm, a great deal of it is very somber. It seems that Michael Moore genuinely cares about this problem and it's victims. What he does with a couple of the Columbine victims is really powerful and inspiring. Overall the film is very well made and makes you ask a lot of questions.
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2010
Wow this was really good. I dont usually like documentaries because i find them boring but i loved this. I think Michael Moore is a great guy whos doing great things.This movie has a good message about viloence in the United States and in the whole world. This was a really great movie. Michael Moore doesnt dissapoint. A-
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

December 9, 2008
As manic and funny as all Moore's movies, there is also the clear message. Whether you agree or disagree, his arguments are thought out and touching.
Jeremy S

Super Reviewer

April 30, 2006
A terrifying look at the gun control issue in the post Columbine masacre America becomes an indictment of American history, culture and way of life that allowed such a horrific event to take place.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2010
I usually don't like documentaries that often! However, this one was fantastic!
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2009
"Is America a nation of gun nuts? Or just nuts?"

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

REVIEW
Documentary filmmaker/satirist extraordinaire Michael Moore gives it his all in the search for the answer to why America's predilection for guns and violence goes hand in hand with corporate greed, political myopia and social dysfunction to the hilt with brilliant use of archival footage, a history of shame via a viciously smart cartoon, confrontational Mike Wallace-type journalism with NRA misfits and miscreants and the penultimate meeting with spokesperson Charlton Heston that gives new meaning to uncomfortable awkwardness. Moore's dogged determination to shame those who offer no insight to his quest only underscores just how wrong things have been in the US for some time and no matter what your political slant may be it's impossible to say that this is not an important film to see for yourself in what it means to be an agent provocateur. Hilarious and heartbreaking. One of the best and important documentaries
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2009
Say what you will about Moore but this is a great documentary/mission. I say mission because it's not as straight forward as most documentaries. Michael Moore promotes his films like presidential campaigns, many dislike him for that reason but I believe him to be a selfless guy who's out to do his bit to make the world (well, America) a better place. His attack on Charlton Heston was totally justified I believe, although I think it cost him a lot of respect. The only way to improve the future is to question the decisions of the past. Remember how he got booed receiving his Oscar after he said 'Shame on W. Bush for attacking Iraq'? People changed their minds a few years later, so just think how different things could have been if they'd just listened before! Important filmmaking!
Passenger1986
Passenger1986

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2007
Really thought provoking. A good topic to do a documentary on and the approach taken is quite interesting. Often thought controversial but then, it's hard to respect the soft approach.

Covering the Columbine High School Massacre and the idea of gun control, Moore's certainly done his homework. He explores the assumptions, the opinions, the conceptions people have about the whole incident, about guns and handlers of guns. Adding to the footage he shot, he's used news pieces, random shots of people with guns, an animated piece (nicely done, one of my favorite parts of the film) and even some stand up from Chris Rock, offering one of the wisest pieces of advice ever spoken in the history of the world (the idea that bullets should cost $5000 so that there would be no innocent bystanders).

Moore's approach to the subject is really what draws me to his works. We all see him differently, but I see him as someone who is just seeking the truth. Someone's told him something he can't be done, he wants to know "Why?" He challenges what should be challenged, for those who need someone to help win their battles. His tone of voice remains consistent, not one of bullying or taunting but of calm, matter-of-fact nature (which actually leads to one of the most underrated moments of the film, his opening narration. He lists off a regular morning for many citizens with one of those events being the bombing of another country ordered by the president).

Perhaps in a show of fairness, he does state that he was good with a gun as a teen and won an award for marksmanship. To me, it's his way of saying he's not coming down on the NRA or guns in general.
In contrast, he shows us what it's like in Canada, which has similar gun ownership levels. But things look more lax there, with people not locking their doors.

A lot of issues get covered here, from American moral panics to the stereotyping of the "scary black guy".
Blame being leveled at things like violent movies, Marilyn Manson and the media. All this finger pointing but no action being taken. Michael Moore captures all this along with some great interviews and it left me a lot to think about. Marilyn Manson offers one of the most powerful quotes of the movie, in response to Michael Moore's question asking what would he say to the kids of Columbine: "I wouldn't say a single word to them; I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did."
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

July 13, 2007
A solid documentary packed with plenty of interesting scenes. There was a cute gun cartoon. It was a bit uncomfortable barging into Charlton Heston's home and corners him. I wish he hadn't compared the United States to Canada. The K-Mart tale was tragic. Overall, I would say Michael strung tohis one together quite well.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2007
A funny, chilling, insightful, and intelligent documentary that is very well made and well written. Aside from (purposely) being subversive and from a skewered point of view, this film NEEDS to be seen by every citizen in America. PERIOD.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

December 27, 2006
Good.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 6, 2006
A great documentary. Scarier than most horror movies. The animated sequence was great.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2006
What's neat about Michael Moore movies is that I don't necessarily share the same views that he has, but he is still a good documentary filmmaker, and I respect that.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2006
This movie and the very fine ELEPHANT examine the roots of this particular kind of violence in very different, but equally fascinating ways.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 3, 2010
The message is lost in the manipulation. We now know the gun for a bank account scene was a set up and the confrontation of an ailing Charlton Heston was distasteful. The truth is enough to bring the issue of gun control to the forefront. We don't need the fake sensationalism.
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