Examined Life

Critics Consensus

With Examined Life, Director Astra Taylor has turned a seemingly weighty subject into a fascinating documentary.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,139
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Movie Info

This documentary takes a look at the manifestations of contemporary philosophy through interviews with various figures in the field, who examine these existential issues from the vantage point of lively public places, where everyday people demonstrate their views and values through the most clear and innocuous ways. Some of the guests featured in the film include Cornel West, Avital Ronell, and Peter Singer. ~ Cammila Albertson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Examined Life

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (8)

  • You can't help but feel that director Astra Taylor fails at her own challenge of making an academic subject come truly alive as cinema.

    Nov 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Never dull, but it will make your head hurt.

    Nov 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Each of the half-dozen or so thinkers gets around 20 minutes to maunder on - simultaneously not long enough and far too long. Frustratingly, no subject is investigated in depth, and the glibness is dull.

    Nov 20, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Eccentric but always accessible, Taylor's boff-doc avoids the idiosyncrasy that her work has previously exhibited. In bringing philosophy into the real world, Examined Life is at once illuminating and intellectually stimulating.

    Nov 20, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • Taylor's stimulating film, enlivened by creative location shooting, will surely find an appreciative audience among highbrow cinephiles.

    Sep 1, 2009

    Rob Nelson

    Top Critic
  • Director-writer Astra Taylor wisely avoids turning this talk fest into a talking heads fest by filming these effusive intellectuals in a variety of visually diverting, real-world environments.

    May 1, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Examined Life

  • May 09, 2012
    Makes for an intriguing film. At times funny, and at its best, insightful.
    Adriel L Super Reviewer

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