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critics consensus

Made with a care and patience that belies its title, Errol Morris' Fast, Cheap & Out of Control combines the disparate sensibilities of four idiosyncratic subjects to present a fresh, cogent perspective on life. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this documentary by Errol Morris, four men with unique vocations are interviewed. There's Dave Hoover, a lion tamer; George Mendonça, a topiary gardener; Ray Mendez, a hairless mole rat expert; and Rodney Brooks, a robotics designer. Using a special camera called the Interrotron, each of these men is able to talk about his obsession seemingly directly to the audience, while Morris inter-cuts the interviews with stock footage and movie clips that are used to draw connections between them all.

Cast & Crew

Lindsay Law
Executive Producer
Caleb Sampson
Original Music
Robert Richardson
Cinematographer
Shondra Merrill
Film Editor
Karen Schmeer
Film Editor
Ted Bafaloukos
Production Design
Mark Doonan
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

  • Apr 03, 2013
    A documentary profiling four unlikely subjects: a lion tamer, a topiary master, a naked mole-rat expert, and a robot designer. Each of these craftsmen is somewhat interesting on their own, but what makes the documentary work is the way unexpected connections start to arise between a quartet with very different obsessions.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2010
    A intriguing and entertaining documentary film about four men and their passions - lion taming, robotics, topiary and mole rats. Thefilm lets the men speak for themselves - there's no "directors narrative" telling you what to think - and the visuals and the voiceovers of the four subject areas interlink at times... .so you might be watching a lion tamer but listening to a hedge cutter (and damned if you can tell the difference between the four sometimes). I THINK the film is all about the interconnectedness between, well, everything - animal, vegetable and mineral - but I 'm not really sure. Watching this film was like struggling to grasp a nugget of wisdom that's being held tantalisingly just out of reach.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 14, 2009
    This is more of a documentary then it is a movie but it was an entry in the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival Special Presentations. What we have here is a montage of four different people, and the stories go on within each other continuously. The four people are a topiary gardener who has a hedge in the shape of a giraffe and is as big as one, a robot engineer who has some pretty neat robots for 1997, a naked mole-rat expert and these are some ugly critters and I wish I could find someone to send me to Africa to study a rat, but I rather go to Italy) and a lion tamer who knew Clyde Beatty so he says and he's been attacked so many times but not a scare on him. All in all it made for a pretty boring movie for me anyway, but you just might find an interest in the Naked Mole Rat, My only interest is he don't end up in my Home. 2 Stars
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2008
    A well-structured doc that blends insects-animals-humans-robots in an interesting way. Raises good questions and makes strong points. For the most part, I was intrigued, but the plant animal/topiary guy was a bit dull.
    Karl V Super Reviewer

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