Forks Over Knives (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Forks Over Knives (2011)

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Documentary filmmaker Lee Fulkerson explores the possibility that so-called "diseases of affluence," such as heart disease, can be reversed by simply adjusting our diets to include less processed and animal-based foods. Back in the 1960s, Cornell University nutritional scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell was working to find a way to feed the citizens of impoverished Third World nations when a trip to the Philippines forever changed the way he thought about food consumption. There, he discovered that the rates of liver cancer among affluent children who subsisted on diets rich in animal-based foods were notably higher than in children consuming plant-based diets. Meanwhile, surgeon Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at Cleveland Clinic, was also discovering that many of the diseases he was seeing in patients were practically nonexistent in areas of the world where people were primarily consuming plant foods. Several subsequent investigations by the researchers (who would not meet each other until the 1980s), including a groundbreaking study in China by Dr. Campbell, led them to the revelation that a whole-food, plant-based diet could prevent, and even reverse, such degenerative conditions as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. In this film, Fulkerson examines Dr. Campbell's and Dr. Esselstyn's theories by following the two doctors' individual, yet very similar, story arcs, from their farm-based upbringings to their astounding discoveries. The film also records the experiences of a group of patients suffering from chronic maladies as they participate in an experiment in which their diets are substantially altered and wholesome, plant-based food is, essentially, used as medicine. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Forks Over Knives

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (19)

Forks Over Knives is a middling documentary but a magnificent indictment.

May 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Forks over Knives is tasty but somewhat undercooked.

May 20, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Movies are like food. There are popcorn pictures that entertain you and the spinach movies that are good for you. In more ways than one, Forks Over Knives is a spinach flick.

May 19, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A persuasive documentary on the health benefits of a whole-foods and plant-based diet.

May 19, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

As it stands, "Forks" is an interesting and informative health lecture that's sandwiched into a dry, repetitive documentary.

May 13, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

The radical notion at the heart of the acclaimed doc "Forks Over Knives" is that eating animals and animal-produced foods has costs -- on our economy, our health-care system and on ourselves.

May 13, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Forks Over Knives

½

This documentary can be a life-saver for so many of us. Let's face it most of follow a slow-but-sure suicide regimen of processed foods with lots of meat and dairy thrown in (oh don't forget the sugar!) Though dry at times with lots of statistics, Forks Over Knives is a must see. It truly is a revelation. One stat that reverberates...US health care costs could be reduced up to 80% if we changes to a whole food/plant base diet...did you hear that Congress! (5-16-11)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer

½

Is the problem meat and dairy or is it processed foods and refined sugars? This movie says both and they need to be completely removed from our diet (its experts also say nuts and oils as well), but its focus is on meat and dairy. The main evidence for their case is a book written by one of the film's experts, called "The China Study." Disappointingly, it doesn't explore the supposed science or results of the study. Why not support this extreme position with peer-reviewed science articles -- or do they all contradict the film-maker's views? Also, to not seriously look at the effects of processed foods with at least equal depth is incomplete and dishonest. Anecdotally, the movie makes a good, albeit obvious case for the benefits in eating whole foods, but the honest man would have also followed someone who included meat and dairy in their whole food diet. I agree with the less-extreme, modern consensus: Eat unprocessed food and make meat and dairy a side rather than a main dish.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

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