Project Nim - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Project Nim Reviews

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September 27, 2017
We humans can be such idiots. We can be great, we can be generous and kind, but we are mostly cruel, self-involved schmucks. In the story of NIM the chimpanzee we are especially vindictive characters.

In a nutshell
NIM is taken from his mother at birth. He is given to a human family to raise. The point? To teach him sign language. So we can communicate with another species. Whoop, whoop.

Best performance
NIM cannot speak. He cannot string together full sentences in sign language either. Yet we never doubt how much he loves, and how much he ends up hating, human beings.

Stand-out scene
The scene is not filmed, but retold by NIM's "human" mother. After years and years of neglect she at last decides to visit NIM as an adult chimpanzee locked up in a cage on a farm for lost and injured animals. She enters his cage. What he does next is riveting.


Is the film relevant today?
Have we learnt how to live in harmony with the planet? With other species? No. I guess the film is super-relevant.
April 1, 2017
This movie is on like any other documentary, very intellectually simulating.
½ November 12, 2016
This was BEYOND sad. I've never wanted to unwatch or unknow something so much. It is a display of how terribly misguided academia can be and the pompousness of the professor? I simply could not believe that an animal acting like an animal was considered to be "acting up". Poor Nim. (And poor Nim's mother...SIX taken away?) I wish I had not watched this. I'll be sad for days.
½ August 6, 2016
Very good documentary, awful experiment...
½ May 28, 2016
Just trying to live together as though equally human is itself its own form of cruelty let alone the confinement & deprivation imposed on almost all undomesticated chimps held in captivity. Set them free. Just, set them free. There is no such thing as a humane experiment. Just set them freeeee & preserve & defend that freedom.
½ March 13, 2016
March 12, 2016
I will always overrate a documentary, but I found Project Nim disappointing. I'm unsure of its purpose rather than to make the viewer feel sad for chimp. Disney's Tarzan did that.
½ February 12, 2016
Very cute in the beginning, but maddening towards the end when they start harming the monkey. Very good documentary that shows the outward display of emotion from one monkey
½ January 24, 2016
Project Nim is such a heartbreaking and very important film. It is very well made, very emotional and always so fascinating with its intriguing subject matter being extremely well explored with many clever and sophisticated themes. It is one of the year's finest films and one of the best documentaries I've seen.
½ January 11, 2016
This is a thought provoking, heart wrenching, infuriating, and touching documentary. Had full body chills and tears towards the end.

Unfortunately it falls down on slightly ham-fisted direction at times, but still fantastic.
½ November 21, 2015
The story is presented with an amazing element of drama for a Nim bounces around from caregiver to caregiver. One cannot help but feel some empathy towards this animal who learned and retained American Sign Language.
August 9, 2015
El mejor documental del 2011
½ March 28, 2015
The astonishing (yet frequently heart breaking) real life story of a chimp raised as a human and taught to sign in the 70s, before his life became a rollercoaster of experiences.

His story was clearly the basis for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie - but the impact is raised by knowing you're watching *mostly* original footage and people (occasional re-enactment).
January 10, 2015
Bouleversant reportage sur la vie de Nim, un chimpanzé a qui, entre deux partouzes et deux joints dans les années 1970, on a voulu apprendre le langage. Fort du témoignage de la plupart des nombreux interlocuteurs, et de nombreuses images réelles. Difficile de ne pas retenir ses larmes, sur son parcours tellement difficile et effrayant.
½ October 6, 2014
A few minutes into the documentary showed humanism serve as the line between humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom - or at least the chimpanzees - then later on proceeded to show humankind's attempt to humanize what was meant to be left to grow in its own ecosystem. Project Nim is a Venn diagram of the human nature and that of the chimpanzee, further shaking the idea of absolute justice, and even putting one of the most essential visions of humanity into question - all in the biographical picture of Nim Chimpsky.
September 21, 2014
A personalized story of one chimpanzee's journey through the research industry.

Interesting subject matter, but they skimmed over the interesting details, and rushed away from the interesting parts. We barely heard anything about what they taught Nim.
½ September 1, 2014
It is a well-made documentary that tells an interesting story, but I feel like it is missing depth in its analysis of the actual experiment.
July 4, 2014
I introduce you to a movie, maybe not many people would be too familiar with or have even heard of before, that definitely should not be missed without a doubt.

'Project Nim' is directed by James Marsh and since it being a documentary no actors are presented here except for the real people involved with the project. They go by the names of Nim Chimpsky(the chimpanzee), Herbert Terrace, Stephanie LaFarge, Jenny Lee, Laura-Ann Petitto, Bill Tynan, Joyce Butler and more.

After viewing this I asked myself a question repetitively in my head "why did I wait this long to see
it?". 'Project Nim' is an unmissable documentary especially if you admire this particular kind of movie genre.
'Project Nim' tells the tale of a young chimpanzee(Nim) taken away from it's mother at only a few weeks old. For science Nim is raised by humans treated and taken care of like a regular child to teach the ways of human characteristics and to communicate. Along the way it shows the story of Nim, how he was raised and his generally how he came about to live his life.

'Project Nim' is a incredibly touching and compelling documentary. As I mentioned before I seriously have no idea why I avoided this film for so long because it's just simply brilliant. I am a big fan of documentaries, I feel they always bring something interesting to the table and most of the time they never fail to disappoint. 'Project Nim' is no different, not only are we presented with actual footage from the 70's and 80's(when this was all first filmed) but it also creates this heart felt presence of love and life.

Nim himself is a wonderfully, innocent and charismatic individual. Even though he is not an actual person the film is made and set out show what his life was like. He may have been the only lucky one in out of many chimps to have been selected to be part of this project, been given this opportunity to achieve the full potential of it's knowledge and apply it to the real world sounds like a breakthrough and a wonderful life for him. However, it does show and present a dark side to the world, an inside look to losing your family and friends, your home and especially your soul. That has got to be a creative and bold decision the director(James Marsh) could have made right there, in my opinion I thnk it worked out perfectly.

This movie was able to continuously drive itself through emotional stages of Nim's life. Not something I expected when the lead protagonist is a chimpanzee. I felt many emotions while watching it, Nim felt almost like a family to me too. With all the footage and information we are provided by real life interviewees, we get closer to Nim on a personal level and we feel his accomplishments and struggles every step of the way.

Thinking about it now I don't know why it hasn't been hugely successful, this movie is beyond what I pictured it to be. If you love documentaries and I mean absolutely love them, then without a doubt, don't wait a second longer find a way to get this in front of your eyes and admire this beautiful tale. Even if you're not a fan documentaries, well you know exactly what I'm going to say.
½ June 2, 2014
If you're interested in language or how humans & animals can communicate then you should see this documentary. 'Nim' is an intelligent & engaging story about a chimp that science foolishly tried to raise as if it were human
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