The Big Uneasy

Critics Consensus

The Big Uneasy offers an admittedly uneven - yet still worthy and well-intentioned - look at a horrific disaster's aftermath.



Reviews Counted: 23

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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

Almost five years ago, a disaster struck New Orleans. The media said it was a natural disaster primarily affecting poor black people. On both counts, the media was wrong. In his feature-length documentary The Big Uneasy, humorist and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans, Shearer speaks to the investigators who poked through the muck as the water receded and a whistle-blower from the Army Corps of Engineers, revealing that some of the same flawed methods responsible for the levee failure during Katrina are being used to rebuild the system expected to protect the new New Orleans from future peril. In short segments hosted by John Goodman, Shearer speaks candidly with local residents about life in New Orleans. Together, they explore the questions that Americans outside of the Gulf region have been pondering in the five years since Katrina: Why would people choose the live below sea level? Why is it important to rebuild New Orleans? The Big Uneasy is laced with computer imagery that takes you inside the structures that failed so catastrophically, and boasts never-before-seen video of the moments when New Orleans began to flood and the painstaking investigations that followed. The Big Uneasy marks the beginning of the end of five years of ignorance about what happened to one of our nation's most treasured cities - and serves as a stark reminder that the same agency that failed to protect New Orleans still exists in other cities across America. In Theaters August 30th, One Night Only -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Big Uneasy

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (12)

  • By the end of "The Big Uneasy" the viewer is convinced that we weren't told the whole story back in 2005, and appalled by the retaliation faced by some who spoke out.

    Jul 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • "The Big Uneasy" lacks the dramatic impact and artistic imagination of many recent docs about environmental issues.

    Jun 9, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Big Uneasy" is scary stuff indeed.

    May 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • While Shearer's affection for his part-time home is palpable, the film's dry, academic treatment of its subject does the city a profound disservice.

    May 19, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Whistle-blowing works best without gratuitous pop-doc debris, but there are only so many dry, fact-heavy testimonies from engineers you can take before a certain dullness uneasily settles in.

    May 18, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Shearer builds an airtight case to prove his thesis, and one of his most chilling arguments is a roll call of brave souls whose lives and careers have been systematically wrecked in pursuit of the truth.

    May 17, 2011 | Full Review…

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