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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.47%
Worth A Look66.18%
Average: 1.47%
Pretty Bad: 2.94%
Total Crap: 2.94%

7 reviews, 26 user ratings

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Inconvenient Truth, An
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Forget the messenger and focus on the message."
4 stars

Having been at the center of the most hotly contested election in recent memory, Al Gore has his share of boosters and detractors. Wild horses couldn't keep Gore's supporters away from his new film "An Inconvenient Truth," and you probably couldn't pay the Gore-haters to go see it. So where does that leave the audience for the film? Those who most need to hear its message will be distracted — or repelled — by the messenger; those most likely to see the film have already heard the sermon. And that's a shame.

An Inconvenient Truth, then, may be perceived as yet another in a long line of recent left-leaning documentaries. But, really, as Gore himself points out, this isn't — or shouldn't be — a partisan issue. Global warming is real, we're causing it, and we need to stop it: that's the film's point of view, supported by a raft of scarily persuasive data. Will you buy it? Gore is a convincing speaker, though given at times to too-cute demonstrations like a cartoon frog sitting in slowly boiling water. (It reminded me of Mr. DNA in Jurassic Park.) If you bring any sort of open mind to the film, there's no way you can't be swayed. Is it propaganda? Not really, not as that term is understood these days.

How is it as a film? Well, it's damn hard to make a visually compelling narrative out of 100 minutes of a 58-year-old man talking about carbon-dioxide emissions, but director Davis Guggenheim does it. He has what not every director has, an innate sense of when to cut, when to move in, when to pull back. In other words, meat-and-potatoes basic skills that the makers of much of the stuff you're currently not enjoying at the multiplex never bothered to learn. Often, Gore is framed in front of a giant screen, looking tiny and inconsequential, as if to sock home the point that the message is more important than the messenger.

Some may have a beef with the film's occasional straying from the presentation to focus on various tragedies in Gore's life. They're there for a purpose, though, and not just to soften you towards Gore. By discussing personal calamities and how he came out of them stronger and determined to live a more proactive and meaningful personal and political life, Gore gives his message a subtext: America itself has gone through hard times, and may again, but has always been strong enough to pour whiskey over the bullet wound and stride forward.

Much more than Michael Moore's amusing but ineffectual Fahrenheit 9/11, the movie is a call to action. It doesn't get off on pointing fingers, though Gore mildly rebukes George W. Bush at one point for not following through on his campaign promise to put a cap on carbon-dioxide levels. (Gore's way of calling out Bush is to make the point in the passive voice — "The pledge was, uh, not followed up" — and then move on.) It shows a great many chilling before-and-after photos from around the world, demonstrating that this is a worldwide issue that could lead to Manhattan under water. If Gore really wanted to go the grassroots roadshow route, he should've shot a different version for each state in the sequence when he shows various submerged landmarks — for us in Massachusetts, he could've shown Boston sleeping with the fishes, and so on.

But here's the rub: Why are you seeing — or not seeing — this movie? I think you should see it, because I agree with Gore's premise (and his prescription for a solution, which isn't as far-out as his detractors would have you believe). But are you seeing it because you're in the choir it's preaching to, or are you not seeing it because you believe anything Al Gore says is bullshit? If you're in the middle, unconvinced one way or the other, maybe you're the ideal audience. But we're all going to have to make some big changes sooner or later, so the least you can do is watch the movie to find out why.

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originally posted: 06/26/06 12:05:02
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User Comments

4/13/16 Dane Youssef So important. Defines the terms KEYNOTE, MULTI-MEDIA and POWER-POINT. Do not miss. 5 stars
1/17/10 Dane Youssef A crutial one to see. Gore should have had the oval office. Power point never so vital. 5 stars
8/31/08 AnnieG Educational and depressing. 4 stars
10/21/07 Minecxio Antigab, your comment is irony at it's time google the acronym, 'IQ' 3 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold Yeah, I know. Fine. I'm aware. Ok. Aren't we dead yet? Whatever, I know. 2 stars
6/19/07 Jessiika Yeah, we're fucking this world up. 5 stars
4/23/07 al hester please, I urge everyone to compare Mr. Gore's data to that of Dr. Lindzen & Dr. Singer 2 stars
3/03/07 David Pollastrini Liberal Trash 1 stars
3/01/07 Anti-Gab Presenting to the masses what most IQ's have known for decades 4 stars
1/07/07 Johnnyfog. Oh we are SO fucked. 4 stars
10/09/06 Laura Bush This movie was so good, I want to have Al Gore's baby 5 stars
9/27/06 Raj Scary film! It was shocking to see the ice breaking and falling into the sea. 5 stars
9/19/06 Ma-Ma-Monkey Not as Republican bashing as i thought it would be. Very informative and should be seen! 5 stars
9/14/06 FayeU Go see it. Go see it. Go see it. Wake up call for everyone about global warming. 5 stars
7/31/06 Scary! 4 stars
7/24/06 shane swank Important film that no one who needs too will watch. Too bad. 4 stars
7/19/06 jcjs well put together much needed film giving facts and impetus to get off our dead asses 4 stars
7/17/06 jcjs amazing how idiotic folks can be (Mr. Cranky) to not want to take care of the sad 5 stars
7/08/06 Bert Kaplan This movie needs to be seen by every conscious human being. 5 stars
7/05/06 ajay boring at times, but most of it was pretty interesting. 4 stars
6/25/06 Suzz only go if you think the planet is worth an effort 5 stars
6/19/06 susan must be seen 5 stars
6/18/06 Jim Coming Soon: Waterfront property, everywhere. 4 stars
5/28/06 Heather Great movie, Al was able to provide facts to back up his argument 5 stars
5/27/06 Fred Some good science, too much rabid junk science, Gore blew the opportunity 1 stars
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  24-May-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 21-Nov-2006



Directed by
  Davis Guggenheim

Written by

  Al Gore

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