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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  15 November 2002 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 117,058 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 881 user | 213 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself - President of Chile (archive footage)
Jacobo Arbenz ...
Himself - President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Mike Bradley ...
Himself - Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Arthur A. Busch ...
Himself - County Prosecutor: Flint, Michigan (as Arthur Busch)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Michael Caldwell ...
Himself - Police Detective
Richard Castaldo ...
Himself - Columbine Victim
...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Steve Davis ...
Himself - Deputy Sheriff (archive footage)
Ngo Dinh Diem ...
Himself - President of South Vietnam (archive footage)
Mike Epstein ...
Himself - Shopper in Mall
Joe Farmer ...
Himself - Superintendent of Schools (archive footage)
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Storyline

The United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed. In doing so, he learns that the conventional answers of easy availability of guns, violent national history, violent entertainment and even poverty are inadequate to explain this violence when other cultures share those same factors without the equivalent carnage. In order to arrive at a possible explanation, Michael Moore takes on a deeper examination of America's culture of fear, bigotry and violence in a nation with widespread gun ownership. Furthermore, he seeks to investigate and confront the powerful elite political and corporate interests fanning this culture for their own unscrupulous gain. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts? See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akiryhtos polemos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$209,148 (USA) (11 October 2002)

Gross:

$312,914 (Brazil) (20 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Moore:  [Flint]  The elementary school that Moore visits is in Flint, Michigan See more »

Goofs

As Charlton Heston walks away from Michael Moore in the final interview, the scene cuts repeatedly between Heston (point of view from behind Moore) and Moore (point of view from the stairs directly in front of Moore) holding a photo of the slain Flint, Michigan girl and asking Heston to look at it. When the POV is of Moore holding the photo, there is clearly no cameraman anywhere behind him. The same with the POV of Heston, there is clearly no cameraman anywhere in front of Moore. So the two POVs were not filmed simultaneously as the film implies. See more »

Quotes

Michael Moore: It was the morning of April 20th 1999, and it was pretty much like any other morning in America. The Farmer did his chores. The milkman made his deliveries. The President bombed another country whose name we couldn't pronounce. Out in Fargo, North Dakota, Cary McWilliams went on his morning walk. Back in Michigan, Mrs Hughes welcomed her students for another day of school. And out in a little town in Colorado, two boys went bowling at 6 in the morning. Yes, it was a typical day in the United ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no cast list, either at the start of the film or at the end. People are credited either by subtitle, by the narrator or by themselves. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 23 April 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
(1954)
Music by Charles Albertine, Larry Elgart, Les Elgart, Bob Horn (1954)
Lyrics by Barry Manilow & Bruce Sussman (1978)
Performed by Barry Manilow
Courtesy of Arista Records
Under license from BMG Special Projects
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A liberal's critique
2 August 2004 | by (Salt Lake City, UT) – See all my reviews

This movie was entertaining and interesting, but in certain ways it left me wanting. Michael Moore himself is somewhat irritating, and I found myself wishing he kept more to the background than he does. At the same time, the conclusions that he draws are compelling and pragmatic. This movie was not designed to be an argument. It was not designed to sway the viewer. It was designed to fuel the fire of the already convinced. Though I think that this is Moore's intent (concluded from interviews I've read), I feel that goal could be reached at the same time as convincing a few fence-sitters, and that would have made the film more powerful.

I have two main complaints regarding this movie:

First, I felt that Michael Moore sometimes crossed lines in his interviews that in no way seemed to further his cause or drive his point home. He interviews people as though looking for his answer, not their answer, and particularly seemed to be trying to strike a blow at the conservative masses. I thought this distracted the genuinity and plausibility of the conclusions that he drew. It must be said that the conclusions that Moore drew are of a nature that strikes at conservative politics. However, I felt that the facts he represented spoke for themselves, and that the blows should not have been dealt to conservative interviewees by asking questions designed to get emotional responses out of them.

Second, I found some of the statistics needed to be qualified with per capitas or percentages. When comparing the United States to England, for instance, it is important to take population differences and density into consideration. Straight statistics do not apply. I think the statistics were somewhat skewed by this oversight, however according to some rough guesstimates I made, it wouldn't have diminished Moore's point, only made it less dramatic (which would, indeed, have strengthened his case).

These two complaints hint at an even larger problem, however, and that is this: Because Moore presents his case in this way, he can never hope to have his message truly heard by anyone who isn't already on his side.


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