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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R  |   |  Documentary, Crime, Drama  |  15 November 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 118,686 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 882 user | 213 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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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 (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)


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


What a wonderful world. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akiryhtos polemos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$312,914 (Brazil) (20 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first rough cut of the film ran about six hours. See more »


The film claims that that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attended a bowling class on the morning of the massacre. This is incorrect as testified in a judicial review. See more »


Michael Moore: Well, here's my first question: Do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns at a bank?
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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 »


References The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »


Won't You Be My Neighbour
Written by Fred Rogers
Performed by David Reid & Adam Morrison
Courtesy of Family Communications and Record Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Major funding from Canada?
27 July 2004 | by (new york) – See all my reviews

I watched this for the first time and pretty much like it. But something kept nagging at me. I am a pretty liberal person and believe in Gun control but I really have always liked Charlton Heston and couldn't believe he was as bad as he's portrayed here. So I did a little research and found out that his speech was so horribly butchered by Moore that he totally changed the meaning Heston was going for. Also Moore inserted a shot of Heston waving a gun over his head that was taped at a NRA function a year later in some other location and then cut in so it looked like it was part of his speech in Denver after the Columbine shooting. Moore never mentions that the meeting was planned way before the Columbine shooting and couldn't be canceled realistically in that short period of time.

Other things found out. The Footage of the Dog with the gun is faked. The bank at the beginning mailed the guns to customers from a warehouse 400 miles away. They didn't hand them out in the bank the way its portrayed and the guns in the bank were models. The Foreign death statistics don't take into account police shootings(the US figures do) and they are not adjusted for the differences in population and a few of them he took the lowest death toll in a given period instead of an average???

The scene with Dick Clark was another one that I just couldn't believe. Is he really that rotten? Turns out the the six year old's mother had lost custody of all her kids and was a convicted drug dealer. She had three children all from different father's and her son was not in her custody and living with a drug dealing uncle in a crack house with guns and Knives all over the place. Moore conveniently leaves all this out and tries to make Dick Clark the bad guy for employing the kids mother at minimum wage. When Moore approaches Clark he does it at the worst possible time. Why? because Moore WANTS Clark to get angry and close the door in his face. I'd shut the door in his face too. What's going on here? The list goes on and on and I'll leave it up to the inquisitive viewer to do a little research into how this films was made as almost all of the major points Moore is trying to make have been altered or major points left out to get his personal view across. And what's with Canada being portrayed as something almost bordering on Utopia? Did Moore ever mention that the film got major funding from Canadian government money through a Canadian production company!! And I have friends in Canada and they LOCK the doors!

I agree with what Moore is setting out to do but the film really never draws any conclusions and his tactics are not in line with what's considered Non-fiction. I almost felt Moore's tactics were as disturbing as the subject matter. When you have to distort the truth to such an extent and not even realize or admit to it, based on the way Moore defends everything in the film as the truth, is a very disturbing trend. This film has a tremendous power to influence people and they should really know the whole truth not Michael Moore's truth. Anything else truly is "fiction"

42 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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