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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself - President of Chile (archive footage)
Jacobo Arbenz ...
Himself - President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Mike Bradley ...
Arthur A. 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


Is America a nation of gun nuts? Or just nuts? 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 USA:

$209,148, 13 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,244,913, 11 May 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,564,473, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In May 2002 this film became the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's main competition in 46 years. See more »


The "Brief History of America" segment includes the assertion that early Americans burned suspected witches. No accused witches were burned in America. See more »


Michael Moore: Our children get turned into little monsters, but who's to blame?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening, archive footage is presented that claims the movie is presented by the National Rifle Association (NRA). See more »


Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »


Corporation Man
Written by Donald McCloskey, Bob Golden, and Lance Doss
Performed by Bob Golden and Lance Doss
Sung by Daryl Pediford
Courtesy of Savvy Kat Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A movie that should be mandatory for all politicians
16 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Yes Mr. Moore may lean left, and yes he may not be the most objective documentarian.

However the facts stand: America has many, many more deaths attributed to guns than any other nation. It's a sad truth.

Unfortunately Mr. Moore has been vilified for asking why. And typical of the "head-stuck-in- the-sand" mentality of the far right, they are angry for his work, not at the facts.

This movie is well done and if you're left, right, in-between, gun nut, or responsible gun owner it is definitely worth viewing.

I suspect most of the negative comments posted about this movie at IMDB and similar sites are by people who haven't seen the movie. They're just angry at what they perceive the movie to be.

It isn't a movie about gun control. It's a movie that merely ask why so many deaths.


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