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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 108,809 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 875 user | 218 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

gun | violence | bank | firearm | poverty | See more »

Taglines:

What a wonderful world. 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:

21 November 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Akiryhtos polemos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,738 (Hong Kong) (6 June 2003)

Gross:

$312,914 (Brazil) (20 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Willie Horton ad from the George Bush-Dan Quayle campaign shown during the film is actually two separate ads spliced together. The footage was removed from the VHS version of the film, but not the DVD. 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: The media, the corporations, the politicians... have all done such a good job of scaring the American public, it's come to the point where they don't need to give any reason at all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, there is a thank you to Mike's Militia - Athens Branch. This does not exist - Michael Moore, during his speaking engagement at Ohio University, to promote his book, "Stupid White Men," screened two versions of the "History of gun control" animated segment, which featured the same animation but different narration. The audience was asked to vote on which of the two versions should be included. After choosing a version, Moore claimed he would include Athens, Ohio and the audience in the credits, but wasn't sure what name to give credit to. Several suggestions were shouted out and Mike Michigan Militia, Athens, OH branch was finally chosen. See more »

Connections

References The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Americana
(1998)
Written by Dexter Holland (as Bryan Keith Holland)
Performed by The Offspring
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the most thought provoking movies.
7 May 2003 | by (iowa city, iowa) – See all my reviews

What has become of the United States? Is there any difference from the United States that was formed by Puritans and tried to escape from persecution under the British flag? Has there always been a different mentality for the American than that of any other nationality of individual? After September 11th Michael Moore the director and writer set out to make a documentary that addressed these and other embedded questions that are addressed everyday in our news media, school systems, homes, stores and street corners. Attempting to address all sides of the issues as a person of the media Moore used not only his own experiences, his connection to the NRA, but also other persons opinions that ranged from Charlton Hesston, the well known president of the NRA and famous actor, to the average American that was confronted with the violent acts that resulted from the accessibility of fire arms. This documentary took a new approach to the display of information. Not only was animation used to explain history, American's imbedded fear of their own neighbors, but it also used rock music ( gave a beat or a pulse to the film that progress from slow to fast as the intensity of the issues progressed), sarcasm, interviews, and casual conversations. Moore traveled the country to talk to all those that make up the spectrum of the American society, he traveled to the scenes of some of the more recent American tragedies, made impromptu stops in corporations such as Kmart (where the boys from Columbine bought the ammunition used in the shooting), and traveled to Canada to get an outside or foreign opinion. The idea was to move away from the documentary style of `talking heads'; he wanted a film that would not only touch a chord with the American people but one that would also be readily watched. This idea also made the documentary, that there was too much influence placed on the `words of the professional' or the ` findings of the expert'; that these findings and misleadings flooded the news at night to increase the amount of fear that the average American has as it looked for a scape-goat to blame. The information that Moor presented in his documentary did not technically follow a pre-described narrative, but followed more of a form where the audience was left areas to think and to breakdown the information. Elements of the circular narrative were the foundation of the film, where similar elements in opinions and the common American we continually addressed. Yet, the only problem that could be addressed is one of the ways in which Moore collected some of his data. Some might see a use of trickery or manipulation was used on his part to get the responses and such passion-filled opinions stated. While others would see the same information in the light that no instigation was needed, that people have these strong beliefs, opinions and are willing to talk about them but they lack the examples or understanding of the topic to take a well informed stand on one side or the other. Such a problem is not new in the world of documentaries when controversial data is presented to the public. Moore did a great job of presenting a delicate subject to the American people and was deserving of the Academy Award for the project.


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