McLibel (2005)

 |  Documentary  |  20 May 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,908 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 20 user | 14 critic | 4 from

McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

0Check in
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities.

Director: Robert Greenwald
Stars: Lee Scott, Don Hunter, Jon Hunter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This Ken Loach docu-drama relates the story of a British woman's fight with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie has a history of bouncing from one abusive relationship to ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Sandie Lavelle
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A future archivist looks at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate change.

Director: Franny Armstrong
Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Jeh Wadia, Alvin DuVernay
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two thirtysomethings, unemployed former alcoholic Joe and community health worker Sarah, start a romantic relationship in the one of the toughest Glasgow neighbourhoods.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, Gary Lewis
Tickets (2005)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A train travels across Italy toward Rome. On board is a professor who daydreams a conversation with a love that never was, a family of Albanian refugees who switch trains and steal a ticket... See full summary »

Directors: Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Carlo Delle Piane, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Silvana De Santis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five Yorkshiremen try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Dean Andrews, Thomas Craig, Joe Duttine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sparks fly in Glasgow's south side when a young Asian man enters into a relationship with a Caucasian woman.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Atta Yaqub, Eva Birthistle, Ahmad Riaz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Angie gets the sack from a recruitment agency for bad behaviour in public. Seizing the chance, she teams up with her flatmate, Rose, to run a similar business from their kitchen. With ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Kierston Wareing, Juliet Ellis, Leslaw Zurek
Route Irish (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of a private security contractor in Iraq who rejected the official explanation of his friend's death and sets out to discover the truth.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Mark Womack, Andrea Lowe, John Bishop
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A singer swaps the political intimidation of working in East Germany for the equally controlling capitalist music industry in the West.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Gerulf Pannach, Fabienne Babe, Sigfrit Steiner
Carla's Song (1996)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Oyanka Cabezas, Scott Glenn
Family Life (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A teenage girl suffers a nervous breakdown.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Sandy Ratcliff, Bill Dean, Grace Cave


Complete credited cast:
Helen Steel ...
Dave Morris ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Alexander ...
Anita Anand ...
Voiceover (voice)
Peter Armstrong ...
Voiceover (voice)
Chris Brierley ...
Voiceover (voice)
Voiceover (voice)
T. Colin Campbell ...
Himself (as Professor Campbell)
Sue Dibb ...
Herself - The Food Commission
Pip Donaghy ...
Ian Flintoff ...
Dan Gallin ...
Himself - Intl Union of Food Workers
Stephen Gardner ...
Himself - Assistant Attorney General (as Stephen Gardener)
Himself (as Geoff Guiliano)


McDonald's loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organisations like the BBC and The Guardian crumbled and apologised. But then they sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" represented themselves against McDonald's £10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation's business was cross-examined: from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children. Outside the courtroom, Dave brought up his young son alone and Helen supported herself working nights in a bar. McDonald's tried every trick in the book against them. Legal manoeuvres. A visit from Ronald McDonald. Top executives flying to London for secret settlement negotiations. Even spies. Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise - especially the British Government. ... Written by Lizzie Gillet

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The postman and the gardener who took on McDonald's





Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,821 (USA) (10 June 2005)


$4,337 (USA) (24 June 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally released as a 52 minute film on TV and video in 1997; this extended 85 minute version came out in theaters in 2005 after the case had gone to the European Courts. See more »


Journalist: What about the finding that McDonalds targets children?
Lawyer: I don't recall that.
See more »


Edited from McLibel: Two Worlds Collide (1998) See more »


Written, performed & produced by Luminous Frenzy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Worth watching - definitely
10 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a low budget but very, very entertaining account of Helen Steel and David Morris's fight against McDonalds. They were caught distributing leaflets accusing McDonalds of polluting the environment, cruelty to animals, aiming their produce at children and being extremely unhealthy and lying about it. McDonalds claimed they were lying, so the postman and the gardener represented themselves in a 7 year court case. This documentary charts the trial and verdict, and further footage after the event. It is cheap and cheerful, but astounding in it's simplicity. This was a landmark case that made it acceptable to challenge corporations, in fact, it almost seems to be the pre runner for many documentaries out there. More importantly, it took the wind out of McDonald's sails and forced them to readdress many of the issues they were challenged over. It's a great film - I recommend it.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
um, what good things has mcdonalds ever done for anyone? kellypi
Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute , Scotland Tsunami3G
'Poorly-made, boring rants,' and 'Ultraliberals' Catstello
Discuss McLibel (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: