The 11th Hour (2007) Poster

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The Most Important Film of 2007
nilent17 August 2007
Kudos to Leonardo DiCaprio for putting his time and money into this outstanding documentary.

Let's face it, any informed/intelligent/objective person already knows that we're on a greased path toward species extinction and that we must "change course". "The 11th Hour" is an excellent vehicle for increasing the numbers of folks in that category (...and for reinforcing the knowledge base/commitment of those who think that that they "already know this stuff").

"The 11th Hour" goes way beyond simply pointing at problems. This wonderful documentary provides a fairly sharp focus on practical/viable solutions and serves up some inspiring/motivating ideas/insights.

The use of captivating cinematography and stunning images make for a powerful impact.

I hope that the production company releases a book that details/documents the observations/assertions/conclusions of film's experts. Such a volume (if done well) would serve as an excellent part of any school curriculum.

The 11th hour is a must see if you... about whether or not there is a human race around in the next couple of hundred years. about the quality of life for your children and their children over the next 50 years.

...are a young person who expects to be around for the next 60 to 80 years; then this is all about your future.

As one watches "The 11th Hour" it becomes painfully clear that it doesn't matter how rich or powerful one may be; there can be no escaping the inexorable consequences of the indefensibly insane/unsustainable global industrial/economic model; a model clearly based on little more than short term greed.

As effective/good as "The 11th Hour" is at conveying factual data in a way that holds your could have gone in a totally different direction.

A dramatic feature film needs to be made that more fully captures/documents the emotional and existential impact of the consequences of current environmental policies: a kind of "Erin Brockovitch" of Global Warming/Climate Change. Clearly, this isn't the last word in this genre.

This is not a crisis that is "out there" in some vague future. Real people's lives are being destroyed now. There are many millions of "canaries in the coal mine" of our biosphere for whom climate change is life and death issue in the near term.

Bottom lines: "The 11th Hour" is a powerful documentary that manages to alarm without fear mongering and to paint a bleakly honest picture without engendering hopelessness.

Go see/support this movie. The last half hour alone (which deals very positively with aspects of the political dimension) is worth the price of admission.
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terrifying, uplifting, and motivational
dedalus6265 September 2007
This is a wonderful and important documentary. The film is full of terrifying images and fascinating interviews from some great minds. But, luckily, it does not spend too much time making its case about our destruction. After getting the viewer sufficiently terrified, the film shifts its focus to the causes of the problem. The film also inspires viewers to go out and make a difference (and tells them how).

Of course, comparisons will be made to An Inconvenient Truth, so I'll cover that too: it's clear that this project was always intended to be a film; it didn't begin as a PowerPoint presentation. It also doesn't waste time with a biography of it's narrator. But, most importantly, it's got a better mix of fear and inspiration; DiCaprio's film made me want to change the world.
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The Earth will get by on its own
dobbin-12 September 2007
This very insightful documentary is not about the death of the world. Those whom extol such are, in my opinion, foolish dramatists. Rather, it is about the death of our species.

DeCaprio excels in bringing forth the intelligentsia who bring not only educated opinion but factual data. Facts show the Earth is suffering from the abuses of people. And the greatest abuses come from the largest and most technological countries. Yet, some of the worst abuses come from small, undeveloped countries too poor to encourage environmental regulation.

With all the pollution of land, sea, and air, we as people will ultimately succumb, unless we take great action to replace what we remove, or accept our need to find alternatives.

Global warming may be real or not. I haven't been around for a hundred thousand years or so, so I can't really say. In my oh so short time on this planet, I feel I can say one thing and that is we sure are doing a lot more to hurt ourselves, and this planet, than help.

Five stars for The 11th Hour.
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"Its all-hands-on-deck time"
Chris Knipp3 September 2007
Narrated, produced and spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio, this documentary about how humans have damaged the earth and what chance we still may have of reversing the destruction is hard to summarize, since it's a breathless amalgam of fact and opinion from dozens of experts and pundits. But here's a try: The planet is nearing meltdown. It's not just global warming. It began with the industrial revolution, when we started mistakenly looking on nature as external to us and endlessly exploitable. Forests have undergone major destruction. The ocean is turning stagnant. The soil itself is largely damaged everywhere. Worst of all, 50,000 species a year are becoming extinct, and no ecosystem can be identified as improving. Not to mention the fact that humans suffer from increasing numbers of diseases our pollution causes. At fault is the overproduction of non-sustainable manufactures, the immense waste and destruction, and the sustaining (unsustainably) of vastly more people than the planet can support. Behind all this the primary cause is the fuels we use, petroleum being the primary one.

So far, the process can still be slowed, perhaps reversed--but not for long. We have the technology, though nature itself rather than any man-made "thing" is the greatest resource, and the solution is in harmonizing ourselves with it, not further dominating it. In a few years, we will have reached the point of no return. This is not just the 11th hour, but the last few seconds of the sixtieth minute of that hour. Within this new century, if nothing effective is achieved, planetary damage will be dramatic and total in every area. It's impossible to predict, but extreme disaster could come very rapidly, once the balance is decisively tipped in the wrong direction, and it will happen everywhere. Nowhere is safe from it.

As one reviewer has said, if we don't slit our throats after hearing the first half of this story, some "intriguing options" are suggested in the last third Various speakers believe that while humanity may not survive, without a reversal of the trend, life on earth probably will. (Welcome to Insectopia.) But surprisingly enough, though everything we do has to be changed radically and totally, things won't necessarily look wholly different. The difference will be inside. An 85% efficient train car looks just like a little old train car, only its interior works will have changed. A wholly self-sustainable skyscraper still looks on the outside just like a skyscraper: the new Bank America building in New York resembles the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, only with more glass.

Not only are the technologies all available, but there are many plans about how to use them, and doing so can be immensely profitable even for existing businesses, if they alter their products and raw materials. The obstacle is resistant mindsets, and above all a lack of leadership. There's another obstacle--well, many; and they're mostly in the United States. The large corporations in whose interest it is to go on gobbling fossil fuel (or as writer Thom Hartman calls it, "ancient sunlight"), rule our world, and our American leaders are their marionettes. The average working guy doesn't think beyond the morning traffic report. We all need to learn to care. Dippy as it sounds, all we need is love. And we can act fast when we want to--look at the American performance in WWII.

Al Gore has greeted The 11th Hour as a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. In a sense it is that. In David Guggenheim's Oscar-winning film Gore demonstrates why and how global warming is a reality and a cause of grave concern. The 11th Hour sets this event in a larger context, warns further of the urgency of acting now, and, unlike Inconvenient Truth, goes into detail about practical solutions. The 11th Hour, unfortunately, isn't as polished and effective as An Inconvenient Truth. The latter is unified by Gore's personality. DiCaprio provides an appealing sort of youthful everyman voice (even a Hollywood superstar becomes an everyman in this context), but he doesn't hold The 11th Hour together. Though the range of expertise is impressive and valuable, structurally there is a dauntingly rapid succession of different faces. Even during the 11th hour of 11th Hour new speakers keep appearing and it's difficult to take in all the names and credentials first time through. Luckily there are a few strong and unmistakable voices, like the broadcaster David Suzuki; Stephen Hawking; Mikhail Gorbachov. The soft southern accent of Interface founder Ray Anderson, a "good" corporate CEO, is familiar from the Gore film.

Sometimes information and animated diagrams go by with ridiculous speed. It's as if the filmmakers were a little terrified of omitting something. This will work fine on a DVD where you can freeze-frame to check things out; it doesn't work so well in a theater. Speeded-up urban sequences look like some sloppy version of Koyaanisqatsi. These flaws make one nostalgic for Gore's measured tones. His detractors called Inconvenient Truth "a glorified Power Point lecture." But that's much better than sounding, as DiCaprio occasionally does, like the narrator of some high school educational flick.

Consequently it's not too surprising that 11th Hour has fared less well critically than Truth, despite some significant champions--the critics of some of the major US papers, and smart writers like Andres O'Hehir of, David Edelstein of New York Magazine, Jonathan Rosenbaum of The Chicago Reader--and one could go on. Ultimately, the film's weaknesses don't matter, because its content is too important and smart to dismiss.

Attacking The 11th Hour feels unwise--like killing the messenger. Conners and Peterson and DiCaprio and all those bright people are saying things we need to hear. Is the quality of this movie really such an issue? The far more significant issue raised is this: sure, we can "vote" by buying low-watt bulbs and recycling and reducing our individual "carbon footprints." But to act collectively, we'll need that so-far-missing leadership. Where is it going to come from?
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An inspiring documentary with an important cautionary message
vovazhd20 April 2008
I went into The 11th Hour expecting a straightforward, didactic documentary summarizing the current threats from global warming. If not for a momentary interest on the subject, I would have probably passed it up altogether. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was extremely nuanced, being an insightful and scientific investigation on mankind's role in global warming.

Rather than spurting out random facts and events (like most documentaries), The 11th Hour uses a wide range of viewpoints to build a conceptual foundation that explains the general scientific impression of global warming. Some of the ideas may end up being wrong, but all of them are at least plausible. The different speakers include Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai, Mikhail Gorbachev, and (my favorite) Stephen Hawking. There are many different ideas communicated, but they are all based on the same underlying principle. The structure of the documentary is very dialog heavy, which can feel overwhelming at times but is guaranteed to bring forth new knowledge to viewers.

The main ideas are nothing new for most people educated on environmental news, but the speakers submit some profound new ways of looking at them. A common theme was relating Earth's existence to the human civilization's existence. If we continue to progress global warming, the planet might be able to heal itself eventually, but only once humans are gone. One thing I found especially interesting was the consideration of the economic value of nature, which ended up being roughly two times greater than the world's industrial wealth.

My only significant complaint is that the film is often rough in style, organization, and editing. The images sometimes feel out of place or even distracting from the message. Occasionally, the images rapidly jump between completely different environments, which can be hard to process. To be sure, most of the cinematography was excellent, but it just wasn't put together in the best way. Overall, it could have been more focused.

The 11th Hour is an insightful and inspiring documentary on one of the most important topics to date. It provides a balanced and comprehensive conceptual overview on the human role in global warming, but also expects viewers to take this knowledge out of the theater and implement it into their own lives. It is extremely educational experience.
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Film superbly does its job as a social responsibility educator.
mischa4914 September 2007
With the world economy expanding as it is bringing pollution along with it, combined with the lack of socially responsible leadership specifically in the forms of education and regulation, The 11th Hour superbly outlines the current status of our Earth's health, the movement to revive it, and a basis for the education that is needed to make necessary changes for a healthier planet. Much file footage is shown throughout the film that is sometimes not specifically discussed but does provide good visuals for the narration and speakers, which is the basis of the entire film. Although the production is a bit ADD (ie a screen cut every 1/2 to 1 second at times), the distress call for the environment and future of our world is clear. A 10/10 is deserved for this film for social responsibility and standing up against non-leadership while providing feasible options to reduce global climate change from the ground up.
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Thumbs Up To Leonardo Di Caprio For Caring About Our Planet
Seamus282916 September 2007
Let's face it gang, the 21st Century (and even the later phase of the 20th century)has been the era of the documentary,resulting in some of the most insightful,thought provoking,eye opening,and even enraging documentary films. Granted, I've seen some mighty fine docs,produced within the last 20 or so years,but they have not been blessed with the distribution of the ones within the last few years. The 11th Hour (or as it is being called, 'Leonard DiCaprio Presents The Eleventh Hour' in European markets),like 'An Inconvient Truth' from last year is a much needed wake up call to the issue of global warming,and just poisoning the Earth,in general. 'Hour' gets it's gumption from interviews with some key environmental figures, offering their take on what we're doing to our planet (and what we have been doing since the birth of the industrial age). These are the kind of films that should be playing out in the major markets,instead of just being shuttled off to the art cinemas. Okay,don't get me wrong. I like escapism from time to time, like anybody else,but I'm not afraid of truth whupping me upside the head with the proverbial/metaphorical 2 by 4. Despite the fact that this film has been taken on by a major studio (Warner Bros.),it has still,received spotty distribution. See this film & judge for yourself.
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Inevitable comparisons will be made...
jemps9184 October 2007
Inevitable comparisons will be made with Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and so we might as well go ahead with it.

The 11th Hour starts off with terrifying the audience, in contrast to Gore's more introspective calm before the storm. Gore also interjects humor and his own personality into a documentary about his own crusade, while DiCaprio's is more straightforward, inundating the audience with mind-numbing facts and portents of doom. He also doesn't focus attention to his own personality but stays merely a narrator.

The 11th Hour is more comprehensive, drawing from various sources, but lacks breathing room to digest each infoload periodically dumped on screen. It decides to interject these pockets of space for reflection far too late, already in the middle of the reel.

DiCaprio's narration is also a disappointment. He is great eye candy that serves to pull the crowd to the theater, a terrific actor and is capable of memorizing tomes of text in his movies, but in his own documentary, his eyes too obviously dart left to right at a teleprompter, which loses the impact and earnestness he needs to communicate and connect to the audience. Meanwhile, the less-physically appealing Gore successfully portrays himself in Rocky-like fashion, valiantly trudging on in his uphill battle, which makes the audience identify with and root for him.

To The 11th Hour's credit, it offers more solutions on an individual level than Gore's. Despite the fragmented expositions of its well-meaning interview subjects, it offers hope and a heroic sense of optimism that we can still do something about the issue.
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James Owen13 December 2008
Sheesh, what a mess.

If Americans are relying on documentaries like this to convince Joe the Redneck that anthropogenic climate change is real I understand why we all feel there is so much more work left to do. You see, the problem with the film is its complete lack of a narrative, one scientist/politician/activist after another, however respectable, snappily quipping about consumption, pollution, the oil economy, in no particular order does nothing to explain where we came from or where we are headed, or why. So the documentary teaches nothing new, it just juggles around the same themes, incoherently referencing the all correct verbiage to satisfy an green audience but neither inform nor empower it.

The visuals do not help, we can't go 5 seconds without seeing an iceberg disintegrate or tree being chopped down. After the first half hour it becomes like some sort weird sort of exercise in CIA-style mental conditioning. Does no good, indeed it destroys a viewer's concentration, rather than enriching or rewarding it. Also, it has to be said, some of visuals are entirely erroneous, for a the moment when told that human behaviour may cause the release of subterranean methane, why are we shown a clip of a sea vent? There are at least a dozen similar misleading visuals here, and as much as I'm into green politics, let's face it, with instances like there is a touch of propaganda to this documentary.

Conclusions? Save some energy, turn it off, read some George Monbiot instead.
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Heed the warning
lastliberal22 May 2008
The best thing about this film was the fact that it did not focus on the Earth's destruction, but on man's eventual demise as a species. The earth with survive our rape and plunder. It has been here for 4.5 billion years, while we have been here but 150,000. We will eventually join the 99.999% of the species that have lived on this planet and who are now extinct. How quickly we join them is up to us, but we will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

Through our heavy consumption and trash creation, we are rapidly stripping all of the resources from the Earth and polluting what we don't consume. Soon, we will be faced with the inevitable - it's all gone. If you haven't seen "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash," then it should be on your list as a "must see." Along with "An Inconvenient Truth," this film tells us what will happen if we stay the course.

The only fault I found in the film was the rapidity with which it presented information. This stuff needs to be digested slowly, and we got it rapid fire. Still, it is an important addition to the story of humankind and how we are planning our own destruction.
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It's not An Inconvenient Truth, but...
Alan Rapp25 August 2007
Although it deals with many of the same issues as Al Gore's Oscar winning documentary from last year it lacks some of the style, presentation, and gravitas the former VP exudes so easily.

Still, for what you get it's a pretty good film, though the second half is far superior to the first.

The documentary, as narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, goes into detail of what's wrong with our world, what changes and challenges our generation must accept, and how close we are getting to the point of no return. The first half of the film deals with the destruction and disasters happening all over the globe and comes close, though it never steps over the line, of using the kind of scare tactics many, wrongly, accused Gore of. The second half of the movie deals with what we can do, technology that currently exists and new technology that's on the way. As the film gets more hopeful, peers into the future, and presents amazing opportunities and challenges, it becomes moving and quite powerful.

I'd give the first half of the film a 6, the last half a 10, and so I split the difference and gave it an 8 overall.

If you enjoyed this film and want more you should check out other recent documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth and Who Killed the Electric Car?, both from last year.

Go to RazorFine Review to read my full review for this film, and the others listed above.
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Powerful film - a must see!
Kes198416 May 2008
I just watched this and I must say, I was certainly already for environmental causes and considered myself to be adequately knowledgeable on global warming etc, but I had no idea! We are in a far worse state than most would be aware. This film takes you from the beginning of civilisation (to my disappointment, mainly focusing on evolution theory rather than creation - the reason I gave this 9 stars and not 10), then it shows the results of our way of life and frankly, it scares the viewer.

Many notable scientists talk about where we are now, where we will be without any responsive action, and where we can be if we decide to take action.

The film finishes on a relatively positive note, showing that if we act now, we can in fact make the necessary change. It certainly leaves you thinking about your own way of life and how you can change little things here and there to do you bit for humanity.

I think every person needs to watch this as the issue effects us all. Don't think for a minute that global warming isn't real. Just watch the nightly news and you will see it in effect. It is real!

Recommended to all!
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too scattered and overwhelmed by too many issues
SnoopyStyle10 December 2015
Leonardo DiCaprio narrates a documentary about the human destruction of the global environment. It looks at the entire history of human exploitation of the world's resources, its devastating effects and possible solutions. It concentrates on global warming with a large scattering of every scary environmental fears.

There are way too many talking heads. Some faces are recognizable but most of them are unknown environmental scientists or writers. The scope of the movie is so vast that it becomes a laundry list of everything. For environmentalists, this is preaching to the choir. For opponents, this is a slick propaganda throwing everything into the stew presented by Hollywood. For those in between, it doesn't really convince but it summarizes. This is a repeat of 'An Inconvenient Truth' and then piles on everything else. There is just more stuff. I don't see this as anything new or convincing anybody not already convinced. There are so many issues being touched on that I think most independent viewers would throw up their hands and give up long before the end.
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A Nutshell Review: The 11th Hour
DICK STEEL31 October 2007
I guess we can attest that the local weather of late has gone bonkers. More often than note, we have incredibly hot and humid weather with bright sunshine one half of the day, before the skies turn grey and pours heavily on us. We've seen even more occurrences of water spouts emerging just off our shore, and we've done the boogie when neighbouring countries suffer jolts in the earth, from which we will feel tremors enough for us to abandon our high rise buildings. While we're relatively buffered from direct adverse weather effects, not a day goes by without reading or knowing about strange weather phenomenon from around the world.

The Earth is dying, and nature is taking its revenge on us for plundering her lands and exploiting her resources in a wasteful manner. The signs are out there, but we'd rather be oblivious to them. And Al Gore, after his attempt to ascend the White House, has gone back to his pet subject, and evangelized about saving the earth through his very slick package, which was given a cinematic life by Davis Guggenheim with An Inconvenient Truth. A call to action, I don't deny that I've started to pay a little more attention to it, and though my effort can be considered minuscule, I suppose it's but a start.

Leonardo DiCaprio lends his star power to The 11th Hour, which he produced and narrates, but unlike Al Gore who can be considered a subject matter expert in his own right, given his years of devotion to this topic, DiCaprio realizes his deficiency in this area, and smartly takes a backseat by just narrating a very small portion of the movie, leaving most of the talk to true experts who can properly articulate and appeal to our common senses. In that respect, The 11th Hour provided a much more diverse perspective of the entire situation, from the micro to the much bigger picture of the entire ecosystem, and the various views, philosophies and schools of thought.

Arguments come fast and furious, with content ranging from discussions of fossil fuels, global warming, an interesting articulation of present and ancient power sources, and the astonishing rate of our population boom vis-a-vis the ability of the planet to sustain life, not just ours, but every other species on the planet which will depend on our (mis)management of common resource. The 11th hour contains a very compelling look, not just at the environment as a standalone, but turns the spotlight on us as its inhabitants as well. We get bombarded from all directions with opinions, and statements of an impending apocalypse of our own doing, and I assure you if you're not frightened by the Revelation, I don't know what will.

It's not just slick Keynote presentation which Gore's material is utilizing to bring the message across (and a very effective one I might add), and we also get the usual stock videos of hurricanes and well referenced clips of the melting polar caps. It's unfair to compare Inconvenient Truth to 11th Hour, as both have used different styles to bring across the same message - that the fate of the world, and of course, our survival as a species, is very much dependent on what we do now to effect a change. The Earth is renewable and can self-heal given an immense amount of time, but we have but one chance to make things right, for ourselves.

But before you think of this documentary as just being another harbinger of doom and gloom, The 11th Hour does end off on a very hopeful note, just like how An Inconvenient Truth did. Here, it focused on renewable and recyclabl e methodologies which we might have already come across, albeit in a small, niche way yet to convince mega corporations to adopt. Perhaps with time, when feasibility is demonstrated, they would, and that's when we need to wean ourselves off the reliance of oil, which are hitting record prices per barrel, and arguably the cause of unnecessary war. The new building designs look awesome, especially with the incorporation of green technologies, adopted no less from the learning of how organisms operate. Think of it as adopting the best practices from species and the natural environment, and fusing it with our modern day technology and designs.

The 11th Hour is a must watch, not only for enlightenment purposes, but rather for a call to action once the lights come on. Again we need to be reminded on how much we can do, and to actually do it. Last year we listened to An Inconvenient Truth, and now, The 11th Hour brings forth that sense of urgency to do much more.
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It's anti-God to care about the Environment now?
catch69911 September 2007
Ladymoonpictures is one sad individual. Our SIZE is small so our actions are insignificant? How incredibly short-sighted. A nuclear winter would force a man-made ice age, which would kill off most life on the planet. We could create one in a single day. You don't think that is significant? And "fail to give thanks to that supreme creator who has given them breath"? Let me tell you something: Jesus was a LIBERAL! Did you ever actually READ the Bible? You know all that talk about "feed the hungry, house the homeless, tend the ill" sounds an awful lot like a social-safety-net to me. And how about this: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's". He knew back then that there should be a separation between church and state! Try having a genuine thought of your own for once instead of simply repeating what Fox Corporate Spin tells you to think.
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In dire need of better editing
gzamikes27 August 2007
In this you see shots of various landscapes both littered and pristine, shots of Leonardo DiCaprio talking to the camera around Los Angeles and various opinions from all sorts of people which all get meshed together to announce many things. It's too much. Out of the whole movie, I saw 45 minutes that didn't feel like an overindulgence in excess or a waste of time. The rest of the time, people are just reiterating things that were said previously amongst many vague facts and a few things that are being developed to help the planet. I wish more time had been spent on the things being developed and less on things just happening for no reason. A waterfall, a littered beach, an environmentalist, how about a break? Yeesh. This could have easily been condensed into a TV special.
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Sure the message is important but the delivery is poor and costs the film its aims
bob the moo22 June 2008
Although I'm far from backing up my ideals with all my actions, I am pretty much in the choir when it comes to this eco-message-documentary fronted by film-star Leonardo DiCaprio because I am liberal, make an effort to recycle and have the good taste to worry about my resource use (I know how that sounds but at least I'm honest). So for me it is not an issue to review the film without it turning into me taking issue with the overall message of the film. If anything I risk the other trap that many have fallen into – which is to review the message and not the film. So let me just get that trap out the way by saying that the message, in my opinion, is worthy and important and I have no doubt that all those involved in this film felt this and were keen to get it made and out to as big an audience as possible.

Reviewing the film is a different thing altogether though because while the aim may have been to get the message out there and push this agenda, the actual film itself does the opposite due to the way it is delivered. The structure, content and style of the film is flawed across the board and it did put me off – leading me to wonder how someone who was sceptical to begin with would cope with the flaws in it as a film. Where The Inconvenient Truth builds its case and took the viewer along with it, 11th Hour just jumps right in and never stops hitting the viewer with information. Nothing wrong with that in concept but when it is done in a poorly structured and fast-paced way it does rather feel like you are being preached at by a hell-fire reverend rather than talked to or even lectured (in the academic sense of the word). The visuals don't help partly because they are just frantic and unnecessary at times but also because they clash with the much more sedentary talking heads that fill the vast majority of the running time. The end result is the feeling that the film is just trying to bully you into submission rather than carefully taking you down a path where even some sceptics will be conceding points.

There is plenty of good stuff in here and those that are already won over may not even feel the flaws in delivery as they nod their heads in agreement. However, while I can agree on the importance of the message and the aims of the makers, good intentions alone do not make for a good film and here the delivery is consistently weak in a couple of key areas to the detriment of the film. A shame but this is one for the choir and even then it needs a chunk of good will to ignore the film and concentrate solely on the message.
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An extremely important, poorly delivered message
Bob1 September 2007
What a shame. This is the most important issue of all time. It's too bad the film spoke ten miles over the heads of its audience.

I know about the environmental movement, the issues, and the players. I thought Al Gore's film and book were outstanding. But after ten minutes with this film, I was lost. I was lost because I was pelted by experts with expert-speak. This is absolutely NOT how to reach an audience if that audience is non-experts.

My college work is in political science, sociology, and technical writing and editing. If you want to make an impact on an audience, you must target the message to the audience, like Al Gore did. You cannot bludgeon a non-tech savvy audience with techno babble. Talking about the abstract concept we call "the environment" won't work. You have to tell people both how these separate facets are affecting them now, sometimes in ways they don't realize, and how they will likely affect them in five years, ten years, twenty years, etc.

The good news is, this was attempted several times in the film. When it was, it reached me. One example was when an interviewee spoke about the growth of asthma among school children. That was good. Because I am the uncle of three children under 11 years of age, that had a direct connection to my life. If the film had been at least half of this, it would be much more successful in delivering the message. Instead, the noise killed the message.

Leo, I really appreciate what you tried to do. But you lost me. May I suggest you pick up a classic book on environmental rhetoric. It is "Green Culture," by Herndl and Brown. Pay attention to the essay "Saving the Great Lakes." It will show you how to reach both your audience and the powers that be by recounting the real-life impact this environmental devastation is having on our lives.

The next thing I'd like to see is a weekly television series on Sundance Channel, or perhaps in syndication, that shows the daily impact of catastrophic climate change on the average person. It would be an environmental version of Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days" series. I believe it's impact would be profound.
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An inconvenient fact -- forestry is good for us
donald-mills29 August 2007
In the 29 August 2007 edition of the Vancouver Sun, Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, takes issue with Dicaprio's insistence in the documentary '11th Hour' on disparaging the cutting down of trees. Dr. Moore points out that the reduction of greenhouse gases is tied to the proper management of forests, rather than avoidance of cutting down trees altogether. Trees are the earth's great storehouses of carbon, and younger trees easily outdo their older counterparts when it comes to carbon sequestration. He emphasizes that we should be using wood whenever possible, rather than concrete, steel or plastic, each of which emit great amounts of carbon via their production. So long as new trees are planted in place of the trees cut down, the decision to cut down a tree can be viewed as an opportunity to benefit both the earth and its inhabitants.

Global warming is real, and sensible stewardship of the earth's resources is necessary. However, as Dr. Moore observes, when faced with dire circumstances, 'sensible' and 'extreme' need not coincide, nor should they.

To summarize: Wood is good.

P.S. If anyone wonders, no, I'm not an employee of the timber industry.
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Another mindless propaganda piece
apPauling24 August 2007
There is always money to be made and political power to be gained by sensationalistic fear-mongering - which is exactly what 11th Hour is all about.

These fear-mongers claim that we're heading down the wrong path and that we're all going to die. Well then, if our path is so wrong...

Why is it that people in industrialized nations are healthier and living longer than at any other time in history?

Why is it that industrialized nations enjoy a higher standard of living than at any other time in history?

Why is it that our biggest health problem in the USA is that we have too much food and life is too easy?

How can our air and water be killing us when we are thriving on it and living longer and healthier than ever? And as if that's not good enough, why is it that, in industrialized nations, the air and water quality is always getting even better?

Why is it that the air and water quality and the environment are cleaner and healthier in industrialized nations than in our third-world counterparts?

How can ours be the path to over-population when the populations of industrialized nations are either steady or slightly decreasing?

Why aren't the unindustrialized, third-world nations a threat when their populations are increasing exponentially?

Why shouldn't we expect global temperatures to increase since we are still coming out of the last Ice Age? And has anybody noticed that the temperatures of Mars, Jupiter and Neptune have also been steadily increasing? Over 90 percent of Earth's history was warmer than now.

The only threat our present path will bring is a threat to the power the elite try to wield over the "little people." Films like The Eleventh Hour try to keep us in fear and obedient to political authority. Don't be a useful idiot and don't buy into this crap.
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A failed documentary
Argemaluco15 December 2007
Last year,we could see the great and acclaimed documentary An Inconvenient Truth.Maybe,Leonardo Di Caprio saw it and he liked it so much that he wanted to do a documentary about the same subject of that film.But,the result is not only far away from An Inconvenient Truth,but it also is a failed documentary.The most important mistake this movie makes is that the subject does not ''come'' to the spectator.I like a lot the subject from this movie and I investigated a lot about it.But the film explains everything in a very scientific way so a lot of people will not understand what the movie is talking about.The movie throws a lot of information at the same time,so the spectator finishes annoyed.In the positive sight I can mention that Di Caprio had good intentions with this movie.But the main problem is that the documentary does not develop them well.The 11th Hour had good intentions but it does not satisfy.In summary,a failed film.
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Boring as Hell
jonson-joe29 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Pleeease, no more Suzuki! We've seen enough of his face. All that hot air coming out his mouth - awfully boring. Does not say anything new. Anyone can yak about global warming, it's a fashionable topic and a good way to make money. Where is the real science? Maybe if you are from the planet of Mars and are absolutely new to the topic of Global Warming on planet Earth - then yeah, you can watch this movie.

Perhaps these movie producers should shift their attention to other topics. Overpopulation is a good choice. But please, enough with the arm-waiving already. And next time include some solid facts and references.

I gave it 1/10 cause it's boring, it's been told before a million times and it barely relies on facts.
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Provocative, But Needed More In Terms of Visuals
eric26200328 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Make no bones about it, we live in weird times. We're now feed to believe that scientific understanding is synonymous to a system of belief. At this moment, no one has caused any convictions to contradict their theories, but the main topics in the air in the scientific community right now are evolution and the fears of our failing ecosystem caused by the effect of global warming. I never thought that the laws of physics even cared about our environmental concerns that could effect our ecosystem forever. And as we speak, we are still debating if the melting of our icebergs is a sign that our ecosystem is in declining health or if it's a sign the Jesus is coming back with a vengeance. It comes to no surprise that that this movie had to include some anti-science religious fanatic to appease some appraisal to the Republican party's agenda. Thanks to this individual, the Republicans are obligated to believe, that in spite of all the toxins polluting the air, the debris in our rivers, the massive oil spills and the deforestation of our Earth is just fine for our environment if you have the power to believe.

Of course the perpetual liberal agenda that is Hollywood will gladly milk in the celebrity endorsements to challenge this global concern. And who's better to conduct this with open heart mixed with narrow-minded integrity is non other than Hollywood's Golden Boy Leonardo DiCaprio. Like a sequel to Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth", DiCaprio continues where Gore left us and also serves as a producer as well. "The 11th Hour" tells an intelligent and insightful alarming state of the ecological mismanagement our planet has suffered from over the years. And it doesn't look like its going to get better any time soon.

A cornucopia of professors, journalists, authors, scientists and politicians to discuss this matter of how it has an affect on us and what we should be concerned about. And the big names are quite impressive. Among the heavy-thinkers is the king of thinkers Dr. Stephen Hawking, and among the big-name politicians is former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev. But among the impressive speakers that caught my attention was the very knowledgeable and well-spoken former CIA director James Woolsey. These mainstream of experts tell us we don't have the strength to completely destroy the land that gave us life, but rather the ability to make life more complicated towards ourselves and our legacy to follow us when were dead. The Earth will continue to move forward whether its inhabited by humans or fleas.

For that much-needed celebrity star-power DiCaprio narrates this documentary. Though that's not a bad thing because he has a great voice for narrating, his gravitas lacks in maturity compared to Morgan Freeman or George Clooney. His delivery of words seems way too giddy in all his earnest intentions, his youthful appearance makes him look like he's posing for a teen magazine. And that novice director Leila Connors-Petersen and Nadia Connors presented this film way too conventionally. There's just way too many talking heads with only brief fragments of ecological concerning footage. Sure it's giving us a fair warning, which may make you reevaluate your thinking, but fails to show you the bigger picture.

The main question I have for this documentary is, who is their target audience? Granted it gives the general population as a whole a little something to think about. But in the end, it all comes down to the people already in that train of thought. This movie could have the potential to covert Bill O'Reilly to volunteer for Greenpeace. Instead he'll just find a way to conflict himself against the liberal biased Hollywood.

The only people who might watch this film are those who may watched Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth". Which is quite sad because in that documentary, the lecture is gritty with impressive visuals and a flow that's easy to grasp at. "The 11th Hour" suffers from the fact that its executed to a more deeper-rooted philosophical vibe which makes it more encapsulating than it is obtainable. Which is sad because there's a lot to talk about in "The 11th Hour".

After all the doom gloom that's killing our planet, it does shed a light of optimism and the solutions they have for us are both simple and practical. And it's nice that were not getting lectured by radical hippies telling us we all need to live in huts and grow more trees and eat the foods we grow. Instead the more intellectuals are just telling us we don't need to change our lifestyles, but rather depend on our modern technology to generate more fuel-economy cars and recyclable clothing, frugal wind-power and ecological friendly households.

Even though "The 11th Hour" is very strong in subject matter and good on intention, the presentation could've been more better. And though I commend Leo for a job well done in narration, we really didn't need a Hollywood star tells us our wrong-doings. We're capable of figuring it our ourselves without the star power.
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Dramatic, Fascinating, and Impactful
Paige Hicks5 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The 11th Hour is a 2007 environmental documentary film that was created, produced, narrated, and partially written by Leonardo DiCaprio. It chronicles the state of our natural environment and the dire problems that our planet's life systems are facing. Multiple challenges facing our environment are discussed; things like global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and dying ocean habitats. How we got to this point and solutions as to how we can change the future we are headed towards are two things that are explored as well. The saying "the 11th Hour" refers to the last moment when any sort of change is possible, the "darkest hour" if you will, which is a powerful title for this movie and implies just how bad the state of the earth really is. The film uses suspenseful music and haunting images to dramatize things. It makes for a pretty moving documentary compared to some of the others out there. The famous and handsome Leonardo DiCaprio being highly involved in this project must have attracted viewers. They also use interviews and testimonies from highly educated scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, and other experts to make the film more impactful. Some of those experts include a former prime minister and the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The 11th Hour's website says that the film features "ongoing dialogues of over 50 leading scientists, thinkers, and leaders who discuss the most important issues that face our planet and people." Viewers call The 11th Hour's images "terrifying" and the interviews "fascinating". They like that the film not only presents the problems; it presents possible solutions to those problems. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes say the film is "well-researched and swimming in scientific data". Reviewers says the film gets it's point across "in a manner that is easy to understand and hard to ignore". Personally, I enjoyed the film. It was dramatic and impactful without making you feel too terrible before it offered solutions to the destruction we have caused. It definitely didn't hurt that Leo was on screen some too. His appearances and narration did not take away from the film in the slightest. I felt more informed and educated on climate change after watching this documentary, and I think that is ultimately what matters with a film of this type that is trying to inform the public about the current climate crisis and move them to action.
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Stamping onto the Human Footprint
p-stepien24 September 2013
Leonardo DiCaprio lends his prominence to forward this important documentary about the human footprint and its consequences in the destruction of our environment. Less factual than "An Inconvenient Truth", "The 11th Hour" goes into a more emotional cry for attention and reaction, less focused on the head, more on the heart. Despite this the list of people shouting at us and forewarning us isn't a bunch of crazed lefties, but the cream-de-la-creme of the scientific, business and ecological world. This helps somewhat override the concern that the shock factor somewhat overwhelms the movie, as you can see that this is not a cry for attention made by just anyone. It is made by those who know what they are talking about.

In itself "The 11th Hour" is somewhat of a hatchet job of a documentary, pasting together all the elements in a chaotic tale of of chaotic influence of all life on the planet. Compared to Al Gore's measured tone, DiCaprio feels somewhat condescending and overexuberant, as if taken from a National Geographic wildlife feature. All in all however this is one of those rare movies, where the outer quality is trumped by the messages it contains, making it a recommended watch throughout.

The movie is somewhat devastating and depressing, anyone with half a brain would heed the warning within it and reach out for the hope with which it ends. Unfortunately however I lack the same faith in humanity and can't bear to watch the self-destructive tendencies inherent to our capitalist and corporational model hell-bent on profit, no matter the cost. Preferably one such movie would be made each year and every year we would be offered an opportunity to monitor how well or how badly we are coping with the biggest threat in the history of life: humankind.

The end message is especially tragic: Earth will survive this ordeal. Unfortunately we won't be there to observe this happen, unless we dramatically change the world we live in.
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