3.7/10
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381 user 64 critic

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008)

Ben Stein examines the issue of academic freedom and decides that there is none when it comes to the debate over intelligent design.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lili Asvar ...
Sara
Peter Atkins ...
Himself
Hector Avalos ...
Himself
Doug Axe ...
Himself
Adam Behr ...
Multiple animation voices (voice)
David Berlinski ...
Walter Bradley ...
Himself
Bruce Chapman ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Caroline Crocker ...
Herself
Richard Dawkins ...
William Dembski ...
Himself (as William Albert Dembski)
Daniel C. Dennett ...
Himself (as Daniel Dennett)
Michael Egnor ...
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Storyline

Academic freedom is being suppressed, says Ben Stein. He contends that professors from around the United States are being fired from their jobs for promoting, or even exploring the possibility of, intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Stein interviews the expelled academics and other supporters of intelligent design. He also interviews the scientists in the mainstream, who support Darwinism. Stein links Darwinism to Nazism, Communism, eugenics and abortion. Vintage clips of educational films and Hollywood movies are used to illustrate points in a satirical way. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom...What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel!

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crossroads  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,970,848, 20 April 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,690,545
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie has a complicated production history. It was originally pitched to Ben Stein as "Expelled", a documentary about "Darwinism and why it has such a lock on the academic establishment when the theory has so many holes" (in Stein's words). Scientific interviewees had received a letter in which the film was pitched to them as a Rampant Films production entitled "Crossroads", about how "the conflict between science and religion has unleashed passions in school board meetings, courtrooms, and town halls across America and beyond". When the movie began to be publicly promoted, it was back to the title "Expelled", was produced by Premise Media, and describes how "under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator". The evolutionary biologists depicted in the movie have objected to the misrepresentation of the movie, and to the inter-cutting of their interviews with footage of Adolf Hitler and Nazi stormtroopers. In response, the producers have labeled these scientists "hypocrites". See more »

Goofs

Before the Richard Dawkins interview, Ben Stein is seen walking across campus on his way to the interview location, but when he arrives he's wearing different clothes. See more »

Quotes

Ben Stein: We are losing our freedom in one of the most important sectors of society: science. I have always assumed that scientists were free to ask any question, to pursue any line of inquiry, without fear of reprisal. But recently I've been alarmed to discover that this is not the case.
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Connections

Features Larry King Live (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit in the Sky
Written and Performed by Norman Greenbaum
Published by Trans/Tone Productions Inc. & Great Honesty Music
Under license from Trans/Tone Productions Inc. & Varese Sarabande Records Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dishonest
5 May 2009 | by See all my reviews

Among this films multitude of sins you can count quote mining (contorting information from even Darwin himself), the blatant misrepresentation of it's supposed subject matter, evolution (which has nothing to say about the origin of life), and the offensive suggestion that being an atheist denotes a lack of morality to the extent that we all harbour genocidal tendencies.

Amazingly, the film doesn't even bother to define what the terms 'Intelligent Design' (read: 'God Did It') or 'Darwinism' mean, most likely to deliberately muddy the waters and reframe the discussion as one of free speech rather than evidence vs. magic. In terms of propaganda, this was probably a shrewd move on the part of the filmmakers because if they did actually shed any factual light on the precepts of ID it would disintegrate like a vampire. To set the record straight the term 'Darwinist' is redundant. There is only the theory of evolution. It is not a cult of personality but rather a hard-studied scientific construct supported by the work of thousands of scientists over hundreds of years. Furthermore, it is a bit rich to make an emotive plea for free speech in terms of a 'level playing field' considering that religion has a less than stellar history in such matters. In science if you can't back up what you have to say with evidence then it is of no use to the system. This uselessness is unintentionally (and ironically) embodied in Expelled as it is thick on rhetoric and wafer thin in terms of actual substance.

Plagued by dishonesty and misinformation throughout this film lacks the very moral values of transparency and fairness it claims to promote (for examples check out the trivia on IMDb.com). As well as being hypocritical it is also kind of cowardly. If you are going to make a documentary on this stuff at least have the integrity to say what you actually believe in instead of obfuscating the issues at hand and, frankly, lying. People deserve better which is precisely why rationalists balk at the idea of letting these folks loose in the science classroom. Overall, having set the bar so low, I would say that Expelled deserves to be looked back on by future generations and ridiculed and puzzled over in equal measure. 'Did people really think like that?' I am afraid so.


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