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Freakonomics (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Freakonomics -- The best-selling book that dramatically changed the way we look at the world is brought to life by six of the most acclaimed directors of our time in a funny, thought provoking & highly entertaining film.
Freakonomics -- Some of the world's most innovative documentary filmmakers explore incentives-based thinking.
Freakonomics -- Freakonomics is the highly anticipated film version of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies...


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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Peter Bull (written by) (segment) &
Alex Gibney (written by) (segment) ...
View company contact information for Freakonomics on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 December 2010 (UK) See more »
Six Rogue Filmmakers Explore The Hidden Side Of Everything
A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Lukewarm at best See more (23 total) »



James Ransone

Tempestt Bledsoe ... Herself (archive footage)

Morgan Spurlock ... Himself - Narrator

Bill Gates ... Himself

Melvin Van Peebles ... Himself - Narrator (segment "It's Not Always A Wonderful Life")

Greg Crowe ... Johnny the Mechanic
Sarah Croce ... Yoga Instructor

Alisha Nagarsheth ... Student

Zoe Sloane ... Blake

Jade Viggiano ... High School Girl
Konishiki ... Himself
John D. Rockefeller ... Himself

Blaire Whitney ... High School Girl
Barry Eisler ... Himself

Dan Chen ... Bruce-Cubicle Worker

Lian Toni Amado ... High School Girl

Rahmel Long ... Courtroom Audience

Mala Wright ... Courtroom Audience
Hassan Brown ... Deshawn's Dad
Akebono ... Himself
Kahiry Bess ... Deshawn
Steven Levitt ... Himself - Author
Adesuwa Addy Iyare ... Temptress' Mom

Kellie Gerardi ... Lexus
Carl Alleyne ... Temptress' Mom's Boyfriend
Jalani McNair ... Loser Lane
Lisa Sobin ... High School Girl
Christina Duran ... All American Mom / Tallulah
Veronica Heffron ... Courtroom Audience
Ngozi Jane Anyanwu ... Uneek
Erin Renee Taylor ... High School Girl
Tyler J. Gilmore ... Kevin-Cubicle Worker
Stephen Dubner ... Himself - Co-Author
Nicholas Tong ... Dwight-Cubicle Worker
Francie Scanlon ... Courtroom Audience
Roland Fryer ... Himself
Peter Zerneck ... All American Dad / Marmaduke
Richard Kohn ... Judge Ignatius Lyons
Laura Wattenberg ... Herself
Kelli Chaves ... High School Girl
James Leibow ... Himself
Loshona ... Uneqqee
Amancaya Aguilar ... Mercedes
Lori Richardson ... Deshawn's Mom
Mark Getman ... Murray
Leslie Marx ... Courtroom Audience
Paul Matulef ... Courtroom Audience
Terence B. Exodus ... Courtroom Audience
Mark Dorsey ... Jake's Dad
Peggy Davern ... Courtroom Audience
Kristina Hovey ... Stripper
Shae Weber ... All American Daughter / Alabama
Alyssa Wheeldon ... High School Girl
Ashley Bryan ... Jake's Mom
Sendhil Mullainathan ... Himself (as Dr. Sendhil Mullainathan)
Danielle Sabrina ... High School Girl
Ron Douglas ... Robert Lane
J. Avery Shoates ... Young Temptress
Emily Shaw ... Stripper
Richard Kohn ... Judge Ignatius Lyons
Jameesha Blackburn ... Uneque
Davida Kelly ... Bobbi
Andrew Greiche ... Jake
Almudin Ally ... Courtroom Audience
Mark Fernandes ... Courtroom Audience
Tara Hall ... High School Girl
Mike MacAllister ... Himself
Keenan Pollack ... All American Infant / Gidget
Adam Kaufman ... Angry Deli Owner
Hector Palacios ... Courtroom Audience
Maya Cain ... Baby Temptress
Loren Cagno ... High School Girl
Michael Worthington ... Baliff
Nikoli ... Winner Lane
Emma Meyers ... Angela-Cubicle Worker
Cheyenne Bascoe ... Temptress
Nicholas Bulba ... All American Son / Rufus

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dan Rather ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Heidi Ewing 
Alex Gibney 
Seth Gordon 
Rachel Grady 
Eugene Jarecki 
Morgan Spurlock 
Writing credits
Peter Bull (written by) (segment "Pure Corruption") &
Alex Gibney (written by) (segment "Pure Corruption")

Jeremy Chilnick (written by) (segment "A Roshanda by Any Other Name") &
Morgan Spurlock (written by) (segment "A Roshanda by Any Other Name")

Eugene Jarecki (written by) (segment "It's Not Always a Wonderful Life")

Heidi Ewing (written by) (segment "Can a Ninth Grader Be Bribed to Succeed?") &
Rachel Grady (written by) (segment "Can a Ninth Grader Be Bribed to Succeed?")

Seth Gordon (written by) (intro and transitional segments)

Steven Levitt (book) (as Steven D. Levitt) and
Stephen Dubner (book) (as Stephen J. Dubner)

Produced by
Craig Atkinson .... producer
Peter Bull .... segment producer
Hilary Carr .... co-producer
Peter Cerbin .... co-producer
Rafi Chaudry .... co-producer
Joanna Chejade-Bloom .... co-segment producer
Jeremy Chilnick .... segment producer
Paul Fiore .... executive producer
Kathleen Fournier .... segment producer
Alex Gibney .... segment producer
Christina Gonzalez .... line producer
Seth Gordon .... executive producer
Alexandra Johnes .... segment producer
Sloane Klevin .... co-producer
Erika Knowles .... associate producer
Damon Martin .... executive producer
Dan O'Meara .... producer
Jay Rifkin .... executive producer
Michael Roban .... executive producer
Mary Rohlich .... segment producer
Chris Romano .... producer
Melinda Shopsin .... co-producer
Michiko Toyama .... associate producer
Chad Troutwine .... producer
Original Music by
Paul Brill 
Craig Deleon 
Michael Furjanic 
Mike MacAllister 
Peter Nashel 
Jon Spurney 
Michael Wandmacher 
Cinematography by
Junji Aoki 
Derek Hallquist 
Tony Hardmon 
Darren Lew 
Daniel Marracino 
Ferne Pearlstein 
Rob VanAlkemade 
Film Editing by
Douglas Blush 
Tova Goodman 
Sloane Klevin 
Luis Lopez 
Nelson Ryland 
Michael Taylor 
Art Direction by
Joe Posner 
Makeup Department
Nicole Khitrik .... makeup artist
Mindi Levinson .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Alexandra Johnes .... post-production supervisor
Shirel Kozak .... production manager
Sound Department
Peter Buccellato .... sound recordist
Travis Call .... audio post coordinator
Bill Chesley .... sound designer
Rusty Dunn .... sound effects editor
Brian Fish .... sound mixer
Matt Geldof .... sound recordist
Steve Giammaria .... assistant re-recording mixer
Steve Giammaria .... sound editor
Lewis Goldstein .... sound re-recording mixer
David Hocs .... sound recordist
Christopher Koch .... sound re-recording mixer
Shuji Kosaki .... sound recordist
Cate Montana .... dialogue editor
Ryan M. Price .... voiceover recordist
Alex Riordan .... production sound mixer: Chicago
Tom Ryan .... adr recordist
Matt Vogel .... sound mixer
Tony Volante .... sound re-recording mixer
Elmo Weber .... sound re-recording mixer
Visual Effects by
Marie Deleon .... di producer
Billy Gabor .... DI colorist
Marci Ichimura .... visual effects lead
Lewis Kofsky .... visual effects and animation producer
Jess Mireau .... motion graphics
Brian Oakes .... motion graphics producer
Mark Rubbo .... visual effects
J. Clay Tweel .... visual effects
Chris Wiseman .... conforming hd editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Jillian Arnold .... first assistant camera: introductoin and transitional segments
Craig Atkinson .... additional cinematogrpher
Ben Bloodwell .... additional cinematography
Hisashi Kikuchi .... assistant camera
Ronan Killeen .... second camera
Philip J. Martinez .... additional Steadicam operator
William O'Marra .... second camera
Antonio Rossi .... additional cinematography
Animation Department
Matthew Foglia .... 3D animation supervisor
Editorial Department
Simon Barker .... supervising editor
Dan Bowhers .... technical assistance
Marc Brown .... film output: digital intermediate
Rob Burgos .... colorist (segment: Can a Ninth Grader Be Bribed to Succeed?)
Daniel DiMauro .... assistant editor
Andrew Doga .... assistant editor
Paul Frost .... supervising editor
Dan Hacker .... assistant editor
Jeff Hedberg .... technical assistance
Benjamin Murray .... on-line editor
Ben Sozanski .... first assistant editor
J. Clay Tweel .... assistant editor
Music Department
Susie Bench .... orchestrator
Paul Brill .... composer: additional music
Michael Wandmacher .... orchestrator: introduction and transitional segments
Other crew
Audra Arnaudon .... production coordinator
Erin Barnett .... assistant to director
Sam Black .... researcher
Caitlin Bray .... assistant to director
Sarah Carleton .... assistant to executive producer
Philip Dann .... location manager
Jacqueline Eckhouse .... production counsel
Eline Gordts .... intern
Amna Hafiz .... intern
Emmy Suzuki Harris .... interpreter
Emmy Suzuki Harris .... production coordinator
Kordula Hildebrandt .... public relations
Rolando Hudson .... location manager
Brian Nils Johnson .... production assistant
Susan Johnson .... researcher
Barbara Karen .... production accountant
Nate McCallister .... intern
Nicholas Nummerdor .... production assistant
Dana O'Keefe .... sales agent
Nicholas Ray .... intern
Daniel Schloss .... production assistant
Sara Schweizer .... production assistant
Siobhan Shields .... production assistant
Christopher St. John .... researcher
Robert Stein .... legal services
Yukari Watanabe .... interpreter
Henriette Wollmann .... legal consultant: international sales
Zachary Skipp .... intern (uncredited)
Robert Edwards .... thanks
Edward Eglin .... special thanks
Aidan Ferreria .... special thanks
Christine Ferreria .... special thanks
Brian Galvin .... special thanks
Nova Jacobs .... special thanks
Helen Kay .... thanks
Jeremy Rabb .... special thanks
Daniel A. West .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for elements of violence, sexuality/nudity, drugs, and brief strong language
93 min | USA:85 min
Sound Mix:
Germany:6 | Japan:G | Singapore:NC-16 | USA:PG-13 (certificate #46215)

Did You Know?

Himself - Author:The closest thing to a worldview, I would say, in "Freakonomics," is that incentives matter. Not just financial incentives, but social incentives and moral incentives.See more »
Movie Connections:
This Too Shall PassSee more »


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29 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
Lukewarm at best, 14 January 2011
Author: FcPoliFan from Timisoara, Romania

I'll admit from the off that I was skeptical regarding this documentary ever since I first heard it was in production. Having read the book, I felt that what made it enjoyable could not really be transposed onto film. Economics, being such a science of numbers, even in its freakonomic form, does not really lend itself to being narrated to death.

Going beyond this limitation, I reckon the film could have still been better, had it found a unity of tone. Unfortunately, as several different teams were involved with making each of the four chapters, the final experience is heavily fragmented and unlike the book, which kept its pacing throughout, the film is all over the place.

The first part basically looks at whether there is some sort of correlation between a person's first name and the path one goes through life. A potentially amusing segment, it proves to be in search of a comic sense it never arrives at and the examples taken from the book appear wholly unrealistic and not fully integrated.

The second part is quite dark and brings forth a sort of investigation into the Sumo world and allegations of match-rigging. Contextualized in the sacrosanct culture that defines the sport, this exploration of truth, justice and fair-play toys around with big words and complex issues, its reach ultimately exceeding its grasp.

The third part references dear old Romania and our beloved dictator's policy of ruling abortions illegal - a subject matter dealt with artistically in the well-known "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days". I'm not quite sure the parallel proves a point, because it tries to show how the opposite policy, legalizing abortion in the US following Roe v Wade, caused a sudden, steep reduction in crime in the early nineties. Ironically enough, the generation Ceausescu (the dictator referenced above) forcibly gave birth to, so to say, caused his downfall. Yet, I think this segment points out an interesting observation, even if one could get distracted by the overly dramatic narration.

The last part is an on-film experiment about trying to find an incentive to make kids get better grades in high-school by offering financial rewards. Unfortunately, the set-up lacks any authentic feel and implicitly does not help support the case that the authors tried to convey.

So overall it would seem that almost all segments have at least one fundamental issue that they don't tackle very well. At times the film livens due to the interesting nature of the facts being presented, but on the whole it's still shy of a successful venture. Even while reading the book I felt that the novelty seeped out of it before I had reached its end and this feeling was only exacerbated in the documentary.

I don't think this is the place to debate the correctness of the research Levitt and Dubner have done or their conclusions, because the film certainly does not offer a strong basis to work on. The book has a scientific feel to it, conferring at least a sense of objectivity and, more importantly, finding the levity to show that it does not assume to offer absolute answers. The documentary, on the other hand, loses sight of this and never manages to find its proper balance.

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