MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 4,196 this week

Examined Life (2008)

7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 980 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 9 user | 33 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 27 Jun 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 28 May 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 06 Jun 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 26 Nov 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 01 Dec 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "Examined Life" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Examined Life (2008)

Examined Life (2008) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Examined Life.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mindwalk (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A US politician visits his poet friend in Mont. St. Michael, France. While walking through the medieval island discussing their philosophies of life they happen upon Sonja, a scientist in ... See full summary »

Director: Bernt Amadeus Capra
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Sam Waterston, John Heard
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The film bears witness to German artist Anselm Kiefer's alchemical creative processes and renders in film, as a cinematic journey, the personal universe he has built at his hill-studio ... See full summary »

Director: Sophie Fiennes
Stars: Anselm Kiefer, Klaus Dermutz
Cartesius (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ugo Cardea, Anne Pouchie, Claude Berthy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Viennese doctor Josef Breuer meets with philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to help him deal with his despair.

Director: Pinchas Perry
Stars: Ben Cross, Armand Assante, Joanna Pacula
Documentary | Biography | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is the remarkable untold story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution. This new film (from first time ... See full summary »

Director: Ruaridh Arrow
Stars: Robert Helvey, Jamila Raqib, Gene Sharp
Wittgenstein (1993)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Clancy Chassay, Jill Balcon, Sally Dexter
Socrates (TV Movie 1971)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Jean Sylvère, Anne Caprile, Giuseppe Mannajuolo
Sisyphus (1974)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The film is an artistically spare depiction of the Greek myth of Sysiphus, sentenced to eternally roll a stone up a mountain. The story is presented in a single, unbroken shot, consisting ... See full summary »

Director: Marcell Jankovics
Augustine of Hippo (TV Movie 1972)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Dary Berkani, Virgilio Gazzolo, Cesare Barbetti
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Dominique Sanda, Erland Josephson, Robert Powell
Blaise Pascal (TV Movie 1972)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Blaise Pascal struggles to understand the natural world around him, in addition to an inner quest for religious faith.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Pierre Arditi, Rita Forzano, Giuseppe Addobbati
Komissaari (2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Pekka Lehto
Stars: Olli Rehn, Slavoj Zizek, Margrit Kennedy
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Judith Butler ...
Herself
Michael Hardt ...
Himself
Martha Nussbaum ...
Herself
...
Herself
...
Himself
Sunaura Taylor ...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer's thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue's posh boutiques. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco's Mission District questioning our culture's fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West - perhaps America's best-known public intellectual - compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

philosophy | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Philosophy is in the streets.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sorgulanmis yasam  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,085 (USA) (27 February 2009)

Gross:

$120,555 (USA) (3 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Cornel West: Oh, God no.
[... ]
Cornel West: A philosopher is a lover of wisdom. It takes tremendous discipline, it takes tremendous courage to think for yourself, to examine yourself. The Socratic imperative of examining yourself requires courage. You know, William Butler Yeats used to say "it takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on the battlefield." Courage to think critically,
[... ]
Cornel West: courage is the enabling virtue for any philosopher, for any human being, I...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Deep Thinking on Film
24 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In "Examined Life", filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.

As a former philosophy major (and current part-time philosopher), this documentary grabbed me by the throat and pulled me in. Philosophy is "a critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death," according to Cornel West, who identifies himself as a pleasure-loving Christian. (West spends much of his time rambling about things that seem to have little connection to each other... all while being driven across town by the director.)

Avital Ronell, whom I never heard of, comes across as completely bizarre. She is both full of herself, yet approachable and almost humorous. "I am very suspicious intellectually and historically of the idea of meaning," she says, saying that meaning has tended to be in the hands of the powerful. The "craving for meaning" is "devastating". Ronell is very verbose, and throws around Greek words and Heidegger casually, which will not make her welcome for most viewers (and may lead to people turning the film off early).

Peter Singer, someone I admit to being a big fan of, presents his argument that there is a moral obligation for the rich to assist the poor. In the global sense, Americans should help the third world. (This is a socialist view, though Singer himself does not label it as "socialist", which is smart on his part.) He also talks of his conversion to veganism and the idea that eating meat is not justified (a concept I am sympathetic with, but not in agreement with). Those who know Singer's work will find no surprises here (and I would recommend you watch the video of Singer and Dawkins talking... that is a real mind-blower).

Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton talks about the juxtaposition of evolution, ethics and the idea of the cosmopolitan. He presents the concept that we are very good at caring about close friends and family, but society today presents us the challenge: can we, as citizens of the world, care about others? Should we care about people who are not our blood? If not, why is blood more important? And further, is blood important in the first place? Why should I care about my own kid if I do not care about yours? These are interesting questions and perhaps not so obvious as they first appear. Elsewhere, to promote the idea of the cosmopolitan, Appiah says, "See one movie with subtitles a month." I do. Do you?

Michael Hardt, whose political works are complex but fascinating, talks of his time in Central America and how he was advised to go into the mountains and wage armed revolution against Ronald Reagan! The most interesting part of his talk is the idea that many debates have been on the pointless discussion of whether human nature is inherently good or bad. I have had that pointless discussion (I picked bad). Hardt argues the whole debate is stupid because nature is changeable, and therefore constructing a theory on this static foundation is going to inevitably fail. And, you know, he is probably right...

Martha Nussbaum later complained that although Examined Life displays "a keen visual imagination and a vivid sense of atmosphere and place" it nonetheless "presents a portrait of philosophy that is ... a betrayal of the tradition of philosophizing that began, in Europe, with the life of Socrates".

The film has one obvious flaw: those who know little about philosophy or have little interest are going to be bored, confused or upset. I would not recommend this film to most of my friends. But, at the same time, there are a select group of friends who I would highly recommend this film to. If you like philosophy, even a little bit, rent this or watch it on the Netflix... was a great way to wind down my day and keep my brain from going mushy.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My 'philosophical' interpretation of this movie. amandaaaj
Favorite Quotes matthew10494
Discuss Examined Life (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page