Down 12,406 this week

Examined Life (2008)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 929 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 9 user | 33 critic | 7 from

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 »



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 08 Feb 2012
a list of 31 titles
created 10 Feb 2012
a list of 35 titles
created 25 Mar 2012
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Examined Life" on

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.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

We are responsible for our dreams. This is the ultimate lesson of psychoanalysis - and fiction cinema.

Director: Sophie Fiennes
Stars: Slavoj Zizek
Mindwalk (1990)
    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
The Ister (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A 3000km journey up the Danube river to the heart of Europe.

Directors: David Barison, Daniel Ross
Stars: Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Philippe Collin
Stars: Roland Amstutz, David Warrilow, André Wilms
Documentary | Biography | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A visceral documentary focusing on the Slovenian collective art movement known as NSK ('Neue Slowenische Kunst') and its varied branches: 'Laibach', 'Irwin', and 'Red Pilot'.

Director: Michael Benson
Stars: Laibach, Peter Mlakar, Slavoj Zizek
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Sophie Fiennes
Stars: Noel Jones, Patrick Bolton, Stan Lewis
Komissaari (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Pekka Lehto
Stars: Olli Rehn, Slavoj Zizek, Margrit Kennedy
Catastroika (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The creators of Debtocracy, analyze the shifting of state assets to private hands. They travel round the world gathering data on privatization and search for clues on the day after Greece's massive privatization program.

Directors: Aris Chatzistefanou, Katerina Kitidi
Stars: Dean Baker, Alex Callinicos, Costas Douzinas
Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness (TV Mini-Series 2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A self-help guide which applies the teachings of philosophers to dealing with life's everyday problems.

Stars: Alain de Botton, Jonathan Aitken, Bill Clinton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A cinematographic essay, without dialogues, about the months Nietszche spent in Turin, Italy, with narration quoted by his original writings.

Director: Júlio Bressane
Stars: Fernando Eiras, Paulo José, Leandra Leal


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


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 is in the streets.




See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 November 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sorgulanmis yasam  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$120,555 (USA) (3 July 2009)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Singer: I think ethics has to come from ourselves, but that doesn't mean that it's totally subjective, that doesn't mean that you can think whatever you like about what's right or wrong. When you start to look at issues ethically, you have to do more than just think about your own interests, you have to ask yourself how do I take into account the interests of others? What would I choose if I were to be in their position rather than my position?
[... ]
Peter Singer: One of the most obvious things that emerges when you...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Yearning for a good philosophy flick? Skip this.
1 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Perhaps my hopes were too high, or perhaps I was mistaken for actually expecting this to be related to philosophy, but this movie was disappointing. I'll start with the bad and end with the good. We have a lot of bad to get through. From a technical stand-point, the movie was poorly planned. There wasn't a clear theme that connected one speaker to the next in most cases. The movie is shot in the style of a moving-talking-head theme, with speakers giving their spiel as they move around environments which are supposed to intensify their themes. The effect of this varies. Appiah's scene was well executed, with his themes directly pertaining to his environment. However, in many of the scenes this indented effect was incredibly unclear and avoided entirely. In most of the speeches, the background only made sense when confronted with an open and sympathetic mind. To anyone else, much of it is simply egg-heads in the local park. However, much of the technical sloppiness with the film didn't particularly bother much. What was truly puzzling was the actual subject matter. With the exception of a few mentions and thoughts, this movie would have been better titled "Contemporary Collectivist Thought". Rather than focusing on the actual philosophical study of ethics, meaning, truth etc. nearly all of the speakers focus on propagating a political agenda, mentioning the philosophy involved merely as a side note. Rather one agrees or disagrees with the politics being propagated, one can't help but feel cheated by the severe lack of true philosophy. There are plenty of political documentaries one could choose to watch which are far better. And let's not forget the proud tradition of philosophers and their politics; Sartre defended Stalin, Heidegger was a Nazi, and Plato was an authoritarian. But alas, I digress. The simple point I want to make is that this should have focused on philosophy and not politics. Perhaps it was poor interviewing or a lack of focus, but the movie generally failed the subject of philosophy. So what was good? While I feel some tracks were clearly stronger than others, the soundtrack was generally good. I thoroughly enjoyed each scene in which Cornel West spoke, and would have preferred to watch an hour and half of him alone compared to the documentary we were given. And, although it's sad to have to stoop to this in listing what was good, the idea of the movie was good. It was simply poorly executed. If one is looking for some interesting speeches on leftist political thought, look to those more involved in political studies. There are far better documentaries on the subject. What's more, if one has political views short of the far left, ignore this completely. If one wants to watch a film with philosophical themes, look elsewhere (namely Waking Life). If one has free time, look elsewhere. There is nothing about this film that I can see as great for anyone. Perhaps one could cut the West bits and present them as a nice little bit on philosophy. But beyond that, I have no reason to recommend this film.

3 of 12 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