Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
The value of No Impact Man, a compelling and suitably exasperating documentary about one family’s attempt to not harm the environment for a year, is that it forces viewers to reflect on their own casual consumption and waste.
To sum up Beavan’s message, he’s not saying you should give up toilet paper. But you should give up what you can. Help any way you can. Do all you can.
Gabbert and Schein keep the focus on their subjects, interpreting their struggles through the ups and downs in the couple's relationship as they grapple with increasingly difficult issues. This character-driven approach draws viewers into the couple's struggle and prompts consideration of similar lifestyle changes.
Goes down far easier than, say, an all-natural, fiber-enriched peanut butter sandwich without a glass of soy milk. It's that rare doc (these days) that could go theatrical, largely because it's a film about a couple, more than a movement.
It's even harder being the semi-supportive wife, which is what generates most of the electricity in this slight but entertaining documentary.
The movie gives off a stranger vibe. Beavan is both a hero and a figure of fun, a man whose ideals are in constant collision with the habits of modern life.
The film ultimately is more practical than profound, a slightly smartened-up "Dummy's Guide to Green Living," which, as you learn, most of us probably know a good deal less about than we imagine.
I can’t, in the end (all appearances to the contrary), judge Mr. Beavan or this film too severely. Making an impact is easy. Making a difference is hard.
Village Voice
We could all do better, definitely, but how much can we possibly glean from a guy whose idealism can be measured with a calendar?
Eventually runs out of gas--or rather, pedal-power--as the filmmakers grope for how to cap the Beavans’ story.

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