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Ethos
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ethos More at IMDbPro »

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38 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Important lesson

10/10
Author: alantas from Hungary
22 April 2012

Yes, we have seen these arguments, theories and facts before, yet it seems people are unable to learn them. They rather watch Discovery Channel which instead of showing documentaries of discoveries, is a day long automobile commercial (not to mention the much worse channels out there). So this kind of documentary can't be done too many times. It must be repeated until it sinks in and people starting to make their decisions with responsibility. And it also would help if more people see it. The most positive aspects of this film are:

-Its narrative isn't too complex and strictly sticks to the essentials -it hasn't got extra ideology in it like Zeitgeist (however its style is very similar).

-It offers at the end a very good solution since not much else you can do to affect things. But if you are not an obsessive consumer and have a common sense, you have probably already figured that out.

-Woody Harrelson is a great host

Looking forward to the day when a documentary like this will be broadcast on major prime time televisions. I know it's naive because they are all owned by corporations or the state (which is owned by corporations). So the best thing is to spread the word. Very good documentary, highly recommended.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An glimpse of where the US is heading as a democratic society in the 21st century, and how we got here

10/10
Author: shuback from United States
23 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Why is the world the way it is now, especially the US? From consumerism, wastefulness, the federal banking system, the war on terror and RFID chips that are to come. The people have the power to overcome the corporations and governments, their Achilles heel is that we the consumer have the buying power, and can choose what not to buy and run them out of business. What will we choose? Woody Harrelson hosts, supported by thought provoking insight by Noam Chomsky on how society is mislead and deceived by the politicians and media into shaping our thoughts, desires, and actions. No bias is shown in the documentary toward a socialist or anti-capitalist state.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

People fail to realize that something like this helps the change.

10/10
Author: gtsmurfo from USA
20 February 2014

You constantly see this theme portrayed throughout the conspiracy realm. I grew up with the full overwhelming belief that this was all gibberish. My ignorance has been awakened do to the fact that, I make judgments primarily on the observations of many. This film is a reference that has been repeated by other films. Without hearing these similar brushed off and I would continue to live my life without guilt. This film is amazing and continues to help burn these issues in to the brains of people without gilt. Those of you who have rated this film on the basis of copying others are only damping the processes of change. You should be rating this with strength to help those blind to see clearly and help push this nation through change. Social observation is hindered do to the rating process. Those films with low rating will never reach the eyes of many. Keep this in mind when you dampen the process.

Much thanks and love, Change will come.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing documentary WORTH SEEING! even for novices

9/10
Author: jjen89 from Illinois
16 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I stumbled across this documentary online because it was free to watch on their official site, as well as on youtube. I would say my knowledge on the US political system is basic, but I'm interested in building upon it, more than what the big media corporations feed us. Because of that reason, Ethos was a delight seeing. It captivated my interest right away, especially when Woody Harrelson started narrating lol. I knew that he's a good actor but seeing him in this docu made me separate the actor from the "White Men Can't Jump" character.

It touched on a few subjects like the environment, capitalism influencing our gov't, role of big businesses in politics, Sept 11, propaganda, apathy in the public, among other juicy topics. With a running time of 52 mins (Director's Cut is 72 mins), it piqued and kept my interest with a non-sluggish pace. More importantly, after seeing the movie, Ethos motivated me to learn more so I checked out the official Ethos website which had some helpful links and recommendations.

It had several good messages, and one that I remember most vividly is that consumers have power/voice/influence in how businesses conduct their business. Choosing to buy from a socially-conscious business versus a company that isn't sends a message to both companies, one of support, the other of disapproval.

I rated this 9/10 because it was one of my favorite documentaries, I don't regret seeing it, and I recommended it to friends.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Our Corporate politics...

10/10
Author: poe426 from USA
16 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Politicians are the Televangelists of the Corporate World: they preach what their financial backers want them to preach (no matter HOW f***ing stupid); this is one of the great Givens of the twenty-first century (which often calls to mind the a**-backward thinking of the Middle Ages). Compilation or not, ETHOS gets its message across most effectively (or the message(s) of the filmmakers whose documentaries comprise the various segments of this one...). I must admit, though, that the admonition to withhold one's financial support of the various criminal enterprises (i.e.; the corporations) profiled herein seems just a tad too late (since-the-second-World-War too late): the REAL damage has already been done- and it was done in large part because We didn't stand up and say ENOUGH! when there was still time to salvage something. I try to be optimistic. STAR TREK (the original series) and comic books taught me that We as a Species could change the world (and, perhaps, the Universe) for the Better. But I'm convinced at this point that we blew it. We're well on our way to the next "Extinction Event," and we did it to ourselves. GOP (Geriatric Older People) TV (Fox "News") played a BIG part in it: the ME (Moneyed Elite) of Reagan's "Mourning in America" have swayed so many simple-minded saps that the Flat Earthers have had The Final Say and it's "No!" to Science and "No!" to Common Sense and it'll STAY that way 'til we're all sucked under. Consider: The Corporate News (as far as I can tell) has made no mention of a recent Friendly Fire incident in which U.$. $oldier$ who had been ambushed called in a Drone strike and were themselves killed by said Drone. And how many newscasters made mention of the fact that there have been (as of this writing) 75 school shootings (or mass shootings, I forget which) since Newtown? Did anyone hear about Lafeyette, CO, where The People PREVENTED fracking by drawing up their own Community Bill of Rights to combat corporations? (The corporations stand poised to rape this area as I write: seismic testing has begun.) Oh, and one last item: Tony "The NitBrit" Blair claims that the current troubles in Iraq "have nothing to do with the Iraq War." He thinks it's an easy sell because the U.$.-backed dictator, the late Saddam Hussein, was such a b****** that some people STILL believe the war was about Weapons of Mass Destruction (which totally ignores the fact that plans had been drawn up to divide Iraq's oil resources a full DECADE before the U.$. invasion). End of screed.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An Attempt To Teach Left Wing Analysis To Right Wing Conspiracists

7/10
Author: meddlecore from Canada
19 February 2014

Ethos is an interesting little DIY documentary project- a sort of political zeitgeist from the perspective of the left. It is hosted by Woody Harrelson, and is mainly a compilation of interviews and ideas from commentators on both the right and the left. These ideas are compiled into segments that reflect upon the political analyses of Chomsky, Zinn and others....analyses that often find themselves under the umbrella of "conspiracy theories".

Personally, I liked this film because it aligns very closely to my own political observations and analysis...and manages to explain some of these understandings that are central to holding such a worldview, in a succinct way that even idiot right-wingers can understand. Any leftie-anarchist type who has ever hung out and conversed with the people over at ConCen for any period of time....will know what I'm talking about.

What makes this film particularly interesting though, is that it dips into legit observations from both the left and right, and compiles them into an argument that is directed at the very right wing conspiracy theorists it is inherently critical of, in a brazen attempt to enlighten them about left-political analysis...and bring them over to our side in the process.

McGrain does this by looking at financial/banking conspiracies and how they tie in with the political elite, who exploit the media to control the masses (using interviews with people like ron paul, g.e. griffin, russo etc to illustrate this). Something the right fully understands. But then he juxtaposes these ideas with left wing criticism from people like Chomsky, Zinn, and Naomi Klein, who provide a critique of where the right goes wrong- and where the left and right become fragmented from one another (at least in the conspiracy realm, at which this doc is clearly directed)- Rothbardian ultra-Libertarianism.

By doing this, he is brazenly attempting to enlighten these right wing viewers about the nature of left wing political analysis. I'd argue he does this pretty effectively, but that's likely because he's arguing the exact same thing that I, myself, believe....so I'm probably biased on that front.

In the end, though, one idea is put forth, which can be embraced by both the left and right, and used to empower us all....this is the idea of consumer action. Political activism via how and where you spend your money. These libertarian oriented actors only speak one language and that is the almighty buck. Any way that you can affect their bottom line is a realm which you, as an individual in a capitalist world, do have power. So use it. Don't like what a company or person is doing? Don't direct any money into their coiffures. Take a stand and spend ethically.

Remember Kids.....Don't Vote....Revolt. This is a Good way to start.

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Defining Politics

10/10
Author: hippie-98869 from United States
21 February 2016

I recently viewed ETHOS and it just increased my lack of trust in big business and government practices.

Not too long ago some friends and I were discussing many topics and politics came up. We were looking for a brief but accurate description of politics.

We didn't find one.

I went to sleep still thinking about this.

I woke up three hours later with an acronym: Persons Of Low Integrity Talking In CircleS

Does this work?

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Extremely important info somewhat shoddily delivered.

7/10
Author: justin-209-152796 from United States
9 June 2012

This movie has a great amount of valuable information for every person in America. Some people are already hip but this film still has a wealth of information about what's going wrong with our World and our Country. It definitely made me want to to take action against the injustice presented here.

My specific criticism is about some of the shooting, editing and post-production work. The filmmakers chose to use the same shots over and over again in some sequences. They wrote the Woody Harrelson portions in a way that they would have to consistently fade in and out practically mid-sentence. That's poor form. There are many sequences that have footage both stretched horizontally and vertically. That again is just laziness. There are several other examples. I love the content and the idea behind the film I just wish they would've tried a little harder on the editing side.

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6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Good, But Unfocused

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
30 July 2013

Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson, Ethos explores the mechanisms in our systems that work against democracy, the environment and our own personal liberty.

Harrelson says "it would be illogical to expect politicians to change a system that puts them in power". True, but only if we accept that the system is so far gone that it cannot be changed. Bernie Sanders is a case in point, showing that (although rare) dissident voices can get into the ring.

Another reviewer says the problem with this documentary is that it is clipped from other documentaries. That does seem to be a problem, on top of Harrelson's desire to suggest conspiracy theories are sometimes real.

The film has a big reliance on Chomsky, including his insights into Bernays and Walter Lippmann. While Chomsky is in here, it seems (like everyone else) his footage was taken from other sources. He would have been more than happy to appear for five minutes to discuss these topics...

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10 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

$500,000????

4/10
Author: Film_o_philiac from United Kingdom
27 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this documentary believing that it would unfold some of the recent struggles that Democracy has stumbled on, on it's long rocky path. With the recent upsurges and cries for Democracy across Arabian and north African states, you would think that documentarians would be foaming at the mouth to cover the current shifting political movements.

This documentary uncovers nothing really new and it doesn't challenge any political paradigms that haven't been challenged before. All this movie does is reboot past documentaries with a familiar face at the helm, in the guise of Woody.

A lot of the stock in this film is taken directly from other documentaries, much like Zeitgeist, Endgame, Esoteric Agenda so on a so forth. Also, the makers have cleverly used the "Voice of God" effect, by having a Northern Irish voice-over, do most of the delivery.

I am a big advocate for big event documentaries, which are spewing out of the internet, due to technological advances. However, what I don't like is imitation and reproduction. Half a million dollars that went into this film could easily prop my media company up for at least 10 years and produce some new arguments and conclusions for debate and for the new emergence of "media driven democracy".

So my message to watchers would be to watch past documentaries and my message to the financiers would be to, "Get in touch!".

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