7.9/10
138,293
890 user 210 critic

Bowling for Columbine (2002)

Trailer
2:07 | Trailer
Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director:

Michael Moore

Writer:

Michael Moore
Won 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Moore ... Self - Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Salvador Allende ... Self - President of Chile (archive footage)
Jacobo Arbenz Jacobo Arbenz ... Self - President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Mike Bradley Mike Bradley ... Self - Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Arthur A. Busch Arthur A. Busch ... Self - County Prosecutor: Flint, Michigan (as Arthur Busch)
George Bush ... Self (archive footage)
George W. Bush ... Self (archive footage)
Michael Caldwell Michael Caldwell ... Self - Police Detective
Richard Castaldo Richard Castaldo ... Self - Columbine Victim
Dick Clark ... Self
Bill Clinton ... Self (archive footage)
Steve Davis Steve Davis ... Self - Deputy Sheriff (archive footage)
Ngo Dinh Diem ... Self - President of South Vietnam (archive footage)
Mike Epstein Mike Epstein ... Self - Shopper in Mall
Joe Farmer Joe Farmer ... Self - Superintendent of Schools (archive footage)
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Storyline

The United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed. In doing so, he learns that the conventional answers of easy availability of guns, violent national history, violent entertainment and even poverty are inadequate to explain this violence when other cultures share those same factors without the equivalent carnage. In order to arrive at a possible explanation, Michael Moore takes on a deeper examination of America's culture of fear, bigotry and violence in a nation with widespread gun ownership. Furthermore, he seeks to investigate and confront the powerful elite political and corporate interests fanning this culture for their own unscrupulous gain. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In May 2002 this film became the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's main competition in 46 years. See more »

Goofs

The "Brief History of America" segment includes the assertion that early Americans burned suspected witches. No accused witches were burned in America. See more »

Quotes

Marilyn Manson: The two by-products of that whole tragedy were, violence in entertainment, and gun control. And how perfect that that was the two things that we were going to talk about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Lewinsky and we forgot about, uh, the President was shooting bombs overseas, yet I'm a bad guy because I, well I sing some rock-and-roll songs, and who's a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I'd like to think me, but I'm going to go with the ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There is no cast list, either at the start of the film or at the end. People are credited either by subtitle, by the narrator or by themselves. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, a caption was inserted into a 1988 Bush-Quayle ad, "Revolving Doors," which read "Willie Horton released. Then kills again." In the DVD release, the caption reads "Willie Horton released. Then rapes a woman." Neither version makes it clear that the text was not part of the original ad. See more »

Connections

Edited from The Awful Truth (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
(1954)
Music by Charles Albertine, Larry Elgart, Les Elgart, and Bob Horn (1954)
Lyrics by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman (1978)
Performed by Barry Manilow
Courtesy of Arista Records
Under license from BMG Special Projects
See more »

User Reviews

 
Rings obviously false to a Canadian
8 November 2003 | by slofstraSee all my reviews

The scenes shot in Sarnia, Windsor and Toronto, Canada have provoked much conversation in Canada. These scenes epitomize both the problem and the strength of BFC, that is, the sense is correct but the details often exaggerated. While the received notion that Canada is less violent than the US is accurate, we are catching up in a hurry. And people do lock their doors, at night anyway. In Toronto's current (Nov. 2003) mayoralty election, increasing street violence and crime is a major issue. When Moore asks Heston, "Why do other countries have so much less gun violence than the US?" Did you catch his brief answer? He says, "They will". Whatever is causing the problem, the U.S. is on the leading edge of the curve, but other countries are catching up.

That said, I give Moore credit for provoking conversation, for his humour (in spots). His lack of balance doesn't concern me. I can find my own balance, thank goodness for dissent and free speech. I also think that Moore is restrained in drawing conclusions in the film, which is a great strength of the film, in provoking discussion, and allowing people to express their own opinions.

Finally, Moore is way off on Marilyn Manson. Moore is careful to say that there is no direct causal relationship between Lockheed and the Columbine assassins - it's a mentality thing. Isn't the connection between Manson and teenage suicide/ violence much more palpable than Moore's connection of Lockheed & Columbine.

** UPDATE in Nov. 2005 - regarding Toronto, the score is Heston 1 Moore 0.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bowling for Columbine See more »

Filming Locations:

Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$209,148, 13 October 2002

Gross USA:

$21,576,018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,011,975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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