6.4/10
6,470
24 user 72 critic

Freakonomics (2010)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 3 September 2010 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics.
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Filmmaker Alex Gibney investigates the fact that the 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the 150 million people in the bottom 50 percent of the population.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Jack Abramoff, Michele Bachmann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, William Branner
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, Paul Brennan
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, John 'FuzzFace' McMahon
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A look at how one investigator spent ten years trying to expose Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme that scammed an estimated $18 billion from investors.

Director: Jeff Prosserman
Stars: Bernie Madoff, Frank Casey, Gaytri Kachroo
Super Size Me (2004)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Joe Cairo
Documentary | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Morgan Spurlock tours the Middle East to discuss the war on terror with Arabic people.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Morgan Spurlock, George Bush, Dick Cheney
Mansome (2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A documentary that explores the question: In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore - what does it mean to be a man?

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Morgan Spurlock
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chronicles fundamentalist Islam's rise to power and explores Wright's struggle to maintain his objectivity as a journalist writing about Islamic terror.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Lawrence Wright
Zero Days (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary focused on Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: David Sanger, Emad Kiyaei, Eric Chien
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
James Ransone
Tempestt Bledsoe ... Herself (archive footage)
Morgan Spurlock ... Himself - Narrator
Melvin Van Peebles ... Himself - Narrator (segment "It's Not Always A Wonderful Life")
Bill Gates ... Himself
Alisha Nagarsheth ... Student
Greg Crowe ... Johnny the Mechanic
Rahmel Long ... Courtroom Audience
Zoe Sloane ... Blake
Barry Eisler Barry Eisler ... Himself
Kahiry Bess ... Deshawn
John D. Rockefeller ... Himself
Mark James Fernandes ... Courtroom Audience
Ngozi Jane Anyanwu ... Uneek
Adesuwa Addy Iyare ... Temptress' Mom
Edit

Storyline

The field of economics can study more than the workings of economies or businesses, it can also help explore human behavior in how it reacts to incentives. Economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner host an anthology of documentaries that examines how people react to opportunities to gain, wittingly or otherwise. The subjects include the possible role a person's name has for their success in life, why there is so much cheating in an honor bound sport like sumo wrestling, what helped reduce crime in the USA in the 1990s onward and we follow an school experiment to see if cash prizes can encourage struggling students to improve academically. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Six Rogue Filmmakers Explore The Hidden Side Of Everything

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of violence, sexuality/nudity, drugs, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freakonomia See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,893, 4 October 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,675, 28 November 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Steven Levitt - Author: The closest thing to a worldview, I would say, in "Freakonomics," is that incentives matter. Not just financial incentives, but social incentives and moral incentives.
See more »

Connections

Features The Cosby Show (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

This Too Shall Pass
Written by Damian Kulash (as Damian Joseph Kulash Jr.) and Timothy Nordwind (as Tim Nordwind)
Performed by OK Go
Published by OK Go Publishing (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Uneven, mainly ho-hum documentary
27 September 2010 | by lor_See all my reviews

Employing 5 teams of directors (who did not collaborate per the producer's q&a comments), the film adaptation of FREAKONOMICS is a hit-or-miss extravaganza, mostly missing the mark. Even fans of the popular book (and its followups) are unlikely to be stimulated.

Superstar doc director Alex Gibney takes precedence here, and producer Chad Troutwine acknowledged at the post-screening q&a that his segment runs long for some audiences. I found his study of corruption in the ranks of Japan's sumo wrestling rather uninteresting, and Gibney's forced comparisons to the bad boys of Wall Street (Bernie Madoff, etc.) pointless and self-serving.

Movie's most controversial sequence has to be Eugene Jarecki's elaboration of the book's chapter on the causes of the lowered U.S. crime rate in recent decades. As an anti-Giuliani New Yorker I certainly ate up the red meat portion of the footage, indicating that our local self-appointed savior really had nothing to do with the dramatic lowering of the NYC homicide and violent crime rate since around 1989. However, author/economist Steven Levitt's conclusion that, statistically, 50% of the reduction in crime in this country is attributable to Roe v. Wade making abortion legal and readily available to a whole generation beginning in the '70s (causing there to be fewer unwanted kids in existence who might have grown up to become serious criminals 16 to 20 years after) spurious and more a case of grandstanding that solid science. Sure, he controlled for all the relevant variables (areas of the country that had already legalized abortion prior to 1973 vs. the rest of the nation, etc.), but I don't buy it. And worse yet, where does it lead us -to endorse eugenics next?

That segment exemplifies my basic problem with FREAKONOMICS, the publishing phenomenon and now the movie: trying to analyze complex issues from an economic standpoint is simply not applicable to all situations, unless you force it. It is just Levitt applying his expertise willy-nilly in what I take to be self-aggrandizement, and obviously millions of people are taken in by his con. Watching the film I became painfully aware of his heavy emphasis, almost ad nauseum, on the concept of "incentives", which he clearly believes professionally to be a basic way of explaining human behavior. Repeated over & over, the shallowness of this approach becomes quite evident.

There is a very cute segment by Morgan (SUPERSIZE ME) Spurlock on naming children, emphasizing issues with the prevalence of unique (even Uneek as a choice) names within the Black community, but this is also one of the dumber segments by the time all the theories have been trotted out and lampooned. The femme directors Grady & Ewing take on use of cash incentives (there's that word again) to attempt to approve grades and achievement of Chicago Heights ninth graders, but that part of the film struck me as pretty phony, even including a fantasy sequence, though the main protagonist named Urail (another unique name victim) is a winning screen presence.

Seth Gordon, who interviewed Levitt and his co-author, journalist Stephen Dubner at length, comes off best in this documentary since he does only the intros & interstitial segments. Overall, as one naysayer at the q&a perceptively noted, the film is mainly old-hat.


45 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed