Collapse (2009) Poster

(II) (2009)

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9/10
He's seen the future and it's made him (half) crazy
Chris Knipp15 December 2009
Michael Ruppert is a 55-year-old one-time LA cop whom the CIA tried to recruit to import drugs in the 70's. He made this public; was fired from the police force; was shot at. In the 30 years since, he has been an investigative reporter, lecturer and conspiracy theorist. In the riveting, compulsive, perhaps indispensable film 'Collapse,' Chris Smith (of 'American Movie' and 'The Yes Men') spends 82 minutes interviewing Ruppert Errol Morris style with nonstop intensity (seamlessly and effectively using archival footage to illustrate the points and increase the energy level) shooting him in a darkened basement under a bright spot in immaculate shirtsleeves, chain smoking, with baggy eyes and neatly trimmed mustache. Supremely confident, hardened by decades of facing scoffers, deeply angry, Ruppert by nature skates on the edge between prophet and crackpot. But when he speaks, you listen. And he has a lot to say.

Ruppert hits us right away with peak oil, arguing that though actual supplies have been kept hidden by governments, even Saudi Arabia, which has more than anybody, is starting to run out, and we're clearly now on the down slope of the bell curve. He says no substitute will really work, because all the alternative energy sources require too much energy themselves to produce. The planet's infrastructure is going to shut down; it's just a matter of time. Parallel to this is economic collapse, and he predicted the present crisis -- but expected it a year or so earlier. (Mighn't he be jumping the gun a little on this larger collapse?)

Ruppert is a survivalist, warning us all to live locally. He compares the fates of North Korea vs. Cuba when they lost the Soviet oil lifeline: Korea, a monolithic dictatorship, took a terrible hit. So did Cuba, but people pulled together there, raised crops locally in every available spot of land, and soldiered through so well they're now eating better than ever. He would have us take the same route: raise our own food, and horde gold -- the actual metal, not paper certificates -- and organic seeds, which in a world stripped of supply will become currency.

Ruppert is a smoker, and Smith doesn't hesitate to show every time he lights up. This looks like a marathon, and the interview -- with challenging, skeptical questions off camera from the director from time to time, not that this overconfident autodidact type ever wavers -- is so intense Ruppert actually breaks down and weeps more than once at the hopelessness of it all.

Smith's film is effective, and if it leaves you in some doubt whether the man is a kook or a visionary maybe that's part of the sense of radical unease you may justifiably feel walking out of the theater. Though Ruppert is made to seem both knowing and deranged, his talk is smart and well-informed. Clearly fossil fuels are finite. It all depends on transportation; it all depends on electricity. Without oil, these shut down. If seven gallons of oil go into the making of every tire, how are we going to make a whole new set of cars that run on something else? What about plastics? What about overpopulation? Ethanol is a sick joke, clean coal a lie. Even wind and solar power won't be possible because we won't have the energy to set up the power sources to utilize them. Global warming is just the planet's way of crying "uncle." When oil runs out, we'd better be ready before the infrastructures all collapse, or it's going to be hard going. We've got to downsize. It won't be easy.

It's rare that anybody thinks things through this far. No wonder the tears come. They come when he thinks of Barack Obama, a smart, good, honest man, he says, but someone so locked into the systems that we can't look to him for help. And that's very, very sad. The world's last, best hope is an illusion. (These are just a few of Ruppert's points: into these 82 minutes he condenses the fruits of decades of independent thought and study.)

Smith asks Ruppert what spiritual beliefs sustain him and he simply quotes the Bible: "money is the root of all evil." He asserts that we must find ways to live without growth and profit as guiding motives. The pervasive pursuit of money is the great, tragic human flaw.

This is an intensified and distilled Michael Ruppert, very effective but a bit misleading: he has other facets. In another setting glimpsed in the film but available in full on YouTube you can see Ruppert in a suit and tie giving a rambling, self-indulgent slide lecture full of many of the same interesting facts he likes to cite, including the government's reliance on drug trading, but very different in feeling and veering (though he denies this elsewhere) into 9/11 Truth territory. Collapse ends with captions noting that Ruppert, whose only friend seems to be his faithful dog, is having trouble paying his rent and may be evicted from his Culver City place.

But again on YouTube you find him being interviewed recently in Oregon, where he has moved, looking and sounding sunny and grounded and socially connected. If he's a kook, he has lots of friends, some of them quite respectable, and "Peak Oil" is a rallying cry for many. The YouTube videos show Ruppert isn't always the intense nut case Smith gives us. He suffers, he thinks too much, but he can have fun; he can talk without a smoke. He feels Ashland is a place among many (including much of South America) where sustainability will be possible when the paradigm shift comes. The end of he world won't be the end of the world. This may not totally convince you, but it will scare you. Rupert protests in Smith's movie that he deals in conspiracy facts, not conspiracy theories. He just may be right.
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10/10
A Devastating Film: This is the End of the Line.
Savant-211 December 2009
Whether Michael Ruppert is a madman or a prophet, I do not know. What I do know is that all of his suppositions are based on the hardest and most chilling of facts. You will recall your teachings on Cassandra and the famous Cassandra Complex, whereby a person who bears valid warnings and terrible foresight is doomed to watch it happen. They are helpless to stop it because no one will listen to them. Meet Cassandra.

Collapse is an amazing documentary that works on several levels. We'll start with the first: Ruppert's analysis of the world around us is stunningly bleak. Our entire civilization is based on oil. This is fact. All transportation requires oil in some form. All manufacturing (and civilization as we know it) is based on energy, which is finite, and requires some oil in some form. Building the resources to harvest ANY energy source requires manufacturing and transportation, which requires oil. Cultivating food requires energy to produce and transportation to get to your grocery store or home. Even if we discover some new energy source - algae, for example, which is not addressed in the film - all the components needed to harvest or utilize that energy are oil-based. Even if we invent cars without tires (which require 8+ barrels of oil to make, PER TIRE), the plastics and metals and components in those vehicles all require oil as either a direct ingredient or as an indirect part of the manufacturing.

Now imagine a world without oil. See where this is going?

This film, and Ruppert, go much further than that. Oil dependency is just the appetizer. Then we get to Peak Oil (or the Hubbert Peak). Then an economy based on floated, imaginary, (fiat) money. And so on. Ruppert builds his case with hysterically grim anecdotes and considerable authenticity. It's difficult to disagree with him precisely because he doesn't allow 'theory' or partisan/ideological opinion to seep into the discussion. The facts are accurate. The conclusions... are up to you.

Let's talk about the film-making itself: Chris Smith's film is shot 'bunker-style' for effect. It works. There are hardly any miscues in the technical aspects, and the editing style is absolutely riveting and never boring. As pure entertainment, if we can call it that, this film will absolutely command your attention for 80 minutes. The film does not subscribe - one way or another - to Ruppert. It just shows him as he is and allows you to draw your own conclusions. Right or wrong, Ruppert's quest to seek this knowledge and tell it to the world has subtly destroyed him. Collapse works on an intensely personal level, too. This film burns itself into the mind. It's point blank brilliant.

Others have noted a major flaw in Ruppert's arguments, including the filmmaker himself: Ruppert does not allow for miracles or human ingenuity in his apocalyptic scenarios. Ruppert has already decided we've passed the point of no return and is now looking to "build the lifeboat on the Titanic". When confronted about this directly, Ruppert's non-answer more or less says that he won't trust his fellow humans to think a way out of this. Ruppert has so expertly identified the problems, but he has no answers. All his "hope" is directed at ways to survive what's to come. Again, right or wrong, this man absolutely believes what he's saying and is absolutely terrified. You should be, too.

What's the way out? Well, I personally choose to believe the first part of Ruppert's argument and disregard the second. We are in trouble. But I choose to have faith in my fellow man, that we can "fix the Titanic" before it's too late. In the meantime, you must see this film. See it, soak it in, let it shake you, and tell your friends. Draw your own conclusions. Ruppert's role is to sound the warning. Perhaps if enough people see this film, someone out there will figure out what to do.
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10/10
Prophetic and Utterly Chilling
benmcfee21 November 2009
One review (official review) that I read while watching the trailer to this film described it at "an intellectual horror movie." Having listened to Mike Ruppert speak in the past, this comes as no surprise. From his scathing indictment of Dick Cheney in his talk "The Truth and Lies of 9/11" to the speech he gave in Seattle in January of 2005 (available in two parts on YouTube under the title "Talk by Michael C. Ruppert") the picture he paints for the future of the world has been a stark one for some time now.

However, gloomy is one thing. Being deadly accurate in nearly all predictions is another thing altogether. Ruppert, and his team at From the Wilderness (his newsletter) have been bang on the money when it came to oil prices, housing prices, and of course the collapse of the US housing market, and in other areas as well including drugs, the CIA and 9/11 itself. Ruppert being an ex LAPD narcotics officer who was born into an intelligence family, has had experience in seeing truth where others bury their heads in the sand. When he tried to bring to light evidence that the CIA was dealing drugs within the USA, he was shot at and forced off of LAPD. This was only the beginning of his investigative career, and of the vicious repercussions he suffered because of it. In November of 2004, his book "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire and the End of the Age of Oil" went largely unnoticed, even though it could serve as a final nail in Dick Cheney's political coffin concerning his culpability for 9/11. Ruppert has said, "This is a book that I, as a detective, would... drop in the lap of a DA and say, 'I want a filing for murder, premeditated, first degree, multiple counts with special circumstances." The best part: he makes no mention of bombs in buildings, or holes in the pentagon, or molten metal, but merely treats the case as another crime to be pieced together and solved. His conclusions are staggering.

And in light of this, to hear what he predicts is yet to come is guaranteed send a chill down your spine, even if you don't believe him. And what does he predict? Nothing short of the collapse of industrialized civilization itself. How could this ever happen? Quite simply, the world runs out of oil. Since everything we do is dependent upon oil... well it's probably best if I let Ruppert speak for himself.

The film plays like one of Ruppert's more impassioned talks, albeit with some cinematography added in to keep the eye amused. We are in an undefined space that looks like a bunker, or an interrogation room. Ruppert sits in a chair, smoking cigarettes (presumably to calm his nerves, or as he's been known to say "I smoke as many cigarettes as I want to, but not nearly as many as the movie would have you believe") and tells us what's on his mind. And by the time you're done seeing "Collapse" it'll be on your mind too... no matter how hard you try not to believe it.

What makes "Collapse" so much more powerful than the angry rants and shenanigans of Michael Moore is that while Moore may be passionate about what he's talking about, it's clear that Ruppert is more than passionate... he's scared to death. What's worse, and also unlike Moore who has received greater publicity than many fiction filmmakers, Ruppert has suffered from a kind of Cassandra syndrome for sometime. His writings and speeches are prophetic and yet, until recently, he has gone mostly unnoticed by the majority of people. Despite this, he's cracked open some of the biggest cases of all time: the CIA dealing drugs, empirical evidence that Dick Cheney was directly responsible for thousands of deaths on 9/11, and most recently, the collapse of the global housing market. It's not difficult to picture a similar but more ancient voice shouting "Don't let the horse through the gates of Troy! It will bring ruin!" only to be met with violence and humiliation.

As is true with so many visionaries, Mike Ruppert is just now beginning to be heard... and like so many useful visions, the realization is coming too late.
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10/10
A must see!
Valdiz15 December 2009
Might there be confusion seeing only one man starring in this documentary the viewer should not think of it as ''something useless''. There is not much to add or to comment as to mention that it is very educational, wise, thought through story revealing the events in today's world.

I would surely say - the most important movie for the 21st century man.

We live in a fairytale where everybody has a hope that the ''good'' will overcome the ''evil'' no matter how bad it is, because it will be better... in the end that's the way fairy tales end, don't they? The ugly truth is that no magical wonderland exists, there is only now and here and this movie shows you WHAT ACTUALLY IS NOW AND HERE.
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9/10
Very nice documentary
dugsite16 December 2009
Mike Ruppert is stand-up and caring person and it's a difficult burden he's chosen. If you catch the meaning, the ending of this documentary says it all. His has lived a life without reward and I have the utmost respect for his courage and determination. Keep going Mike, some of us are listening carefully to you and others like you.

It seems I need to continue my comment based on IMDb policy of ten lines. That doesn't impress me as necessary, but I see the decision isn't mine. It's a great film, go and watch it. Anyway, hopefully this is enough to satisfy the rules. Why the needless wordiness IMDb? I liked the film and the participant, that isn't enough said? I'll bet many reviews never get posted based on the ambiguous ten lines rule.
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10/10
Points of Clarification
stern-benjamin15 December 2009
There are more in depth reviews elsewhere, I have nothing new or interesting to add about the films style, I just want to speak to a couple of criticisms that seem to be common among them.

1. Ruppert discounts human ingenuity.

Having the benefit of the internet and the ability to research, you will find that even generous estimates tell us that any new power grid would take 30 years to establish. This means that if aliens came down to earth and gave us a perfect technology that required no input and had zero emissions it would still require a lot of oil and time to build an infrastructure to support it. The fact is oil has artificially increased our carrying capacity and when its gone, the excess population will go with it. The standard of living we all have come to demand will likely never return and certainly not for 7+ billion people. (not that we all have Hummers and flat screens now)

2. The San Francisco (chronicle?) lauds the moment Ruppert cries because they think he is lamenting the fate of humanity.

I think it's highly likely, and more compelling to look at the beginning of the documentary where he says he's lost his fiancé to betrayal and only has his dog, the beach, and this movement to get him by. He's crying because he thinks it will take a community to survive in the aftermath of the collapse, and he has no loved ones.
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7/10
Intense!
Siamois23 June 2010
Chris Smith's documentary about an independent reporter convinced that the world as we know it is about to end is a compelling experience. Smith is simply masterful in his presentation. Collapse takes place in a dark room, with Ruppert being interviewed over three days and some archive footage and yet never gets remotely dull. Amazing cinematography, tight editing and good use of music help a lot.

But the real element that grabs you is Smith's subject. Ruppert will be seen by some as a prophet and by others as a nutcase but he has a magnetism on screen that is undeniable. This ex-cop is well-spoken it is very obvious that he has given conferences and presentations as he begins to explain his theories.

The main point Ruppert is trying to get across is undeniable. Our planet has finite resources which will not be able to sustain our current way of life indefinitely. But Ruppert's actual discourse will never be confused with a green activist as he veers constantly into subjects such as peak oil, politicians and banks. Where Ruppert is more questionable is when he mixes opinions with facts.

Ruppert repeats that he is not a conspiracy theorist yet often acts like ones. He constantly cites people, studies and historic events that favors his point of views and ignores the rest. These are old techniques that have been used by countless gurus, theorists and leaders and Ruppert does it very effectively.

This mix of truth and speculation works because the part that is truth is monumentally percussive: We as a species will not be able to live this way forever.

Ruppert posits that the system is crashing down fast but you don't have to believe this to enjoy this documentary. He interprets all sorts of world events as symptoms and yet again, you can take it or leave it. He claims he has been shot at and that US presidents have taken a personal interest in him without offering any evidence and you can discard this. He makes a compelling argument that alternative energies we are exploring are not sustainable/viable in their actual form but you can choose to disagree. He lashes at the deficiencies of globalization and you could ignore that too.

What you can't ignore is that change will have to happen. Smith seems confident that the audience will make up their minds about Ruppert and his theories. You do not have to share Ruppert's quasi-apocalyptic vision of the future to have a great time watching this.

Despite the praise, Collapse is not without a few flaws. I wished more time had been devoted to questioning Ruppert's wilder claims. Shot at? When? Where? Who? I also thought Ruppert's angle was too focused on the US and would have loved to hear his opinion on China and a few other things.

But overall, this is a nice documentary with an air of political thriller to it. Whether it is academic or objective, is left for each viewer to decide.
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3/10
Ruppert will save us
grayzie511 February 2012
This film is a mixture of dubious links, interesting tidbits, important truths, questionable claims and statements of the obvious.

It's an interesting watch, even if you might be sceptical of the broader predictions of Ruppert's, and I certainly am. He seems to sway from interesting observation to a need to tie them all together into one centralised conspiracy. I'm not sure it's quite as simple as he paints it. Nevertheless I enjoyed the film.

But I gave this film a 3 out of 10 anyway, because the style of this documentary is a complete rip of Errol Morris. Not influenced by. Not a nod to. A direct copy of the unique style of Morris, down to the music, the late cuts...everything.

But Morris' films aren't just interesting for their style. They're interesting because he chooses fascinatingly nuanced and complex personalities who speak honestly about their subject matter.

Ruppert just sounds like a guy who's a little too convinced he has it all figured out, and what's everyone to seek guidance from him as to what we should do next.
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7/10
Doesn't come across like the others....
nomoons1126 June 2010
What I mean by that is he doesn't come across like a David Icke or Alex Jones type. He's not putting out DVD after DVD telling your life is being controlled by hidden people and such. He comes across as very well spoken guy and one that you could sit down and have a beer with or sit at a table and just have long conversations with. I guess I mean he doesn't seem to be a nut.

I would like to have had more info on a lot of his quotes but I guess that would likely take an 80 minute documentary into like 3 or 4 hours (which I wouldn't have minded). I might just buy some if his books to take a look to see how much more in depth he gets on most of the topics he covers in this documentary.

For me, watching this, it was like it's about time. What I mean by that is finally someone who doesn't come across as a street corner preacher or a bona fide nut. This guy is just talking about real issues that matter, or at least they should matter.
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10/10
A dose of nasty tasting medicine
Carl3 October 2010
The best documentary I've ever seen, Never got boring and sets the impending alarm bells off. What he talks of could effects 99% of the human race.... and all within a lifetime.

The truth does hurt and ignorance is bliss. But ultimately people should know the likeliness of truth. Capitalism is the main culprit in all of this, as well as laziness, wastefulness of resources and an overpopulation. It won't be the end of the world, it will be the end of us, as we are now. A lot of people will struggle, way more than they do now.

He ain't a prophet as some will suggest, he's just thinking for himself and coming to the conclusion he has. His points are valid and I admire anyone who can stand up and shout from the rooftop, of the stuff people/companies/governments brush under the carpet.

Even if his time-lines are inaccurate, I don't think people should disregard his claims and regard him as a crackpot. What he says in this astonishing interview is weighing up a likely outcome that will effect virtually everyone on this planet.
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Ruppert does push things too far but this film is still engaging as challenging food for thought
bob the moo13 March 2011
I had never heard of Michael Ruppert before watching this documentary and, being honest, it is likely that I will never hear of him again but it is more than likely that the future may make me hark back to the basic points that he makes in this film. Collapse is basically an interview with Ruppert where he presents his views on a world that is unsustainable and unwilling to really make the hard decisions and face the stark reality of the situation that perhaps could help us cope when the systems and world that we accept live in now starts to collapse. Taking the reliance on oil as his starting point, Ruppert takes us through a world where time is running out and that the economic collapse that he predicted will only the first of many.

Essentially what this film does is the equivalent of getting stuck at a bus stop listening to a guy who is convinced that the world is going to come to an end and that "they" are just keeping us in the dark for some reason. I don't mean this as negatively as it sounds but it is fair to say that this film doesn't hide the fact that at times Ruppert gets carried away with himself, doesn't always cope well with having the totally open stage that he has in the interview, gets passionate, is obsessive and does happen to make statements that (out of context) come off as paranoid and doomsday in nature. It is also fair to say that, unless you already share his mindset, that there will be several times during the film where he goes further than you will be willing to go or says things that either don't make sense, seem like a stretch or that you just plain disagree with.

Mostly the film lets him talk so it is only fair that these moments are left in the film because it does let us see that, being frank, Ruppert is obsessive and that perhaps some of what he says is exaggerated and extreme but this is not to say that he is 100% wrong. So while I personally don't agree with him on the imminent nature of the collapse of the oil reserves (or that they are significantly smaller than "they" are telling us), one cannot really argue that from plastics to fuel, we really have put all our eggs into the "oil" basket and that supplies are simply not infinite. Likewise, because all of our eggs are in one place, moving them may well be possible in small numbers but if we suddenly have no basket – we're going to have a load of broken eggs. At this level the film is engaging and provides plenty to think about and I think that Ruppert is at his best when he is talking generally because his basic points are hard to argue; it is only when he gets into specifics or gets tied up in details that he begins to say "they" too often or get a bit more emotional.

These moments hurt the film by hurting him, although in fairness since the documentary is technically about him, then it is all part of the film and is a good bit of balance. So yes, Collapse will lose you at some point but it will also engage you at many more; it isn't the most factual of documentaries nor is it the best in terms of structure but I found it mostly very engaging and it sent me onto news sites and opinion sites on the internet to read up on some of the less "opinion" related "facts" that it Ruppert presents. Worth seeing for its faults because it is engaging and provides much to think about, even if your conclusions may not lie as far out there as Ruppert's.
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7/10
Moving past denial
stan jones24 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a documentary centering on Michael Ruppert's view of the world. He is a former LA cop and whistleblower on CIA drug dealing. He sits for an interview in a darkened room, a symbolic bunker. Smoking cigarettes he asserts that it all comes down to "peak oil" and how difficult it will be for the world to break it's addiction. And Ruppert doesn't hold much faith in alternate fuels. To him it will be those that can go back to the earth who will survive the transition to a new world. I have little argument with his general assertions.

Ruppert is credited with predicting the recent financial collapse. But really, anyone with their eyes open could see that a major downturn was inevitable. It was only a matter of how severe and when. I also agree with him that we're not yet out of it.

I do however have some faith that humans have the capacity to come to grips with the fix we're in. In spite of our troubles there are still a lot of alert, industrious and inventive people on this planet. I have little doubt though, that there will be a great many lives that will be lost along the way to a world that will be less dependent on oil.

To compound the dismal outlook for this film it ends with the notice that Ruppert's latest book is drawing little attention as he's shown alone looking very isolated along with his dog and having a hard time paying his rent. Is his message ignored as well? Better not be.
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10/10
A stirring, thought provoking metaphor about the collapse of a man and his world
Will Lybrand13 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
While reading the synopsis for 'Collapse', one could never expect the variety of feelings that it creates. It is a seemingly intellectual documentary on the surface, focusing on the never-ending stream of consciousness from Michael Ruppert. He sits alone in a warehouse with director Chris Smith as the cameras roll. But as the story progresses, I saw that this film is not just about energy depletion, the over-consumption of oil, and the global economy run wild, but instead about paranoia, fear, and loneliness.

Michael Ruppert is an investigative journalist and retired police officer. He speaks with a confidence and poise that betrays an undertone of worry and concern. Initially, we learn from Michael about the complexities of the global ecosystem, our never-ending dependence on oil, and the machinations of governments gone awry. To a point, everything that he says is believable. It's obvious that he is well-educated and well-intentioned, and that as a viewer there are things to learn from him.

Smith intervenes though, and the ramblings of what starts to look like a mad man progress further and further into darkness. The director has cobbled together several days worth of footage into a masterpiece display of editing. And now we enter spoiler territory. Just when Ruppert mesmerizes with his impressive repository of factual insight on the world around us, the shell starts to crack. It becomes evident that Ruppert himself is amidst a collapse. The title is both the subject and the metaphor of Ruppert's life.

This is where 'Collapse' started to play games with my mind. At one point, Ruppert's confident display of reasons we should all be worried about the world around us are believable. But towards the end of the movie, it's obvious that he's completely lost, perhaps even borderline hysterical. But then what am I, the viewer? At one point I was ready to jump off the diving board, thinking about what my next move would be when the United States collapses into some sort of anarchist state. And then I realized how silly I was being… or was I? After all, everything is at stake.

This movie is a masterful portrait of a lonely and troubled man who wants to warn the world. 'Collapse' simultaneously informs us of a cavalcade of anecdotal evidence and data that any rational person would be worried about. What's even better about this movie are its multiple interpretations. It's a sort of 'Rashomon' pushed upon the viewers. There are people who will watch this and think that Ruppert is a genius who bears worthwhile observations that must be heeded. But there are other people who will watch it and come to the conclusion that he is falling apart at the seams. And yet more there are people who will discount it from the get-go, labeling Ruppert a conspiracy theorist and a lunatic.

I recommend this movie highly. It's a chameleon of a film that could be described as a documentary, a drama, a thriller, or even a suspense movie. Anyone who wants to see a good socio-political commentary or complex character study will enjoy it. In addition, it will challenge the viewers thought process.
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4/10
Very shallow information, but enjoyable for the laymen.
Brent10 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Collapse is interesting, but nevertheless shallow in relaying important aspects of global resource crisis in modern civilizations.

I understand the movie is suppose to focus on Ruppert's looking glass of the world, but I think the director and team who put this movie together should have balanced it out with relevant questions that probed Ruppert's reasoning, facts, and mode of thinking.

The interviewer just seemed to let Ruppert ramble on in a very broad sense about our planets resource crisis without making him accountable to support any of his claims with evidence.

For instance...in one part of the film the interviewer asks Ruppert how he would explain his credentials on the subject matter at hand.

Ruppert (smoking a cigarette very unnaturally and obviously trying to give himself some air of "critical-ness") says his family was rooted in the CIA, he was a LA cop, wrote hundreds of news articles on the matter and has been doing independent research on the matter for 30 years or so.

First of all, being a LA cop gives NO credence or weight to why I should trust that you know what you're talking about when it comes to resource management. Secondly, unless your father showed you schematics to world collapse via resource mismanagement from the CIA headquarters, just stating your dad was part of the CIA doesn't give me much. Thirdly: writing hundred of news articles is kind of valid...but from what I researched on you after the movie, the depth or your news articles is shallower than a baby pool (pretty much like this movie). Ruppert for his years of research and dedication comes off as a tunnel vision thinker that researches what HE believes is factually important and NOT the entire issue.

Basically, it is an OK movie for those wanting to get a very, very, very general sense of resource crisis on our planet. But if you care about understanding how Ruppert reached his conclusions and evidence supporting his claims ,you will be disappointed...very disappointed.

Watch Zeitgeist (any one of the three movies) or The Corporation if you want to know, in depth, about modern national- social conditioning and how it affects humanity, the planet's resources, and the alike.
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4/10
The garden urination recommendation gave me pause, the open weeping in the camera was a bit much
bob_meg17 April 2011
Chris Smith's "Collapse" is a strange documentary, but an objective one.

There's much in Michael Ruppert's views that are worth being concerned about. It's not like he pulled the information from his hind end...much of it has been documented ad nauseum in different mediums.

It's to Smith's credit that he did not try to make Ruppert seem more credible than he is. In fact, there are times when he seems to go to great lengths to demonstrate how emotionally unstable his subject appears to be. It's obvious Ruppert carries around a lot of baggage that has resulted in a hyper-paranoid, overly-alarmist sensibility. He talks about being the type who "builds the lifeboats" in a Titanic scenario --- exactly what lifeboats has he built? I just see him standing on the bridge, waving like a maniac.

Information is only as good as its source and Ruppert is damaged goods: he's twitchy, chain-smokes incessantly, alternates between defensive and ranting responses, refuses to answer questions that challenge his "credentials" (shaky, at best), advocates survivalist measures, and weeps openly into the camera.

Look, I'm not saying anything Ruppert believes will NOT come to pass. My problem is that he comes across as such a fractured emotional basket case that it's hard if not impossible to take him seriously unless he's telling you what you want to hear in the first place.

If he was credible, he'd probably be dead by now. But if the CIA doesn't take him seriously, should we? This doc has been compared favorably to Erroll Morris' "The Fog of War" --- unfortunately, McNamara is a believable source, Ruppert is not, though I have no doubt that he wishes he was with all his heart.
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10/10
a devastating bang for your brain
dullsenkurz3 June 2010
This documentary is outstanding on every level - director Chris Smith introduces the viewer to life of Michael Ruppert but that is only the surface. Ruppert's view of the modern world and its tendencies is somewhat unique, considering the public mainstream opinions about everything and everyone. He analyzes issues that are relevant at this point and links them all together. It creates a devastating prospect. Ruppert is nervous, his eyes make him look like a lost puppy, eagerly smoking one cigarette after another. But who wouldn't be lost in his place? He has seen the future and the effects of that make him look like a crackpot. The title of the movie could be referable to Michael, our way of thinking not only the world system itself. Chris Smith has done some great job, making the film visually enjoyable by interrogating Ruppert in a dark bunker and adding captivating visual material. We are heading towards end of the world and our lifestyle as we know it. If you are able to grasp that at least after seeing this documentary, better fasten your seat-belt for a bumpy ride, if you are not able to do that - enjoy this dwindling era of oil as much as you can cause there is no really much time left to do that.

A must-see for those who want to know. TO KNOW. For those who are seeking the truth like Neo. For those who think that ignorance is a bliss, better skip this and watch some American Idol-like show. Seriously.
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8/10
Infinite growth is insanity indeed
A.N.5 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It's good to see someone who looks at the world straight-on, not through the filtered lens most people use to keep themselves oblivious to the "big picture." Many scientists have simultaneously reached Ruppert's conclusions and it's mostly common sense. Their delivery of the message just isn't as stark because they're constrained by political correctness.

Ruppert drives home a point that gets woefully underplayed: A finite planet can't sustain infinite economic & population growth and you can't eat, drink or breath money. He also draws attention to the direct role of oil in enabling extreme population growth; and that lack of oil may limit growth automatically. That was thought-provoking; massive die-offs or just a sudden drop in procreation?

I do see a contradiction in someone who chain-smokes, yet is worried about the future. Does he have a death wish or was it just a habit he took up before he became a futurist? Either way, his evidence-based outlook rises above personal flaws. His analogies about the Titanic are dead on, and the depiction of us literally eating oil is well done.

Especially disturbing is the realization that the Bushes & Cheneys of the world know what's going on but don't want to fix the root causes. They come off as even more wicked than people thought.

Some weak points were Ruppert's casual dismissal of nuclear, based on the cost of constructing new plants (I think it has more potential than wind-power, not to mention its smaller footprint). He also didn't comment on the practicality of solar panels on existing rooftops, preferring to nitpick large scale plants that must send power long distances. There was a general attitude of resignation that nothing can replace oil. True in large measure, but not the all-or-nothing scenario he gives.

The question is whether the average shallow-thinker with fake smile and cellphone glued to ear is able to process reality Ruppert style. So far it doesn't seem likely.
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3/10
Worth watching but not worth the praise
ylda hakimo6 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
**Personal warning: This review contains at least 4 spoilers**

Some of the things mentioned in the movie:

  • Doesn't make sense to import foods (are you kidding me?)


  • Nuclear power plants require energy and copper to be built so they're not worth building (nonsense)


  • It takes 10 calories to produce 1 calorie (impossible to accurately estimate)


  • It's too late to run for the hills because you will get shot by the locals (flabbergasted)


  • Says that no amount of human ingenuity will help. In the end of the movie he says there's still hope... (contradictory)


Really rather disappointed... At least not all facts were sucked out of the thumb in this documentary and that makes it worth watching.

But you will have a lot more fun watching documentaries like: "The Corporation", "The World According to Monsanto" or even "Zeitgeist".

It's difficult to understand how this documentary ended up in movie theatres or why the closing note emphasizes how peculiar and broke Michael Ruppert is.... guess not anymore, thanks to this cinematic "gem".
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5/10
Ruppert's limited world view
dlherman-110 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Ruppert offers an interesting analysis of contemporary society and a prediction of imminent societal collapse. He provides an historical perspective linking the development of industrial society based on oil production to exponential population growth, and how the consequences of peak oil will cause the collapse of society and its population.

He portrays our current economic system as being one big financial pyramid scheme run by a thoroughly corrupt elite, and discusses the irrational and unsustainable paradigm of "infinite growth". He argues that our survival depends on a paradigm shift where we move to local production and reliance on the community.

However, he reveals a major flaw in his argument. He claims that no alternative economic system can offer a solution. On the one hand he describes the corruption and the destructive forces attributed to a free market capitalist system, and in the same breath lumps together capitalism, socialism and communism saying that all three are modelled on the unsustainable infinite growth paradigm. Thus, he says, none of the alternative economic systems can solve the crisis.

What utter nonsense.

Then he asserts that Cuba survived following the collapse of the Soviet Union because it implemented a capitalist solution, that being that the government told the population to grow it's own food! Is this guy from Mars? Because he doesn't understand either capitalism or socialism.

The film had some interesting facts but Mr. Ruppert is a very confused man. I can't take him seriously. Neither should you.
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1/10
Tremendously Boring
nephilistpost10 April 2011
If you have had your head stuck in the sand for the last 30 years and know nothing about how the world works then this may be a good 'starter' documentary for you.

If on the other hand you know the essentials of how the world's economy works and what is going to happen as oil runs out then you are going to have a hard job keeping your eyes open.

This documentary is primarily one man being interviewed in a depressing room about a morbid subject. Yes, we know how dependent the world is on oil and the crisis the world is going to face as it runs out but Michael Rupert manages to drag the obvious into a pit of misery.

What Michael offers in this film is despair and an almost religious 'the end is nigh' view on life. Perhaps someone who has had his heart broken by witnessing as much corruption as this man is not the right person to send out messages to the world as I would worry for those watching it who are more easily influenced by dark rooms, scary messages and haunting music.

I don't disagree with the content, just the manner in which it is put across and the affect it may have on the gullible. The subject matter has been conveyed in a far more subjective manner by many others but if you enjoy a creepy side to your documentaries and are not trying to quit smoking right now then this might be the film for you.
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10/10
Absolutely amazing movie - a must see!
the_wolf_imdb26 October 2011
I do not trust conspiracy theoreticians, especially the paranoid ones. The narrator (Michael Rupert) was a suspicious person for me at the start, like many others "alternative history" researchers (the pyramids were built by Antlantians, no one was ever on the Moon etc.) But basically most of he said in the movie has perfect sense. His outcomes are somewhat radical - he basically dismisses advances in technology like recycling, alternative power sources etc., but he exactly points out the main problem of mankind today: The faith in unlimited growth, faith in virtual value of money created by leverage effect in banks, unsustainable dependence on oil, too quick and unsustainable population explosion.

I would not call his outcomes as a "must happen" scenario and I do not trust all he said, but this movie is definitely worth seeing. We take too much luxury in our lives as granted (social security, cheap energy and food, accessible medicine) - and many people still do complain. This luxury is made on expense of cheap energy and goods and may be gone for good quite soon. No one seems too much to care though.

Ruppert explains his views in understandable and logical manner. He builds one logical argument after another, maybe in a bit theatrical manner, but it does not removes validity from his arguments. He was right in past on many occasions and he is definitely not some clown with bizarre theories. You may not agree with his views, but you should most definitely see this movie and think about what he says. This lecture is most definitely worth your time!
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4/10
What a crackpot!
surface666926 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched a slightly edited version of this film on the "Planet Green" channel, and boy am I glad that I didn't pay any money to see it!

The guy that's highlighted in this movie is a classic alarmist, and I guess he hasn't even found a way to make any money off of his claims, which is pretty sad all on it's own. After watching the entire movie, it's a wonder to me whether the movie's title is really about the subject matter that this alarmist was talking about or the alarmist himself.

I've seen this guy speak locally on local govt. access TV, and this is some of the nonsense that he spouts: -"more than half of the predictions that he made in this movie have come true, and they will all come true eventually"

-"economic growth is NOT possible with out oil, and there is NO substitutes or replacements for oil"...which is not true at all!

-"around 1890 or so, oil started to be used and the human population soared to 7 billion, and those 5+ billion people ONLY exist because of oil"

-"there are 10 calories of hydrocarbon energy (from oil & natural gas primarily) in every 1 calorie of food consumed in the industrialized world today"

-"it take 30 years to change an energy infrastructure"

-"Peak Oil arrived at the end of 2005"...which is not true.

-he's had no income for about a year

-"human industrial civilization is collapsing, period, and it cannot be reversed"

-"he is right about 80% of the time", and "he's been 'right' for two decades" now

-"the FDIC is insolvent"...which it isn't!

-"Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are getting ready to ask for another $150 billion"

-"the U.S. govt. is a 'servant' of the Federal Reserve system, specifically the Federal Reserve Bank of NY"

-he's against fiat currency & fractional reserve banking...even though he clearly doesn't understand either concept!

-"there will be another round of bailouts very soon" in the USA

-"methanol is a net energy loser"

-Saudi Arabia has 25% of the known oil on the planet, and they have passed Peak Oil as well"...which really isn't true as no one knows how much oil Saudi Arabia (or any of the OPEC nations) really has!

-big states (like CA, OH, MI) will start to not pay into their state pension plans by the end of this year

-the Federal Reserve can't "print any more money" (something that his buddy Ron Paul keeps saying)...the Fed doesn't print any money, the U.S. Treasury does!

-we will "see $2000 gold by the end of this year", but he "doesn't advocate buying gold" anymore...sure, sure!

-oil will spike "to $100/barrel within the next couple of months"

-Wall Street is betting against states & local governments through CDOs

-"the 'cliff event' will come no later than the summer of 2010"

-he fully endorses state secessionist movements as he says that states will secede "whether they want to or not"

-he can't pay his own rent in Venice, CA, and he hasn't seen any money from this movie & his speaking engagements yet

-Greece, Romania, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the UK, Japan are all going to "go down" soon

-the CIA has been smuggling & dealing drugs since 1979...which is the REAL REASON why he became famous across the U.S. in the first place!

-there aren't enough U.S. troops in the USA to enforce martial law but "not everyone should own a gun", and the major West coast ports will be protected by the military

-CA may "split into 3-4 states eventually"

-"we are reverting to a feudal society", and "in a short period of time, living conditions will be back to Victorian society"

-he's no longer in favor of building nuclear power plants, and he thinks that "we're long past Peak Uranium"...which isn't true at all!

-he thinks that the "govt. should get out of the way & let us save ourselves"

-he thinks that state governments "should disengage from the federal govt."

-he's "never owned a house in his entire life"

-he thinks that "the faster the system goes down, the better"

Ugh...Peak Oil is real...nothing can change that in my mind...it's simple math, but this guy is basically a wacko & a fear-monger IMHO. We broke through the Malthusian Cycle with the Industrial Revolution.

Don't bother watching this movie, even if the viewing is for free!
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10/10
Get out of your perfect bubble and watch this
aeakim15 February 2016
I consider this a must see for everyone. This is not the first time I've heard these types of commentary but this is a lot more detail that I find hard to hear but required to hear. We're pumped with pseudo "news" that's filtered and crafted often with an agenda and the truth put out there is often hidden in the overload of information available today. Just be a smart citizen and human being and educate yourself at what is happening around you, whether or not you see it or if it involves you, because sooner or later it will, and you shouldn't be surprised or caught off guard. I don't think most people are ready to hear stuff like this and I get it.. I lived in a bubble for a long time but it's time to wake up and get real.
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8/10
The one thing he didn't say is the worst of all
bobbobwhite28 September 2010
As others have reviewed this documentary, I will mostly comment on its subject matter. Michael Ruppert showed well that he is a credible canary in the mineshaft for global awareness of humanity's problems that must be corrected for continued life on earth.

All of his concerns are true, and some are even worse than he stated, but the very worst problem of all didn't even get a mention from him....that of global overpopulation that is the root cause of all the symptoms of our existence troubles that he did state.

To simplify......if the world's population was 20% of what it is now, the maximum sustainable figure, all of Ruppert's concerns for human existence would not be crucial for thousands more years when real solutions to the problems he stated might be available. But, we cry about the symptoms and don't care one bit about the cause so we continue to overpopulate all countries with uncontrolled new births, and are continually overburdened with resultant and mostly unsolvable problems as a result. Air, water, oil, food, and every single other problem of today that Ruppert stated has been caused by overpopulation, but still we cry only about symptoms, as Ruppert does, instead of the root cause of all our global problems....too many people being born with no controls on it and, what is much worse, no gov't or societal thought even being given to it.

As a result of that typical human stupidity and shortsightedness we are done, people, it is just a matter of time, and not that much time either, as your own young grandchildren will suffer badly as a result. But, still you don't care, so nothing is ever done about it. We don't deserve any more time on earth if we don't even care enough about protecting our continued existence by working on the cause of all of our problems.
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