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Merchants of Doubt (2014)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 12 December 2014 (UK)
1:59 | Trailer

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A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.


Robert Kenner


Erik M. Conway (original book), Robert Kenner | 2 more credits »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamy Ian Swiss Jamy Ian Swiss ... Himself - Magician and Magic Historian
Stanton A. Glantz ... Himself (as Stanton Glantz)
Sam Roe Sam Roe ... Himself - Journalist, Chicago Tribune
Patricia Callahan Patricia Callahan ... Herself - Journalist, Chicago Tribune
James Hansen ... Himself - Climate Scientist
John Passacantando John Passacantando ... Himself - Former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
Bill O'Keefe Bill O'Keefe ... Himself - Former Chairman of Global Climate Coalition
Naomi Oreskes Naomi Oreskes ... Herself - Professor of the History of Science
Frederick Singer ... Himself (as Fred Singer)
Michael Shermer Michael Shermer ... Himself - Founder of The Skeptics Society
James Taylor James Taylor ... Himself - Self-Proclaimed Science and Economical Expert, Heartland Institute
Matthew Crawford Matthew Crawford ... Himself - Former Executive Director of the George C. Marshall Institute
Marc Morano Marc Morano ... Himself - Self-Proclaimed Environmental Journalist
Benjamin Santer Benjamin Santer ... Himself - Climate Scientist (as Ben Santer)
Michael E. Mann ... Himself - Climate Scientist (as Michael Mann)


A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Propaganda (noun). 1. Derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 December 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Climate Project See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,300, 8 March 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$192,400, 5 April 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Participant Media See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Roughly 59 minutes into the documentary it cuts to an interview with James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. In the background an office worker in a mobility scooter reverses into doorway. See more »


[first lines]
Himself - Magician and Magic Historian: My expertise is in deception. The thing that sets magicians apart from con men, and other kinds of thieves and liars, is that we are honest liars. It's the moral contract.
See more »

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User Reviews

Beware of the wolves in the sheepskins.
14 October 2015 | by Reno RanganSee all my reviews

I want to begin with what usually comes in the final paragraph in any review that it is a must see film. No matter who you are, whatever your profession is, you must not skip it for many reasons. The film was based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and directed by the Oscar nominated documentary 'Food, Inc.' filmmaker.

Recently I read somewhere that 'there are more fake flamingos in the world than real ones'. I thought it was a stat that makes clear there are very less flamingos than we presumed. But the point is it gives a different meaning when the same line used as a reference for this film. It is going to be big stride, yes it is. It all began after the WWII and carried out throughout 50 years during the Cold War, but just recent decades everyone realised its seriousness.

When someone interferes with our personal thing, stating that he's an official from the respective field, we ask for the identity proof. But what if it is a conspiracy, how we are going to know it. The common people are always falling prey for such tricks because of the corrupted ministers and the powerful giant corporates. Like, we're the sheep herd and they are the wolves in the sheep's skin. This film is not trying to expose them their entire wrong doings, but on a particular topic, and that is the Global Warming.

The media and press plays a crucial part here, but some of them opted a wrong path. Maybe because of the poor knowledge and investigation, or influenced people around them. So the story opens with the cigarettes, how the tobacco companies fooled people in the 60s, 70s till the 90s. The book this movie adapted was written by an American historian, so it's all about the things that happened in the States. But it is still very much the world's concern too, as America is one of the top countries to export modern science and technology to all the corners, especially the third world countries.

"We're leaving our children and grandchildren, the legacy of people who failed to lead."

Today's world's hot topic is, the climate change. Because of human there are plenty of species gone extinct than the natural extinct happened in the presence of human alongside. So, the biggest them all is he's posing a same threat to himself. If that happens, the human will be wiped out. The earth will recycle itself over the thousand years of evolution and the life will be restored, the new kind. Human is the only animal on the earth who do stuff for pleasure and those pleasures comes in many ways. One such thing is the money.

Science is not one hundred per cent perfect, not yet, but that is the closest estimation that we have today to predict anything advancely. The world is not the same compared to 100 years ago, the religion is no more threat to the science. The evolution in science is taking place at a brisk pace, lots of stuffs were studied, understood, discovered in the last two decades than over two thousand years. Those who are doing their work is constantly interrupted by the new kind of troublemakers. Those people are the hired counterparts to the scientists who claims they are experts, but why they are doing it is a disgusting truth.

It is a very good message movie. You might probably realise from now on who to believe and why, because that was this documentary's notion that makes people open their eyes to the truth and reality. If you're still in your blindfold, then you're on the wrong side with the wrong people. I want to make you clear on one final thing that this documentary is not trying to prove the Global Warming theory, but it was a debate between the people who tried to stop it and the people who tried to prove it was not a hoax. It is about exposing the dirty works.


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