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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

Cast: Michael Moore, Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, more...
Director: Michael Moore, Michael Moore
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Documentary, Political & Social Issues
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

Filmmaker, author, and political activist Michael Moore trains his satirical eye on America's obsession with guns and violence in his third feature-length documentary, which gets its title from a pair of loosely related incidents. On April 20, 1999, shortly before they began their infamous killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attended their favorite class, a no-credit bowling course held at a bowling alley near the school, the same bowling alley which would become the scene of a robbery and triple homicide two years later. While pondering these events, Moore humorously considers the link between random violence and the game of ten pins; along the way, Moore calls on the Michigan Militia (and gets to know some of the models for their "Militia Babes" calendar); spends some time with James Nichols, brother of Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols; visits K-Mart's corporate offices with two teenagers injured in the Columbine massacre as they ask the retail chain to stop selling bullets for handguns; investigates the media's role in the American climate of fear and anger; compares crime statistics in the United States with those of Canada (which, despite higher unemployment and a larger number of guns per capita, manages to rack up a small fraction of the homicides committed in the United States), and questions actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston regarding his appearance at a pro-gun rally held in Littleton a few days after the Columbine massacre, and a similar rally in Flint, MI, after a six-year-old boy killed a classmate with a gun he took from his uncle's house. Bowling for Columbine received its first public screening at the 2002 Ann Arbor Film Festival; the film's official premiere took place a few months later at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the strange permutations of studio logic, what used to be a 2-sided disc including both the feature and bonus materials has been separated into two discs. To our dismay, we now carry both versions. If you receive a copy of the feature that does not include the bonus materials and you are interested in watching them, we apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to rent the bonus disc.

You might also enjoy:

Roger & Me
He really is the champion of the blue collar worker; this classic is finally out on DVD

The Awful Truth
Moore's hilarious guerilla-style TV series was short-lived but lives on forever

Sex, Drugs & Democracy
Probing look at how Holland deals with a lot of hot-button issues

GreenCine Member Ratings

Bowling for Columbine (2002)
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7.25 (2020 votes)
Bowling for Columbine (Bonus Disc) (2002)
New Listadd to list
6.52 (33 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

One of the best documentaries, yes documentaries, made by Neutron November 17, 2003 - 11:56 AM PST
12 out of 12 members found this review helpful
Bowling for Columbine is a product of it's time, and that makes it both timeless and very much documentation of the current climate. Love him or hate him, Michael Moore has changed from an outsider documentarian, to a populist hero. There are definite reasons for that.

Much has been said from the lions of the right wing and the harpies of general political punditry about this film. That it is, in fact... fiction or satire and not a documentary at all. Discrediting attacks designed to lessen its effect, it is most certainly satirical, and unashamedly political, but fiction it is not.

Michael Moore presents no answers at all, just a lot of questions, which is what a documentary usually does.

Fascinating interviews with Marilyn Manson, "troubled youth", Matt Stone from South Park, and of course the infamous Charlton Heston piece all combine to make this a truly interesting piece of film making.

Columbine is both laugh out loud funny, and jaggedly depressing, sometimes at the same time. It is a movie that is designed to spark debate and discussion and in that it is most certainly a rousing success.

Incidentally there is a section for teachers to use the film in class on this double sided DVD, as well as a wealth of added interviews, explanations and other bonuses all well worth watching. Most interesting is Moores own take on the post Oscar events, albeit sans Academy owned footage.

The biggest mystery is why, in a movie that was almost 6 hours in length in a pre-release rough cut, and is 119 minutes in its final version, why isnt there extra footage? This movie is a no brainer for a second disc, but instead we get a double sided DVD. Interestingly enough there are a few scenes that didnt seem to make the DVD cut, including a slowly paced, but chilling scene with James Nichols showing Moore a loaded handgun he keeps in his bedroom, while the camera person waits in the other room. Why on earth this was cut I have no idea.

And as far as the endless attacks on the movie, you can easily find Moore's rebuttals.

Republican gun-freaks will get their shorts in a bunch, but... by Brujaria August 9, 2003 - 6:25 PM PDT
14 out of 20 members found this review helpful
...everyone else will dig it!
The worst thing I could say about this film is that it is episodic.
Otherwise I have nothing but praise. It's a sharp, perceptive, wryly funny and often moving look at American's obsession with guns and killing each other with those same weapons.
Moore starts off with a hilarious, but disturbing intro in a bank that gives out free rifles with new bank accounts and then plunges into a deep, analytic look at militia groups, shooting victims, celebrities and every one in between with an honest straightforward approach that never puts words in thier mouths or attempts to put a spin on them.
There is a reason this film won numerous awards and was the most successful documentary in decades. It's nothing short of superb... Unless you are one of those gun-toting right wingers who can't wait for the opportunity to pop a cap in someone's ass.

This film is a fraud by zelpheri August 4, 2003 - 5:00 PM PDT
14 out of 44 members found this review helpful
If you take it as a normal film, then it can be an entertaining show. But if you are to take it as a documentary -- then it is patiently and woefully false in so many areas. Some are so poorly presented, that one wonders if Michael Moore's heart is not in it, or whether he is simply a fraud.

If you want a good and constructive social commentary film, look elsewhere. Please.

More reviews for titles in this product:

Cannes Film Festival & More - 2002
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
80 Best Films Since 1980
The list is only 75 titles long, because GreenCine doesn't have the following titles: The Plague Dogs, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Last Exit to Brooklyn, The Nasty Girl, City of Hope, Gadjo Dilo

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