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"CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY"
(2009) (Documentary) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Heavy Minor Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Documentary: Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore takes a look at capitalism in the United States and where he thinks it went wrong and continues to do so, including how it relates to the economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009.
PLOT:
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore examines capitalism in the United States and how he sees it as having changed from a more democracy-driven economic system following WWII through deregulation into a highly controlled and orchestrated corporate-run process. Along the way, he looks at the effects that change has had not only on the overall economic health of the country, but also on its various citizens.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in the subject matter or are fans of Michael Moore's films, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Everyone in the documentary appears as themselves, with MICHAEL MOORE being the prominent figure who seems sincere about his beliefs and points, even if he oversimplifies some of his explanations and arguments. He briefly uses strong profanity and does some grandstanding to both prove his point and, it would appear, draw attention to himself.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated documentary. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. The infamous Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson Super Bowl appearance is seen, but not through to completion of the exposed breast, while some shirtless men are seen in other scenes.

Archival footage (real and fictional) shows violence of varying degrees, but nothing gory or graphic in that sense, while real and fictional footage shows various forms of weaponry, some in use. Footage shows people drinking or smoking, while there's a brief reference to pot smoking.

There are comments about and footage of people with bad attitudes, while some might view Moore and his film of having the same. Some behavior might be enticing for kids to emulate, while tense family material (members talking about others in the family who've died) is also present. All sorts of topics to talk about are also present.

Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts and degrees of handheld camera movement in the film.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see old movie footage of people with drinks.
  • We see miscellaneous drinking.
  • A song has a line about a guy having at least 2 DUIs.
  • There's talk of a girl who smoked pot and was sent away to a juvi detention center.
  • Michael makes a comment about something not being another dry martini.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man who buys foreclosed condos uses a metaphor about vultures and vomiting, and when asked to compare himself to vultures, he jokes that he doesn't vomit on himself.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • During the opening credits, we see various clips of surveillance footage showing bank robbers doing their thing while armed with handguns, shotguns and some sort of semi-automatic weapon or machine gun.
  • There's talk of those who take economic advantage of others facing financial misfortune.
  • A song has a line about a guy having at least 2 DUIs and another about "We're so retarded."
  • We learn of a corrupt judge who was in cahoots with a privatized juvi detention center and thus sent them lots of young inmates in order for the company running the place to make more money.
  • We hear that various blue chip companies took out secret "dead peasant" life insurance policies on their employees (to make money on them should they die), and one internal memo notes that not enough are dying to make the program as profitable as it should be. We then hear that while one such incident resulted in Wal-Mart making $81,000 on one of its employees following her untimely death, the family got nothing and was left saddled with high hospital and funeral bills.
  • There's talk that companies pushed their customers to refinance and thus overextend themselves financially.
  • A former employee of Countrywide talks about heading up the VIP program for influential customers who got preferential treatment and waived paperwork and fees, including Senator Dodd who runs the Senate banking committee that overseas the financial institutions such as Countrywide.
  • An internal Citibank memo comments on plutocracy and that being good for their bottom line, but that citizens' right to vote could be the only thing that would impede that.
  • There's an allegation that the government bailout of banks and such was really a financial coup d'etat concocted by the involved corporations and the government (some will view that as truth, others will view it as a lie).
  • Some viewers might not like Michael joking that socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders is from "the gay state of Vermont."
  • Some viewers may see an evicted family that returns to their former home and then squatting in it, without paying anything (and with the aid of others supporting them), as demonstrating bad and/or illegal behavior.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • For those unsettled by such footage, we see news clips of the aftermath of a past plane crash in Buffalo (flames at night), followed by an aerial view sometime after that, showing the wreckage.
  • We briefly see post Hurricane Katrina footage, with New Orleans flooded and people up on rooftops, etc.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • During the opening credits, we see various clips of surveillance footage showing bank robbers doing their thing while armed with handguns, shotguns and some sort of semi-automatic weapon or machine gun.
  • We see movie footage of Roman soldiers with spears.
  • We see brief footage showing military missiles.
  • We see footage of a man placing his shotgun and pistols down on the floor.
  • Referring to business matters, a man makes a cocking the shotgun gesture.
  • We see bombs dropping in WWII footage, and then again in footage from Vietnam.
  • We see old movie footage of Ronald Reagan's character shooting another with a pistol (no blood).
  • We see old movie footage of a guy being pushed and then having a handgun held on him.
  • We see old footage of soldiers carrying rifles.
  • We see old footage of the National Guard arriving with machine guns.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Plain f*cking stole everything," "Don't f*ck it up," "What the f*ck happened?" "Bullsh*t," "Holy sh*t," "You're gonna get a lot of hell," "Along came Debbie Downer," "What a bummer," "We're so retarded" (heard in a song), "Frickin,'" "Toxic piece of crap," "Screwing up" and "The people be damned."
  • Referring to business matters, a man makes a cocking the shotgun gesture.
  • A person has a pierced lip.
  • Michael goes to various financial institutions (in an armored car) to make a scene and ask for the bailout money back, and wants to make a citizen's arrest.
  • Michael unrolls police tape around a corporation to make a point.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has a line about a guy having at least 2 DUIs and another about "We're so retarded."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "f" words, 2 "s" words, 2 craps and 1 hell.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see footage of the Super Bowl halftime incident where Justin Timberlake goes to tear off the material covering Janet Jackson's breast, but the clip stops right before that exposure takes place.
  • We see movie footage of shirtless male Roman soldiers.
  • We see some shirtless male swimmers.
  • We see footage of some shirtless guys as well as a female volleyball player in a sports bra or similar top.
  • We see some shirtless guys.
  • SMOKING
  • Brief clips show footage (some from old movies, etc.) of people smoking pipes and a cigar, while there's also an image of Ronald Reagan with a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A woman talks about her husband's untimely death.
  • A husband talks about his young (26) wife's untimely death and her last hours, thus dredging up sad memories for his kids.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The question of how the future will judge us.
  • The comment that people have it all or have nothing.
  • The comment that capitalism is all about taking and giving.
  • Those who take economic advantage of others facing financial misfortune.
  • The comment that capitalism in its purest form is about consumers voting on what they want by what they purchase, and that which isn't purchased goes away.
  • The fact that the highest income tax bracket in the past was 90%.
  • The comment that times were good in post WWII America due to much of the industrialized competition around the world being in some stage of ruin.
  • The comment that people should be judged by what they do rather than what they own.
  • The comment that after Ronald Reagan took office, the country started being run like a corporation, with job cuts and efforts to destroy unions being done in order to increase short-term profits.
  • The comment that while stocks went up during the Reagan years, so did credit card debt, bankruptcy, imprisonment, anti-depressant use and more.
  • The comment that American auto manufacturers had it good until foreign ones rebuilt themselves after WWII and began competing again.
  • We hear that various blue chip companies took out secret "dead peasant" life insurance policies on their employees (to make money on them should they die), and one internal memo notes that not enough are dying to make the program as profitable as it should be. We then hear that while one such incident resulted in Wal-Mart making $81,000 on one of its employees following her untimely death, the family got nothing and was left saddled with high hospital and funeral bills.
  • The comment that airline pilots don't make a lot of money and many have second jobs to make ends meet.
  • The comment that young women are most potentially profitable to companies who take out secret life insurance policies on them (since they're least likely to die of all employee demographics).
  • Catholic priests and one bishop commenting that capitalism is contrary to Christianity, and Michael Moore's comment that Jesus got hijacked by the rich for their money-making purposes.
  • The notion of plutocracy and a Citibank report commenting on just that being good for their bottom line, while citizens' right to vote could be the only thing that would impede that.
  • The comment that the top one percent of American's have more wealth than the combined 95% at the bottom, and that the American dream (where a poor person could potentially become rich) is what allows such disparity to exist without a massive revolt by those on the bottom.
  • The fact that Michael Moore is destined to make money from this film (and likely put him in the top 1 percent of American earners).
  • Moore's allegation that capitalism is against democracy.
  • The comment that more students go into business rather than science since that's where the money is (and thus they can pay off their costly student loans easier and faster) and thus are more interested in profiting than the public good.
  • The fact that some of those in the derivatives market have a hard time explaining exactly how it works.
  • The fact that companies pushed their customers to refinance and thus overextend themselves financially.
  • A former employee of Countrywide talks about heading up the VIP program for influential customers who got preferential treatment and waived paperwork and fees, including Senator Dodd who runs the Senate banking committee that overseas the financial institutions such as Countrywide.
  • The comment that 9/11 took the FBI's focus off white collar crime and turned it toward terrorism.
  • The comment that fear is what drives people and what corporations use on them to make money.
  • A person compares the failure of the American economy to the same of a dam, in that it starts small but then grows to catastrophic proportions with time.
  • The recent U.S. government bailout of banks and other corporations.
  • The fact that many former top financial institution executives served in the Clinton and Bush administrations.
  • The allegation that the government bailout of banks and such was really a financial coup d'etat.
  • The fact that the government bailout came without many strings attached and thus some aspects of how the money was used are not known.
  • Socialism.
  • The fact that President Roosevelt proposed a second bill of rights for Americans (stating the rights of access to an education, home, job, health care, etc.) but never saw that to fruition (due to his death) but that Japan and Germany got that due to their constitutions being rewritten after WWII.
  • We briefly see post Hurricane Katrina footage, with New Orleans flooded and people up on rooftops, etc. Along with that, Michael comments about the poor always being the ones who end up suffering, rather than the rich.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see footage of a bad Nascar crash, and then cage fighting with various blows and a competitor being slammed down to the canvas.
  • Sheriff's department personnel break a door open to serve an eviction.
  • We see bombs dropping in WWII footage, and then again in footage from Vietnam.
  • We see archival footage of a black man being blasted by a fire hose.
  • We see old movie footage of Ronald Reagan's character shooting another with a pistol (no blood) and, in another movie, slapping a woman.
  • We see old movie footage of a guy being pushed and then having a handgun held on him.
  • We see old footage of people pushing and shoving.



  • Reviewed September 17, 2009 / Posted October 2, 2000

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