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Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

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Score: 8/10

Genre: Documentary Running Time: 2 hrs. 7 min.

Release Date: October 2nd, 2009 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Michael Moore Actors: Michael Moore, Thora Birch, Wallace Shawn


ust as thought-provoking, clever, and humorous as his previous documentaries, Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” turns its disapproving eye to the titular economic system and its disastrous effects on people across America. As the film progresses to show numerous examples of families thrown out of their houses, factory workers laid off without warning, and taxpayers shelling out billions to bail out banks, it becomes apparent that capitalism itself isn’t to blame, but rather the avaricious few who abuse the policies and corrupt those in power. As it exposes the guilty further lining their pockets, it also offers plenty of hope, emphasizing the minor and major rebellions that prove that change is just around the corner. And for many frightened CEO’s, so is Michael Moore, with his intimidating microphone and a demand for answers.

No stranger to tackling the big issues, documentarian Michael Moore takes on capitalism and the reasons behind America’s recent economic meltdown. Beginning in Rome and bringing viewers up to date with the recession, the purported evils of capitalism are compared to everything from vultures to Vegas casinos; and its negative impact blamed for death profiteering, predatory bank lending, and the eventual downfall of democracy. But with the depressing realizations of a good system gone wrong, Moore invokes his trademark brand of biting humor, creative editing, and a little grandstanding pizzazz.

Michael Moore has reached a point of notoriousness that prevents his opposition from ever seeing his material. Sadly, only those who admire his political viewpoints are likely to see “Capitalism: A Love Story,” while those who despise his ostentatious methods will avoid it outright. Although his style of documenting facts is slanted at best, the way he edits his films is fascinating and highly entertaining. Instilled with plenty of humor, the largely cheerless topics become resoundingly more absorbable, and are unquestionably important. Grand, thundering music highlights his focal points, frequently increasing the hilarity or aiding in the finger-pointing. At times it alternates between thrilling, tear-jerking, comedic, and thought-provoking – but it’s always educational.

Capitalism is essentially the pursuit of the American Dream and it didn’t set out to be evil. It was a good intention that only spiraled downward when it started to negatively control democracy. The rich want to stay rich, so the poor have no choice but to stay poor. Too bad the rich control the government; and getting a piece of the wealth pie requires deciphering the foreign language of Wall Street. Moore presents many stances on democracy, socialism, taking advantage of others’ misfortunes, profit motives, free enterprise, employers benefitting from the deaths of their workers, propaganda, the Senate Housing Committee’s failure to police mortgage scams and other white collar crimes, and bail outs, but ultimately the real villain is self-indulgence, consumption, and greed. And for those qualities, there are no cures.

– The Massie Twins


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