Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: What is a big corporation capable of doing in order to protect its brand? Recently, Swedish documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gertten experienced this personally. His previous film BANANAS!* recounts the lawsuit that 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers successfully brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company. That film was selected for
    competition by the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. Nothing wrong so far, right? But then just before leaving Sweden to attend the Los Angeles world premiere of his film, Gertten gets a strange message: the festival has decided to remove Bananas!* from competition.
    Then, a scathing, controversial and misinformed article appears on the cover of the Los Angeles Business Journal about the film a week before the premiere. And subsequently, Gertten receives a letter from Dole's attorneys threatening legal action if the film is shown at this festival and to cease and desist. What follows is an unparalleled story that Gertten captured on film. He filmed this entire process of corporate bullying and media spin - from DOLE attacking the producers with a defamation lawsuit, utilizing scare tactics, to media-control and PR-spin. Big Boys Gone Bananas!* can be seen as a thriller and a cautionary tale. But, mostly this is a personal story about what happened to Gertten, as a documentary filmmaker and to his company and how the livelihood of documentary filmmakers can be easily put into jeopardy. (WG Film)
    Collapse
  • Director: Fredrik Gertten
  • Genre(s): Biography, Drama, Documentary, News
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 90 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Budd Wilkins
    Jul 25, 2012
    63
    The issue remains that this variety of faux-populism seems better suited to the soapbox than the silver screen.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jul 25, 2012
    60
    A David-and Goliath story that delves into corporate scare tactics, legal effrontery, brand protection, media manipulation, online propagandizing and craven behavior.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jul 26, 2012
    60
    Documenting the vigorous strategies employed by the Dole Food Company to block the release of his 2009 film "Bananas!" - about a lawsuit brought by Nicaraguan workers who suspected the company's use of dangerous pesticides - the Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten gains traction by taking the high road.
  4. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Aug 5, 2012
    60
    The relentlessness of corporate might is disturbing but no surprise; "Big Boys" is, however, an eye-opening look at the way the U.S. media fell lockstep behind Dole's claims.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jul 31, 2012
    50
    While Big Boys addresses the extent to which journalists (particularly in the U.S., Gertten believes) too readily accept the claims of powerful entities, the film misses the opportunity to explore this issue in a more universal way.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jul 25, 2012
    40
    Detailing his efforts to distribute Bananas!*, his 2009 exposé on Dole's use of toxic chemicals in Nicaragua, Swedish documentarian Fredrik Gertten's latest plays as an occasionally fascinating, if ultimately reductive, showdown between First Amendment rights and corporate power.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    The critics who rated this movie are the most special type of douche bags IMHO. The film is really an 8 or a 9, but I need to offset the mostly flimsy arguments made for such low ratings, which really amounts to another total corporate hand-job the movie portrays the media regularly doing. And even more ironically, these critics exercising the same rights this movie effectively points out are under great threat, when someone with money doesn't like what you have to say. Where's the solidarity boys and girls?

    http://www.timeout.com/us/film/big-boys-gone-bananas Here's a link to one of my comments to one of them under "jd" precisely describing my sentiment. Moving on.

    The criticisms that the film could have done a better job on cluing us all in on the legal content is fair I think. I am curious why they didn't try to summarize that a little more accurately. Good point that takes a point of the score.

    Another critic was upset that the main character and subject of the lawsuits and documentary was grand-standing and making himself the star of the movie... well no He happens to be the main subject of the movie and lawsuits on the documentary in question. Yes, like me, you probably just got stupider after reading that. I'm sorry; that's our media for you.

    Anyway, what's accomplished here, in this documentary, is a rare peek at PR firms, lawyers, and pseudo grass roots activities, and the utter havoc they can reek on our rights, on the behalf of the highest bidders; Dole in this case.

    This is a TERRIFYING documentary about the damage that is achieved on the free speech and free press rights by the country that made those concepts cool in the first place! For sake, this guy wasn't even American; and his entire nation stood up and showed us what the US used to look like through their actions. The film very clearly demonstrates how our American media is failing it's people. We are losing our skepticism and curiosity on those with power (another bad-ass concept the founders of this country did and encouraged). Now we are standing idly by while the victims like the ones in this documentary are by interests that simply don't like what they have to say. Well that, my friends. This film is important and there should be more like it.

    Please post a review after your done. If you have any legit criticisms, let's hear it. Perhaps I am missing something, but, so far, I've only seen mostly untenable bull**** claimed by the pseudo-critics that have given such low ratings.
    Expand