Bowling for Columbine

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 209
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  1. LanceL.
    Sep 12, 2003
    0
    No way. How does anyone make such an unabashed movie, replete with lies and half-truths, and not get lambasted in the media? Even the NRA would look at this movie and just laugh. It is sad that Moore took such a tragic event and trivialized it by marginalizing the truth.
  2. SteveH.
    Jan 19, 2003
    2
    Vastly overrated. Has some interesting parts but overall comes off as incoherent propaganda. Virtually devoid of useful facts or logic - the movie relies on stirring emotions to manipulate and throws in a mishmash of issues but fails to tie them together. Lazy and self-serving filmmaking.
  3. Catherine
    Aug 20, 2003
    2
    One-sided and cruel to the people Moore interviews. Also, as far as the reviewer below stating how Pres. Bush is the biggest terrorist we have to fear - - please tell me what you're on! I would love to know! But seriously, Bush doesn't put parents through plastic shredders in front of their children. Nuff said.
  4. MichaelM.
    Aug 25, 2003
    0
    This doesn't qualify as a documentary. Its highly biased. He uses inflated numbers to back his position and if he really only wanted to do a film on violence in America he would have included all violent crime not just gun crime. Of course when you compare all crime in the US against places with gun control the US numbers aren't nearly as shocking. Violence will occur despite This doesn't qualify as a documentary. Its highly biased. He uses inflated numbers to back his position and if he really only wanted to do a film on violence in America he would have included all violent crime not just gun crime. Of course when you compare all crime in the US against places with gun control the US numbers aren't nearly as shocking. Violence will occur despite the means to how its committed. Americans are just lazy, reactionary and use a double standard when they judge things. Even Americans like myself are saddened by the way people act today. Expand
  5. Amy
    Aug 20, 2003
    2
    Simply a man's quest for fame, money, and admiration through the exploitation of others. It's worse than most reality TV shows.
  6. KelR.
    Sep 11, 2003
    0
    Let's live under a government Hitler would be proud of... NO GUNS for citizens!
  7. Tommy2Much4U
    Sep 19, 2003
    0
    Moore is sincere in his ignorance. Aaron is an idiot -- get a real country.
  8. GWildfire
    Sep 7, 2003
    1
    I have researched the figures, Moore lied. About the most accurate point of the movie, Moore did correctly identify Charleston Heston, as Charleston Heston, beyond that, he was snortin? butt crack. It gets a little credit as a comedy. A ?documentary?? NEVER! It?s 100% crap. I?ve lost friends and relatives to ?Victim-disarmament? better known by the ignorant as ?gun control?. I?ve also had I have researched the figures, Moore lied. About the most accurate point of the movie, Moore did correctly identify Charleston Heston, as Charleston Heston, beyond that, he was snortin? butt crack. It gets a little credit as a comedy. A ?documentary?? NEVER! It?s 100% crap. I?ve lost friends and relatives to ?Victim-disarmament? better known by the ignorant as ?gun control?. I?ve also had friends and relatives saved by guns. No, guns wouldn?t save every victim of criminal violence, but neither will seatbelts save every accident victim. But I STILL were my seatbelt! 30 minutes of actual research, will show anyone the danger and deaths caused by gun control. The cops killed 2 of the victims of Columbine. (What is that? Nearly 10%?) Armed citizens and teachers have proven far more reliable, than the cops, at stopping mass killings. (Pearl, Mississippi, Shoney?s, Anniston. Alabama, The Virginia Law School Massacre, to name just a few.) Name the mass killings, where the victims were not first disarmed, either by the Government or ?Company Policy? . . . neither of which the murderers obeyed! The movie should have been called ?Fishing for Fools? Expand
  9. DonaldL.
    Mar 9, 2004
    0
    This movie is not a documentary. Michael moore faked a good portion of this film. The socialism he spouts only works in heaven where they don't need it, and in hell where they already have it. If you give up your guns the only people that will have them are the criminals who will rob and shoot you. And the government who if Mr. moore gets his way will oppress you.
  10. AmbassadorTex
    Nov 11, 2003
    3
    First - why a "3" instead of a "0". Well, as a film, BFC has some technical merits. As a writer and performer, Moore has some skill with confrontational, cutting humor. But let's face it - he presented this as a documentary so it must be judged, to a great extent, on its accuracy. For those looking for studies on Moore's dishonesty, check this article - it's devastating: First - why a "3" instead of a "0". Well, as a film, BFC has some technical merits. As a writer and performer, Moore has some skill with confrontational, cutting humor. But let's face it - he presented this as a documentary so it must be judged, to a great extent, on its accuracy. For those looking for studies on Moore's dishonesty, check this article - it's devastating: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=6841 Yes - it's from Horowtiz' site...but that doesn't discredit the detailed facts (WITH footnotes to sources!). There are entire websites dedicated to publicizing Moore's outrageous statements. Again, they are polemical...but after reading a survey of Moore's own words and critical reviews, it *should* be very difficult for any intellectually honest person to continue to defend Moore as a source for reliable reporting or analysis. Expand
  11. SarT.
    Oct 16, 2003
    0
    I find it funny and somewhat ironic that people will say "People who say this movie is nothing but lies are wrong", and then point to nothing with which they can back that claim, other than their own desire for it to be true. Sorry guys, but unless you can show me irrefutable evidence of its truth, I'll have to believe what I see, which is that Michael Moore is an unpatriotic, I find it funny and somewhat ironic that people will say "People who say this movie is nothing but lies are wrong", and then point to nothing with which they can back that claim, other than their own desire for it to be true. Sorry guys, but unless you can show me irrefutable evidence of its truth, I'll have to believe what I see, which is that Michael Moore is an unpatriotic, deceitful liar, who does nothing but walk away with the egg on his face after "playing" the Stupid White Male part. This is like the Blair Witch Project all over again -- only at least with that movie, people eventually figured out that it was nothing but a made-up story. Expand
  12. Thewiseking
    Oct 24, 2003
    2
    An absolute mess. this film is an obvious and quite tedious jumble of simple sophomoric ideas. the only unifying theme is the the fat mans obvious misanthropy and self-hatred. mr. moore clearly resents everything he has become; a bloated, poorly educated, arrogant American. his exploitation of the victims of violence borders on the pornographic, and his insights are on par with those ofAn absolute mess. this film is an obvious and quite tedious jumble of simple sophomoric ideas. the only unifying theme is the the fat mans obvious misanthropy and self-hatred. mr. moore clearly resents everything he has become; a bloated, poorly educated, arrogant American. his exploitation of the victims of violence borders on the pornographic, and his insights are on par with those of high school freshman. the french gave this an award in an attempt to spit in our faces. we should drop messieur moore on paris. Expand
  13. George
    Oct 5, 2003
    2
    I'm sure Moore had good intentions with this film, yet his quest is hypocritical as he has to line the whole movies with lies and deceit in order to back up his points. The movie is at times unfocused and many times contradicts itself and its own points. Anyone who believes this movie is truthful needs to consult their local fact-checker, as it is apparent Moore never used one. Why I'm sure Moore had good intentions with this film, yet his quest is hypocritical as he has to line the whole movies with lies and deceit in order to back up his points. The movie is at times unfocused and many times contradicts itself and its own points. Anyone who believes this movie is truthful needs to consult their local fact-checker, as it is apparent Moore never used one. Why would he? If we were to infuse the truth into Bowling for Columbine, there would be no movie, and no point to watch it... I'm afraid whatever message Moore was trying to convey (which changes multiple times in the movie) is lost in the delirious lies and deception he weaves with malicious intentions. This film is not a documentary in any definition of the word and I feel that Moore shouldn't have received any award for it being one. Though-provoking for all the wrong reasons by dangerously deceiving its audiences. Can't hardly wait for Fahrenheit 911 to come out... Expand
  14. SteveM.
    Mar 24, 2003
    0
    It's sad to think that a poor movie as this won an academy award. I saw it and hated it. First, I thought the movie was very poorly produced and shortsighted. Second, how can some fat ass go up there and make such sickening comments about the war when I see so many American and British soldiers fighting so valiantly for a just cause: to liberate the world of tyranny. Let's It's sad to think that a poor movie as this won an academy award. I saw it and hated it. First, I thought the movie was very poorly produced and shortsighted. Second, how can some fat ass go up there and make such sickening comments about the war when I see so many American and British soldiers fighting so valiantly for a just cause: to liberate the world of tyranny. Let's consider that Bush never initiated the war. Sadaam Hussein is the master of deceit, a master of cruelty and murder. There's no limit to what this monster would do if given the capabilty. Thank God for a President to look beyond the present, to what will happen to the world if we sit around to let Saddam continue to build up his military aersonal. It's truly a shame we can't replace a our soldiers being held captive as POW's in exchange for a dumb ass like Moore. Expand
  15. JustinT.
    Mar 28, 2003
    0
    I have not had the chance to see this movie however I would like to present some facts about the movie: http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html http://www.moorewatch.com/comments.php?id=P201_0_1_0
  16. Aaron
    Mar 4, 2003
    0
    It's very sad to think that there are so many anti-americans.
  17. KrissyH
    Aug 22, 2003
    1
    I rate this movie with a one. It would have been a zero, but I do have to give credit for some of the humor. This movie is a disgrace to America. His facts are based on his point of views. If he hates America so much then maybe he shouldn't live here.
  18. JD
    Aug 25, 2003
    0
    Lies, damn dirty lies.
  19. IsabelC.
    Aug 25, 2003
    0
    Inane, full of factual distortions and quite simply shallow fluff.
  20. Steve
    Aug 31, 2003
    3
    This could have been a great movie. There were so many great points to be made. I would give this movie a 10 if Moore didn't put so much spin on the facts. An example would be at the begining of the movie, he signed up for a rifle at a bank, left, came back a couple days later and filmed it as if he got the bank account and gun in the same day. This is just another hollywood moron This could have been a great movie. There were so many great points to be made. I would give this movie a 10 if Moore didn't put so much spin on the facts. An example would be at the begining of the movie, he signed up for a rifle at a bank, left, came back a couple days later and filmed it as if he got the bank account and gun in the same day. This is just another hollywood moron who thinks that he should decide the issues that should be important to us. An intellegent person would look at both sides and think for themselfs. Too liberal & too biased. Expand
  21. YoonC.
    Sep 14, 2003
    0
    It's always welcome to have a documentarian tackle a controversial subject but Moore the boor debases the debate on gun control into paranoid, deranged camp. I would suggest that before Moore confronts an issue in the future that he at the very least learn the value of honesty, sobriety, and a modicum of respect even for his enemies. This film is hateful and arrogant, with Moore It's always welcome to have a documentarian tackle a controversial subject but Moore the boor debases the debate on gun control into paranoid, deranged camp. I would suggest that before Moore confronts an issue in the future that he at the very least learn the value of honesty, sobriety, and a modicum of respect even for his enemies. This film is hateful and arrogant, with Moore brandishing the camera like a shotgun, shooting blindly, not so much aiming carefully at targets as indiscrimately blasting everything even remotely complex or ambiguous into smithereens. Not suprising in our talk show culture of trashtalk and celebrity worship. Expand
  22. BarryS.
    Sep 14, 2003
    1
    Wow. It seems the PRO/ANTI gun fundamentialists have really weighed in on this one! But I'm neither. I give this one a "1" not because or the gun debate, but because of how Mr. Moore used something so tragic for his own gain. I think Freddy W. was right, I think Mr. Moore wrote to fit his own conclusions. Very sad, both in fact, and Mr. Moore's fiction.
  23. Melissa
    Sep 9, 2003
    0
    Left-wing anti-gun liberalistic rhetoric, thinly disguised as a documentary. Tragedies should never be used as anecdotal dogma. Shame on Mr. Moore and those who funded this movie.
  24. FreddyW.
    Sep 9, 2003
    1
    If Mr. Moore had stopped to get his facts straight, this movie would have been a 5 minute short-film (no disrespect for that media intended). The critics loved this movie, only because of their liberal fundamentalist views. I myself went into this movie with an open mind, but found his rhetoric to be self-serving. He started out with a conclusion and then wrote a script to fit it.
  25. MattN.
    Oct 24, 2004
    2
    This documentary is a misrepresentation of America and of its people. I think the only thing Moore did in this documentary, if you can call it that, is decieve people. His facts are incorrect, his quotes are wrong, he is a liar. The only question I have is if Moore loves Canada so much and hates America no one here wants him to stay.
  26. ChuckY.
    Jun 15, 2004
    0
    Waaaaaaaaaay overrated.
  27. Jane
    Nov 18, 2003
    1
    I'll tell you what documentary isn't biased - Capturing the Friedmans. And it's an exponentially better film. I have seen this a couple times to see if I was missing something. Nope. Moore exploits his interviewees and uses shoddy editing techniques to get his points across - something I simply cannot condone in a film portraying something as serious as the Columbine I'll tell you what documentary isn't biased - Capturing the Friedmans. And it's an exponentially better film. I have seen this a couple times to see if I was missing something. Nope. Moore exploits his interviewees and uses shoddy editing techniques to get his points across - something I simply cannot condone in a film portraying something as serious as the Columbine incident. Columbine may be the worst film of the past year. If not, it was surely the most infuriating in its falseness. Expand
  28. MitchellK.
    Jun 24, 2003
    0
    Moore is a ... Liar....He used creative editing to make this abomination of a Movie to hold respectable gun owning Americans responsilbe for the acts of a few...He should have his oscar removed...he is an Unamerican and a non patriot who makes up a story to suit his own means and predjudices...saying Charlton Heston and the NRA are the KKK is an Insult...Moore should be proud to be an Moore is a ... Liar....He used creative editing to make this abomination of a Movie to hold respectable gun owning Americans responsilbe for the acts of a few...He should have his oscar removed...he is an Unamerican and a non patriot who makes up a story to suit his own means and predjudices...saying Charlton Heston and the NRA are the KKK is an Insult...Moore should be proud to be an American. Moore should get the Facts Strait before making such a movie...well just shows that any Idiot with a camera can make a movie. Do Not Watch This Movie...Its an Insult to not the NRA or the Federal Government and the Military...but it is an insult to yourselves. "0" is not only this movies rating but Moore's IQ as well. Expand
  29. TimothyF.
    Aug 12, 2003
    0
    I would first like to say that this movie is a discrace to the Awful Truth series which I enjoyed. The fact that anybody can produce a Documentary a film used for the sole purpose of convaing facts to the public, Moore produced a documentary containing nothing more then a bunch of lies strung togther with horrifing visuals. Being an Australian with my predjudices of American Society it I would first like to say that this movie is a discrace to the Awful Truth series which I enjoyed. The fact that anybody can produce a Documentary a film used for the sole purpose of convaing facts to the public, Moore produced a documentary containing nothing more then a bunch of lies strung togther with horrifing visuals. Being an Australian with my predjudices of American Society it was easy for me to be swallowed up in this sea of lies, because I believe from all the media coverage that Americans are gun toting maniacs. I'm sorly disappointed in Moore's attempt to distort the facts just for the chance to make a quick buck. Next time Moore's should try making a documentry with really facts not some predigested media BigMac. Expand
  30. BobM.
    Aug 22, 2003
    2
    Dark comedy/ documentary. Don't take this movie too seriously folks. This movie takes the problem of gun violence in America and...well, makes a mountain out of a mole hill. Sensationalism is what it's all about. All in all it's worth watching if your bored and that's about it.
  31. John
    Aug 25, 2003
    1
    So unbelievably disappointing, I almost died. Bowling for Columbine is inept, dull, and sadly one-sided. It is less a documentary than one man's quest for popularity at the expense of others. That said, Moore is guilty of the capitalism her so strangely criticizes: he will stop at nothing and overcome any obstacle (even sadly misinformed Americans) to achieve his desired level of So unbelievably disappointing, I almost died. Bowling for Columbine is inept, dull, and sadly one-sided. It is less a documentary than one man's quest for popularity at the expense of others. That said, Moore is guilty of the capitalism her so strangely criticizes: he will stop at nothing and overcome any obstacle (even sadly misinformed Americans) to achieve his desired level of famous-need . The film is hypocritical and unsatisfying to last year. Expand
  32. MasonF.
    Aug 31, 2003
    0
    A movie full of lies, and lacking correct context, it twists and bends, and even breaks things to make moore's stance look right.
  33. Riren
    Jan 31, 2007
    3
    Bowling For Columbine is an example of a sad and increasingly popular trend in documentary: to no longer inform, but to program. Like most sensationalist works, it goes for the emotional reaction instead of the logical. It's very good at stirring up a cloud of feelings whenever it's logic is weak and might be criticized by a thinking audience. It preys on factual confusion and Bowling For Columbine is an example of a sad and increasingly popular trend in documentary: to no longer inform, but to program. Like most sensationalist works, it goes for the emotional reaction instead of the logical. It's very good at stirring up a cloud of feelings whenever it's logic is weak and might be criticized by a thinking audience. It preys on factual confusion and cynicism to paint an anti-patriotic picture, something done much more thoroughly and intelligently in other mediums such as the books of Noam Chomsky. But where you could argue with Chomsky's writing, Moore's theatrics are unrelenting - rather than let you disagree, he will coyly pretend he wasn't making that point, throw something at you so that you are too uncomfortable to respond, and change the subject so that you won't have the chance to think things through. Moore has made a great contribution to turning documentary into the next great form of propaganda. The only thing he has to be proud of is how many millions of dollars he has duped audiences out of in doing it. Please, if you want to educate yourself on the great problems facing modern society, read a book. Leave this documentary to the liberals who, like a quire, relish in being preached at my their own congregation. Expand
  34. AllanP.
    Nov 11, 2002
    0
    This film is complete and utter rubbish, and I'm embarrassed to have paid money to see it. Completely one-sided and self-serving, it offers nothing in the way of real substance, trying instead to shock the audience through emotionally-fueled arguments that are undeniably powerful...but which turn to cartoonish nonsense when examined under the light of logic in the real world. If This film is complete and utter rubbish, and I'm embarrassed to have paid money to see it. Completely one-sided and self-serving, it offers nothing in the way of real substance, trying instead to shock the audience through emotionally-fueled arguments that are undeniably powerful...but which turn to cartoonish nonsense when examined under the light of logic in the real world. If you're truly interested in the nuts and bolts of the gun control debate, do your own research - don't rely on this piece of trash. Oh, and don't forget to walk when you do that research - thousands of more people die in cars every year than are killed by gun-weilding murderers - in fact, there's essentially DOZENS of Columbines every day on every street and freeway in America. Hey, wait a minute! Maybe I should make a cutting-edge documentary about America's dangerous "love affair" with the automobile! Yeah, great idea! Then I could pretend to be all intellectual 'n' stuff and people would listen to me! Expand
  35. SarahM.
    Dec 16, 2003
    1
    This is a film full of deceitful footage and lies. Most of the figures shown in the movie have no real base at all (ex. the numbers of gun related crimes in different countries). Moore cuts and pastes people's speeches to mean something totally different than their original meaning. It is not a documentary at all!
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. At its best, the movie powerfully indicts our violent history. A montage of bloody U.S. interventions in foreign affairs over the last half-century, most overthrowing elected governments we didn't like, left me shaken.
  2. Fun and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking.
  3. 80
    When he follows his nose -- say, by tracing his own connections to Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters -- he implicates himself in what he hates and fears, and he emerges as a wounded patriot searching for a small measure of clarity. [28 October 2002, p. 119]