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. Alicia
    Jul 26, 2007
    4
    Sooooooooooooooo overrated! Surprisingly I did enjoy parts, but only after I began to approach the 'documentary' as an entirely fictional movie. I'm an Aussie and we all 'hate' Americans but i was under the impression that they're all fiercely patriotic. Michael Moore attacks his country and its institutions in a desperate attempt to be scandalous and get Sooooooooooooooo overrated! Surprisingly I did enjoy parts, but only after I began to approach the 'documentary' as an entirely fictional movie. I'm an Aussie and we all 'hate' Americans but i was under the impression that they're all fiercely patriotic. Michael Moore attacks his country and its institutions in a desperate attempt to be scandalous and get people to watch bowling for columbine. How could he use a tragedy like this? And even more importantly how could he receive awards for fictitious events in the category of documentary? Expand
  2. Elliott
    Aug 20, 2003
    4
    Hugely overrated. It is very poorly organized (see Village Voice review) and is less an informative documentary than one man's in-your-face opinion on gun obsession in America, told through a series of interviews with only people ignorant enough to make his point agreeable. It does contain many funny scenes, but really, how hard is it to poke fun at the completely ignorant??? Also, Hugely overrated. It is very poorly organized (see Village Voice review) and is less an informative documentary than one man's in-your-face opinion on gun obsession in America, told through a series of interviews with only people ignorant enough to make his point agreeable. It does contain many funny scenes, but really, how hard is it to poke fun at the completely ignorant??? Also, still can't believe this conquered Winged Migration at the Oscars. Expand
  3. Nick
    Jun 25, 2004
    5
    Interesting...though it was later proven he cut and pasted pieces of film to make it look like Charlton Heston came to Columbine, CO 4 days or whatever after the shootings...interesting nonetheless.
  4. JustinP.
    Nov 6, 2003
    5
    Bowling for Columbine is an entertaining, thought-provoking and interesting reflection on America's obsession with guns and violence. Moore's tacit accusation that the U.S.s fascination with firearms is deadly and morbid is well made. Its easy to sympathize with Moore's disgust with the effects of America's bizarre attachment to guns, which he cleverly lampoons. But Bowling for Columbine is an entertaining, thought-provoking and interesting reflection on America's obsession with guns and violence. Moore's tacit accusation that the U.S.s fascination with firearms is deadly and morbid is well made. Its easy to sympathize with Moore's disgust with the effects of America's bizarre attachment to guns, which he cleverly lampoons. But where the movie falls apart is in its superficial, shoddy and obnoxiously arrogant assumption that the director knows the obvious answers to all the complex questions the movie raises regarding violence in the US and modern society. His contention that US military action encourages American youth to murder their schoolmates is extremely dubious, but he levels it as if it were self-evident and incontrovertible. Moore makes fun of all the theories of the causes behind events like Columbine, but comfortably never puts himself on the line by offering a coherent theory of his own. It is always easy to ridicule, but difficult to propose convincing explanations and effective solutions. Unfortunately, Moore overindulges in poking fun, wallowing in his own cleverness, overimpressed with his own often very vague and questionable insights. Expand
  5. JoeW.
    Aug 19, 2003
    6
    I don't disagree with any of the points Moore has made in the film, but I seriously don't think he works as a journalist and as a spokesperson for the truth in America. He totally screwed up the grand centerpiece Heston interview by nagging him too much and irritating him. And the whole deal with Wal Mart and the kids who were shot...it was pointless and anticlimatic, and he I don't disagree with any of the points Moore has made in the film, but I seriously don't think he works as a journalist and as a spokesperson for the truth in America. He totally screwed up the grand centerpiece Heston interview by nagging him too much and irritating him. And the whole deal with Wal Mart and the kids who were shot...it was pointless and anticlimatic, and he seemed to do the whole event just for his own patriotic glorification. He also cast the illusion that he walked out the bank with a gun the same day he registered, which is wrong, in fact, there is a 1-2 week waiting period before you actually get a hold of the firearm. So that also discredits his idea of the handing out of guns at the bank dangerous in the first place. He's trying too hard to be a controversial and eye-opening spinster, and obviously he got rapt attention with this film because it portrayed the ills of a society to a generally mainstream audience as opposed to small-party conspirators that have been trying to do the same for years now. Too bad Moore's ugly mug and irritable personality doesn't make him effective when it comes to the issues that really matter, just like in the Heston interview, when he really could have let the international star dig himself into a huge hole. I admit, there was some good points in the film, such as the issue dealing with fear and the news media, but overall it just felt wrong and tried to arrest the viewer with startling (and incorrect) facts. Sorry Mike. Expand
  6. KostisT.
    Sep 16, 2003
    6
    I loved this one. The reason i give it a 6 is that moore is not objective and doesnt have the slightest respect for the "bad guys", if you can call them such. Oh and the ending was awful.
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]