Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain... Begins to Die Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: This documentary counters the lies and deceptions of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and provides a full deconstruction of Senator John Kerry, the Democrat presidential nominee. (Citizens United)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. 70
    While your personal estimation of this conservative counterprogrammer will depend largely on your politics, Chetwynd and company at least attempt to score their points honestly.
  2. There are some very thought-provoking points, and the movie deserves a balanced listening-to.
  3. 50
    Like Moore's film, Celsius hits too many topics with too broad a brush, resulting in yet another contribution to this campaign season's spin cycle of rhetoric.
  4. There's really nothing more here than you can find watching dreadful political advertisements and dreadful political talk shows.
  5. As provocative as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," but nowhere near as engaging.
  6. Less savvy propagandists than Mr. Moore, the Celsius 41.11 filmmakers apply their thesis with a trowel.
  7. The even faintly informed will see only a cut-rate vision of flabby white men defending their own bloodthirsty opportunism.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 5 out of 9
  1. MarkB.
    Oct 30, 2004
    Well, I promised on this very site that if anyone wanted to counter Michael moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 by getting a liberal-bashing, Well, I promised on this very site that if anyone wanted to counter Michael moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 by getting a liberal-bashing, anti-Kerry film into theaters, I'd more than happily pony up my $6.50 and check it out. Being a man of my word (or at least trying to be most of the time), here goes! Kevin Knoblock's documentary, cowritten by Lionel Chetwynd (whose excellent, gripping 1987 Vietnam P.O.W. drama The Hanoi Hilton was, I still think, unjustly savaged by critics because of its unflattering depiction of Jane Fonda's antiwar activities) is not so much a direct response to Moore's film as an attempt to counter five common "Anybody But (George W.) Bush" arguments ranging from "He stole the 2000 election!" to "He's making everything even more dangerous by angering the Muslim community!" On a pure filmmaking level, it's about on the same plane as moveon.org's series of agitprop documentaries made by Robert Greenwald such as Outfoxed and Uncovered; technically a little rougher, maybe, but that's to be expected, given that it includes very recent footage from John Kerry's campaign and the Democratic convention and obviously was made quickly in order to be rushed into theaters before Election Day. Much of it inevitably does indeed preach to the choir, which I'm not a member of, and given that I comprised exactly 20% of the audience at my showing, I doubt that it'll make a whole lot of converts, but several of its arguments, especially dealing with France's objections to unseating Saddam possibly arising partially from a cozy business relationship with him and with the Clinton administration supposedly giving carte blanche to PLO demigod Yassir Arafat, are intriguing and provocative and deserve further study. The filmmakers' best move was to eschew the use of incendiary rightwingers such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter as talking heads; opting instead for quieter figures in the conservative community such as Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Michael Medved implies that they're going for reasoning over rhetoric. (And I loved character actor-turned-politico Fred Dalton Thompson, who comes across with great decency, folksiness and likability; he's like your favorite uncle whom you may disagree with on some of these matters, but that doesn't change the fact that he's still your favorite uncle.) For a good long while, Celsius 41.11 was home free; I really thought it was going to stick to argiung its own points, stay away from the mud and go for the high road in the same way that George Butler's classy Going Upriver: The long War of John Kerry did, despite its occasional (perhaps inevitable) use of footage of Al Gore, Bill Clinton or Kerry looking like they either just sneezed, yawned or burped or were about to, or depicting the worst and most extreme examples of the antiwar or anti-Bush movement to characterize everyone in it. But then, like a twelve-stepper suddenly and feverishly rushing back into the bar, Knoblock, Chetwynd and cowriter Ted Steinberg can't hold back any longer, and we get 20 minutes or so of the usual Kerry character assassination, punctuated by Medved's whiny, gratuitous and bizarre "I-knew-Kerry-way-back-when-and-what-a-jerk-he-was" monologue and set to the tune of a bilious Larry Gatlin song that wouldn't be too far out of place on the Bob Roberts soundtrack. (My favorite argument here, which was also used against Al Gore, was that Kerry has always wanted to be president. So what? Does that mean that everyone who wanted to be a fireman since he was 3 years old should be barred from becoming one because he always wanted to be?) Obviously, the filmmakers aren't secure enough about George W. Bush or his platform to let them speak for themselves--and certainly the logical response to my reaction would be, "Well, what about Michael Moore? He made an ENTIRE MOVIE (two, to be honest) that did nothing but attack the Bush administration!" True, but then Moore's approach isn't really any different from what the neoconservative movement has been doing for decades, ranging from crucifying Michael Dukakis with those racist, fearmongering Willie Horton ads to its wholesale persecution of Clinton and near-successful attempt to subvert the will of the majority by driving him from office, to its redefinition of the perfectly honorable word 'liberal" into a near-obscenity that even liberals scurry to avoid being tagged as. I believe that a major reason that Moore is so fervently loved by a substantial portion of America (even if, like me, some don't completerly buy into all his arguments or techniques) is that he more than anyone else has proven that the Democratic Party doesn't have to lay down and die while the Republicans do whatever they want, and that America is still a two-party system. That seems to threaten those in power and many of their supporters...and that fear, regrettably informing the last reel of Celsius 41.11, turns an otherwise interesting film that broadminded viewers on both sides should see, to just another shrill negative campaign ad that I can't wait to scrape off my shoe on November 3! Collapse

See all 9 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. What Movie Should I See This Weekend?

    What Movie Should I See This Weekend? Image
    Published: July 27, 2016
    Preview all of this weekend's new theatrical releases (including Jason Bourne, Nerve, Bad Moms, Indignation, and more), with Metascores and trailers for each new film.
  2. 23 Buddy Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best

    23 Buddy Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best Image
    Published: July 25, 2016
    We rank some of cinema's most notable buddy films by Metascore.
  3. What to Watch Now on Netflix

    What to Watch Now on Netflix Image
    Published: July 25, 2016
    Get a list of the best movie and TV titles recently added (and coming soon) to Netflix streaming, updated frequently. You can also find a list of titles expiring soon.
  4. Film Friday (7/22): This Week's New Movie Trailers

    Film Friday (7/22): This Week's New Movie Trailers Image
    Published: July 22, 2016
    Watch all of this week's new film trailers, including new looks at The Magnificent Seven, Sausage Party, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Snowden, The Girl on the Train, and more. Plus, get a quick update on the latest movie news and release date announcements.