Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. Crude's moving testimony and careful documentation make it hard to turn away from this issue. It will certainly remain in your mind the next time you stop for gas.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    So, yes, something needs to be done, and if it takes Sting reuniting the Police in-concert to sing “sending out an SOS’’ on behalf of the plaintiffs (among other worthy causes), so be it.
  3. It's a David-and-Goliath tale, full of anger and disturbing accusation, but it's also inspiring.
  4. For what Crude does best is take us behind the scenes and show in often candid detail how campaigns are waged, tactics decided on and strategies prioritized.
  5. Part eco-doc, part legal-doc, it is a troubling, real story -- and a well-told one at that -- that is inspiring and infuriating all at once.
  6. Corporate inhumanity Berlinger ferociously exposes.
  7. What's less clear, and more maddening, is how several generations of Ecuadorans have been left to live on toxic land, their health and livelihoods compromised, while lawyers file motions and counter-motions and blame is passed around.
  8. 75
    Crude is only a progress report of a case that might last until well into the decade, the sordid details of which are still, pardon the pun, spilling out.
  9. 88
    Here’s a powerhouse of a documentary that makes you feel mad as hell and unwilling to take it anymore.
  10. No film could convey all the complexities of the case - what Crude does is air the plaintiffs' claims and show the lawyers at work.
  11. 83
    Crude is so crammed with facts and figures that it can be a little dizzying, but what’s more important is what Berlinger records between all the talking-head interviews and vérité footage.
  12. What makes Crude worthy of the overused term “epic” is the way the case symbolizes a host of contemporary issues: the iron-fistedness of multinational corporations; environmental despoliation; the disappearance of indigenous cultures; and the power of celebrity and the media to influence justice.
  13. Minor flaws and all, Crude represents a crucial document as much as any evidence put forward in the courtroom itself.
  14. 90
    Ahead of us lie many more documentaries similar in tone and spirit to this one. We can hope that at least a few of them are as intelligently and artfully made.
  15. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Picture makes an engrossing case for justice.
  16. 88
    If the movie is any indication, Chevron would have the public believe there was no Amazon at all -- something people might be willing to believe, were Berlinger not sticking Crude in their faces.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. nickj
    Sep 13, 2009
    A powerful and affecting documentary. The brilliance of Crude is that it does not only show the side of the people being affected by the oil. A powerful and affecting documentary. The brilliance of Crude is that it does not only show the side of the people being affected by the oil. It first shows you Chevron's view, then systematically proves it wrong. This seals up all the cracks of usual documentary making. Great job! Full Review »