Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Watch On
  1. A thinker and an educator, Zinn has led a life of commitment and compassion, and the film offers a loving tribute.
  2. 75
    The ideas are generous and inclusive rather than divisive: Zinn wants history to be seen and to be experienced from every possible perspective.
  3. 75
    It's a far more effective leftist argument than the bombastic "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  4. With this film, we see the Zinn who has changed thousands of lives with his work.
  5. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    As engaging and stimulating as the man himself.
  6. Smoothly incorporates archival material, including scenes of Mr. Zinn's public appearances, interviews with Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Berrigan and Alice Walker (his student at Spelman). Matt Damon also reads well-chosen excerpts from Mr. Zinn's writing.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's an excellent introduction to a man whose thoughts on war, peace and dissent have become increasingly influential in ever more confusing times.
  8. 70
    This illuminating, often rousing film fits snugly alongside the various anti-Bush/corporate/globalization documentaries that continue to pack the art houses.
  9. Reviewed by: Kevin Crust
    The film is especially strong in its second half, which is dominated by contemporary footage of Zinn.
  10. It's the subject himself, still brimming with passion in his 80s, who provides the most inspiring moments.
  11. 60
    Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller's fond portrait, less documentary than infomercial, is unrelentingly and in the end self-defeatingly positive--albeit effective in showcasing Zinn's charismatic personality.
  12. This video profile by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller allows his significance to register and his charisma to shine despite a pedestrian approach that's especially awkward in its use of archival footage.
  13. 50
    As documentary moviemaking, though, Ellis and Mueller's work falls a little flat.
  14. This documentary about Howard Zinn provides an effective if not necessarily comprehensive or objective portrait of the esteemed historian and activist.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. ShannonP.
    Feb 27, 2007
    Whatever Zinn's contribution may (or may not) be, this film is like Tiger Beat for the PBS crowd. It isn't much more than an Whatever Zinn's contribution may (or may not) be, this film is like Tiger Beat for the PBS crowd. It isn't much more than an oppotunity for collective gushing about a man whose ideas are presented in only the most cursory and superfical way. For that matter, Zinn can hardly lay claim to the ideas that war is bad, that traditional "history" is often one-sided and misleading, and that the government cannot be trusted--although amazingly the film suggests otherwise. What are his original ideas? If they exist, you won't find them here. Nor does this "documentary" present a trace of serious criticism about Zinn's life or work. Ultimatley, it is trite propaganda about a man who purports to be fighting, among other things, exactly that! Full Review »