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Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Jimmy Carter Man From Plains is an intimate, surprising encounter with President Jimmy Carter. Following the path of Mr. Carter's recent controversial book tour for Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, director Jonathan Demme reveals a complex individual who, with the gusto and determination of a youngster, criss-crosses the country to get his message across, even as that message creates a media onslaught in which his credibility and judgment are called into question. Jimmy Carter Man From Plains explores both the private and public sides of Jimmy Carter, whose intense sense of justice compels him to pursue, with undiminished energy and hope, his lifelong and deeply spiritual vision of reconciliation and peace. (Sony Pictures Classics)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. An intriguing document, and the first significant film ever made about a former U.S. president.
  2. The portrait of Carter has been described as hagiography, but it isn't a stretch to view his quiet integrity as saintly next to the track records of his successors.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Though not exactly a valentine to the octogenarian Nobel Peace Prize winner, the film is a lovingly rendered, candid and intimate portrait.
  4. Uncritical, but not unaffecting.
  5. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    50
    Carter comes off as compassionate and intelligent. But the complex issues brought up in his book don’t get much more than a superficial debate.
  6. Jimmy Carter documentary is a smug, self-righteous monologue.
  7. 25
    There isn't enough revealing material in the tedious documentary Jimmy Carter Man From Plains to sustain an 800-word magazine profile, let alone a two-hour film.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. JulieM.
    Nov 11, 2007
    9
    Pieced together from footage of the months following the release of Carter's controversial book, Palestine, the movie gives a behind the scenes view of Carter, in his 80's, boldly welcoming the chance to meeth with his critics--a natural peace-broker. In one shot, his publicist suggests asking that the media not be invited to a particularly hostile meeting with critics. Carter says simply that he does not care if the media is there or not. The movie easily drew me in, and, as the criticism and accusations became more angry and more personal, it had me on edge watching his pain and waiting to see how he would hold up. The best parts were hearing Carter's heartfelt, precise, respectful, and exceedingly intelligent explanations to his critics. (Reminds of of Bill Clinton). When asked if his choice of book title won't hurt his cause, he ponders and answers honestly, "Maybe," but then explains his decision. Priceless, too, were the shots of Carter interacting warmly with everyone he met, even strangers on a plane--he genuinely loves people. Of course, you also get snippets of his past triumphs--most notablly, brokering peace between Egypt and Israel--and difficulties, and his humble beginnings in Georgia. He was also surprisingly funny. I look forward to watching the movie again. Expand
  2. JayH.
    Mar 15, 2008
    8
    Impressive documentary of a very impressive former president. Very thought provoking and portrays a neutral viewpoint. I believe Jimmy Carter will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever, and this film shows why. Expand
  3. ChadS.
    May 3, 2008
    7
    Former president Jimmy Carter was still in office when Carl Reiner's "The Jerk" played in first-run theaters. Navin R. Jackson(Steve Martin) hailed from the south(Mississippi), and was a white boy raised by a black family, just like former president Carter, a Georgia boy, who although not adopted like Cat Juggler, was looked after by an African-American woman named Rachel, a sharecropper, during his formative years in Plains. When the ex-president visits Darfur, he wears the traditional Sudanese clothing, and dances, badly, to the Sudanese beat, albeit not so in a condescending fashion, because this Nobel Peace Prize-winning octogenarian feels a genuine ease around black people. But Carter has the rhythm of ex-Laker Mark Madsen(best ESPN highlight, ever!), as does Navin, when he claps in time to the songs of his adopted family. Jimmy Carter is not a jerk. "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" is not a racist book. Read it. Or more to the point, buy it. This documentary is more about commerce than art. There's no way of getting around it, "Jimmy Carter: Man From the Plains" does play like an informercial for his hardcover bestseller about Israel's totalitarian-like occupation of Palestinian homelands. But the film also speak volumes of the pervading anti-intellectualism that's dumbing down our culture, in which people will make vicious attacks on a person's character without any substantiation to back up their opening salvos and thrown gauntlets. Expand
  4. AlexZ.
    Dec 7, 2007
    4
    This movie strictly preaches to the choir. Carter was one of the worst presidents in US History. But now as an elder statesman a little revionist History can't hurt. Expand
  5. RobS.
    Apr 19, 2008
    0
    Terrorist enabler, blame America 1st, giving away our territory (Panama Canal), appointing the most radical leftist Attorney General in history (Ramsey Clark), oh and don't let me forget his cowardly handling of our hostages in Iran. How dare they make a propaganda piece reinventing this man to something he never was or incapable of being. PS he's also antisemitic. Expand

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