Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 2, 2012
    88
    Surviving Progress is a bright, entertaining (!), coherent argument in favor of these principles I have simplified so briefly. It's self-evident and tells the truth.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    May 25, 2012
    80
    With beautiful, artful images serving to break up the monotony of the film's wealth of talking heads, Surviving Progress is at times as visually striking as it is persuasive.
  3. Reviewed by: Kalvin Henely
    Apr 4, 2012
    75
    By turning the idea of progress on its head, the nimble Surviving Progress exquisitely presents to us the possibility that humankind's achievements may cause its downfall.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Apr 4, 2012
    70
    Progress does a remarkable job weaving together these and many other big ideas in a crisp, coherent, easy-to-take fashion that somehow never becomes an informational overload.
  5. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Apr 4, 2012
    70
    The film trots out a who's who of great thinkers - Jane Goodall, Stephen Hawking, Margaret Atwood, assorted scientists and historians - who are riveting as they walk us through the question of whether we will or can survive progress. The anticapitalism prognosis is grim, and the hope offered is slim indeed.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 8, 2012
    63
    Surviving Progress reiterates arguments made in movies such as "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Inside Job," it marshals minds such as Jane Goodall and Stephen Hawking, and it utilizes artful imagery reminiscent of films such as "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Up the Yangtze."
  7. 63
    Though often fascinating and beautiful to look at, Surviving Progress falls into the adapting-a-book-into-a-movie trap. Trying to do too much too fast.
  8. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 15, 2012
    60
    The cumulative power of so many great minds envisioning our potential self-destruction is undeniable. You may start planning your move off the grid before the movie even ends.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Apr 6, 2012
    60
    After nearly 90 minutes of human folly, though, Surviving Progress can't very well conclude with a tribute to mankind. So, to end on a hopeful note, the movie turns to a chimp.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    May 17, 2012
    50
    More to the point, the title doubles as accusation. Progress is dangerous and requires survival tactics, just as a hurricane or avalanche does.
  11. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 20, 2012
    50
    The name of this documentary is Surviving Progress, but that's only because "The Sky Is Falling and We're All Gonna Die" wouldn't fit on a marquee.
  12. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Apr 8, 2012
    50
    As with many films of its ilk, Surviving Progress takes on more than it can comfortably handle, veering haphazardly from subject to subject.
  13. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 5, 2012
    50
    Like too many short documentaries, it can't do justice to its complex topic or finally to those of us watching. Because, while Surviving Progress puts forth a lot of general advice (stop the deforestation of the Amazon), it offers little in terms of real, practical, graspable solutions. People need hope; moviegoers do too.
  14. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Apr 4, 2012
    40
    Like the myriad dangers threatening the earth, the film is simply too unwieldy, a sprawling mass of ideas that are dutifully checked off and then given only superficial explanations in lieu of insightful explorations.

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