Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Contrino
    Apr 3, 2012
    80
    A gripping new documentary that's essential viewing for anybody who believes that the impact of global warming is tomorrow's problem.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 6, 2012
    83
    Nasheed is no saint, and if he had remained in office, maybe, as with so many others, he would have capitulated to politics as usual. But his temper, if not his outcome, is inspiring.
  3. Reviewed by: Patrick Peters
    Mar 31, 2012
    80
    A fascinating insight into the disparity between rich and poor, and powerful nations and their less muscle-flexing neighbours. And, unless you're a fish, it's also pretty darn scary.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 31, 2012
    90
    Nasheed has traveled the world describing the Maldives as the Poland of global warming - meaning, of course, Poland in 1939. If his country cannot be saved from rising sea levels, he maintains, then there may be no saving Tokyo or Mumbai or New Orleans or New York.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Mar 31, 2012
    75
    A mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Mar 25, 2012
    75
    The film successfully positions its point of view with the developing countries that suffer the most immediate consequences of global warming rather than the developed countries most responsible for climate change and from whose citizenry Jon Shenk's prospective audience is likely to be drawn.
  7. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 28, 2012
    67
    The first half hour shows a dynamic politician who gets things done; the last hour shows him ground to dust by diplomats.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 29, 2012
    80
    Could Nasheed be the political Prospero to save the island – and the planet? Well, now he is out of power, and the Copenhagen summit was a disappointment. Perhaps his advocacy will help to bring the climate change issue back into political fashion.
  9. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 29, 2012
    70
    The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent.
  10. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 27, 2012
    60
    It's fascinating to be so close to a then-sitting head of state as he negotiates for his homeland's survival, and the news that Nasheed was recently deposed in a coup by Gayoom loyalists makes the hard-won victories he did secure all the more poignant.
  11. Reviewed by: Sam Wigley
    Mar 28, 2012
    80
    Nasheed may be a small fish in a big geopolitical pond, but his enterprise and optimism are a welcome complement to eco doc doom and gloom.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 25, 2012
    70
    In the face of rising sea levels, the Maldive Islands are the Alamo, and environmental crusader Mohamed Nasheed is their Davy Crockett. Boasting astonishing access, director Jon Shenk's The Island President documents a brave battle against overwhelming odds.
  13. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Mar 27, 2012
    60
    The Island President also shows how the most high-minded idealists inevitably become deal-makers: The toothless agreement eventually ratified in Copenhagen - which calls for but doesn't require CO2 reductions - is lauded by Nasheed as "a very good, planet-saving document."
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 29, 2012
    70
    Jon Shenk's fascinating documentary feature The Island President personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 2, 2012
    9
    The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent. Full Review »
  2. May 1, 2013
    9
    A vital document on a vital subject. You don't have to like what you see here. It's a story set around a major diplomatic failure, and as such the footage should be heart-breaking. But the primary hero of the movie is well chosen since he lifts us from despair to an inspired state, realizing that the political course of action is just a sum of inputs from more-or-less heroic individuals. We follow arguably the most heroic, and thereby see an example worth our full attention. The documentary shows footage from negotiations, speeches, the political struggle, and the dreaded COP15-conference. It also shows footage from Maldives, about the current impacts of rising waters (or.. that was four years ago) and Mr Nasheed's service on the islands. It never gets heavy or dull (as this long review), but uses lots of music (by Radiohead mostly) and visually interesting shots to feel fresh and moving. It is an important document in order to know of the struggles of individuals when the leaders of the rich failed to come together for the world, and it is a strong testemony to Mr Nasheed's struggle and work. If Muhamed Nasheed is ever to be judged by anyone, I hope this movie will be played in his defense.. Full Review »