The Last Mountain


Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jun 2, 2011
    If Mr. Haney sometimes struggles to find focus, he has no trouble locating heroes, including the doggedly energetic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a slew of stalwart locals and fearless outsiders. And the black heart of coal country - and, as the film shows, our national energy debate - has never seemed so in need of white knights.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 16, 2011
    The Last Mountain, more than anything, asks us to consider where our energy comes from, and how we can bring about changes that benefit all of us and the planet we live on.
  3. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    May 29, 2011
    The Last Mountain makes a powerful case against the coal mining industry in West Virginia. Films like this are largely preaching to the choir -- opponents are unlikely to go near it. But its importance cannot be underestimated.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Ramos
    May 29, 2011
    It's by the book advocacy docmaking at its best.
  5. 75
    For the most part he (Haney) lets the people and images of Coal River Valley speak for themselves – and that's what gives The Last Mountain its eloquent power.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 14, 2011
    A compelling examination of a complex topic.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 22, 2011
    A film like The Last Mountain fills me with restless anger. I have seen many documentaries like this, all telling versions of the same story.
  8. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 16, 2011
    Yet another dispiriting depiction of corporate clout, The Last Mountain offers hope, too, in the form of wind-power success stories and the passion of frontline activists.
  9. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 8, 2011
    The movie's power is undercut by the overemphasized presence of celebrity traveling environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  10. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jun 23, 2011
    The Last Mountain is that sort of movie, the sort that sends a Kennedy into the West Virginia wilderness to press for change. It's sincere. It's misguided. It feels like a stunt.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    May 30, 2011
    Haney's movie is not great cinema, nor was meant to be, but as an introduction to one of the myriad dangers threatening our earth, it serves its cause well enough. And that, after all, is the whole point.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 31, 2011
    The director's righteous anger is less restrained than his conventional vérité aesthetics and less off-putting than his one-sided approach to the issues at hand - an advocacy for alternative wind-turbine energy is suspiciously sketchy - yet he smartly allows coal-exploiting bigwigs plenty of screen time to properly hang themselves.
  13. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jul 14, 2011
    Provides lots of good information for newcomers to the cause.
  14. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Jun 23, 2011
    This forceful expose shows how area residents are fighting to keep their beloved Coal Mountain pristine, but filmmaker Bill Haney allots too much screen time to environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and barely any to the urban consumers in distant states whose thirst for cheap electric power is part of the problem.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    May 31, 2011
    This environmental exposé confirms every awful suspicion ever raised about the coal industry. Trouble is, the news is so bad and so plentiful that The Last Mountain may have you looking for the nearest exit.
  16. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jun 2, 2011
    There's something grating about the way The Last Mountain keeps returning to picket-line confrontations between environmental activists.
  17. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 3, 2011
    Appalachian mountains get blown up to extract coal in the documentary The Last Mountain, a film in which activists are at least as hot as the TNT.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Dec 14, 2011
    If you're a progressive liberal, you'll love this movie. Corporate greed, evil republicans, global warming, "renewable energy", it's allIf you're a progressive liberal, you'll love this movie. Corporate greed, evil republicans, global warming, "renewable energy", it's all there. This movie is more full of holes than a backstop at a shooting range. Near the beginning a resident blames upsteam coal mining operations when her property was flooded and she even admitted that it rained 4 inches in 4 hours! In steep sided terrain like that, she is lucky she didn't drown, no matter what was happening upstream! Still, the culprit was the mountain top miners. A local complainer wipes a little coal dust off the side of a school building and complains that that is what the kids are breathing. Hasn't he ever heard of using air filters and a proper HVAC system? A woman reports that 6 residents who live side by side have either died or are living with brain tumors. Now that is scary, but why hasn't this report found a follow up with the CDC and made national attention? Bobby Kennedy Jr. touts "renewable energy" (wind turbines) whenever he can. He doesn't seem to understand that it is a heavily subsidized gift from Barack Obama that wouldn't survive on it's own profitability. I know that profitability is a bad word among liberals, but someone has to pay. And right now, coal is far and away the most economic source of energy. Nuclear is good, but doesn't find any support in the movie. Also, Bobby and his crew don't seem to have heard the news that the IPCC itself has exposed themselves as frauds through leaked emails. As the gatekeepers and prophets for the global warming crowd, they have given themselves away. I guess Bobby doesn't read the papers much. (or rather use the internet. Newspapers tend to keep news like that to themselves) The movie attempts to show that labor unions have been victimized by corporations. Seems to me to be the other way around. Labor unions (public employee unions in particular---read SEIU) rob the employees to pay the politicians who make the laws which keep them fat and happy. Ask Richard Trumka. Much of the film shows the ridiculous lengths activists will go to to delay the inevitable march of free market capitalism by a week or two. Hanging suspended in thin trees. I hope they had fun!

    All in all, this film was a useful review of the progressive tactics which the left uses to try to manipulate people's emotions and then their vote. I suggest that everyone should see it with an open mind. I did.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2011
    A vitally important (and, to my surprise, a reasonably well-done) movie. It's too bad that more people won't see it, and that the NY Times andA vitally important (and, to my surprise, a reasonably well-done) movie. It's too bad that more people won't see it, and that the NY Times and LA Times sent their 3rd string critics in to review it. (The New York Post, of course, sent in their resident hit man, but ...[bleep]). Of course, the movie is rather one-sided (how could it be otherwise? the opposing position is at least presented, albeit half-heartedly) and too much attention is given to Robert Kennedy, Jr. (though he IS an articulate, convincing spokesperson), but these are minor quibbles in a movie that shines such a compelling light on this generally overlooked and under-reported issue. Full Review »