FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: Freakonomics

Freakishly mediocre is more like it
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 29, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

 

Aided by journalist Stephen J. Dubner, economist Steven Levitt put his pop theories of surprise causality into book form in 2005's Freakonomics, an unexpected bestseller. The Woodward-Bernstein-lite duo are on camera in Seth Gordon's glib movie version, in which some of Levitt's "rogue" theories are dramatized in a series of mini-documentaries, each directed by a major name in non-fiction cinema. Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) explores Levitt's contention that the most important economic decision parents make is what name to give their child. The thesis proves a shaky one, as does almost everything else in this dubious documentary, which includes an episode from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp) trying to show that students will improve their grades if given monetary incentives. Then again, monetary incentives did induce principled filmmakers like Why We Fight's Eugene Jarecki to participate in this schlock.

  Topics: Reviews , Movies, Movie Reviews, Eugene Jarecki,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GERALD PEARY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY