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Capitalism: A Love Story | 2009 | R | - 0.4.5

Michael Moore documentary outlining the infatuation the American people have with capitalism, and how large corporations and the banking industry are controlling the government and making sure laws allow them to maximize profits at the expense of ordinary people. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 0 - None.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see a huge fire and rubble after a plane crashed just short of the runway and we hear that there were no survivors.
 We see security camera footage of several bank robberies, including people with guns threatening tellers and customers while stealing money. Several police cars pull up in front of a house, they pound on a door until it is broken down and evict the four people inside. We see several families being evicted from their homes by police. People's homes are boarded up after their belongings are removed.
 We see people being sprayed with fire hoses and fighter planes dropping bombs. Police push and shove protestors during a strike. We see National Guard troops with weapons setting up where people are striking.
 We see flooded houses and people sitting on rooftops or floating in the water waiting for help.
 A man charges toward two security guards in front of an office building, the screen fades and we hear a punch and a grunt.
 Many people yell at a man for attempting to thrown people out of their home, police arrive, they chant, and the police leave. Employees stage a sit-in strike protesting being fired with no compensation for time worked.
 A man in a movie is shot at and the canteen he is holding spurts water. A man in a movie slaps a woman in the face.
 We see an actor playing Jesus being crucified (there's blood on wounds on his hands and feet).
 Several young people talk about having been sent to a privately owned and run juvenile detention center and what they did to deserve incarceration: One threw a piece of meat across a dinner table at his mother's boyfriend, one had a fight with another girl in a shopping mall, one posted a remark about her principal on MySpace and another smoked marijuana at a party. We hear that 6500 young people were unjustly convicted of crimes and sent to a privately owned detention center for money. We hear that a man died of cancer. We hear that a woman died after a severe asthma attack. A man talks about "capitalism trumping democracy." We hear abut corporations taking out life insurance policies (called "Dead Peasant" policies) on employees and naming themselves as beneficiaries. A man talks about being a "vulture" and that people will "slit a sellers throat to get the best price." A man talks abut the dismantling of the U.S. industrial infrastructure and the destruction of unions. We hear about a pilot landing a plane in a river and saving all of the passengers and crew onboard. A comparison is drawn between the fall of the Roman Empire and the current state of public life in America.
 An opening sequence shows a man warning audience members with heart conditions that the film contains some disturbing scenes.
 Former President George W. Bush speaks about failing banks and we see the building behind him crumbling and bursting into flames. We hear former President Jimmy Carter making a speech about obsessive consumption and self-indulgence.
 We see newsreel footage of civil rights protests and anti-war rallies. We see children receiving vaccinations.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 3 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (bottom feeders, retarded, gay state of Vermont).


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SUBSTANCE USE - We hear that the sale of anti-depressants is on the increase, and a teen girl talks about having smoked marijuana at a party. Three men in a movie toast and drink from wine goblets. A man in a movie puts an unlit cigarette in his mouth.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Ancient Rome, greed, dependence on slaves, rich vs. poor, revolts, foreclosure, bankruptcy, being above the law, survival, rebellion, capitalism, socialism, taking advantage of other people's misfortune, unions, profit motive, failure, free enterprise, derivatives and betting schemes, plutonomy, plutocracy, regulating banking, predatory lending, unfairness, competition, fear mongering, consumption and self-indulgence, evil, Roosevelt's "second bill of rights," compassion, debt.

MESSAGE - Enriching the few at the expense of the many is bad public policy, bad economics and unethical. The U.S. government is controlled not by voters but by powerful corporations.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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