Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Rated: R

STARS: Michael Moore
DIRECTOR:Michael Moore
GENRE: Documentary

I'll admit up front to being a Michael Moore fan. There is no one who is more adept at holding the mirror up to our (America's) face and making us peer directly into it without our makeup on. In his alternatingly humorous, eye- opening, and poignant documentary, Where To Invade Next, Moore "invades" Europe to find solutions to America's problems. And while he's working with a lighter hand here, his insights are no less profound than those imparted in his previous films. 

What he finds:

In France, schoolkids get nutritional food--like what you'd order off the menu at a classy restaurant--and plenty of it.

Students in Slovenia get a free college education.

In Finland, school children are not burdened with homework after school, because kids need time to be kids.

Drug possession in Portugal is not illegal.

In Norway, where the  emphasis is on rehabilitation instead of retribution and punishment, prison inmates live in decently appointed apartments, and can ride bicycles around the grounds.

In Iceland, women play a prominent role in the government.


My favorite segment is where Moore interviews an affable Italian couple (Why do Italians always look like they've just had sex? he quips) who receive seven weeks paid vacation from their jobs annually, and a laundry list of other perks that make American companies look like slave drivers.

Speaking of which, Michael Moore accurately reminds us that America was built upon slavery and genocide. But after all that, he still manages to end on an uplifting note, pointing out that many of the innovative concepts being utilized by other countries originated in the good ol' U.S.A. All we need to do is get back to that kind of logical and compassionate clear thinking. 

I'm ready for some of that. Aren't you? 

Grade:  A


You won't get any argument from me on this one, Tim. I even clapped—like the rest of the audience—when the film ended. I am also a Michael Moore fan (with the exception of Bowling For Columbine where I felt he took advantage of Charleton Heston's Alzheimer's; and Sicko where he painted the Canadian health care system rather unrealistically). This one, however, has zero flaws.

What can I cover that Tim hasn't already? The editing. It was simply brilliant. Snippets of past US presidents making big promises....cutting from the 'invaded country' back to our dysfunctional one....musical riffs that added even more irony to the points Moore was trying to make. I'm apolitical but very much into the entertainment factor of this year's Republican debates. I wonder how Ted Cruz would react to Where To Invade Next. (We already know where Ted wants to carpet bomb....)

For once, I didn't want Michael—dressed like a schlub when meeting Borut Pahor, President of The Republic of Slovenia—to stop invading places. I learned more about the rest of the world in this 1 hour and 59 minute film than I did in any history class I was forced to endure in high school. I heard Michael Moore speak at a Sedona film festival a few years back and, honestly, if he wasn't such a fantastic film maker, I would have said he'd make a terrific stand-up comic. His humor is right up there with the best of them.

Grade: A+