A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Those who support Gore's argument -- that global warming is a result of past and current energy abuses -- will find the movie's position/information compelling, if somewhat grim.
Positive Role Models
Al Gore shows willingness to use his public platform to educate others about issues he cares about. His love for his family is clear.
Violence & Scariness
Images of environmental devastation, including post-Katrina footage (bodies floating); heat-wave effects (mostly numbers of people who died in France, 2003); melting polar ice caps (a polar bear looks sad as it tries to find ice on which to rest but must keep swimming); an animated frog almost boils in a beaker; Gore discusses shooting his rifle as a boy; a flashback sequence shows Gore worried about his six-year-old son, who almost died in a car accident.
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One use of "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Joke about an old classmate now being a "drug addict" (appears to be facetious); archival footage includes images of cigarettes being manufactured and ads where doctors endorse cigarettes; Gore discusses his family's roots in the tobacco industry (as farmers), his sister's smoking and her consequent death from lung cancer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that An Inconvenient Truth introduces complicated scientific, political, and social issues (most prominently, the arguments surrounding global warming and environmental pollution), which will likely go over the heads of the youngest kids. While Al Gore explains his points with colorful graphics (cartoons, graphs, "nature" footage), the statistics and argument strategies may be boring for younger viewers, too. The movie includes images of the aftermath of Katrina, as well as references to other disasters (a 2003 European heat wave that left 35,000 dead). Animated sequences show mild violence (ozone-attacking sunbeams, a frog almost boiling, a weary polar bear unable to find solid ice on which to rest). It also includes sections on the death of Gore's sister from lung cancer (photos of her as he talks about missing her and the damage done by cigarette smoking) and on Gore's young son's near death in a car accident (viewers see no specifics, mostly haunting, empty hospital corridors and Gore looking sad). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie occasionally leans too hard on sentimental devices, as when Gore looks repeatedly out windows while his voiceover narrates his concerns over a receding natural world. A more awkward section has Gore explaining his decision to turn his energies to the environment, because, he says, his young son was nearly killed in a car accident; while the trauma and effects are surely moving, the black and white imagery and sad music feel more exploitative than explanatory.
Still, An Inconvenient Truth makes you think, especially about how you might have effects not only on your local environment -- recycling, reducing oil and electric consumption -- but also how you might become involved in more expansive projects, and consider yourself part of a broader, even worldwide community. That Al Gore provokes such thinking with what amounts to a lecture is no small feat.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
Movies That Teach Kids About Climate Change
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