An Inconvenient Truth

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
An Inconvenient Truth Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Moving, earnest documentary on global warming.
  • PG
  • 2006
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 16 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

Al Gore shows willingness to use his public platform to educate others about issues he cares about. His love for his family is clear. 


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.


One use of "damn."

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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byD-Fresh June 16, 2011

Awful Awful Awful movie

Did I mention how terrible this movie is? I have a degree in chemistry, and when I was at school my Environmental Chemistry class watched this movie to see a pe... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byaveryt_m April 9, 2008

A Call to Action

Our 10- and 12-year-olds were attentive and interested through the whole movie. The 10-year-old excitedly whispered to me throughout the movie, making connecti... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySayrafancy March 22, 2019

An important message

It is an incredibly important message about Global Warming. Especially with our current president *cough cough cough* Trump *Cough cough cough cough* , who insi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 2, 2018

watch it!

This movie has so much interesting and beneficial facts that i could watch it again. anyone who cares about climate change much watch this movie!!

What's the story?

Plainspoken and passionate, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH tracks Al Gore's efforts to convince people that global warming is an immediate, dire, and still fixable problem. Well-paced and galvanizing, the movie suggests he's finally found his calling, beyond political backrooms and official chambers, in the bright light of a cause that moves him. Gore is alternately grave, impressive, and even funny as he makes clear the stakes he sees in changing human consuming habits. After loing a presidential contest, Gore is more determined than ever to "get [his] message across."He's packaged that message into a slide show that, he says, he's performed more than 1000 times over the years. The movie argues that global warming is a man-made phenomenon, backing that claim with charts and graphs and statistics, as well as before and after shots of glaciers, once snowy mountains, and once full lakes. Whatever you believe about the causes of global warming, the film insists that you acknowledge its existence.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the debate over global warming, and whether it results from human excesses or inevitable natural changes. They might discuss An Inconvenient Truth's presentation of conflicts between economic and environmental needs, the U.S. role in pollution and global warming, and accusations by some politicians (shown briefly in the film) that global warming is a hoax.

  • How has the discussion and debate surrounding global warming changed since this documentary was first released? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the environment

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate