Capitalism: A Love Story

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Capitalism: A Love Story Movie Poster Image
Docu on corporate misdeeds names names, makes mistakes.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 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

The film offers a clear, concise analysis of the current financial crisis that encourages discussion of the nature of capitalism and the question of how, or if, those in society who are better off can -- and should -- give to and support others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Viewers meet a number of hardworking Americans coping with tough times with dignity ... and also see acts of greed and conspicuous consumerism.


Discussions of death, dying, and illness; implied threats of violence. Footage of plane crashes.


Some suggestive language.


Intermittent strong language, mostly within the interviews that Moore conducts. Words include "screw," "crap," "hell," "s--t," and three uses of "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some film clips show people drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, like all of Michael Moore's documentaries, this film has a very definite point of view. Moore has come in for criticism about how he handles the juxtaposition of factual analysis and opinion. Viewers need to think about what is analysis and information and what is editorial opinion. The movie's R rating is for language (the worst of which is three uses of "f--k"); you can also expect frequent discussion of death, dying, and hard times. Many corporations are mentioned by name, usually in the context of calling out their misbehavior.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11 and 16-year-old Written byelinor dashwood September 2, 2013

education against corporate greed

Great family values movie with my kids ages 10 and up. It took a hard look at corrupt banking practices. Of course, it is painful to acknowledge so much greed... Continue reading
Adult Written byblake of gremlinvil August 5, 2011

this is true

this is the truth i dont care if its graphic u should stop lieing to ur kids and show them this if u cant muster up the courage to tell them how bad it is ursel...
Teen, 14 years old Written bytrancypants July 30, 2012

Pay no attention the undeserved "R" rating.

If your 13 year old child actually finds politics and the economy interesting, then by all means do not stop them from watching this movie based on the language... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byTanked out October 20, 2010


If you understand politics this is fine. I already knew why capitalism is a terrible system, but this movie may bring that fact into light for some kids

What's the story?

In CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, documentarian Michael Moore looks at America's recent financial crisis and proposes that it wasn't just caused by rampant profiteering by megacorporations and Wall Street -- he says that even the "bailout" created to save those banks represented more profiteering. Moore's thesis isn't merely that capitalism as we know it has to be reformed, but that capitalism as we know it has to be abolished. In interviews with financial experts and working-class Americans devastated by foreclosures and plant closings, Moore makes the case that our current form of capitalism is less a system of goods and services than a systematic crime perpetrated against ordinary people in the name of profit.

Is it any good?

Much of an audience's reaction to Capitalism: A Love Story will depend on their patience for Moore -- as in previous films, the director is also the on-screen star. His analysis is strong, but the film is weakened by his familiar lazy tricks. If you have experts who can (and will) talk about how banks and mortgage brokers have hurt America and Americans with thier practices, why spend time on unfunny "bits" like backing a armored car up to various banks in New York and demanding that executives come out and give back the money they got during the bailout?

But when Moore's film is headed in the right direction -- whether he's talking about how large corporations take out life insurance policies on their employees so that they profit in the event of those employees' deaths or he's looking at the legal and lobbying tactics behind the bailout while explaining the intimate link between the Federal Treasury and the investment banks it propped up with the bailout -- it's strong. Ultimately, though, Capitalism: A Love Story is so wandering and weakened by Moore's style that its moments of rich, righteous fury are diluted by Moore's own excesses and stylistic choices.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the essential issue raised by the film -- why is there such a gulf between "haves" and "have-nots" in America? Is the capitalist system irreparably broken?

  • Is there such a thing as a truly objective documentary? Do you think Moore is more or less effective at making his arguments by having an obvious point of view?

  • Is Michael Moore is one of the best-known documentary filmmakers in America because of the quality of his work or the press coverage he receives from enraging his enemies?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love true stories

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