Parents' Guide to

Planet of the Humans

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Bleak docu dispels clean energy beliefs; disturbing images.

Movie NR 2020 108 minutes
Planet of the Humans Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Grossly outdated (and misleading) information about wind and solar energy but an important statement about overpopulation

Very sad that this movie is so obviously a hit piece by executive producer Ozzie Zehner, an opponent of renewable energy that only a fossil fuel executive would agree with (the data he uses is from 2010 whereas solar panels have become 2.5 times more efficient and the cost plummetted by 90% from 2010 to 2019). For thoughtful reviews, go to… and search for yourself. It is too bad that Moore has mixed such blatant bias with an issue that most are afraid to address: overpopulation. There are much better films out there to educate your children with; if you do decide to view this one, please educate yourself first and use it to show people how even someone you may agree with (Michael Moore) can be very wrong in some ways but also make good points.
age 13+

True environmentalism

Very interesting movie on how corporations use environmental movement for profit and political cover. Also reveals how some so called green products are anything but. It is an important movie to watch and consider. However it long and slow paced with one “F word”. It represents a search for truth and in that aspect it has a positive message that can be discussed with older kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Jeff Gibbs is here to tell you that your life is a lie -- and if this bleak documentary didn't have Michael Moore's name on it, you might not believe it. According to Planet of the Humans, the green, clean energy we've been chasing for years doesn't really exist. In some cases, the film says, it's worse than coal or natural gas. As executive producer/distributor, Moore's involvement lends the information in the film credence -- he's as liberal as it gets -- and Gibbs often writes on pressing ecological issues for environmental publications. So when these two cast aspersions on the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and climate change saint Al Gore, it's jarring -- can no one be trusted? If An Inconvenient Truth was a wake-up, Planet of the Humans is a shake-up.

While liberals will need to watch the film with their most critical and independent thinking hats on, it certainly doesn't give conservatives a free pass (Gibbs isn't suggesting that we toss up our hands and turn up the fracking). It turns out that the real solutions are going to be much tougher to implement, and getting a very late start on them could put us in the "it's too late" space. This film isn't about the light at the end of the tunnel; it's more like the light of the train coming at us: It shows us, step by step, how we're doomed. It argues that the leaders who've spent countless hours trying to reverse climate change were actually barking up the wrong tree (especially when they started removing the trees to solve the problem, aka "biomass energy"). What feels particularly unpleasant is the finger pointing at those whose hearts were likely in the right place, even if their efforts were misguided. Gibbs also uses some (Moore inspired?) manipulations: Footage shows him ambushing some of his targets at an event while viewers see disturbing images with a tenuous connection to the issue in order to get a strong emotional response. Frankly, the biggest detriment to getting this essential message out is that Gibbs falls short as a narrator. Removing the charismatic but polarizing Moore from the film might allow PIanet of the Humans to be better/more widely received, but Gibbs' passion for his subject matter is muted by his not-expressive-enough voice. Here's hoping that his delivery doesn't lead to young adults checking out.

Movie Details

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