Roger & Me Movie Poster Image

Roger & Me

(i)

 

Moore's first documentary is best for teens and up.
  • Review Date: November 2, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a documentary with an obvious anti-corporate slant.

Violence

News footage of crimes in Flint includes a shooting. A woman kills and cleans a rabbit.

Sex

A handful of sexual jokes are made by the host of "The Newlywed Game."

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

General Motors is discussed extensively, as is AmWay. The discussion is, of course, primarily critical.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary addresses the economic downfall of Flint, Michigan, after General Motors laid off 30,000 employees. Bad language and violence are limited, the movie does include footage of crimes and of numerous families being evicted from their homes. People frankly express their economic desperation.

Parents say

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What's the story?

When Michael Moore returned to his hometown of Flint, Michigan after a brief stint working in San Francisco, he arrived just in time for the first of what proved to be a tidal wave of General Motors plant closures. Faced with the economic downfall of his community, the journalist picked up a microphone and dedicated his time to tracking down the man he held responsible – GM CEO Roger Smith. The result of Moore's work is ROGER & ME. Unsurprisingly, Smith dodges Moore's questions, but the director manages to take viewers on a colorful tour of economic failure in America. We see the local government pursue one half-baked scheme for rejuvenation after another as countless families are evicted from their homes and so many people rent moving vans that the rental companies find it literally impossible to keep vehicles in stock. Interspersed with Moore's footage are clips that relay the history of GM in Flint, including promotional slots produced by the company as well as news footage. Moore also includes some of his family history, noting that his father worked for GM for decades and his uncle participated in the famous Sit-Down-Strike that led to the formation of the United Auto Workers union.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Overall, Moore's style is engaging and personable. The documentary is far from dry, and examines a significant historical moment. Young viewers may find the discussion of economics confusing and dull, but high school students should be able to follow easily. Moore clearly has a political agenda, but he makes his investment in the subject apparent within the first minutes of the film. There is no effort here to trick viewers, only to relay the events as the director sees them –- think of the film as a newspaper editorial piece.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about documentaries. Should documentaries simply tell a story, or is it OK for them to have a slant, like this one does? Is Moore fair to GM CEO Roger Smith? Should he have to be to call his film a documentary? This could lead to a wider discussion about the news and the role of journalists.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1989
DVD release date:August 19, 2003
Cast:Bob Eubanks, James Blanchard, Michael Moore
Director:Michael Moore
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Documentary
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySlipperyQ July 11, 2011

A Great Film Dealing With Moral Issues

I watched Roger and Me last night and I agree with the statement it makes. My mother sat me down and told me to watch the movie with her- and it is a perfect expression of how someone who acts selfishly can hurt a lot of people. There is a bit of violence. But Moore uses it to prove his point. The message of this film is clear, and correct. It isn't fair for some people to value themselves above others. Roger Smith fired thousands of people so that his company could make more money. And yes, this is how bussiness works. That's what he was supposed to do. But the entire point here is that doesn't make it right.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byNLRicci February 5, 2013

Generally tame documentary has some violence and swearing.

Moore's debut documentary focuses on the economic downfall of Flint, Michigan due to the closing of several General Motors plants. The movie's R rating is completely superfluous. There is occasional language including "b**ch", and "motherf***er" and some mild sexual references. There is also a reference to a shooting, and a rabbit is skinned. People are seen being evicted from their homes too. This is a film better suited for older tweens and teens.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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