Parents' Guide to

The Minimalists: Less Is Now

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Uneven docu about living with less has cursing.

Movie NR 2021 53 minutes
The Minimalists: Less Is Now Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

Great Doc with Life Lessons

This doc will help you live a better, more fulfilling life. The swearing is minor compared to the life lessons you will learn.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Unfortunately, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus present themselves here as gurus, which includes cringe-inducing monologue sets filmed on actual stages. Meanwhile, the conventional documentary style through half of The Minimalists: Less is Now is quite good, informative, and helpful. But the personal side of the film lacks a certain empathy and often comes across as pretentious, self agrandizing, and self promoting. They certainly want to talk about minimalism as much as live it. Thus, half of this documentary is great, but the other half is completely unnecessary. If the film completely cut the personal biographies, life stories of career success and unhappiness, and live performances, leaving a 25-minute documentary, it'd be 4 out of 5 stars.

The central messages are helpful, and many people would benefit from them, but living as a minimalist is certainly presented as a "cure all" to all of life's modern problems. But some experts argue that the minimalist lifestyle movement merely opens up and enables new forms and modes of consumption. Lifestyle minimalists argue that we shouldn't quest for more and more things, and they're right. But they accidentally have replaced that desire with a new one: now we just need to consume, buy, and hold onto the right things and only the right things. Further, the film doesn't provide an objective history of where "minimalism" comes from, from its roots in art criticism (originally used as an insult) to a modern lifestyle, nor does it discuss how the latter has primarily been a recent fad popularized and promoted by the technologically elite and wealthy. There are also historical and cultural factors to consider when arguing that "memories don't reside in things, but people."

Movie Details

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