4.18.2008

Movie Reviews for Expelled

The following reviews for the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed are posted as I find them, so check back often. -Jim

kval.com 13
- Review: 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed' Bites Down Hard
I'm afraid this movie isn't going to hoist any craven evolutionists over the wall and onto the side of the enlightened, but it's sure to play like the sweetest of siren songs to those already tramping that ground.

Northern Star
- 'Expelled' takes a biased look at the evolution vs. creationism debate
“Expelled” is definitely a film to see, merely because of the ideas and questions that are raised. However, the documentary and the way Stein channels Michael Moore with his bias ruins any chance of deeming Stein’s argumentative evidence credible.

The Lariat Online
- Obviously Not Objective, 'Expelled' Explores Academic Freedom
Expelled doesn't get high marks as a documentary. But Ben Stein's look into academic censorship, from a Baylor journalism major's perspective, deserves a B.

The Maneater
- Column: 'Expelled': Lacks Valid Arguments
But when it comes to picking a side and proving a point, Ben Stein leaves more unanswered questions than a resounding argument. In fact, Stein veers into different arguments so frequently that at times it’s hard to figure out just what “Expelled” is trying to prove. What starts as an examination into teaching freedom in the classroom quickly ventures into an attempt to prove Darwin wrong and vindicate Intelligent Design. Stein never offers counterarguments to Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and fails to find any evidence in support of Intelligent Design.

FilmCritic.com
- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Expelled isn't a thoughtfully rendered documentary about the freedom of inquiry; it's a shot across the bow of the scientific establishment. And it just doesn't work.

American Chronicle
- Film Review: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
I walked into the theater this afternoon a believer in natural evolution, and that is what I remain. It´s hard to imagine anyone being convinced of the validity of intelligent design by this film. Instead, it will resonate the loudest with those who have agreed with its unscientific ideas all along. Ben Stein and his fellow filmmakers claim that their film is not an argument for creationism, not an attempt to slip religious doctrines into scientific discussions, but by preaching to the choir they show they have much more in common with Christian apologists than scientists.

TV Guide
- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed: Review
It's hard to pinpoint the most insulting aspects of this obvious propaganda piece from Ben Stein, the eye-drops spokesman, conservative writer and pundit whom most people remember from a bit part in FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF.


The Boston Globe
- No Intelligence Allowed in 'Expelled'
But the brash methods of director Nathan Frankowski ("After . . .", TV miniseries "The Pathway to 9/11"), who has assembled a frenetic, chest-beating film worthy of the tabloids, undercut the argument "Expelled" attempts to make.

Reuters
- No "Intelligence" Evident in Stein Documentary
Managing to make the films of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock look like dry, scholarly treatises by comparison, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" more than lives up to its subtitle.

New York Times
- Resentment Over Darwan Evolves Into a Documentary
One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.

Salt Lake Tribune - Stein shuns intelligent debate in dishonest 'Expelled'
While many right-wingers decried Michael Moore for playing fast-and-loose with the facts in his documentaries, apparently other conservatives said, "Hey, if he can do it, so can we."
And, lo, there appeared "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a slick but intellectually dishonest documentary that mounts an argument for so-called "intelligent design."

E! Online - Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed E! Reviews
The 180—a Second Opinion: If this preposterous flick stifles Stein's career, perhaps we'll finally be spared the Ferris Bueller shtick he's been milking for two decades.

Minneapolis Star Tribune - Propaganda piece "Expelled" flunks
Typical of all propaganda, it also distorts language. The narration talks of "Darwinism" -- not evolution -- to make it sound like a dangerously secular cult; creationism is replaced by the more scientific-sounding "intelligent design." After an hour and a half, my faith in Darwin was shaken because, judging by what was on screen, we haven't evolved one blessed bit.

Baltimore Sun - 'Expelled' fails to make the argument
(D) Someday perhaps it will be possible to look back on Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed as a relic and reminder of the rhetorical logic employed during the era of George W. Bush. Until then, it should be seen simply as a tiresome ideological bludgeon, an attempt to deceive audiences into believing it is one thing when it is, in fact, quite another.

Entertainment Weekly - Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Regardless of your personal views, Expelled's heavy-handed bias (a visit to Darwin's home gets the same eerie music as a tour of Dachau) is exasperating. By the time the camera zooms in on the word ''Creator'' in the Declaration of Independence, the whole debate seems less urgent than getting out of the theater.

Variety - Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
There's an intelligent case to be made for intelligent design, which is why "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a flimsy attempt to discredit Darwinist theory as the cornerstone of modern biology, reps such a missed opportunity. While roving interviewer Ben Stein extracts some choice soundbites from scientists on both sides of the creation-vs.-evolution debate, the film's flippant approach undermines the seriousness of its discourse, trading less in facts than in emotional appeals. A probable punching bag for film critics and evolution proponents alike, docu will be a natural selection for Christian audiences and should spread like the gospel on homevid.

FoxNews.com - Ben Stein: Win His Career
Directed by one Nathan Frankowski, "Expelled" is a sloppy, all-over-the-place, poorly made (and not just a little boring) "expose" of the scientific community. It’s not very exciting. But it does show that Stein, who’s carved out a career selling eye drops in commercials and amusing us on sitcoms, is either completely nuts or so avaricious that he’s abandoned all good sense to make a buck.

New York Post - Creative Writhing
Stein spends the first half of the movie setting himself a trap, and the second half squirming in it.

Orlando Sentinel - Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Shockingly, the "experts" Stein hurls against evolution are disgruntled, under-credentialed academics dismissed from lesser colleges, they say because they say they wanted to teach creation rather than science. Other "experts" in the film come from anti-evolution "think tank" cranks.

Slant Magazine - Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
For a film about American freedom of expression and the necessity for open dialogue, it's hard to imagine Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed being more one-sided, narrow-minded, and intellectually dishonest.

Village Voice - Ben Stein, Propagandist, in Expelled
ID'ers protest that they're simply interested in secular alternatives to Darwinian evolution; their scientific opponents, meanwhile, are potential Communists and Nazis. Bizarre and hysterical.

Colorado Confidential - Science Sunday: Intelligent Design Goes to the Movies
"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" may be the first volley in the next battle by creationists to give their movement intellectual weight. But its cartoon version of evolutionary theory, Its remarkable lack of evidence for its case, its unbalanced and hysterical portrayal of the "martyrs," its dismal and depressing musical score, and its lack of genuine humor will persuade only the already persuaded.

The Guardian - A Step to the Right
Comic actor and game show host Ben Stein isn't at all happy, according to the trailers for his spurious-looking new documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he berates in overheated, lachrymose and rhetorically manipulative ways the American academic establishment's reluctance to recognise intelligent design, the pseudoscientific, inbred second-cousin of biblical creationism, for which Expelled offers straightforward propaganda.

Colorado Springs Independent - Lies, damned lies and 'Intelligent design'
It's nuttiness right from the opening moments of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Images of Nazi atrocities and the terrors of life behind the Berlin Wall are smugly deployed in an attempt to editorialize away basic scientific fact. In a saner universe, you could scoff at Stein and not give his nonsense another thought. But we don't live in that universe. We live here, where the religious insecurity of a scientifically illiterate populace is being twisted by people who certainly know better.

Savannah Now - No Intelligence Allowed: They Got That Part Right
"Expelled" is a full-on, amply budgeted Michael Moore-styled mockery of evolution, a film that dresses creationist crackpottery in an "intelligent design" leisure suit and tries to make the fact that it's not given credence in schools a matter of "academic freedom."

The New York Sun - Stein Goes to Bat for Intelligent Design
"Expelled" will likely appeal to those whose minds are made up in favor of intelligent design and infuriate those who, like Mr. Dawkins, oppose mixing God with biology. For those with little stake in either side of the controversy, there is the amusing spectacle of Mr. Stein skewering brilliant scientific minds as they are caught off guard by the lights, camera, and action.

3 comments:

patrick said...

Ben Stein's goal in making Expelled (i gather) is to promote free thought, especially more thinking about motivations that drive American academia and a lot of other behind-the-scenes worldview that we tend to take for granted.

Ritchie Annand said...

It's just a crass manufactured conspiracy piece with the intention of softening some people up to their goals and enraging others into promoting their goals.

"Promoting free thought", based on their behavior and choice and treatment of the subject matter, is an inappropriate description at best. They will play the "fairness" card only as long as it works to their political advantage.

Why did they interview staunch atheist pro-evolution professors to the exclusion of religious ones?

Why even mention the Nazis if they didn't really mean it?

Why bring "free speech" into the issue at all, when free speech also includes the right to spout all sorts of crap. Education, science, reporting your income and making claims of drug effectiveness do not belong to this "anything goes" class of speech.

Why does Stein spout things like "But,as a theory that explains everything in terms of evolution--in terms of development of life, it explains very, very little. Darwinism doesn't explain where gravity comes from." or "Science leads to killing people." in interviews?

How can he be a promoter of free thought with such base misunderstandings of what he is fighting against?

Hari said...

The censorship in science is a fact.
See e.g. suppressedscience.net
How can science ruled by ideology be called science?