09crud75 Filmmaker Joe Berlinger's provocative documentary explores the ongoing battle waged by 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorans and their lawyers against Chevron for dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into the Amazon. Berlinger examines the environmental catastrophe -- dubbed the "Amazon Chernobyl" -- from all sides, following the drama as it moves from the contamination site to the courtroom and beyond, even landing on the cover of Vanity Fair.
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Netflix Rating: 3.6
NYT Critics' Pick
"Crude," a thorough and impassioned documentary of environmentalist advocacy, focuses its gaze on production rather than consumption. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
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An engrossing case for justice.
Dennis Harvey, Variety  full review
A gripping, multifaceted thriller about media politics, global economics, and legal infighting. Wherever your sympathies fall, this may teach you a lot about the way the modern world works.
Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader  full review
One has to wonder if oil industry executives are concerned about the release of Joe Berlinger's damning documentary.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News  full review
What Crude does best is take us behind the scenes and show in often candid detail how campaigns are waged, tactics decided on and strategies prioritized.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times  full review
As the film very eloquently implies, when the greater good is defined as profits, and a lack of culpability is proportionate to your number of shareholders, well . . . a lot of petroleum-soaked chickens will be coming home to roost.
John Anderson, Washington Post  full review
At first Crude looks like one more environmental agit-doc intended to outrage and inspire. Director Joe Berlinger is no doctrinaire hack, though.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe  full review
It's a David-and-Goliath tale, full of anger and disturbing accusation, but it's also inspiring.
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly  full review
A legal thriller, it's a three-year investigation into the disaster environmentalists call the "Amazonian Chernobyl" that offers both sides of the story and leaves the viewer in the position of jury.
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail  full review
Berlinger provides a bracing and intelligent look at how such battles are (and perhaps must be) fought in a world that's hardly lacking when it comes to tales of injustice.
Jason Anderson, Toronto Star  full review
Powerful and powerfully upsetting.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer  full review
No film could convey all the complexities of the case -- what Crude does is air the plaintiffs' claims and show the lawyers at work.
Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
Here's a powerhouse of a documentary that makes you feel mad as hell and unwilling to take it anymore.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone  full review
The film is fair (which is different from being objective) and works hard at representing both points of view. That it's already been denounced in some quarters is only proof he has the oil companies worried.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger  full review
Involving doc about the devastating impact of oil exploration on Ecuador's rainforest community.
Eric Monder, Hollywood Reporter
Mr. Berlinger has both a strong narrative instinct and a keen eye for incongruous, evocative and powerful images.
A.O. Scott, New York Times
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  • Release Year: 2009
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 104 min
  • Available From: Feb 24, 2010
  • Queued by: 2598 people
Directed By
Joe Berlinger
Steven Donziger, Trudie Styler

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