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Crude

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.
HD Available
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: Fresh 95%
Critics' score: 95   Audience score: 84   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

An engrossing case for justice. full review

Dennis Harvey, Variety

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. full review

Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader

One has to wonder if oil industry executives are concerned about the release of Joe Berlinger's damning documentary. full review

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

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. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

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. full review

John Anderson, Washington Post

At first Crude looks like one more environmental agit-doc intended to outrage and inspire. Director Joe Berlinger is no doctrinaire hack, though. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

It's a David-and-Goliath tale, full of anger and disturbing accusation, but it's also inspiring. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

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. full review

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

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. full review

Jason Anderson, Toronto Star

Powerful and powerfully upsetting. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

No film could convey all the complexities of the case -- what Crude does is air the plaintiffs' claims and show the lawyers at work. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

Here's a powerhouse of a documentary that makes you feel mad as hell and unwilling to take it anymore. full review

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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. full review

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

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

Joe Berlinger's remarkable documentary, Crude, recounts an infuriating litany of South American exploitation, backroom glad-handing, and bureaucratic dead ends. full review

Scott Foundas, Village Voice

Berlinger doesn't counter Chevron's counter charges with facts and figures. With footage of petrochemical-sludge swamps and babies covered with flaming sores, he doesn't especially need to. full review

David Edelstein, New York Magazine
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  • Release Year: 2009
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 104 min
  • Available From: Feb 24, 2010
  • Queued by: 2564 people
Directed By
Joe Berlinger
Cast
Steven Donziger, Trudie Styler
Genres

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