Capitalism: A Love Story | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Capitalism: A Love Story 

Greed Screed: Michael Moore's latest is lost in smugness and jackassery.

Pin It

When you make your living as a polemicist, it can’t be a good sign when even people who agree with you don’t like you any more. That’s what has happened with Michael Moore. As his work has gotten sloppier, more exasperating and less focused in recent years, even moderate lefties have come to be embarrassed by him, the same way moderate conservatives are—well, should be—embarrassed by Glenn Beck.

Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore’s latest screed, is his least useful yet. It mixes dry information on the current economic crisis with under-examined hard-luck stories and the usual Moore grandstanding. His thesis is simple: “Capitalism is an evil, and you can’t regulate evil.”

To support this idea, he parades a series of victims in front of us, as if a large pile of anecdotes will compensate for the lack of critical examination of the underlying economic theories. People are evicted from foreclosed houses. Widows grieve to learn their spouses’ employers had purchased life insurance policies, and now profit from the workers’ deaths while the bereaved get nothing. These things are sad, but they are not entirely one-sided, Moore’s insistent harping on the greedy corporations notwithstanding.

Other tales of under-regulated capitalism run amok are incendiary—and even true—but they shed no light on whether capitalism is flawed inherently. One assumes that other economic systems are subject to abuse, too. Moore’s one really interesting point is that while Americans love democracy, nearly all for-profit enterprises are run more like dictatorships and fiefdoms. Why do we love freedom in government but not in business? Unfortunately, Moore only spends about 30 seconds on this topic before returning to his smug sarcasm and public jackassery.

No one expects economics to be a thrilling subject, but in the past, Moore has usually managed to at least be entertaining. Capitalism: A Love Story shows only a few traces of his wit and humor—and they’re nearly lost in the fog of his indignation.



Rated R

Pin It

Speaking of Sideshow

  • Letters to Juliet

    True Love: Letters to Juliet is more than a sunny, romantic travelogue.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Ajami

    Crash Course: Ajami creates a vivid, authentic world that’s bleak but not oppressive.
    • Apr 28, 2010
  • The Losers

    The Also-Team: Every other minute of The Losers is stuff you’ve seen before.
    • Apr 21, 2010
  • More »

More by Eric D. Snider

  • Parallel Lives

    Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck unites two tales of youthful discovery.
    • Nov 8, 2017
  • Paint by Numbers

    Maudie is more gentle romance than portrait of a tortured artist.
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • Desperate Times

    It Comes at Night offers a chilling allegory for compassion vs. fear.
    • Jun 7, 2017
  • More »

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Without a Map

    Lady Bird chronicles the rocky road of female adolescence.
    • Nov 15, 2017
  • Parallel Lives

    Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck unites two tales of youthful discovery.
    • Nov 8, 2017
  • Shades of Pretty Good

    Thor: Ragnarok is a Marvel movie—and you probably know what that means.
    • Nov 1, 2017
  • More »


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment


Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep-dive into the way movies portray one half of humanity.
    • May 11, 2016
  • List We Forget ...

    Celebrating the best of 2016 in film.
    • Dec 28, 2016

© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation