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Forks Over Knives Review

  • Release Date: May 06, 2011
  • Rated: Some thematic elements and incidental smoking
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.
  • Genres: Art House/Foreign, Documentary
  • Director:Lee Fulkerson

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The bottom line: I am convinced this message is true.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    So scrupulously researched and argued that only a fool would ignore its findings.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Engaging docu promotes a vegan diet in nonjudgmental way.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Forks over Knives is a 2011 documentary about a pair of doctors' research into the direct relationship between diet and health and how adopting what is, in essence, a vegan diet (although the word "vegan" is never used) produces profoundly positive benefits for the health of both individuals and the planet as a whole. For the more squeamish of any age, there are many close-up scenes of heart surgery, in which a chest is shown opened up and cholesterol is being removed from an artery. There also is a scene in which an older man discusses how he gets more erections since adopting the "whole foods, plant-based" diet. On the whole, this documentary manages to convey a great deal of complicated information in a simple way, shows the benefits of the diet being espoused without being negative, and manages to refute counterarguments and popularly held beliefs about food without being preachy or self-righteous.

  • Families can talk about the way information was conveyed in the film. What were some of the ways in which the filmmakers presented information, made their arguments, and responded to counterarguments?
  • How did this film affect you? Did it convince you to change any of your dietary habits?
  • Many movies that discuss a lifestyle change of this magnitude use anger and condemnation to make their arguments. In what ways does this movie take a different approach?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: Through research, discussion, and testimonials, this film shows the positive effects a "whole foods, plant-based" diet can have on individuals and the planet.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Doctors Campbell and Esselstyn are tireless advocates for adopting a "whole foods, plant-based" diet and present their arguments in a positive manner rather than in tones of shame, self-righteousness, or condemnation. Their patients who have successfully adopted this change freely discuss the challenges they've faced and celebrate the positive results of their efforts toward adopting this diet.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many close-up scenes of heart surgery, in which a chest is shown opened up and cholesterol is being removed from an artery.

  • sex false2

    Sex: An older man who has spent decades on the "whole foods, plant-based" diet discusses how the diet increases the level of sexual arousal and erections. An animated sequence shows a shark swimming around looking for a sexual partner as the narrator discusses how animals are primarily interested in food and sex.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: A cottage industry has developed around those involved in this movie. Dr. Esselystn's son, Rip, has written books on switching to the "whole foods, plant-based" diet, including the best seller The Engine 2 Diet. They have since partnered with the grocery store Whole Foods, which sells a variety of Engine 2 food products.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some brief, stock footage of people smoking cigarettes.