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Freakonomics Review

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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Like the source material, it's ultimately less than the sum of its parts -- an assemblage of moderately interesting human interest stories that don't carry much weight on the big screen.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As a movie, Freakonomics is like Jujubes for the brain - it starts to get cloying halfway through the box.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Engaging economic docu is too complex for young kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this engaging documentary based on the same-named book tries to explain some complicated and unorthodox economic theories by examining unusual questions ... and consequently arriving at unexpected conclusions (such as linking a drop in the crime rate to the legalization of abortion 20 years earlier). Although most of the content isn't too strong -- there's some language (including "s--t") and a handful of scenes that feature violence or near-nudity -- younger viewers might find the whole thing too hard to grasp.

  • Families can talk about the difference between correlation and causality. Do you understand why things that happen at the same time might not be related? Can you explain the difference between these two key concepts?
  • Do you think that the book Freakonomics was a good choice to make into a movie? Do you think these complex concepts work well on the screen? Can you think of any other unlikely books that were made into movies, good or bad?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie suggests that if you ask different questions, you'll get surprising answers. And if you want people to change behavior, figure out what they really want to give them the right incentive.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Some teens are bribed with $50 a month to raise their grades; the monetary incentive (plus a ride in a limo) proves motivating.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Disturbing, graphic photos of a man bleeding heavily from his head and, later, of his corpse; discussion of the might of the Japanese yakuza.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A stripper scene shows half-naked women with their breasts covered by computer-generated images. Vague references to a girl named Temptress who isn’t choosy.

  • language false2

    Language: A few uses of “s--t.” A piece of paper is shown with "f--k" written on it.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The film promotes the best-selling book of the same title.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some discussions about the crack epidemic of the 1980s as vials of crack are shown on screen.