Michael Moore

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Michael Moore: Students who don't have art or music classes in school are ten times more likely to fail in life and appear in one of my movies.
Kent Brockman: Do you have a source for that?
Michael Moore: Your mother!

—Moore's Crowning Moment of Funny, in The Simpsons episode "The President Wore Pearls" (2003).

"But speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities."

Christopher Hitchens on Moore's popularity in Europe.

Michael Moore is an American filmmaker and author known for his overtly liberal views, which he uses his documentary films to advocate. He is very controversial for this reason, and has a sizable Hatedom who claim that his movies are full of dishonesty. Nonetheless, his films are some of the highest-grossing documentaries out there and he received significant critical acclaim for them.

His films include:

  • Roger & Me: His breakthrough film, it documents the mass unemployment and other negative economic effects caused by General Motors closing its factories in Flint, Michigan (Moore's birthplace, though he was raised in Davison).
  • Canadian Bacon: Moore's only non-documentary film, this is a comedy about America starting a new Cold War with Canada, Eh? in order to revitalize the defense industry. Notable for being John Candy's last film, and for a crack about the lunacy of declaring a war on terrorism despite being made in the 90s.
  • Bowling for Columbine: The documentary that made the most money of any at the time, it looks into the causes of the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre and, by extension, gun culture in the United States in general. It won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
  • Fahrenheit 9/11: Still the highest-grossing documentary of all time, it looks into the administration of George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center as well as The War on Terror. It was made with the obvious intent of preventing Bush from getting re-elected in 2004. It received the Palme D'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and amusingly (or not), it is the movie for which George W. Bush won two Razzies, one for "Worst Actor" and another for "Worst Screen Couple" with either Condoleeza Rice or His Pet Goat.
  • Sicko: An attack on the US healthcare system, it details the effects that private health insurance has had on various citizens and contrasts the system with the universal healthcare systems of Canada, Great Britain, France, and even Cuba. Nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature, but lost.
  • Capitalism: A Love Story: This film studies the ongoing recession and, naturally, capitalism itself, particularly regarding the United States.

Moore also created and hosted two satirical TV series, TV Nation (1994-95) and The Awful Truth (1999-2000).

Please remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment when contributing to this page.

Michael Moore provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Blatant Lies: The whole premise of Roger & Me was his attempts to secure an interview with Roger Smith, making much ado about not being able to do so. In fact, Moore secured at least two interviews with him. In general, if the "inaccuracies" in his movies aren't Critical Research Failure, they're Blatant Lies.
  • Boomerang Bigot: The man himself. This pretty much speaks for itself.

"[Americans] are possibly the dumbest people on the planet. [...] We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."

    • He titled one of his books "Stupid White Men".
      • And as usual, featured himself prominently on the cover, perhaps not thinking through that he would appear directly below that text. It prompted one critic to note, "Well at least the title is accurate."
  • Canada, Eh?: In Bowling For Columbine, he compares Detroit to Windsor just across the border, and describes Canada like a paradise.
    • During one of his stage shows, he tried to make a point by asking the mingled Canadian and American audience if there were any Americans or Canadians willing to switch their healthcare cards (in an attempt to brag on the superiority of Canadian healthcare). As he'd hoped, no Canadians stepped forward to do so... unfortunately for his point, no Americans stepped forward either.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: When it was revealed that Rahm Emanuel allegedly said "Fuck the UAW!", Moore responded with a pro-union blog post called "Happy Fuckin' Labor Day!"
  • Crying Wolf: If he hadn't been caught using so much manipulative editing it'd be a lot easier to believe him when he's telling the truth.
  • Cultural Cringe: He has a very low opinion of Americans.
  • Documentary of Lies: One of the most common accusations leveled against his films.
  • Fat Bastard: One (possibly apocryphal) story runs that an assistant of his, who did not enjoy working with him, started buying him donuts every day. When a friend asked whether this was to placate Moore and make him more friendly, the assistant answered, "No, I want the fat bastard to have a heart attack."
  • Iconic Item: His Michigan State Spartans cap.
  • Moral Event Horizon: A lot of Moore's critics changed in tone after September 11th, 2001, condemning him far more harshly than ever before. Not out of patriotic fervor, but in reaction to an opinion piece he posted on his site on September 12th, which essentially said that his primary problem with the terrorist attacks was that they hadn't been aimed at people who had probably voted for George Bush.
  • Raised Catholic: Moore was raised as a Catholic and identify himself as a Catholic, however he disagree with the Church's teachings on Same Sex Marriages and Abortions.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: In making Bowling for Columbine Moore was surprised to learn that Canada has higher per capita gun ownership than the States, but lower per capita gun crime. He thus came to the conclusion that the NRA (and others) are not entirely wrong.
    • Of course, his take on it was essentially "Maybe it's not guns that are evil... maybe it's that Americans are evil!"
  • Strawman Political: Often used in his works, for obvious reasons.
    • In addition, he's something of a living strawman for people who disagree with him (a lot of liberals are embarrassed to have him on their side).
    • An example of this was in the film An American Carol, which had an obvious Moore parody being yelled at by various historical figures and eventually changing his ways and coming to love America.
    • Another, more light-hearted example was in Team America: World Police, which portrayed Michael Moore as a suicide bomber blowing up Mount Rushmore.
  • This Loser Is You: Moore has carefully crafted his image to be what he considers that of the "poor working man". (He himself was born into a relatively affluent family from suburbia, and has possibly worked a single day at a "common" job in his life, if he himself is to be believed.) Which basically means that the slovenly clothes and ragged beard are what he thinks of the "Average Joe".
  • Twisting the Words / Manipulative Editing: One of his signature tactics.
    • In Bowling for Columbine, he spliced select portions of various speeches Heston made as president of the NRA to appear like one speech that he gave during the Denver convention which makes Heston look like an insensitive prick to the Columbine Massacre. The fact that Heston's suit and background wasn't matching up between cuts is either really funny or really sad.
    • Also in Columbine, the "Calling up the stairs" sequence which occurs after the heavily edited interview with Heston near the end of the film - if the shots are mapped out in the sequence presented, it is quickly revealed that it is literally impossible for the sequence to have occurred as presented.
    • Or the stunt with the "gun in the bank" which he set up 30 days ahead of time, and yet again spliced the footage together so it appears ridiculous.
    • In Fahrenheit 9/11, he confronted several legislators walking around Washington D.C. and asked them if they had children in the military. One such ambush interview was Rep. Kennedy of Minnesota, who gives a confused look before the shot cuts away. Right before he told Moore that his nephew was deployed in Afghanistan.