It's been about two years since my mom gave me this book for Christmas. She INSISTED that I would love it. "Really Mom? Because that seems to be a book about economics." But here's the thing, she couldn't have been more right! It's a fantastic book that was written by Journalist Stephen Dubner and Economist Steven Levitt that looks at every day questions that society has wondered and answers them in a purely unbiased way because it's only based on numbers and statistics. Still sounds kind of boring, doesn't it? It's not though; it's very lighthearted, funny and easy to understand. This movie captures the mood and tone of the book perfectly and it's done by incorporating five very talented documentary directors, Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight), Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), Seth Gordon (The King of Kong), and Alex Gibney (Gonzo, Taxi to the Dark Side). All of the documentaries that these directors have made in the past are some of the best in the last decade and it's almost like Freakonomics was crafted by a dream all-star team of artists. The two authors host the movie and kick the whole film off with their happy-go-lucky, jovial banter. Although some of the topics covered are serious, it's never presented in a manner that is so dry that it bores you. Not to mention the fact that each chapter of the movie only lasts about 10-15 minutes and are polar opposites of each other. The film covers some of the topics such as cheating, does your first name affect your life's success, why is crime lower than it was in the '70s and can kids be bribed to do well in school. The movie is a mere Cliff's Notes version compared to the book (and book's sequel Super Freakonomics...which I hope gets a movie treatment too), but still a very fun and very informative piece of entertainment. By the numbers...this is a winner!
Freakonomics (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A