The 11th Hour (PG)

Documentary 93 August 31, 2007
By Mike D’Angelo
Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to know that we are in serious trouble. No amount of artful chin stubble, it seems, will reverse the depletion of fossil fuels or help to slow population growth. No, my friends, the time has come for serious action, and that means traveling to various doomed picturesque locations in order to make direct-to-camera entreaties straight out of one of those Sally Struthers famine-relief PSAs. A cautionary eco-doc so earnest and moth-eaten that it should properly be seen on filmstrip during fourth-period social studies, The 11th Hour might as well have borrowed the title of Lisa Simpson\x92s lecture about the pollution of Lake Springfield: "An Irritating Truth." The 11th Hour assumes you have no idea that the rain forests are shrinking, the Arctic ice shelves collapsing, the planet\x92s oil reserves dwindling. From start to finish, the film offers nothing more than a litany of pamphlet-ready factoids, unencumbered by the anecdotal wit that made Al Gore\x92s stats on global warming halfway palatable onscreen. (DiCaprio\x92s presence in this film \x97 on which he\x92s also credited as a producer \x97 is so dourly humorless that even Gore 2000 looks effortlessly charismatic by comparison.) It\x92s as if someone today had made a blunt, sober, 90-minute documentary explaining in laborious, unimpeachable detail exactly why smoking cigarettes \x97 no, really \x97 is bad for your health.
Nadia Conners, Leila Conners Petersen Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Hawking, Mikhail Gorbachev, Andrew Weil, David Orr, James Woolsey, Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai, Sylvia Earle Ph.D., William McDonough Nadia Conners, Leonardo DiCaprio Chuck Castleberry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brian Gerber, Leila Conners Petersen Warner Independent Pictures