As a movie, Freakonomics is like Jujubes for the brain -- it starts to get cloying halfway through the box.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Amiably passes the time.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
[It] isn't freaky enough.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
An attempt to turn the 2005 nonfiction bestseller into a high-energy docu-romp, "Freakonomics'' is a misconceived botch.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The 20-minute shorts range in style from traditional fly-on-the-wall narrative to a kind of hyperactive PowerPoint presentation.
Dan Kois - Village Voice
Freakonomics examines social, cultural, and financial issues with an eye to getting people to think differently.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
dds up to a revelatory trip into complex, innovative ideas and altered perspectives on how people think.
John Anderson - Variety
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Equal parts journalistic expose and targeted anthropological dissection, the slick anthology production Freakonomics makes heavy ideas go down easy.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
Some parts of the movie are more satisfying and intriguing than others, but there are enough surprising and non-intuitive revelations that even the most jaded viewer will likely learn a thing or two.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
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.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
When this freakumentary hooks up with Urail King, it gets an A.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
The limited time given to each of the short films means that there is little opportunity to get really down and dirty with the number-crunching, so that for every aspect that is fascinating there is an attendant frustration.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
A lighthearted plea to the audience to try to think outside the box when it comes to matters of causality.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
A real hodgepodge of ideas and themes, directed by six different directors, it lacks cohesion. It does, however, have some interesting segments.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Moderately interesting documentary.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Levitt and Dubner often talk about the importance of giving incentives to customers. It's not clear if this film gives quite enough of them to those people who've already bought the book.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
Merely proves that a batch of bite-sized featurettes does not automatically add up to a satisfying meal.
...an enjoyable, lightweight affair that plays like the pilot for a premium cable series - something like a less raucous version of the Penn & Teller's Showtime series
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
... somewhere between ... an illustrated, freshman-level lecture by a superstar professor and ... a brainy but popular television anthology show.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
Freakonomics is, much like the book that spawned it, a breezy entertainment that leaves you with a lot to think about.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
On this take from a statistician whose days are, um, numbered: the docu-omnibus engages, as we wonder what the next filmmaker might do. Proving Levitt's theory that incentives do indeed matter.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
If you didn't read the book, you can get a less-satisfying version of it here, but you'd be better off hitting the book. And if you did read the book, the movie is superfluous.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The film makes some potentially dull material come to life, but it's a tad pleased with itself for delivering that small gift.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
It's intellectual snack food, satisfying for a little while but always leaving you hungry for more.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
This 93-minute collection of short films finds an innovative way to pursue trivial data. It makes the often vague and elusive subject of economics interesting. It should encourage more viewers to read the book.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
The film is provocative but also scattershot and not nearly as conclusive as it pretends to be.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Blame producer Chad Troutwine for bringing together an array of talented documentary filmmakers to try to coax life into material certainly not suited to the medium of film.
Lauren Wissot - Slant Magazine
An unusual cinematic experiment that comes off as a hit-and-miss collection of appetizers.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
A mixed bag...often comes across as simply cute, pushing very hard to too little effect.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Sometimes, it has all the answers. More often, it just asks the right questions. And in today's 24-hour froth of insta-pundit analysis, we need curiosity more than certainty.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
A learning-is-fun . . .anthology . . .with more pluses than minuses, [it] is as entertaining as it's educational and enlightening.
Nora Lee Mandel - Film-Forward.com
It's probably inevitable that some segments work better than others, and it's fortunate that executive producer and co-director Seth Gordon does a nice job of tying the whole thing together.
Bob Westal - Bullz-Eye.com
The movie version of Freakonomics functions as a reasonably effective trailer, but for a book whose moment has already passed.
Mark Jenkins - NPR
Has lost some of its cumulative mojo in translation, partly because after seven years the pot is pretty well stirred, and partly because the medium demands narrative focus.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Engaging economic docu is too complex for young kids.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
It's mild stuff indeed, more like an especially lightweight edition of 60 Minutes than a hard-hitting expose of cultural ills.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Freakonomics's four sections offer various takes on the source book's premise: what happens when you ask "a different kind of question entirely"?
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
There is more material here to chew on than in a dozen other documentaries combined. And that's a good thing. No?
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
There's an appealing sort of crazy, on the surface, to Freakonomics... [But it] sounds for all the world as if [the film] is mocking Freakonomics [the theory].
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A disjointed mess that is never quite as hip or smart as it seems to think it is.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
As with any omnibus film, it offers a little of a lot...gives each filmmaker enough room to expand beyond simple ideas into something more complex.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
An interesting, uneven mountain of stats and facts that, overall, is inconclusive.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A movie for those of you who like to fill out the crossword puzzle or play Sudoku daily
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
This enjoyable if uneven anthology documentary manages to break even, with two strong segments making up for two weaker ones.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
At the center is the quietly exciting notion that numbers can be used to both mask the truth and reveal it, depending on the character of who's holding the calculator.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
It cannot and should not be expected to give us the answers we want (or any at all, for that matter). The point of the field of Levitt and Dubner's study is to ask the right questions.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
...this movie perverts the basis of the book, since many of the answers it draws are based on bald conjecture and semi-staged scenes rather than fact.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
...while the resulting film is often entertaining, it's also random, it's ideas not well articulated.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Like the 2005 bestseller that inspired it, the movie version of Freakonomics is fleet and accessible, an enjoyably light and lively pop artifact aimed at bringing some unusual economic theories to the masses.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
hardly lives up to its promise, or even its title.
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
Succeeds in provoking thoughts about ethics, pop culture, and human nature, and that isn't an easy thing to do.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
An iconoclastic expose' featuring fresh cultural slants apt to leave the average armchair economist reevaluating a lot of conventional wisdom they've taken for granted.
Kam Williams - TheLoop21.com
Gerald Peary - Boston Phoenix
Any movie that triggers creative thought in its audience can't be that bad a deal.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
There's no chance to get into anything in depth, because it's onto the next broadly sketched out concept.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
While not as thoroughly informative or entertaining as it could have been under the control of a single director, "Freakonomics" is a thought-provoking documentary that keeps you wanting more.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
By the end, don't be surprised if you are still asking yourself what, exactly, the definition of freakonomics is.
It's not always entirely successful on its own terms, but it's entertaining and thought-provoking enough to stand alone as a reflection of Levitt and Dubner's book.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
With different filmmakers handling each segment, some obviously work better than others, but either way it is the book.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Swift and easily digestible. None of it will likely provoke discussion, though ... doesn't seem to be anything more substantial than interesting yet trivial data.
Christopher Campbell - Cinematical