Roger & Me: Underground Movie Review

Michael Moore is a very controversial documentary film maker. The topics of his film certainly spark some protests and debates as people see his style as biased. You can be sure whenever a Michael Moore film comes out; people will talk about how the truth he is presenting is spun on a different light. We have had our fair share of Michael Moore films. We even reviewed “Sicko” (you can read our review of “Sicko” here) last year. You may not know this but a film two decades ago actually jumpstarted Michael Moore’s career – the film “Roger & Me”. It is a look into Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan and how it was drastically affected when General Motors decided to move out, leaving a large portion of the population unemployed.

The movie begins with Michael Moore introducing his family and his irregular childhood. Here we discover that he grew up in Flint, Michigan – a city which was built hand in hand with General Motors. The majority of Flint’s people and culture are intertwined with General Motors so much so that the majority of the populace are employed by GM. City Parades and festivals are even related to GM. Trouble brews when the CEO of GM at that time, Roger Smith, decides to close GM factories in Flint to move them to Mexico to save on labor costs. Fast forward to the near future and Michael Moore chronicles the demise of Flint and its economy due to GM leaving. He also tries to pursue Roger Smith to talk to him to why he did this to Flint; a town which General Motors owes a lot to its success.

FThe film reflects every bit of Michael Moore’s style that we all know today so if you hate him right from the start, it is best to avoid this movie. For us though, we do enjoy Michael Moore’s style and this is clearly where he got his trademark style. Yes, there is the occasional lopsided view clearly popping up – there were times in which it was obvious that heavy editing was done to the timeline of the film. There is also the feeling that not every issue or truth was brought up - especially those that will lessen the message of the film. But overall, it is a documentary that still holds a valuable moral lesson, even twenty years after. Ironically, we found the cast of characters being interviewed more intriguing than Michael Moore's quirky adventure to confront Roger Smith. In fact, less emphasis is given on Roger Smith but more on the lives of people affected by Smith's decision. Overall though, we recommend this one and now we truly get why some consider this a classic. This is a funny yet a sad and bleak look at how capitalism and greed fails to provide for everyone in society.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- an enjoyable and demeaning look on how capitalism can destroy lives
- a great film to see how Michael Moore got his successful yet controversial style

Why you shouldn’t watch it:
- something makes us feel that the film could have been very biased with the timeline of events obviously being tampered with
- if you hate anything Michael Moore then obviously avoid

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