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Freakonomics [Blu-ray] (2010)

Steven Levitt , Stephen Dubner , Alex Gibney , Eugene Jarecki  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Freakonomics [Blu-ray] + Inside Job [Blu-ray] + Too Big to Fail (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner
  • Directors: Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki, Heidi Ewing, Morgan Spurlock, Rachel Grady
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047UJBJU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Freakonomics [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Freakonomics is the highly anticipated film version of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Like the book, the film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies, bringing together a dream team of filmmakers responsible for some of the most acclaimed and entertaining documentaries in recent years: Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Casino Jack and the United States of Money), Academy Award® nominees Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp), Academy Award® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the books January 27, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is my constructive criticism, since I know that Levitt and Dubner read reviews.

I hate to write a mediocre review, but after reading and enjoying both Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, this movie was a little disappointing. It is not that it was bad, just that I had high expectation considering that the books were so good. I was very excited to order this and even show it in my microeconomics class, but after watching it I am not sure if I will use it at all- perhaps a clip or two.

The visual effects, illustrations, and cinematography were very good. I also was glad to seem some interviews from the authors, rather than some other format. However, if you had not already read the book, you might be a little lost on what they were talking about. I am not sure how it could have been done better, since they covered a lot of content and had limited time, but it does not seem like the viewers would walk away and say "Oh, I now have a more clear understanding of XYZ..."

The thing that bothered me most was the subtitles during the Sumo section. In addition to there being quite a bit of Japanese dialog, the subtitles were hard to read because they were all in white. Very distracting when a bright screen came up and you could not read them. I found myself anxious for this section to end so we could go back to English.

I think that the authors should consider a TV series instead of a movie, similar to their podcast now (which is great, BTW). Think Myth-Busters or Stossel's 20/20 programs: They could cover more topics without feeling rushed.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Documentary based upon much better book September 22, 2010
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I should not have paid as much as I did to watch this pre-theatrical release. I did so because I thought a documentary based upon the book "Freakonomics" would be very interesting. There were a number of interesting points in the film, but this is just one more case where the reviewer says that the book was much better. The main problem I had with the film is that it presented so little information in the time allotted. I believe this was because it attempted to be entertaining as well as the directors personalizing the content and wasting time by injecting too much of themselves into the content. This lead to a boring documentary where I felt cheated of time and money because so little real content was presented. I suggest reading the book and skipping the movie. If you would rather watch a film than to read a book, then wait til after the film is released in theaters and distributed on DVD. I do not think this film will be able to command a high price for very long after it is distributed on DVD and you should be able to rent or buy it at a discounted price. This book is essentially about looking at common phenomina from different or non-standard points of view. In doing so, there really is no timely earthshaking material so you will not have missed much by waiting for lower prices. I still believe the book or the film contain perspectives that make them worthwhile, but the film barely earns an average rating in my opinion which is generous in this instance.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE NAME, GREAT MOVIE January 17, 2011
Occasionally a movie comes along, based on a book, that inspires people to run out and pick up a copy and actually read. It doesn't happen often and in today's world where more people are in tune with a visual experience as opposed to a reading one, when it does happen it's wonderful. Such is the case with FREAKONOMICS.

Based on the best seller of the same name, the book was written by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner. It focused on Levitt's research into the causality of numerous topics as explained via economics and tabulated information. The interesting thing, as he states, is that in seeking reasons for various topics people think things are connected to something else but it turns out not being the case. Trust me, its less complicated than you think and easier to understand than you would expect but more so after watching this film.

To make a movie out of the book, they chose 4 different notable documentary directors and went to work. Each one has their own look and feel, but all incorporate into the general picture at hand. The first is one of the most well known, Morgan Spurlock who did SUPER SIZE ME. Here he takes on the question of what is in a name.

The question here is is a person judged and their life set up early on by what their parents name them? Beginning with the example of a young girl named after Tempest Bledsoe of COSBY fame whose mother couldn't spell resulting in the name Temptress, we find that it wasn't her name so much as her environment that formed her life. But there's more to it than that. The choice of names and how they affect everything from your job acceptance to your place in society is discussed with results different than one might expect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This film is a compilation of several short films that focus on the cause and effect of socioeconomic phenomena as described by Steven Levitt in his book "Freakonomics" which not only fails to deliver the truth of cause and effect, but couches the attempt in entertainment fluff that ranges from a salacious stop at a strip club to heart-wrenching stories about the effects of these phenomena on individuals. Starting out with the broad concept of human decisions being based on incentive, the film moves into a prolonged look at birth names, a segment that finishes with two very different conclusions: your given name makes no difference in your life outcome, and that African-American names on resumes are far less likely to result in job interviews. 15 minutes into the film, the erroneous nature of Levitt's arguments is already apparent.

The concept that Levitt purports in "Freakonomics" is to attempt to understand what factors cause societal behavior by analyzing data sets, and in doing so, he criticizes erroneous connections by others; however, by looking narrowly at certain sets of statistics, he makes the same mistake in assigning causality. For example, he concludes that since the legalization of abortion, the rate of homicide has declined and makes the argument that the availability of abortion has led to fewer homicides. Analyzing data sets to find possible correlations doesn't explain why an individual data set changes with time. By understanding the abortion rate data set, one can see that since abortion is common across all socio-economic groups, its scope does not match that of homicide, which is highest in economically disadvantaged groups.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great reading book now!
Published 8 days ago by steed martin
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not care for it. Tries to forward opinions ...
Did not care for it. Tries to forward opinions under the guise of "facts" when they are actually just a fabrication. Overall a waist of time to watch.
Published 10 days ago by Dan Molitor
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of money
Not much here. Total waste of money.
Published 13 days ago by George Schmidt
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
movie was not like the book.
Published 1 month ago by Coralgean Abel
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
It wasn't what I expected. Way too much on sumo wrestlers
Published 1 month ago by Adia
5.0 out of 5 stars Deez Guys.....
Very interesting. I want to watch it again and maybe just follow these guys around asking questions. I've since started listening to their podcast too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by April Winemiller
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Out of Date
Listen to this because did not have time to read the book for a book club gathering. Even tho it is an "old" book, human nature doesn't seem to change!
Published 1 month ago by Madeline Binder
3.0 out of 5 stars but that doesn't mean it's a useless book/documentary. I realize that...
I found that most of the ideas presented here are obvious. So didn't watch it until the end for that reason. but that doesn't mean it's a useless book/documentary. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. Maia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this documentary. Whitty and funny with a look at the why of things.
Published 1 month ago by Christina Vogel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A fun economics lesson
Published 2 months ago by Leif
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