Examined Life
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This documentary takes a look at the manifestations of contemporary philosophy through interviews with various figures in the field, who examine these existential issues from the vantage point of lively public places, where everyday people demonstrate their views and values through the most clear and innocuous ways. Some of the guests featured in the film include Cornel West, Avital Ronell, and Peter Singer. ~ Cammila Albertson, Rovi

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You can't help but feel that director Astra Taylor fails at her own challenge of making an academic subject come truly alive as cinema."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"There's plenty of food for thought here, though the movie is more a buffet than a meal."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"An unusual and compelling documentary featuring eight thinkers musing on philosophical matters as they walk in creative places."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A fascinating introduction to the big issues in modern philosophy, presented with a pleasantly light touch."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"This is an addictive and stimulating experience all round."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Taylor's stimulating film, enlivened by creative location shooting, will surely find an appreciative audience among highbrow cinephiles."
‑ Rob Nelson, Variety
"To [director Astra] Taylor's credit it's as inviting and accessible as a smart conversation with fascinating friends."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"For those interested in seeing philosophers on the screen, this engaging movie offers the opportunity to see eight of them walking the streets."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Never dull, but it will make your head hurt."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
"Eccentric but always accessible, Taylor's boff-doc avoids the idiosyncrasy that her work has previously exhibited. In bringing philosophy into the real world, Examined Life is at once illuminating and intellectually stimulating."
‑ Adam Woodward, Little White Lies
"Director-writer Astra Taylor wisely avoids turning this talk fest into a talking heads fest by filming these effusive intellectuals in a variety of visually diverting, real-world environments."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Illuminating, even moving."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"The ones that work, Cornel West and Peter Singer for example, are intriguing and compelling but they don't all hang together so effortlessly."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"Each of the half-dozen or so thinkers gets around 20 minutes to maunder on - simultaneously not long enough and far too long. Frustratingly, no subject is investigated in depth, and the glibness is dull."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"A film that can haunt you for the rest of your life."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
More reviews for Examined Life on Rotten Tomatoes