The Big Uneasy
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Almost five years ago, a disaster struck New Orleans. The media said it was a natural disaster primarily affecting poor black people. On both counts, the media was wrong. In his feature-length documentary The Big Uneasy, humorist and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans, Shearer speaks to the investigators who poked through the muck as the water receded and a whistle-blower from the Army Corps of Engineers, revealing that some of… More
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© The Notions Dept.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"By the end of "The Big Uneasy" the viewer is convinced that we weren't told the whole story back in 2005, and appalled by the retaliation faced by some who spoke out."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"While Shearer's affection for his part-time home is palpable, the film's dry, academic treatment of its subject does the city a profound disservice."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"Behaves like a straight-ahead investigative news piece. Its target is the US Army Corps of Engineers."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"While at times a bit pedantic, Shearer's persuasive film nonetheless stands as an important correlative primary historical document."
‑ Brent Simon,
"Rather than making us feel 'uneasy,' this film should flood us with rage. What Shearer's worthy film cries out for ... is the bite from the filmmaker/satirist himself."
‑ Kimberly Gadette, Indie Movies Online
""The Big Uneasy" lacks the dramatic impact and artistic imagination of many recent docs about environmental issues."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Whistle-blowing works best without gratuitous pop-doc debris, but there are only so many dry, fact-heavy testimonies from engineers you can take before a certain dullness uneasily settles in."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"The film confirms that the real scandal behind Katrina is too deep, too knotty, and too technical to permeate our cultural understanding of the event and incite the rage it deserves."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"This powerful documentary debunks the "natural disaster" version of New Orleans flooding shared by George W. Bush and Barack Obama alike. Highly, highly recommended."
‑ Louis Proyect,
""The Big Uneasy" is at once breezy and substantial, but it could have been more powerful if it were, paradoxically, sharper and blunter."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
""The Big Uneasy" is scary stuff indeed."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Shearer builds an airtight case to prove his thesis, and one of his most chilling arguments is a roll call of brave souls whose lives and careers have been systematically wrecked in pursuit of the truth."
‑ Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"A comedian's well-meaning but muddled documentary about the Army Corps of Engineers' pre-Katrina failings in New Orleans is a narrative mess of 20/20 hindsight."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"Every American politician and citizen should see this engaging documentary."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"The American idiots behind the engineering snafus and bureaucratic boondoggling explored in Harry Shearer's provocative post-Katrina documentary make for an infuriating gallery of villains."
‑ Chris Barsanti, PopMatters
More reviews for The Big Uneasy on Rotten Tomatoes