If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011)

Filmmaker Marshall Curry explores the inner workings of the Earth Liberation Front, a revolutionary movement devoted to crippling facilities involved in deforestation, while simultaneously offering a profile of Oregon ELF member Daniel… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 22, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

It's tempting to watch If a Tree Falls doc about a scraggly group of ecoterrorists with a chip of skepticism on your shoulder. Yet the film creates a fantastic moral ambivalence.

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Mark Feeney
Boston Globe

The problem is that the heart of the movie is McGowan. He's just not a very compelling figure.

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Simon Foster

As emotive and far-reaching as the issues involved are, this incisive feature is most potent when capturing Daniel McGowan's life and mind dismantling.

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Stephanie Merry
Washington Post

Curry tells a compelling tale about the differences of opinion over what constitutes desperate measures, and how readily we throw around a term like terrorism.

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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times

The gripping documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front offers an intimate look at the radical environmental group.

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Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

Now locked down as a terrorist in America's CMU system, ELF activist Daniel McGowan lit more than a few fires.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Watching it may not change anyone's ideology, but it will force you to see the players as complex people with understandable motivations.

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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

Unless you are a true believer in the tenets of deep ecology, the film may seem more like an apology for the group's dangerous activities.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

The film is a fascinating look inside a little-known arm of the larger environmental movement.

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Flixster Audience Score: 74% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
"If a Tree Falls" is an insightful documentary that could have used a little more distance from its subject, Daniel McGowan, who is facing charges of… More
Christopher Haskell
Informative and almost completely made up of actual footage, If A Tree Falls does a great job of capturing all sides of the argument towards clear-cutting… More
Alec Barniskis
It puts a deserving face on a group of people we only know by the label of 'eco-terrorist'. I can't say I personally approve of violence as a… More