Every Michael Moore Movie Ranked
One of the most controversial documentary filmmakers ever, Michael Moore has investigated all aspects of American life. From our healthcare industry to our gun culture to our economic system, Moore has provided a brutally honest (and occasionally darkly comedic) look at the nation’s negatives in hopes of turning them into positives. Many of his detractors would argue that he hates the United States, while his defenders would argue that it’s necessary to call out the bad so that you can start to make things good again.
Moore, hailing from Flint, Michigan, hits hard on his subjects in hopes of finding out why they are the way that they are. Still, surprisingly, nonfictional documentaries aren’t the only type of film he’s made. He also directed a comedy very early on in his career. He’s one of the most uniquely American voices working today, while also remaining one of the most instantly recognizable names in the world of documentary filmmaking.
Bowling for Columbine
His fourth feature film is perhaps the one that made him the most controversial: Bowling for Columbine, which takes a look at America’s relationship with firearms as well as the factors that may have contributed to the tragic massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, practically made Moore a household name. The film is tough, to be sure — especially considering how much of it remains relevant to this day. This is ultimately what makes it his best work to date.
Purchase now on Amazon for $12.99.
Roger & Me
Moore’s debut documentary proves to be his most personal film so far. That’s because it deals directly with his beloved hometown of Flint, where former General Motors CEO Roger B. Smith closed a plant that resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. This is what makes it so good: The viewer can tell how much Moore cares and how important this issue was to him.
Purchase now on Amazon for $6.59.
Moore’s most recent piece flips the script (and the date) on one of his most popular documentaries, this time focusing on the current state of American politics and the Trump administration. It’s a lot more than that, though — Moore takes time to highlight the many inspiring grassroots movements happening across the US right now. It’s a powerful call to action, above all else.
Purchase now on Amazon for $21.74.
Where to Invade Next
Arriving toward the end of the Obama administration, Where to Invade Next might be Moore’s most optimistic work so far. Traveling across the planet, the director acts as a one-man “invader” in an attempt to find out what the US might be able to learn from other nations. Whether he’s detailing Italy’s breezy vacation policies for its workers or Tunisia’s progressive women’s rights laws, Moore sheds light on the areas where America might be able to become an even better place to live.
Purchase now on Amazon for $7.99.
Arriving years before the healthcare industry would be the subject of plenty of political discourse, Moore’s 2007 documentary Sicko compares America’s healthcare system to the healthcare systems of other nations throughout the globe. It’s not as antagonistic or as abrasive as some of his other films, it’s simply a compassionate look at how the US might be able to improve one of its most troubled industries.
Purchase now on Amazon for $7.99.
Capitalism: A Love Story
Between the end of the Bush administration and the start of the Obama administration, most Americans felt like they had no idea where the country would be headed in the years to come. Capitalism: A Love Story is Moore’s attempt to come up with an answer. While much of the first hour feels dated after nearly ten years, the last half is incredibly informative and hard-hitting on both sides of the aisle and their contributions to America’s economic rollercoaster throughout the second half of the 20th century.
Purchase now on Amazon for $5.99.
Released close the end of George W. Bush’s first term, Fahrenheit 9/11 takes a critical look at the Bush presidency, the War on Terror, and the way the media covered his first term. Additionally, Moore digs deep into the many ways corporate America encouraged the invasion of Iraq after the September 11th terrorist attacks. It’s incredibly controversial, incredibly hard-hitting, and ultimately not as objective as some of his other work. Bush’s presidency is long gone, but the effects are still felt to this day — the documentary’s focus on convincing the American people not to vote for him might not matter anymore, but it nonetheless proves to be an interesting time capsule from the mid-2000s.
Purchase now on Amazon for $6.98.
The Big One
From The Big One down, the remaining three documentaries on this list are definitely lesser Moore works. The Big One focuses first and foremost on Moore’s 1996 book tour, with a look at the current state of the nation’s economic failures during the Clinton presidency. It has value, seeing as it hits back against the left when so many claim Moore focuses solely on the shortcomings of the right, but it tends to feel like a vanity project from time to time.
Purchase now on Amazon for $5.99.
Michael Moore in TrumpLand
Dropped as a surprise before the 2016 election, Michael Moore in TrumpLand sees the director trying to put on a one-man show in the state of Ohio a month before the presidential election between then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Like The Big One, this one feels more about Moore and less about the issues plaguing the country (despite the one-man show’s subject matter being all about America). It’s hard to find online, but maybe that’s for the best — of all Moore’s films, this is probably one of a few to miss.
Purchase now on Amazon for $4.99.
While he’s famous for being a documentarian, Moore actually has one comedy under his belt. Starring John Candy, Canadian Bacon is about the President of the United States and his attempt to vilify Canada to raise his own approval rating by comparison. It’s so totally Moore, but critics and audiences alike didn’t care for it very much. Oh well, it seems Moore learned his lesson — he hasn’t veered from nonfiction ever since.
Purchase now on Amazon for $14.96.
Another movie chronicling Moore instead of a real issue, the director tours college campuses throughout the 2004 election and attempts to get out the vote among the 18-29 crowd. It’s really not very useful at this point in time almost fifteen years removed and two presidents later, but it’s interesting to note that it was one of the first films to be made available to download for free by the filmmaker themselves. It’s easily Moore’s weakest project to date.
Purchase now on Amazon for $8.79.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.