The 11th Hour: Leo Saves the World With His Earnestness

Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to know that we are in serious trouble. No amount of artful chin stubble, it seems, will reverse the depletion of fossil fuels or help to slow population growth. No, my friends, the time has come for serious action, and that means traveling to various picturesquely doomed locations in order to make direct-to-camera entreaties straight out of one of those Sally Struthers famine-relief PSAs. A cautionary eco-doc so earnest and moth-eaten it should properly be seen on filmstrip during fourth-period social studies, The 11th Hour might as well have borrowed the title of Lisa Simpson's lecture about the pollution of Lake Springfield: "An Irritating Truth." The 11th Hour assumes you have no idea that the rain forests are shrinking, the Arctic ice shelves collapsing, the planet's oil reserves dwindling. From start to finish, the film offers nothing more than a litany of pamphlet-ready factoids, unencumbered by the anecdotal wit that made Al Gore's stats on global warming halfway palatable on-screen. (DiCaprio's presence in this film—on which he's also credited as a producer—is so dourly humorless that even Gore 2000 looks effortlessly charismatic by comparison.) It's as if someone today had made a blunt, sober, 91-minute documentary explaining in laborious, unimpeachable detail exactly why smoking cigarettes—no, really—is bad for your health.

 
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