Movie review: ‘Unbelievers’ is a high-minded love fest between two deeply committed atheistic intellectuals and their rock star-like fan base.
‘Unbelievers’ is a high-minded love fest between two deeply committed atheistic intellectuals and their rock star-like fan base.
“How is it necessary to have a rally for reason?” asks evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins of a massive crowd to which he’s speaking on behalf of facts and logic — and against what he deems the specious nature of religious doctrine and political ideology. It’s the sensible, if challenging, kind of question that Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss effectively unpack, often together, as they trot the globe spreading their empirically based views in the swift, enlightening documentary “The Unbelievers.”
The erudite Dawkins (he’s been called “the world’s most famous atheist”) and the jauntier Krauss take the science-denier community to the woodshed in rallies, speaking engagements and media interviews that, as seen here, span the United States, Australia and Britain (most impressive: the dynamic duo wowing a packed Sydney Opera House).
Travelogue shots, perky editing and some popular rock music, as well as interview bits with such supportive celebrities as Woody Allen, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Silverman and Ricky Gervais, shrewdly enliven the brainy — but accessible — discourse.
Although Dawkins and Krauss, both successful authors with books to hawk, are no strangers to controversy, few opposing viewpoints are formally solicited by director Gus Holwerda (he also co-wrote with Luke Holwerda and Krauss). Mostly, the movie is an enjoyably high-minded love fest between two deeply committed intellectuals and the scads of atheists, secularists, free-thinkers, skeptics and activists who make up their rock star-like fan base.
MPAA rating: None
Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Playing: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills