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Critic wrangle: “The 11th Hour.”

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My heart will go on, but will the environment?
Leo DiCaprio follows in Al Gore‘s surprise-hit footsteps with environmental warning doc "The 11th Hour." Despite offering a message we’ve heard before, the film, which sisters Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen directed and DiCaprio produced, co-wrote and narrates, is attracting generally decent reviews for its attempts optimism and pragmatism. As Manohla Dargis at the New York Times notes,

No matter how well intentioned, political documentaries that present problems without real-life, real-time, real-people solutions — an 800 number, an address, something — just add to the noise (pollution), becoming another title on some filmmaker’s résumé as well as a temporary salve for the audience’s guilt.

She concludes that "It is our astonishing capacity for hope that distinguishes ‘The 11th Hour’ and that speaks so powerfully." Andrew O’Hehir at Salon thinks that the film "is arguably a more important movie" than "An Inconvenient Truth," "a haunting, elegiac history of how human beings have brought the planet to the edge of a precipice, and call upon an impressive array of thinkers to discuss how, and whether, we can avoid the abyss that waits below."

Nick Schager at Slant writes that "even if occasionally issuing threats like a street corner kook waving around an apocalypse-is-coming placard, it also makes a mighty strong argument that there’s plenty to fear from mankind’s environmental recklessness," though he finds the solutions proposed at the film’s end don’t seem to measure up to the argument established about the power of the oil companies. A similar sentiment is expressed by Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly, who reads the ending as "there’s still a chance for individuals who are not ExxonMobil fat cats to make a difference by, I think, eating local carrots and using those compact fluorescent bulbs that cast such harsh and insufficient light."

David Edelstein at New York suggests that "The 11th Hour" "isn’t much of a movie (unless your aesthetic was formed in high-school science class), but it will be hugely informative to aliens who land on this planet in a thousand years and wonder why there’s no welcoming committee." The Onion AV Club‘s Tasha Robinson sighs that "The problems are expressed loosely and frantically, and the solutions are just as vague… The 11th Hour is slick and passionate, but neither persuasive nor helpful; it’s a headache of a film directed like an Errol Morris project, but with half the substance." And at the Village Voice, Mike D’Angelo is scornful, writing that "the prevailing mood, contrary to its makers’ intentions, is one of forlorn hopelessness."

Beneath all the hand-wringing about carbon emissions and biodiversity lies a simple question: Why do we vote for people who we know aren’t going to do anything we want them to? That heady subject could make a great documentary, but it’d require a filmmaker willing to put down the well-meaning agenda and venture forth armed only with a camera and sheer curiosity.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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