Fahrenheit 11/9 isn’t going to convert any Trump fanatics, though even they may find certain sections of the film kind of compelling. Because this movie is being sold as an anti-Trump movie and it certainly is that, but it’s also a heck of a lot more. It is, in many ways, an anti-establishment movie that takes both Republicans and Democrats to task, though it certainly has the most disdain for Republicans. To the degree that there’s a flaw here, it’s that the film feels like a kind of cobbled together assemblage of a lot of different ideas and, to be fair, I’m almost positive that’s exactly what it was. Critics might wonder if Moore needs to spend as much time on the Flint water crisis as he does, especially when much of that debacle occurred under the Obama administration. Looking at it myself, it seems like Moore was probably planning an entire movie about Flint and either didn’t have enough material or maybe didn’t have enough Trump material; for whatever reason, he’s mashed the two stories into one and found a way to shoehorn in a lot of other material: the teachers’ strike, the theft of the Democratic primary from Bernie Sanders, the Parkland shooting, etc. Some might find this very scattered approach befuddling or annoying, but it worked for me, because there were a couple of threads that ran through all of those plots. The first is more about the fact-finding: the exposure of the establishment, basically on all sides, as completely corrupt. The second is about the art of the telling: a deep, constantly growing, burning anger. There are brief moments where Moore spends some time talking about hope, like the teachers and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and those sections are genuinely inspiring and hopeful. But as you watch the Democrats fumble and fail, the Republicans connive and cheat and people down on the front lines like us suffer, disgust grows into anger and I spent a lot of time just shaking my head while I was watching this movie. Moore wants to get the anger to outrage and he does sometimes. The sections on the Flint water crisis are, even if you already know the story, absolutely infuriating. The film is over two hours long and has a lot of ground to cover, so Moore does a little less grandstanding in this movie than he sometimes does, which, all things considered, is probably a good thing. The movie really moves and has the energy of the fully engaged artist and, honestly, it didn’t seem like two hours. I’m not a huge fan of some of Moore’s movies, but this is, I think, going to stand up as one of his best. Sometimes, his anger doesn’t justify itself, but this time it certainly does and when you add true conviction to righteous anger, you get a compelling mixture and Fahrenheit 11/9 is nothing if not burning with the fire of that righteous indignation. And, by the time the credits roll, you will be too. 4 stars.
tl;dr – jam-packed, probably a bit too scattered, but fueled by a powerful anger, this is one of Moore’s very finest films, a righteous sermon against the establishment on all sides. 4 stars.