The reviews are in from the premier of our latest editorial effort, COLLAPSE, which just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.


Acclaimed filmmaker Chris Smith (AMERICAN MOVIETHE YES MEN) returns to nonfiction (after a brief dalliance with narrative THE POOL) to tell the story of Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD officer who predicted the world economic freefall on his self-published newsletter. In COLLAPSE, Smith allows Ruppert to hold forth on what’s coming next. (Spoiler alert: we’re fucked.)

In a short review, IONCINEMA’s Eric Lavallee predicts COLLAPSE will be the doc that people remember from TIFF ’09:

“(I)n my estimation this might be the doc film that comes out of TIFF with the best of chances for a theatrical release. COLLAPSE will not only find a distributor to back the gloomy, Errol Morris’ FOG OF WAR-like portrait, but will be a contender for major kudos whatever year it gets submitted to Oscar.”

Joshua Rothkopf, writing at Time Out New York, was riveted:

“COLLAPSE takes the nerve-racking theories of Michael Ruppert, a doom theorist, and places the chain smoker front and center to deliver them personally for 82 riveting minutes. Ruppert predicted the economic meltdown with great specificity; he also sees the end of police forces, road systems, air-traffic control and capitalism—within the next 20 to 50 years.You can’t take your eyes off him, even if he does seem a little crazy. (He’s not crazy, just seriously impassioned and probably right.)”

Scott Tobias at the Onion’s A/V Club grades the film an “A”:

“Smith has enough respect for his audience to allow them to sort out whether he’s a soothsayer or a crackpot. It’s possible to come out of the film thinking, “Oh my God, we’re all doomed,” but there’s also a strong suggestion that Ruppert has walled himself into his own point-of-view by accepting only the information that supports his sweeping theories. And in several immensely poignant moments, we can also see an angry, lonely, vulnerable man whose life epitomizes the title as much as the globe does. There are many layers to the man and the movie, and I for one left the theater shaken.”

At Row Three, Mike Rot gives the film 4 1/2 stars (out of 5):

“Despite its focus on the now commonplace concerns for modern society’s unsustainable growth, the film ignites the imagination in a way so few talking head documentaries ever achieve. At its core is Michael C Ruppert, CIA whistleblower and activist reporter, who, like a modern day Morpheus, pulls back the veil of reality to show in a stark light the underpinning make-believe that sustains our hope in a sustainable status quo. According to him, any perception of stability at present exists solely because those in power see no political advantage to alert the public of how dire the situation has become. Not even Obama can get you out of this one, he warns; this collapse runs deep and is inevitable, and it is happening right now. The effect is assaultive, in rapid-fire succession Ruppert unloads his thesis on the audience who are left to recoil as the gravity of the situation deepens. Lacking any familiarity with the issues of ‘peak oil’ prior to seeing this film, my alarm watching the movie was at an optimal high.”

Phil Brown at calls COLLAPSE “easily the finest movie” Smith has made since AMERICAN MOVIE:

“What’s fascinating about the movie is this tension between Ruppert’s brilliant proclamations and occasionally wacky comments. By the end it’s difficult to decide how to feel about Ruppert. The man is either a genius or a lunatic, but he’s an incredible character regardless. Collapse is a fascinating documentary that examines both the world’s current problem with consumption and an incredible fringe intellectual. It’s hard to imagine a better documentary being released this year.”