The Unbelievers

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The Unbelievers
The Unbelievers Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byGus Holwerda
Produced byLawrence Krauss
Gus Holwerda
Luke Holwerda
Jason Spisak
StarringRichard Dawkins
Lawrence Krauss
Music byThomas Amason
Chris Henderson
CinematographyLuke Holwerda
Edited byGus Holwerda
Release date
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$14,400[1]

The Unbelievers is a 2013 documentary film that follows Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss as they speak publicly around the globe about the importance of science and reason in the modern world, encouraging others to cast off religious and politically motivated approaches toward what they think to be important current issues. The film includes short statements by influential people and celebrities such as Stephen Hawking, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Cameron Diaz, Woody Allen, Penn Jillette, Ian McEwan, and David Silverman.

Making of[edit]

"There is no through-line, we just wanted to show what it is like to be them".

— Luke Holwerda[2]

Gus Holwerda came to know Lawrence Krauss via Christopher Hitchens and first met him at an Origins Symposium. Being at the event, which they viewed as a kind of Woodstock for science, Gus and Luke Holwerda conceived the idea of following Krauss around on his lectures and debates and documenting his venture in the style of a rock band tour movie.

The plan was not realized immediately, but Krauss approached the two when the Origins Symposium wanted to archive its events. The quality of their work with Origins eventually convinced him to go on with the movie project, which "fortuitously" began when Krauss and Richard Dawkins went on an Australian tour.

Gus and Luke Holwerda followed them around for 8 months and produced 120 hours of films. Each interview with the celebrities lasted an hour. Woody Allen, a friend of Lawrence Krauss, was the first celebrity interviewee.[2]


The world premiere for The Unbelievers was on April 29, 2013 at Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, and all four screenings of the film were sold out.[3][4]


The Unbelievers received mixed reviews. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 44% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 9 reviews.[5] Metacritic calculated a score of 32 based on 7 reviews.[6]

The New York Times described the film as "too poorly made to entertain."[7] Variety described it as a "superficial documentary" where "every moment is captured with the reverence of a fawning fan."[8]


The Unbelievers includes short statements by "celebrities and other influential people" who support the work of Dawkins and Krauss, including Ricky Gervais, Woody Allen, Cameron Diaz, Stephen Hawking, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Werner Herzog, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard, Ian McEwan, Adam Savage, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Penn Jillette, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, James Randi, Cormac McCarthy, Paul Provenza, James Morrison, Michael Shermer, and David Silverman.[9]


  1. ^ "The Unbelievers". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b "The Unbelievers" Documentary: Q&A with Lawrence Krauss, Luke and Gus Holwerda, May 2, 2014 on YouTube
  3. ^ "The Unbelievers". Hot Docs. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  4. ^ Kennedy, John R. (29 April 2013). "Dawkins, Krauss have faith in 'The Unbelievers'". Global News. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  5. ^ "The Unbelievers (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  6. ^ "The Unbelievers". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  7. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (12 December 2013). "Good Heavens, They're Atheists". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  8. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (6 December 2013). "Film Review: 'The Unbelievers'". Variety. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Info". Retrieved 3 September 2015.

External links[edit]