Idiocracy: A Movie Trailer

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Directed by Mike Judge
Produced by Mike Judge
September 1, 2006

Running time 84 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2-4 million
Box office $495,303 (worldwide)[1]

Idiocracy is a 2006 American satirical science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, and Terry Crews. The film tells the story of two people who take part in a top-secret military hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years later in a dystopian society wherein advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly unthinking society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.

Despite its lack of a major theatrical release, the film has achieved a cult following.[2]


A U.S. Army librarian, Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), and a prostitute, Rita (Maya Rudolph), are selected for a suspended animation experiment on grounds of ‘average’ appearance, intelligence, behavior, etc. Rita’s pimp “Upgrayedd” (Brad Jordan), has been bribed to allow her to take part. The experiment is forgotten when the officer in charge (Michael McCafferty) is arrested. Five hundred years later, Joe and Rita’s suspension chambers are unearthed by the collapse of a mountain-sized garbage pile, and Joe’s suspension chamber smashes through the wall of Frito Pendejo’s (Dax Shepard) apartment, whose occupant expels him.

Joe, suspecting hallucination, enters a hospital. The former Washington, D.C. has lost most of its infrastructure, with people living in plastic huts called “domistile”. The human population has become morbidly stupid, speak only low registers of English competently, and are profoundly anti-intellectual. Joe is arrested for not having a bar code tattoo to pay for his doctor’s appointment, only then realizing the current year and society’s state. At Joe’s trial, Frito causes Joe to be sent to prison. Rita returns to her former profession.

Joe is renamed “Not Sure” by a faulty identity tattooing machine, and takes an I.Q. test before escaping. Once free Joe asks Frito whether a time machine exists to return himself to 2005, and Frito agrees to help after Joe promises to open a bank account under Frito’s name in Joe’s time, which will be worth billions by 2505. On the way to the time machine, Joe and Frito arrive at a gigantic Costco store, where a tattoo scanner identifies Joe as a fugitive. He is taken to the White House, where he is appointed Secretary of the Interior, on the grounds that his I.Q. test identified him as the most-intelligent man alive. In a speech, President Camacho (Terry Crews) gives Joe the job of fixing the nation’s food shortages, dust bowls, and crippled economy within a week; whereafter Joe discovers that the nation’s crops are irrigated with a sports drink named “Brawndo”, whose eponymous parent corporation had purchased the FDA and FCC. When Joe has it replaced with water without visibly improving the crops, Brawndo’s stock drops to zero and half the population lost their positions, causing mass riots.

Joe is sentenced to die in a monster truck demolition derby featuring undefeated “Rehabilitation Officer” Beef Supreme (Andrew Wilson), when Rita discovers that Joe’s reintroduction of water to the soil has prompted vegetation in the fields. Frito shows the crops on the stadium’s display screen, and Camacho gives Joe a full pardon, appointing him Vice President. Joe and Rita find that the time machine Frito spoke of is an inaccurate, history-themed amusement ride. Following Camacho’s retirement, Joe is elected President. Joe and Rita marry and conceive the world’s three smartest children, while Frito, now Vice President, takes eight wives and fathers 32 of the world’s most stupid children. A post-credits scene shows a third suspension chamber releasing Upgrayedd, intent on tracking Rita.


Luke Wilson as Cpl. Joe Bauers, a.k.a. “Not Sure”
Maya Rudolph as Rita
Dax Shepard as Frito Pendejo
Terry Alan Crews as U.S. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho
Anthony Campos as Secretary of Defense
David Herman as Secretary of State
Kevin McAfee as Bailiff
Robert Musgrave as Sgt. Keller
Michael McCafferty as Lt. Col. Collins
Justin Long as Dr. Lexus

Andrew Wilson as Beef Supreme
Kevin Klee as Hormel Chavez
Brad “Scarface” Jordan as Upgrayedd (pronounced “Upgrade”)
Thomas Haden Church as Brawndo CEO
Stephen Root as Judge Hank “The Hangman” BMW
Brendan Hill as Secretary of Energy
Tom Kenny as voice of the IPPA Computer
Sara Rue as the Attorney General (uncredited)
Randal Reeder as Secret Service Thug


Early working titles included The United States of Uhh-merica[3] and 3001. Filming took place in 2004 on several stages at Austin Studios[4][5] and in the cities of Austin, San Marcos, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, Texas.[6]

Test screenings around March 2005 produced unofficial reports of poor audience reactions. After some re-shooting in the summer of 2005, a UK test screening in August produced a report of a positive impression.[7]

Idiocracy’s original release date was August 5, 2005, according to Mike Judge.[8] In April 2006, a release date was set for September 1, 2006. In August, numerous articles[9] revealed that release was to be put on hold indefinitely. Idiocracy was released as scheduled but only in seven cities (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Mike Judge’s hometown, Austin, Texas),[5] and expanded to only 130 theaters,[10] not the usual wide release of 600 or more theaters.[11] According to the Austin American-Statesman, 20th Century Fox, the film’s distributor, did nothing to promote the movie;[5] while posters were released to theatres, “no movie trailers, no ads, and only two stills,”[12] and no press kits were released.[13]

The film was not screened for critics.[14] Lack of concrete information from Fox led to speculation that the distributor may have actively tried to keep the film from being seen by a large audience, while fulfilling a contractual obligation for theatrical release ahead of a DVD release, according to Ryan Pearson of the AP.[10] That speculation was followed by open criticism of the studio’s lack of support from Ain’t It Cool News, Time, and Esquire.[15][16][17] Time’s Joel Stein wrote “the film’s ads and trailers tested atrociously”, but, “still, abandoning Idiocracy seems particularly unjust, since Judge has made a lot of money for Fox.”[16]

In The New York Times, Dan Mitchell argued that Fox might be shying away from the cautionary tale about low-intelligence dysgenics, because the company did not want to offend either its viewers or potential advertisers portrayed negatively in the film[18] noting that in the film, Starbucks delivers handjobs, and the motto of Carl’s Jr. has degenerated from “Don’t Bother Me. I’m Eating.” to “Fuck You! I’m Eating!”[19]
Box office performance

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States United States International Worldwide All time United States All time worldwide
Idiocracy September 2006 $444,093 $51,210 $495,303 #6,914 Unknown Unknown [20]

Box office receipts totaled $444,093 in 135 theaters in the U.S.[21]
Critical reception

Idiocracy was not screened for critics, but the film received generally favorable reviews. Praise focused on concept, casting, and humor; the bulk of the criticism was directed at the film’s release issues or at special effects and plot problems. Los Angeles Times reviewer Carina Chocano described it as “spot on” satire and a “pitch-black, bleakly hilarious vision of an American future”, although the “plot, naturally, is silly and not exactly bound by logic. But it’s Judge’s gimlet-eyed knack for nightmarish extrapolation that makes Idiocracy a cathartic delight.”[22] In a review only 87 words long[10] in Entertainment Weekly, Joshua Rich gave the film an “EW Grade” of “D” stating that “Mike Judge implores us to reflect on a future in which Britney and K-Fed are like the new Adam and Eve.”[23] The AV Club’s Nathan Rabin found Luke Wilson “perfectly cast […] as a quintessential everyman”; and wrote of the film: “Like so much superior science fiction, Idiocracy uses a fantastical future to comment on a present. […] There’s a good chance that Judge’s smartly lowbrow Idiocracy will be mistaken for what it’s satirizing.”[14]

In other countries the film was reviewed positively. John Patterson, critic for The Guardian (U.K.), wrote, “Idiocracy isn’t a masterpiece—Fox seems to have stiffed Judge on money at every stage—but it’s endlessly funny”, and of the film’s popularity, described seeing the film “in a half-empty house. Two days later, same place, same show—packed-out.”[24] Brazilian news magazine Veja called the film “politically incorrect”, recommended that readers see the DVD, and wrote “the film went flying through [American] theaters and did not open in Brazil. Proof that the future contemplated by Judge is not that far away.”[25]

Critic Alexandre Koball of (Brazil), while giving the movie a score of 5/5 along with another staff reviewer, wrote, “Idiocracy is not exactly […] funny nor […] innovative but it’s a movie to make you think, even if for five minutes. And for that it manages to stay one level above the terrible average of comedy movies released in the last years in the United States.”[26]

Rotten Tomatoes returned a 73% “fresh” rating based on 41 reviews by critics,[27] and Metacritic gave a score of 64% based on 8 critics.[28]
Home media

Idiocracy was released on DVD on January 9, 2007 with cropped and widescreen aspect ratios, deleted scenes, English and Spanish spoken language tracks, and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. As of February 2007, it had earned $9 million on DVD rentals, over 20 times its gross domestic box office revenue of under $450,000.[29]

In the United Kingdom, uncut versions of the film have been shown on satellite channel Sky Comedy on February 26, 2009 with the Freeview premiere shown on Film4 on April 26, 2009.

In August 2012, Crews said he was in talks with director Judge and Fox over a possible Idiocracy spin-off featuring his President Camacho character, initially conceived as a web series.[30] A week before the 2012 elections he reprised the character in a series of shorts for website Funny or Die.

The idea of a dystopian society based on dysgenics is not new. H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine postulates a devolved society of humans, as does the short story “The Marching Morons” by Cyril M. Kornbluth, akin to the “Epsilon-minus Semi-Morons” of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.[31][32]
See also



17 responses to “Idiocracy: A Movie Trailer

  1. Idiocracy is something that is around in modern times. Dumbing down of society is something that this movie wants to warn its audiences about.

  2. This movie is pretty funny while being kinda scary at the same time. On one hand it seems somewhat humorous to see such a level of ignorance and how interactions take place and on the other hand its kinda scary how a society as advanced as America is can reach this level of stupidity and have come from what we have now. The scary part is the people that are in charge currently are the ones pointing America in this direction.

  3. i watched this movie before and thought it was pretty funny but dumb. watching this movie again made me realize how our culture is slowly moving in this direction. they obviously go extreme on all the things going on but imagine if our country eventually led to this idiocracy. is technology really moving us forward or is it taking us backwards and enabling us to be idiots and accept this life of control. its very funny to see the president be just a front, sponsored by large corporations. its something that is happening today but to see it in a comical way really puts things into prospective on how america works.

  4. This movie was awesome in terms of its comedy. I honestly think that there was so much truth to that movie. Especially with the Starbucks references. Where I live there is about four Starbucks where I can walk to. FOUR! I wonder how the world would be globally if they replaced every other Starbucks within two miles of each other, with a homeless shelter or a safe house for abused families etc. I just can’t fathom the hypocrisy of the way the world functions compared to the institutions and values this country bled to have.

  5. This movie was hilarious I really enjoyed watching it. It is also scary to me because I feel like we could be getting to that level of stupidity soon. Our society is not far from being like the Idiocracy.

  6. This was a very funny movie because of all the idiots from the future and how a regular guy from the past was the smartest person in the world. Although it was funny what it was trying to tell us is that in the future we could be in the same position, but maybe not as extreme as they presented in the movie.

  7. Idiocracy was a very entertaining movie, the humor that it carried kept the viewer focused, and portrayed an important message. The issues that were shown in idiocracy shows how the issues that we are dealing today will result in our unstable future.

  8. This film takes a serious topic and elevates it to the extreme with so much humor that one cannot help but laugh at the ignorance of it all. The beauty is that in the same sense that one is laughing at the stupidity, they are self analyzing and constantly thinking critically about instances they have witnessed or contributed to which exhibit the same type of idiocracy in a less extreme form.

  9. this movie was pretty funny, I really enjoyed watching it, was very amusing. hopefully our country does not become like the way it did in the movie that would be scary. shocking to see how the people turned out because some of our people today would not shock me if they turned out the way people did in the movie.

  10. I found this movie to be hilarious and serious at the same time. This movie was hilarious because the people of the future were extremly ignorant that they could not put two and two together. This movie was serious because although it was fiction it could easily be non-fiction. Our society is not far from this movie of fiction to become reality and being non-fiction.

  11. Many would find this film funny and an unrealistic ending to our world, but if one closely pays attention to the newer generation the fate of the world in this film may end up being our own. We live in a superficial world where someone who made a sex tape(Kim Kardashian) is more well known and followed by the people than our own President Obama. If our society does not get its act together we will become an idiocracy.

  12. This movie was great to watch because it made me realize that if we talk like we do and dont get an education anynore than our future would look like Idiocracy. Some examples that caught my attention when I was watching the movie was the people in the town had no value of money, there was no place for all the trash; well there was put it was just over filling throughout the city on the streets and all around people’s houses. The world got lazier and education didnt even exist. I hope in the future the generations don’t change like the movie Idiocracy.

  13. From the very beginning of time, humans have strived to become more evolved every generation and since then it has been accomplished. Idiocracy is a movie that lets people have an image of how the world will become if the ignorance of people overcome the intelligence that we all hope to have. It was just sad knowing that one day the world can come to that.

  14. Idiocracy describes a society which approaches human rights in the wrong direction. If a society decides to forfeit its right to strive for discovering human potential in the name of “human right,” it will eventually lost all its ability to achieve human excellencies. Are we really want to let the human right movement go extreme? Are we going to pursuit human equality at all cost? It’s an interesting film that raised the above-mentioned questions.

  15. It is impossible to know what the world will be like hundreds of years from now. Will we even have a planet? I don’t know. But I do know that this movie is less a critique of the future and more a critique of the present. We have people putting off starting a family in order to pursue an education, only to find that they aren’t completely reward because they now face debt. The system works for some, but many suffer. In addition, corporations are reaching into countless disciplines, increasing their pull on citizens. This is similar to “Brawndo” which did more than serve as a beverage. What if we were to ignore the money-eater known as education and focus more on brand names? Idiocracy attempts to show the result.

  16. The movie was full of humor and it showed where our world is headed if things stay the same.

  17. Although this movie had it’s humorous satire, It’s frightening to think what would the world really be hundreds of years from now. We witness this type of behavior almost every day. From the innocence of our own minor mistakes, to something large like a vote, or forgetting you left the nozzle from pumping gas in your tank. But to think the world isn’t changing for the better, makes me want to do what I can to help prevent this idiocracy.

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