Closed 1h 50m
The Terms of My Surrender
Midtown W
81

The Terms of My Surrender NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(307 Reviews)
Positive
90%
Mixed
8%
Negative
2%
Members say
Relevant, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the Show

Michael Moore, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker behind 'Bowling for Columbine' and 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' brings his powers of provocation to the stage in this world premiere one-man play.

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Member Reviews (307)

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80
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Funny, Inspiring

See it if you're ok w/ a non-show show. TERMS isn't typical theater, but I was thoroughly engaged. MM will convince you to fight the good fight.

Don't see it if you're conservative or want a typical B'way show. I put off going, but I'm glad I went. You'll feel braver, stronger, more focused on action Read more

57
Indulgent, Boring, Excruciatingly slow, Rambling, Moments of relevance

See it if You want to see an icon of political activism rambling as an uncle reminiscing tangentially at Thanksgiving. Relevant and fun first 30 min.

Don't see it if Read one of his books instead. It's rudderless and rambling. Zero sense of timing and audience engagement. Read more

Critic Reviews (50)

August 10th, 2017

"A bit like being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle...It falls short of offering seriously useful ideas about how individuals can make a difference...I actively resisted plenty of material that might otherwise be amenable to me politically...For theatergoers expecting anything theatrical, the evening, directed as if with hands thrown up in resignation by Mayer, will prove fairly grim...Moore’s not preaching to the choir: He’s bragging to it."
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August 11th, 2017

"In its best moments, 'The Terms of My Surrender' is amusing, informative, even inspiring. But it is also compromised by familiarity, oversimplification and indulgence...While Moore has excelled in his role as a progressive gadfly in books and documentaries, onstage he is less assured; he does not yet know how to control his audience, his tone or his time...By the time he reaches the climax—about poisoned water in his hometown of Flint, Michigan—the crowd is restless."
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August 10th, 2017

"That should be uplifting. Moore wants to uplift...So why does 'The Terms of My Surrender' feel so uninspiring? First of all, because it’s almost entirely unsurprising...Feels like a live version of my Facebook feed: a few good stories and a boatload of preaching to the choir...'The Terms of My Surrender' might look like a play, but make no mistake: This is not theater...The best moments in 'The Terms of My Surrender' come when Michael Moore pauses for a moment simply to tell us a story."
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August 10th, 2017

"'Surrender' reveals Moore to be a warmly funny and engaging raconteur, presiding over an evening of surprising emotional depths...Smart enough not to fall into the trap of simply preaching to the choir, Moore makes the evening partly autobiographical...The evening, cleverly staged by Michael Mayer, is not just an illustrated lecture. It has a vibrantly theatrical, variety-show atmosphere...The joyous finale, which again relies on the element of surprise, sends the audience out on a high."
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore makes his revolutionary pitch with surprising sweetness...Although he charms the audience into a group sing, he’s determined not to preach to the choir, preferring to make his political points through stealth...One terrific effect really puts across his best story, about a librarian who saved his bacon...The personal anecdotes are interesting, but that librarian story illustrates the main message of this rally—that 'one person out of nowhere can make a revolution.'"
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August 11th, 2017

“A funny, colorful and totally entertaining one-man show…I expected to be challenged, embarrassed, provoked and possibly enraged by so many condensed and concentrated opinions at one sitting. What I did not expect, in the bargain, was to have such a good time…Regardless of your politics, he’s so persuasive and charming that you end up agreeing with him in spite of yourself. You also learn things.”
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore is at ease onstage and projects a jolly conspiratorial air...But the show is a rambling, ramshackle affair that careens between shtick and sober business, and both ends of that spectrum suffer...'The Terms of My Surrender' is heartfelt and represents the thinking and ideology of a crucial voice of dissent and opposition. But it’s a lazy show that severely underestimates it audience. Preaching to the choir is one thing; pandering to it is of a somewhat lower order."
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August 10th, 2017

"Less a jaunty excursion than an unvarnished ego trip, the show is a slog through cringe-inducing skits and only occasionally engaging anecdotes...Much of 'The Terms of My Surrender' lurches from topic to topic in this manner, with Moore seated in an easy chair or hovering over a desk, uncertainly reaching into memory for his next line...'The Terms of My Surrender' doesn’t have much of a game plan. That goes as much for its theatrical goals as its political ones."
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August 10th, 2017

"The lesson he wants us to take home is a noble one...But these plucky narratives, largely recycled from his writings and talks, have the monotonous ring of an infomercial for his brand. I have no political beef with Moore...But I found myself cringing at the self-congratulatory applause that would break out when he would utter one of his pieties...'Surrender' would be less objectionable if he were driving around the country in a bus and delivering these monologues...for $10 a head."
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August 10th, 2017

"An engaging solo selective memoir...'Surrender' has a casual, semi-scripted tone...Moore’s easygoing rapport with the audience goes a long way in these memories...Tony-winning director Mayer keeps things rolling smoothly. Mostly, anyway...A game show inspired by a dumbed-down America isn’t half as smart as it wants to wants to be. Those are minor quibbles. Moore pulls the show together with a flashy finale."
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August 10th, 2017

"It can’t be denied that Michael Moore is preaching to the choir by presenting his new one-man show, 'The Terms of My Surrender,' on Broadway...But is that such a bad thing? After all, this is supposed to be a Broadway show, not a political rally...The show is a fun and freewheeling night of theater for Moore’s fans and anyone else who wants to attend."
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August 11th, 2017

"No matter your political persuasion, there's no denying that the guy can hold a stage. It's two intermission-less hours consisting, predictably, of Trump-bashing, but there's lots of amusing biographical anecdotes as well. Some of them are extremely moving, while others are insightful, and all of them are delivered by a masterful storyteller who manages to entertain and instruct simultaneously...He hit the target with this one, even if he is preaching to the choir."
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August 10th, 2017

"A disappointingly inoffensive summer solo show...Director Mayer seems to have left Moore to his shtick, even when it feels painfully under-rehearsed...The autobiographical portion of the show is the most effective...These segments may resemble a self-serving memoir recited live onstage, but it's a great read. Still, if the lesson of Moore's life is to take risks and speak truth to power, he doesn't apply it to this endeavor...Delivers liberal catnip to an audience eager to wallow in it."
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August 21st, 2017

"A free-form, ripped-from-the-headlines affair, marked by a wild, anything-goes vibe...Moore is an adept stand-up comic....He wisecracks with élan...earning his fair share of laughs...Moore was smart enough to sign up a team of theatrical professionals for his Broadway debut, which has a pleasing slickness...All of this is orchestrated with admirable skill by the director Michael Mayer; however, he would do well to trim about ten minutes from the running time."
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August 10th, 2017

"'Surrender' has been dismissed by some as an example of 'preaching to the converted'...I for one welcome Moore to the historic Belasco Theatre...'Surrender' has its share of laughs...Still...comedy is not the main goal of this endeavor. Highly unnerving are Moore's stories of the many death threats and attacks he has suffered...Most unnerving, amazing, and heartbreaking of all is his detailed account of how the people in his hometown of Flint were denied drinkable tap water."
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August 22nd, 2017

“A loose-jointed and agreeable tour through his career...‘The Terms of My Surrender’ keeps returning to a basic but powerful point: Nothing will change unless you do something. To illustrate this truth, Moore uses himself as an example – yes, that involves some back-patting, but in a charming, self-deprecating way...Judged as theater – political or otherwise – ‘The Terms of My Surrender’ is not high on drama or surprises, but it’s a genial, valedictory piece of civic service.”
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August 10th, 2017

"Comes as close to being a campaign rally as anything you are likely to see on Broadway...And yet this shaggy but enjoyable evening, an autobiographical solo show spliced with a rabble-rousing call to arms against the reigning political regime, contains more surprises—and more funny diversions—than I expected...Moore's film persona, the goofy comic pest with a serious mission, translates with surprising ease to the stage."
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August 19th, 2017

"There’s a lot to take in on this ride, most of it thought-provoking and decidedly positive...It’s all done with a great deal of humor as well as personal stories that successfully soften and add relevance to the message...Moore has crafted a clever narrative with a certifiably impeccable dramatic arc...A variety pack of laughs, facts, ruminations, and exhortations, superbly directed by Michael Mayer."
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore's solo is an impressively well-structured script, an assured performance that, thanks to director Mayer, is presented with enough Broadway-ish theatricality...Some of the personal stuff is less familiar and very effectively used to tie in with his 'you are the majority' as a call-to-action mantra...While Moore has the audience pretty much responding to his every word with enthusiastic laughs and hurrahs, the show sometimes goes from a bubbling boil to a very slow simmer."
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August 18th, 2017

"Moore makes you laugh at the absurdity of it all so that we can stop breathing in shallow fear for a moment...There is no set script because, to my great pleasure, Moore includes discussion of today’s news...And...there’s a young woman—gorgeous, expressive, and super talented ...and cops...and—SQUEEE!—male strippers!!! So, go get entertained!"
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August 18th, 2017

"The show is surprisingly humorous and filled with stories that are meant to inspire and inform...There are many moments that border on the self-congratulatory, but also feel important and inspirational. Others feel like old late-night talk-show skits that have lost their political zing...Moore is preaching to a New York like-minded liberal choir, and begging us, in essence, to stand up and do something, no matter how small or insignificant it feels at the time."
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T
August 23rd, 2017

“Listening to Michael Moore suggest ‘How We Got Here’…is gratifying and energizing. It would be better to hear more of Mr. Moore’s engaging stories with less interruption...In short, the effect of Michael Moore’s monologue is a significant contribution to the discussion about what Americans can and should do in the current political upheaval…If anything could strengthen Michael Moore’s persuasive monologue, it would be more rhetorical logos and ethos.”
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August 21st, 2017

"It is this sense of empowerment that ties Moore’s story together (under the deft direction of Michael Mayer)...If there is anything disarming about Moore’s diatribe, it’s that it is delivered with a sense of 'us versus them'...How much are we willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the whole? So far, not much. But with Michael Moore continuing to mix the melting pot, perhaps that will change."
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C
August 10th, 2017

"Moore's entertaining, enlightening solo act...The evening—smartly directed by Michael Mayer—admittedly has a 'preaching to the choir' feel...But Moore is savvy enough to not simply harangue against the ruling party for the entire intermissionless two-hours...Better still, Moore shares a number of personal stories that allow us to see a wider side of his personality...Only the completely humorless (or truly Republican) won’t ultimately surrender to the wit and wisdom of Michael Moore."
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September 7th, 2017

“For all Moore's preaching to the choir…the audience, apart from when it's laughing, never once reacts with the vitriolic glee of Trump's base at one of his rallies. The contrast is awesomely depressing…Moore is a compelling presence who knows how to play his audience but what he says in 'The Terms of My Surrender' is too familiar to be consistently funny…Even though the show's a hodgepodge that's all over the place, it's still nice to share its pungency with others feeling the same pain.”
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore's playful, pointed and partisan one-man show...Too diffuse to fit Moore’s usual formula. It’s like a scattershot variety show. But the puckish sense of humor will be enough for most of his fans, the driving engine behind an unusual but surprisingly satisfying entertainment...You need not be a partisan to find many of Moore’s stories both amusing and inspiring."
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August 11th, 2017

"The best term for his intermissionless, predictably political appearance is 'Empowerment Seminar'...Moore can rip from the headlines with the best of them...Perhaps it’s needless to say that Moore’s hoot-and-holler...preaches to the converted...When I mentioned to another friend, an unsympathetic one, that I’d appreciated much in 'The Terms of My Surrender,' his dismissive response consisted of an eye roll and one sentence: 'He’s a nut case.' If so, please pass the nuts."
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August 10th, 2017

"Who knew that indignation could be so entertaining? Moore, with a substantial contribution by director Michael Mayer, has cleverly assembled a varied evening that constantly shifts gears before it can become monotonous...Yes, there are a few rants, but overall, Moore is considerably more subdued than I anticipated. I laughed a lot more than I expected to...Perhaps there is therapeutic value to being surrounded by like-minded people and getting a well-crafted pep talk."
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore speaks his mind, and subtlety is not in his lexicon. Now, precisely how you’re likely to feel about 'The Terms of My Surrender' kind of depends, as they say...The play is not all Trump-bash, all the time. Moore goes through fifteen set-pieces, most drawn from his life adventures. These turn out to be fascinating and engrossing; many of the strongest sections of the evening, which runs an intermissionless two hours or so, are about the author."
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August 10th, 2017

"Makes O’Neill’s 'Long Day’s Journey Into Night' feel short...At its very best, 'Terms' shows Moore’s considerable talent for working up moral outrage...The show is really the Greatest Hits from Moore’s life, and most tales will be well known to the viewers of his many documentaries or the readers of his many best-sellers. What’s surprising is how poorly Moore tells a story in person. He comes off far more nervous, high-pitched, and benign on stage than on screen."
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August 17th, 2017

"A political pep rally spiced with Moore’s entertaining persona. It is surprising what an excellent comedian he can be...An unusual—and enjoyable—Broadway theater outing...I wondered how Moore could hold even en enthusiastic crowd for that long. But lo and behold, the time breezed by (with only a slight lull here and there) as Moore held firm command, veering from immensely entertaining and often hilarious segments, to his very serious effort to change the political landscape."
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T
September 24th, 2017

"Moore preaches to the choir on the current dark political climate, taking occasional detours to relive past insurrections and play game-show parodies with the audience...Moore is not a Broadway-caliber comic and he mocks his lack of musical skills with a refreshing self deprecation but his delivery is sincere and his expressions and timing produce laughs. Director Michael Mayer delivers a smooth, professional evening, with strong visual support."
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August 10th, 2017

"A mix of predictable rabble-rousing and a self-congratulatory lap of the field with a sheen of humblebrag...There is nothing fresh in 'The Terms of My Surrender,' but it is Moore delivering it, and his charisma means the fury comes with one-liners and magnificent eye-rolls...Moore’s affability is the evening’s necessary oil: for all his anger there is a restated belief in American kindness and generosity; he tells jokes and is both self-effacing and self-aggrandizing."
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August 10th, 2017

"Directed by Michael Mayer, whose penchant for pizazz pairs nicely with Moore’s Lefties-Home-Companion storytelling style, 'Surrender' is a slick and engaging mash-up of entertainment and politics. It’s also very much a call-to-arms for civic involvement, in a room where Moore is preaching to the more-or-less converted...I can think of a few places the audience wouldn’t be nearly as friendly as New York, which would make for an even more electrifying event."
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September 22nd, 2017

"An entertaining solo show...Moore holds the stage with plenty of humor, poking fun at himself as well as bashing the Republican party, the alt-right and of course, POTUS...An engaging storyteller, Moore has surprisingly amusing anecdotes yet he also has some somber and moving memories...Michael Moore is dedicated and intelligent with a sweet likability. Whether or not you are in his camp, 'The Terms of My Surrender' offers a provocative commentary."
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August 10th, 2017

"It’s hard to classify the production, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer, as theater. Basically, it is a two-hour mishmash of campaign rally, personal anecdotes, comedy sketches, talk show, one powerful segment on the water crisis in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, and a sorry attempt at a Broadway finale."
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August 10th, 2017

"A nearly two-hour monologue...with frequent, quintessentially Moore-ian lapses into self-aggrandizement and self-congratulation...The point of such a show—an overlong sermon to an already converted choir—remains a mystery...Mostly talk, much of it predictable and eventually repetitive...Moore's topic is too broad and vague and his prescriptive is too obvious...The nuance-free, one-note 'The Terms of My Surrender' drifts dangerously close to self-parody."
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August 10th, 2017

"The show isn’t entirely an anti-Trump rally. Moore has collaborated with Michael Mayer to create a colorful and affecting political variety show that toggles between monologues, comedic bits and pontification about the state of the nation...While Moore still has a flair for the dramatic, this onetime enfant terrible now sounds like the voice of reason...It’s a lot to pack into a two-hour show, but Moore is a fairly sturdy anchor, and he can certainly inspire a crowd."
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August 21st, 2017

"I suggest you rush to the Belasco Theatre for a cathartic, amusing and healing evening in the theater...Michael Moore has no filter, he is passionate in telling the truth...The evening is not all Trump-bashing; there are many amusing anecdotes...It is his stories that make the show memorable and it is best that he tells them himself...Michael Mayer, the director, must be given a lot of credit for pacing these tales and the passion of the man telling them."
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August 19th, 2017

“Theater? Only in the abstract sense. Entertainment, most certainly…A blistering one-man show with a purpose and theme…Moore regales us with stories of his youth, middle age, and current time that proves that message and entertains all in his cantankerous and humorous manner we are accustomed to…In my opinion he was not as blistering or mean as I think he could be…I was pleasantly surprised and even a bit motivated myself after leaving the theater.”
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August 10th, 2017

"Moore takes us on an indulgent and meandering tour around some of his achievements...Not all of this is very theatrical. Moore and his director Michael Mayer, however, keep it entertaining by introducing various set pieces...Of course, a show like this in New York is preaching to the already converted, seeking affirmation of their dislike of Trump and all that he stands for. So I'm not sure how much good it will actually do...As Trump might say, though, it's a #FakeBroadwayShow."
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August 21st, 2017

"If my performance is typical, Moore and his staff are hard at work before each performance, for events that had happened only hours before were trotted out in front of us...More to the point or Moore to the point?—the tale substantiates the theme of the show: one person can make a difference and a substantial one at that...And what would happen if the 1,018 people who are filling the Belasco each night were so inspired? There’d be some changes made, wouldn’t there?"
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August 21st, 2017

“An often funny, often disturbing dolled-up political rally. Because, make no mistake about it, much of ‘Terms’ is what you’d expect: an anti-Trump screed, by turns despairing and gleeful. But ultimately it is more than that, it’s a call to action in the most general of terms…Definitely go see ‘Terms of My Surrender,’ it is a marvelous and surprisingly entertaining bit of encouragement in these dark days.”
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August 21st, 2017

“‘Terms’ has the same strengths and weaknesses of Moore’s other work…Sure, he can be self-aggrandizing, but when he discusses himself, it’s in the context of what he sees as the greater good…Moore appearing on Broadway isn’t for everyone, and those people know who they are. But in Mayer’s slick staging, the slightly overlong ‘The Terms of My Surrender’ is a funny, thoughtful and even cathartic time in the theater for anyone still stunned by the results of November 8.”
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T
September 11th, 2017

“Moore’s genius comes out in the way he follows a thread of information as it connects with another, and attaches itself to the bigger picture. Working his way from the biopsy to the disease, his ability to conceptualize, and communicate in simple English, is inspiring to witness…Of course, Moore is here to stir us up, to empower us, and to free us all to play a role in changing the direction our country is taking...Moore sends us into the night, inspired to stand up with courage.”
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August 14th, 2017

"Some have taken this personal story approach to be 'bragging' or self-aggrandizing. But that criticism misses Moore’s point. These stories are designed to show his congregants that each one of them, as single person, can make a difference...There are times when things seem to drag a bit and other times where Moore and director Mayer mistakenly try to 'Broadway-ize' the presentation...Moore’s on-the-mark musings are insightful, frequently funny, and definitely worth heeding."
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August 23rd, 2017

“Regardless of what you think of his opinions, Moore can really tell a story that touches the heart…Yes, it’s entertaining; he’s a gifted storyteller, and some of the stories are enchanting. He’s a showman, and inserts a game show (hilarious), a hypothetical campaign rally (funny and thought-provoking), and some unexpected Broadway-style razzle-dazzle here and there. But most of all, he’s a hugely successful provocateur, and can move a despairing audience to be activists.”
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August 16th, 2017

“A mostly tepid entertainment best suited for people who enjoy nodding emphatically to the utterance of truths they knew walking in…Moore and director Mayer pad it out with crowd interactions...The one-person-can-change-things argument serves as justification for the show’s most assured and engaging passages: his recounting of highlights from his career as rabble-rouser. Always more a prankster than a polemicist, Moore can spin a tale, especially when the topic is his own escapades.”
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August 12th, 2017

"Michael told us to get involved. But getting there had moments of extreme clarity and overwhelming intelligence mixed with plenty of the self-evident and preaching to the choir. I nearly left after the first twenty minutes…Once he settled down into his set pieces he was terrific…Moore isn’t a natural, he looks like a schlub and he can’t modulate his voice well enough, he keeps on going up an octave, but he is a clever man…It’s fun."
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August 10th, 2017

"Is the show anything more than a Ted Talk with set design? At times it’s exactly that, with Moore sharing anecdotes about his own activism, as if regaling a biographer...But at others it’s quite funny and creative...What makes the show worthwhile is less the content of these anecdotes than Moore’s own charm and comic deftness...By and large, 'The Terms of My Surrender' is more about a) Michael Moore and b) Us than it is about the president."
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