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The Serengeti Rules

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Academy Award-winning Passion Pictures and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios present one of the most important but untold science stories of our time?a tale with profound implications for the fate of life on our planet. Beginning in the 1960s, a small band of young scientists headed out into the wilderness, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works. Immersed in some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth - from the majestic Serengeti to the Amazon jungle; from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tide pools - they discovered a single set of rules that govern all life. Now in the twilight of their eminent careers, these five unsung heroes of modern ecology share the stories of their adventures, reveal how their pioneering work flipped our view of nature on its head, and give us a chance to reimagine the world as it could and should be.


  • Jim Estes
  • Jaime Excell
  • Bob Paine
  • Mathieson McCrae
  • Mary E. Power
  • Ashlyn Jade Lopez
  • Samantha Nugent
  • Greg Kriek
  • Tony Sinclair
  • Laurie Spiegel

Atom User Reviews

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May 9, 2019

A celebration of scientific excellence and an account of a discovery which has ramifications for natural environments the world over, The Serengeti Rules makes for compelling viewing.

Metacritic review by Wendy Ide
Wendy Ide
Screen International
May 9, 2019

It simply offers a chance to spend time with engaging people who've enriched our understanding of complex ecosystems, and who assure us that much of what we've done to the planet is reversible — provided we take action before the keystone species in question are still around to be saved.

Metacritic review by John DeFore
John DeFore
The Hollywood Reporter
May 1, 2019

But what sticks with you are the beautiful shots of kelp forests and otters, ponds seen from the bottom up, Africa and South America both threatened and, when “corrected,” healed. That’s the upbeat message that Carroll identifies in the opening moments of the film.

Metacritic review by Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Movie Nation