How To Blow Up A Pipeline

April 7, 202380/1006 min
Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck
Written by
Ariela Barer, Jordan Sjol, and Daniel Goldhaber
Directed by
Daniel Goldhaber
Run Time
1h 43min
Release Date
April 7th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

           If you are wondering what a movie with a title like this would be about, you need not too anymore, as it is exactly what it says it is. Although some might find what they see troubling, you would have a hard time finding a movie that feels like it has its fingers on the pulse of today’s issues more than How To Blow up A Pipeline. Based on a book by Andreas Malm of the same name, we follow eight people who decide the only way to make the world change is to force it to.

          Wasting no time putting us in the middle of their plan, we meet the group as they are locating the places they plan to plant their bombs. Lead by Xochitl (Ariela Barer), everyone seems to have a different reason why they are there, but they share a common goal with what they feel they need to do. The basic set up feels like a heist movie, as we watch the plan unfold, while also going back and showing how the team got together in the first place. You have Michael (Forrest Goodluck) who makes homemade bombs online, he and Shawn (Marcus Scibner) are the ones getting the explosives in order. Also joining them are Logan (Lukas Gage) and  Rowan (Kristine Froseth), who are environmental activists, who sabotage to get their message across. Xochitl also has her childhood friend Theo (Sasha Lane) and her girlfriend, Alisha (Jayme Lawson) join, with Theo having almost nothing to lose as she has advanced cancer. Although they have a plan and an idea where to carry it out, what they don’t know is the lay of the land. That is where Dwayne (Jake Weary) comes into the picture, so together they plan to send a message that cannot be ignored.

Written by Barer, Jordan Sjol and Daniel Goldhaber, the latter also directing, How To Blow Up A Pipeline is a dramatic eco-thriller that shows the lengths some might go to in order to get the world to listen. Needless to say the story is quite explosive and is filled with suspense that will leave you glued to the screen. Goldhaber read the book during the lockdown and felt that it electrified the need and want to tell this story, even consulting with experts that gives the movie a realistic and exciting feel that will resonant deeply.

What I appreciate the most about about the film, is that it opens up an honest discussions about carrying out such an act. For the characters in the movie, right and wrong don’t matter, as they feel like they have no options and are cornered. The cast does an excellent job of bringing the perspective to life of their characters. Some might see How To Blow Up A Pipeline as a call to action as it has a clear and direct message about environmentalism, bit told in a provocative way that could start discussions in favor of violence. There is definitely a message to be had here. Regardless if you agree with them or not there is always something profound about watching those that are willing to go to extremes in the name of survival.

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