No Safe Spaces

No Safe Spaces ★½

Let’s assume, for a moment, the best of intentions: That conservative radio personality Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla sincerely want an America where all ideas, even unpopular and potentially inflammatory ones, can be shared openly. If so, don’t you begin by addressing what those ideas actually are? Director Justin Folk presents a documentary full of dramatic music underscoring stories of instances—mostly on university campuses—where conservative voices are supposedly being silenced, and the First Amendment itself hangs by a thread. Yet despite initial pro forma acknowledgements that yes, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, this entire undertaking is resolutely unwilling to talk specifics about why Prager—or Ben Shapiro, or Jordan Peterson—might be unwelcome in some places. And there’s a fundamental intellectual dishonestly about a movie built on the thesis that we need to hear everyone out all the time, while hiding the subjects’ actual beliefs in the one forum where they completely control the microphone. You can agree that some case studies here demonstrate a gross extremism, and still think, “If nothing you have to say is dangerous, then just tell me what it is you're saying.”