Just what we need. A documentary about a bunch of science nerds in the U.S. and abroad getting feverish over the possibility of discovering the Higgs particle and its implications regarding the Standard Model of particle physics. Sounds grand.

Actually, it is grand. It's a blast. It doesn't matter that Particle Fever doesn't make physics, in general, much easier to understand for the layperson, but it does matter that the people who understand physics are able to explain why finding Higgs is important.

It's of further importance in this day and age when people such as Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum, steadfastly refuse to believe that the world is more than 6,000 years old and actively preach about it.

(Good thing science, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson—who does not appear in the movie—says, “[Is] true whether or not you believe in it.” Note: Religion doesn’t come up during Particle Fever. That bridge was crossed and burned by your critic.) 

Particle Fever is a documentary about big concepts such as the Big Bang, and what it means when the theoretical smashes against the experimental. In short: It's cool, not remotely preachy, and filed with good-natured humor over the meaning of life—or whether there is any meaning to life.

Directed by Mark Levinson
With Nima Arkani-Hamed, Fabiola Gianotti, and David Kaplan
CCA Cinematheque
99 min.