The Game Changers

The Game Changers
The Game Changers - poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byLouie Psihoyos
Produced byJames Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jackie Chan
Lewis Hamilton
Novak Djokovic
Chris Paul
Joseph Pace
James Wilks
Written byJoseph Pace
Mark Monroe
Shannon Kornelsen
StarringJames Wilks
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Lewis Hamilton
Patrik Baboumian
Release date
  • January 19, 2018 (2018-01-19)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Game Changers is a 2018 documentary film about the benefits of plant-based eating for athletes.[1][2][3] It covers multiple success stories of plant-based athletes, references scientific studies, and touches on other arguments for plant-based diets that extend to non-athletes.

It received generally positive reviews by viewers, but also received criticism for scientific inaccuracies and a perceived unbalanced support for plant-based nutrition,[4][5] with some experts accusing it of misinformation[6][7] and pseudoscience.[7]


The documentary follows former UFC fighter James Wilks who, while recovering from an injury, researches nutrition, and travels the world to discuss his findings with elite athletes who follow plant-based diets.[8]

Athletes interviewed in the film include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrik Baboumian, and Dotsie Bausch.[3]


The Game Changers debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, with a second edit released worldwide for a one-day screening in September 2019.[2] The film has over a dozen executive producers, including James Cameron, Pamela Anderson, Rip Esselstyn, Jackie Chan and Brendan Brazier.[3]



The documentary came under heavy criticism not only from sports, science and nutrition sectors,[4][6][5][7] but also from other defenders of plant-based diets.[9] Critics pointed out factual inaccuracies on the information presented,[4] a misleading usage of data taken out of context,[4][6] and flawed arguments against both meat and dairy in favor of pro-vegan interests.[5][9] They also attacked the documentary's claims that "meat and dairy industry secretly fund all the studies that demonstrate any benefits to animal products,"[5] not only labelling this as a factually incorrect conspiracy theory,[5] but also comparing that, conversely, all the experts and medical professionals partaking in the documentary were also sellers of vegan products[5][6] (also including the film's executive producer, James Cameron, an outspoken vegan who founded plant protein company Verdient Foods).[10]

Addressing the conclusions presented in Game Changers and general tone of the documentary, nutritionist Layne Norton stated, "the film used strawman, false dichotomies, cherry picking, and a whole host of other logical fallacies in an attempt to demonize animals products and make vegan diet the solution to the world's problems."[5] Men's Health editor Paul Kita would also expand on Wilks's purported intention to present objective facts, commenting that the documentary "presents only one side of the facts, often via controversial sources, grand extrapolations from small studies, and statements that are flat-out misleading."[4] Sports nutrition expert Asker Jeukendrup was quoted as, "Game Changers ticks almost all the boxes of pseudoscience, and none of the boxes of science,"[7] an opinion echoed by other reviewers.[9]


  1. ^ Goldstein, Gary (September 26, 2019). "Review: 'The Game Changers' makes an athlete-fueled case for a plant-based diet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Starostinetskaya, Anna (September 18, 2019). "Vegan Documentary The Game Changers Makes Digital Debut Next Month". VegNews. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Lodge, Guy (March 8, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Game Changers'". Variety. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kita, Paul (September 16, 2019). "This New Documentary Says Meat Will Kill You. Here's Why It's Wrong". Men's Health. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Norton, Layne (November 11, 2019). "The Game Changers review - A scientific analysis (updated)". Biolayne. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Meredith, Root (October 24, 2019). "The Game Changers - A scientific review with full citations". Tactic Method. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Asker Jeukendrup (November 6, 2019). "Is game changers game changing or is it sensationalism?". Mysportscience. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "'Advantage To Getting Protein From Plants': Former UFC Fighter James Wilks On Arnold Schwarzenegger, Documentary 'The Game Changers'". CBS Los Angeles. September 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Mitchellhill, Thomas (October 16, 2019). "The Game Changers - A scientific review with full citations". Medium. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "Bloomberg - James Cameron Sees Global Salvation in Plant-Based Investing". Retrieved December 11, 2019.

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