User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
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  1. Sam
    Apr 6, 2006
    5
    There are three words that came to mind when I saw this movie, "Crash", "Rip", and "Off".
  2. ChadShiira
    Apr 8, 2007
    6
    Janet(Marcia Gay Harden) and her son(Chris Marquette plays David) need to yell at each other until their ears bleed(and ours) as a distraction because "American Gun" is about to become convoluted. After David is thrown out of private school(because his mother did an interview about her other son), Janet informs her child that he'll be attending Ridgeline, the scene of his older Janet(Marcia Gay Harden) and her son(Chris Marquette plays David) need to yell at each other until their ears bleed(and ours) as a distraction because "American Gun" is about to become convoluted. After David is thrown out of private school(because his mother did an interview about her other son), Janet informs her child that he'll be attending Ridgeline, the scene of his older brother's crime. Marquette can screams bloody murder at his mom all he wants; we're simply not buying it. A faculty and student body who are still in the process of psychical healing following a bloodbath of Columbinesque proportions(it's only been three years), would not allow David's entrance into the Ridgeline population without a fight. "American Gun" fires a few blanks(I'm also not convinced that a pacifist like Mary Ann(Linda Cardellini) would go to a firing range after one incident), but the inclusion of a predominantly black high school in juxtaposition with a white one hits the bullseye. When Jefferson County(where Columbine is located) residents were interviewed by the media after the slaying, a lot of them expressed disbelief that something like this could happen in their neighborhood. A school shooting is more likely to take place at the educational institution Carter runs. As the principal watches a third anniversary retrospective of the Ridgeline masacre, there is only sadness in his eyes, an understanding that he's been lucky, so far. In the film's deftest move, Principal Carter confiscates a student's gun, which leads to a situation we've never seen before on the screen. Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. A painfully earnest but dramatically inert film.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    40
    Lacks focus and momentum as it attempts to interweave diverse story strands into a cautionary tapestry.
  3. All of the stories are conceived as ongoing plights, and have no third act. Which would be an improvement on Haggis's hyperbolic civics lesson if Avelino had the chops to master realism and embrace ambivalence. The acting is pro enough to keep your blood up, but the reverb is minimal.