Just an American Boy


Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11

Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    Earle's song introductions, like those of his mentors Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, are as meaty, pointed, and touching as the tunes themselves, and his spoken words -- full of humor and humanity -- are the heart of the film.
  2. In performance, Earle comes across as a successor to Woody Guthrie or Johnny Cash. In this fawning portrait, however, he seems more like music's Michael Moore.
  3. A crude but stirring video documentary filmed over last year and this by Amos Poe, while Mr. Earle and his band were on tour.
  4. Provides an interesting introduction to a compelling figure in contemporary pop music.
  5. 50
    Looking puffier than he did in New York last month, Earle gets his band together, rewrites his play about executed Christian Karla Faye Tucker on the eve of opening night, defends his patriotism (and yours), and flogs the current LP. And then he rocks some more.
  6. 50
    A mediocre music documentary about veteran country rocker and activist Steve Earle, who created a furor with a song sympathetic to American Taliban John Walker Lindh.
  7. 50
    Might have struck a deeper chord with fans who are still looking for the Steve Earle who exists behind the music.
  8. Will best be appreciated by those who are already firmly in Earle's camp.
  9. Decidedly low-tech and not always particularly coherent or cohesive.
  10. Reviewed by: Laine Ewen
    Earle fans might see this film as a satisfying portrayal of a man they know and love, but those unfamiliar with the man and his music will likely leave the theater without much more interest in him than when the movie began.
  11. 30
    Ask New York-based filmmaker Amos Poe, who badly botches this profile of the artist with a sloppy structure, careless editing and amateurish optical effects that detract from what's actually good about the film: Earle's music.

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