Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Maxed Out takes viewers on a journey deep inside the American style of debt, where things seem fine as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. With coverage that spans from small American towns all the way to the White House, the film shows how the modern financial industryMaxed Out takes viewers on a journey deep inside the American style of debt, where things seem fine as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. With coverage that spans from small American towns all the way to the White House, the film shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of "preferred customer" and tells us why the poor are getting poorer while the rich keep getting richer. Hilarious, shocking and incisive, Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us. (Red Envelope Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. James Scurlock's documentary Maxed Out, tells the bone-chilling, bloodcurdling, hair-raising story of a country (guess which one?) that's up to its eyeballs in credit-card debt.
  2. 80
    Another strong journalistic-style film, this one exposes how unbelievably rapacious the financial industries have become in extending credit to unlikely prospects -- among them college students, nursing-home residents, small children, dogs and dead people.
  3. Reviewed by: Sally Foster
    70
    At a time when our debt as individuals and as a nation is at an all-time high, Maxed Out offers a much needed look at this escalating dilemma.
  4. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    67
    Like Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) before him, Scurlock sets his sights on vast money-motivated conspiracies and doesn't rest until he finds them.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    James Scurlock's documentary horror show has a critical message to impart -- your credit cards are out to kill you -- and a naive, ham - handed way of imparting it.
  6. 25
    All the film provides is this bulletin: Lefties are angry about the things Lefties are angry about, chiefly corporate profits.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. JackD.
    Mar 15, 2007
    10
    Very, very insightful, revealing documentary about the credit industry in the US. A must see for anyone.
  2. SteveS.
    Jul 18, 2007
    8
    Earth to the American public - if you keep on electing survival-of-the-fittest Republicans, don't be surprised when large swaths of your Earth to the American public - if you keep on electing survival-of-the-fittest Republicans, don't be surprised when large swaths of your society turn Darwinian without prior notice. Yes, it would be really nice if everybody lived within their means; but as the movie makes clear, the credit card companies are now actively seducing the poorest credit risks, because their highest profits come from soaking marginal customers with late fees. Such dubious and predatory strategies have addicted our economy to the self-delusions of American consumers. If people did start being more responsible with their credit cards, it would be the end of our standard of living. Nor is the US government any more prepared to face reality than the American people are. It just has the power to raise the ceiling on its debt, a luxury private citizens lack. The movie is smart, ironic and funny. You come away from it with the strong intuition that the more credit card applications you get in the mail, the more insulted you should feel, because the modern lender strategy is to rope in as many losers as possible. It would also have been fitting to end it with the same portentious message Criswell intoned at the finale of Plan 9 From Outer Space - "God help us in the future!" Expand
  3. BrettS
    Jun 17, 2007
    2
    Too biased of a documentary to deserve a good score. It only shows half of the problem, that lenders need to tighten lending standards. The Too biased of a documentary to deserve a good score. It only shows half of the problem, that lenders need to tighten lending standards. The problem that Americans want to buy whatever they want whenever they want, but when it comes time to pay what they owe they don't want to is only briefly skirted. NY Post reviewer says it best: The film takes care to hide almost everything its overspenders bought, but toward the end a weeping woman takes us through the sanctum where, until indebtedness suddenly struck, she once kept her 500 souvenir plates. Hiding half of the problem does not a good documentary make. Collapse

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