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Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Days before his 21st birthday, William (Mark Webber), an actor, meets and quickly falls madly in love with Sara (Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno), a seductive yet elusive singer/songwriter. The film follows William from a Lower East Side tenement to a Mexican hotel room, to a snowbound weekend in Connecticut, and to a sweltering homecoming in the hottest state of all--Texas--in the pursuit of Sara. His stubborn and sweetly innocent quest to find someone who loves him as much as he loves her may not lead to happiness, but surely leads to newfound maturity. (THINKFilm) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    75
    Could be an overwrought mess if it were in less capable hands. But Webber and Moreno are so good, it's hard to believe they're not really deeply and meaningfully in lust.
  2. 70
    Hawke’s script is admirably light-handed in showing how the hero’s unreasoning passion is fueled by his parents’ painful divorce, and despite the story’s date-movie aspects, its most penetrating observations come not from the kids but from the young man’s estranged father and mother (Hawke and Laura Linney, both superb).
  3. At times this indie is as repetitive and self-indulgent as its protagonist, but it captures a bit of the madness of being unrequitedly in love.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    A viewing of The Hottest State is likely to conclude with a crosstown sprint of a different kind: As soon as the credits start rolling, you can't wait to get out.
  5. Personal and heartfelt, it's nevertheless bogged down by a lack of perspective on the material and a pointlessly frilly visual style.
  6. 42
    To quote Dennis Hopper from the film "Search and Destroy": "Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting."
  7. Whatever you're imagining -- self-serving self-awareness; unedited hipster mopes; yammering dear-diary script -- The Hottest State, Ethan Hawke's bathetic tale of a good-looking young actor's first heartbreak, is far worse.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Dave
    Feb 3, 2008
    9
    I generally don't like young-romance films, but this one blew me awy. Great acting all around. Ditto the direction and even the soundtrack. I think the critics were just too impatient waiting for somebody to get shot. Expand
  2. TylerS.
    Dec 11, 2007
    7
    The critic's reviews are a little harsh. Fans of Hawke's movies won't be disappointed but people who tend to dislike scripts with self-awareness (for instance, like many of Linklater's films) probably won't enjoy it. The soundtrack is amazing. Expand
  3. DerekB.
    Jan 19, 2008
    7
    It's a flawed movie, but a cute one. The dialogue gets cheesy at times, and the characters don't develop as much as you'd like them to, but you do sympathize with them after a while - even if you're not really supposed to. Not nearly as horribly as some critics say, that's for sure... Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Jan 1, 2008
    3
    "Do you speak English?" asks William(Mark Webber) when Sarah(Catalina Sandino Moreno) sits mutely at the bar as she considers whether to follow him home or not. Later in "The Hottest State", Sarah could ask William the same thing as he whines and pleads for the budding singer-songwriter to love him back. On the night they first met, she tells William that he's not very complicated. Well, neither is she. Two words: ice princess. And William, one word sums him up: idiot. For nearly two hours, the ice princess and idiot talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. When they break up, William becomes insufferable in his unwillingness to take a hint and get lost. The dialogue in "The Hottest State" is so banal, you'll never complain about Woody Allen again. In a film, it's more interesting to hear intellectuals rather than airheads speak. Good photography, though. Texas does look like the hottest state. Expand

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