The House I Live In

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Oct 5, 2012
    60
    The House I Live In shows Nannie Jeter as she hopefully watches Barack Obama's 2008 electoral victory, but doesn't analyze the current president's apparent reluctance to significantly alter anti-drug policies.
  2. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 4, 2012
    60
    As is, the film is more likely to impress the choir than change many minds.
  3. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Oct 2, 2012
    60
    Whenever the film focuses more on Jarecki's hand-wringing than deconstructing the war itself, you wish someone would have looked the filmmaker in the eye and just said no.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 5, 2012
    58
    Jarecki's thesis is that law enforcement targets minority communities, but his analysis is far too simplistic. Since when did pushers become victims?

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 17, 2012
    5
    It's a good documentary in that there are so many issues addressed therein that require examination (and often indignation), but it goes a bitIt's a good documentary in that there are so many issues addressed therein that require examination (and often indignation), but it goes a bit too far and fails to even posit alternatives. I love that they highlight the difference in sentencing guidelines between powder and crack cocaine. Completely asinine, even if you don't believe that it's targeting non-whites. The other issue that I feel is huge is the manipulation of federal housing assistance - ex-cons were denied housing assistance for all but the "red" zones on the city maps - essentially the ghettos. What was not discussed in this film was exactly how the experts would deal with drug dealers in absence of jail sentences. And when the son of the Columbia professor says that he can't raise 2 kids on $8 an hour, the father should have said, "YES, YOU CAN!..... It's a start! Get 2 jobs paying $8 each, and make your dollars last!" It seems that personal accountability is not given enough weight in the discussion. And comparing the US war on drugs to the Holocaust was disgusting. I know there are elements in common between genocide and marginalizing a group of people for actually doing wrong (buying and using drugs), but David Simon (who I love from "the Wire") goes too far when he suggests that the US policy is becoming "Kill the Poor." Hard-working poor folks who don't commit crimes? Those are the people killed in Germany, Poland, Cambodia, and Russia. They don't go to prison and get killed in the U.S. It's a bridge too far, and takes away from many of the valuable lessons of the film. Full Review »
  2. AGK
    Feb 18, 2016
    8
    I Like Al Jazeera because it actually reports on stories that matter and they're not afraid to show you the full story and this is noI Like Al Jazeera because it actually reports on stories that matter and they're not afraid to show you the full story and this is no different. It shows you what is actually going on in America's war on drugs. Full Review »
  3. Sep 7, 2014
    10
    The house I live in is an attack on the American "War on drugs," starting by shedding light on its flawed execution, and working backwards toThe house I live in is an attack on the American "War on drugs," starting by shedding light on its flawed execution, and working backwards to its flawed intent. But, because the user review section of meta-critic is unlikely to be a fruitful source of insight into this issue, I'll just talk about how this is as a documentary.

    This is a nearly perfectly made documentary. The talking heads are all either academics who are educated, concise, and articulate, or they are individuals living in a world where both drugs and the drag war might be the biggest determining factor in their lives.

    This movie proposes no real solution to the problems it sees, but whenever I want an example of the perfect mix of logos, pathos, and ethos, I point to this film. A must-see for documentary fans and anybody who wants to further develop their thoughts on drug law.
    Full Review »