Paramount Classics | Release Date: April 2, 2004
7.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 33 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
21
Mixed:
7
Negative:
5
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5
HollyC.Dec 27, 2005
I understand the bad reviews of this film, as the dialogue, various outskirt characters and plot points fell apart. This film feels very writerly--like a good short story or novel (indeed, writer themes/characters are everywhere)--but it was I understand the bad reviews of this film, as the dialogue, various outskirt characters and plot points fell apart. This film feels very writerly--like a good short story or novel (indeed, writer themes/characters are everywhere)--but it was ultimately adapted very poorly into a motion picture. Regardless of these problems, I do find that Ryan Gosling and Don Cheadle did remarkably well. The moral debate going on in this film--while engaging, is quite sophmoric in the end, which is too bad. The comparison one user review made to Donnie Darko, I think, is a bit generous as Darko was very well written, acted and directed. This film had some great actors--the direction was ok but the writing and plot devices fell through. The story, in the end, did seem muddled--and possibly better looking on paper then screen. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful
8
LarryJSep 30, 2005
[***SPOILERS***] Professional critics, for the most part, missed the point of this movie. Why did Leland do it? In the first part of the movie we are led to think that there might have been a motivation akin to what we might find in[***SPOILERS***] Professional critics, for the most part, missed the point of this movie. Why did Leland do it? In the first part of the movie we are led to think that there might have been a motivation akin to what we might find in Camus' "The Stranger": I just wanted to see what it'd feel like. However, as the movie progresses, and we are given more insight into Leland's psyche, we discover that he is deeply troubled. His perceptions of the world as full to the brim of profound sadness reveal his inadequate grasp of reality. His comiseration with some of the afflicted is what leads him to do it. Leland's killing is a mercy killing. He took himself to be helping, not hurting. When Leland perceives the kid eyeing a woman, Leland knows that the desire will go forever unsatisfied. When Leland sees the kid trying to ride through the tree, he sees that though the kid may want to progress, there are obstacles that will never allow it. Leland commits a mercy killing. Has he done something wrong? Of course. Does he deserve our pity? Yes. Have any critics who panned this movie understood it's subtle take on the complexity of desire and motivation? No! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful
3
MiguelG.Nov 28, 2006
The film does not tell anything, does not have any insight in any particular issue and it definitely has no complexity. Nothing to save apart of Kevin Sapcy's acting.
1 of 2 users found this helpful
10
AndrewD.Dec 28, 2005
Absolutly fantastic film....will make you think
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
folk_tyloreSep 30, 2010
Ryan Gosling is drawn to flawed characters; Believer, Fracture, the Slaughter Rule, Lars and the Real Girl, Stay, all these movies portray a flawed character but one that the audience can sympathize with U.S. of Leland is no different a veryRyan Gosling is drawn to flawed characters; Believer, Fracture, the Slaughter Rule, Lars and the Real Girl, Stay, all these movies portray a flawed character but one that the audience can sympathize with U.S. of Leland is no different a very thought provoking movie, with quality acting, and an excellent original soundtrack by Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate. Outside of the story and acting there are no other exceptional film making characteristics. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
Tss5078Mar 16, 2014
Ryan Gosling stars in what many consider to be his breakout role, playing a modern day Holden Caufield, who has committed a heinous crime. While the story has some tremendous performances, it really lacks any substance, rehashing the eventsRyan Gosling stars in what many consider to be his breakout role, playing a modern day Holden Caufield, who has committed a heinous crime. While the story has some tremendous performances, it really lacks any substance, rehashing the events of the past week, over and over again. We know right from the beginning of the film, that Leland killed a retard boy, what we don't know is why. The focus of the film is discovering what lead this highly intelligent, son of a celebrity, to commit such an act. The film has a huge cast of celebrities, that include Don Cheadle, Kevin Spacey, Chris Klein, and Michelle Williams, all of whom are as good as you would expect. What the film has in talent, it lacks in substance, as it's really just a whole lot of Leland talking in code. The writers go out of their way to show Leland as this deep, emotionless kid, that's been trapped inside his own mind his entire life. As the film goes on, the more Leland opens up. The writers paint the portrait of this kid and show you ever aspect of his life, in the hopes that you will figure out his true motivation before it comes out. The result is a slow moving film that causes the audience to gradually lose interest as time goes on. There is no doubt the Ryan Gosling was spectacular and deserves every good thing said about his performance, but the story seems to move slowly and in circles. The writers made it much more in depth than it had to be and most audiences will be turned off by it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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7
Meth-dudeJul 11, 2016
The acting was good, the story was interesting and the movie was overall pretty good. Although the movie is not perfect, there are a few plot holes here and there and the ending was predictable, it still is a great movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
DanniRawDec 17, 2014
I saw this movie when it first came out, I thought it was great. So many talented actors, good plot and with just the right amount of drama and suspense. It is a drama, but I was so intrigued to know the reasoning behind Gosling's characterI saw this movie when it first came out, I thought it was great. So many talented actors, good plot and with just the right amount of drama and suspense. It is a drama, but I was so intrigued to know the reasoning behind Gosling's character Leland's life changing action when it seemed so unbelievably heinous...but the outcome was in a strange way understandable and that made me enjoy this movie so much. Although, I am very disappointed that the writer/director Matthew Ryan Hoge has not put another amazing movie like this one out since. I hope he does because I truly believe this was an extremely underrated piece of work. Wonderful job Matthew R. Hoge!! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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