User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29

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  1. Dec 17, 2014
    10
    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 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 thisI 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
  2. Mar 16, 2014
    6
    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 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. TheRyan 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
  3. Sep 30, 2010
    9
    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 very thought provoking movie, with quality acting, and an excellent original soundtrack by Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate. Outside of the story andRyan 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
Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 27
  2. Negative: 10 out of 27
  1. 80
    Thoroughly entertaining and will possibly get you thinking about certain choices you've made in your life.
  2. A complex and often compelling melodrama, at times almost verging on soap opera.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    40
    Hoge shows no particular directorial style, bringing a bland, anonymous look to the generic Southern California suburban locations.