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George Washington (2000)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 5,970

My Rating

Movie Info

George and his adolescent friends all live in a poor North Carolina suburb, where the only jobs available are at a local salvage yard. Tragedy strikes when one of George's friends is accidentally killed and the group, fearing punishment, decides to hide the body.

Mar 12, 2002

Code Red

Watch It Now

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All Critics (64) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (10) | DVD (15)

You have to bring a lot of yourself to this film if you want it to give something back, but the rewards are considerable.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Undistinguished and uninvolving attempt to offer a rural spin on Kids.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film absorbs elements of documentary and improvisation to produce a remarkably organic whole.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's possible to keep one's feet on the ground and still appreciate the film's quiet verbal and visual poetry.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gracious sleepwalk of a movie that could have used a firmer strut.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the most striking and affecting American independent films of the year, heralding the arrival of a formidable young talent in Green.

August 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An exceptionally beautiful movie with some winning performances from a young and unproven cast,

March 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

George Washington is a mood piece first, and its triumph is in bottling up the intense feeling of early adolescence, and watching how tragedy transforms it.

March 10, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Oh, you could analyze and debate and dissect the individual vignettes to smithereens, which is what makes it literary, I 'spect. But that would be too much like homework.

July 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

This morality tale represents the impressive feature debut by regional filmmaker David Gordon Green, a talent to watch

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

What makes Green's work such a thing of beauty is its relentless, yet altogether genuine, modesty.

January 17, 2010 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Stylized to the point of poetry, David Gordon Green's impressive debut fuses the lyricism of Terence Malick with Harmony Korine's willingness to poke around the garbage-strewn landscape of the American underclass.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Amid languorous style, the story gets lost, which is a pity because it could have been a nice quirky one.

July 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comment (1)
Guardian

Poetic, patient and beautiful, it's an astoundingly mature film from 25 year old debutant director Green.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Lovingly photographed in warm sunlight and deep colors.

March 3, 2005
The Nation

Has the feeling of a breathing issue of National Geographic as told threw the words of George Steinbeck and through the brush of Norman Rockwell.

August 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Whether George Washington is a false dawn or the start of a whole new hope it remains one of the films of the year. Dream with it while you can.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Like eavesdropping on people you didn't even know existed in America

February 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

A gorgeous, almost non-narrative portrait of kids in small-town America

January 9, 2003
New Times

Beautifully-photographed, lyrical film by debut director David Gordon Green -- definitely a talent to watch.

October 30, 2002 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

It's nicely filmed, especially in the places where kid's-eye views of machinery, fields, and junk yards are seen.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Surprising, rare gem.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Audience Reviews for George Washington

Interesting tone piece on the inner lives of children. Maybe sort of like if Terrence Malick directed the Spirit of the Beehive in recent rural North Carolina - but not as good as that sounds - if that actually sounds good to you.
April 19, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Nasia: Sometimes I smile and laugh when I think of all the great things you're gonna do. I hope you live forever. 

"down this twisted road, please watch over my soul and lift me up so gently so as not to touch the ground."

David Gordon Green's debut feature, George Washington, is immensely different from the films he's been putting out for the last few years. He's been putting out stoner, sex comedies like Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter. George Washington couldn't be less like those movies. It is as far away from comedy as you can be. It's a slow and sad film from a child, Nasia's, point of view. She narrates the story of George, and how he and a couple of friends accidentally killed their friend Buddy. From that point on, these kids aren't really kids any more. The innocence of childhood has left them.

If you want poignant storytelling, George Washington is your film. It's a movie where you can feel for a character, that something awful has happened to. George isn't a bad, rebellious youth, as a lot of these types of films use. He's a good kid, who is in a poor area, around other poor kids. He has a disease that doesn't allow him to get his head wet, and a little bump on the head could kill him. He's limited in what he can do with his friends. 

You can feel the scene where everything turns about five minutes before it happens. When the scene is occurring, you know this is where the tragedy is going to occur. David Gordon Green does the tragic scene the realistic and proper way. Stuff like this doesn't occur like it does in most movies. There's no suspenseful music before hand, there's no slow motion while it's going on, there's no crazy freakout rant afterwards. When a tragic event occurs, you are stunned, and you do what these kids do. You sit down on the ground and stare, until one of you can get up the courage to make a decision what to do next.

I can best describe this Indie movie, by saying it resembles the same feel of a Gus Van Sant indie. There's a bunch of no name actors, that don't really try to act. They perform like real people. They occasionally will make mistakes when they talk and stutter over words, trying to find the right thing to say. Gus Van Sant did Paranoid Park like six or seven years after this, and the two are quite alike. Paranoid Park went a different route in the aftermath of the accident, but the lead up is a lot alike. 

George Washington isn't a film that is for everyone. You may end up finding it too slow or too boring. You may feel that it doesn't quite go anywhere plot wise. But if you like understated, subtle dramas, give it a watch. It just may blow you away.
January 2, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A startling poetic film.
October 30, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

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