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American Gun (2005)



Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 19

Despite its intriguing premise, this earnest anti-gun polemic is too melodramatic to resonate.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 9

Despite its intriguing premise, this earnest anti-gun polemic is too melodramatic to resonate.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 3,583

My Rating

Movie Info

Three stories of how America's obsession with firearms impacts its citizens are explored in this independent drama. Carl Wilk (Donald Sutherland) runs a gun shop in Virginia that has been owned and operated by his family for generations. Carl sees the shop as his family's legacy without paying much mind to what happens with the weapons he sells. When his granddaughter Mary Ann (Linda Cardellini) needs money for college, Carl gives her a job in the store, and while she's hesitant at first, she


Art House & International, Drama

Aug 29, 2006

IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (19) | DVD (10)

It's a bit like watching a weaker version of Crash, with fewer coincidences.

April 21, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The guns seem to have been shoved in various characters' pockets as afterthought, and Avelino's interlocking stories never click.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Avelino] shows an almost tender restraint in his story-telling, not pounding us with a message but simply looking steadily at how guns have made these lives difficult.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While not a perfect movie by any means -- a few scenes feel forced -- there is plenty to recommend it, even beyond the truly great performances.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's so well done.

March 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While this is not exactly a hopeful movie, it's a polished exercise in the kind of social commentary that can wake people up.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fitting send off to one of America's best actors who dominates the screen.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A moving morality play indicting America for its ongoing love affair with the Second Amendment.

January 29, 2007 Full Review Source:

takes too many shortcuts and easy-outs in exploring the issue

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source:

Full of grating hysterics and solemn symbolism.

August 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It isn't trite or strident - it doesn't shout or pound the desk - and, in a way, its own thoughtfulness is its worst enemy.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

American Gun arrives in theaters too late to really make a difference or say anything new on the subject of school shootings.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

[T]his is no bit of cheap exploitation created merely to rake in some dough. But purity of motives aside, the film simply isn't very good.

April 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Despite a few effective moments, Gun ... never makes the big statement it seems to be reaching for.

April 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

What we're left with after watching "American Gun" isn't a sense of who's right or who's wrong, but more of a sadness that so many people feel so powerless and afraid that they think owning a gun will set things right.

April 21, 2006 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Rather than blast us with a strong polemic, Avelino chooses to trace what are often the everyday ramifications of living in an armed society.

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

...more like talking points for a film than a finished product. The effects of violence and the gun trade are examined, but little light is shed.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Aside from a few moments of quiet pathos that ring true, Avelino's directorial debut is a calculated piece of cinematic outrage marred by on-the-nose dialogue and melodramatic contrivance.

March 24, 2006

Actually PAY MONEY to see this in a theater? No way.

March 24, 2006
Greenwich Village Gazette

Audience Reviews for American Gun

[font=Century Gothic]"American Gun" consists of three separate storylines:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]1) In Ellisburgh, Oregon, the third anniversary of a high school massacre is fast approaching. The mother of one of the shooters, Janet Huttenson(Marcia Gay Harden), is stuggling to get by. Her younger son, David(Chris Marquette), is now the age of his older brother when he died.(But I don't understand why she never moved away to give her younger son a fresh start. Frankly, nobody can handle that much pain and torment.) [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]2) On the south side of Chicago, a high school principal(Forest Whitaker, again proving that he is one of the best actors around) works everyday to make his school a safe place to learn.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]3) In Charlottesville, Va, Mary Ann(Linda Cardellini) is attending the University of Virginia . She is uneasy about working in the gun store that her grandfather(Donald Sutherland) owns.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"American Gun" has an interesting set-up that promises a thorough examination of gun violence in America but the movie goes nowhere quickly and shamefully ducks out of the way of any politcs. Instead, it takes an ineffectual approach to the material that reeks of touchy-feely sentimentalism. Yes, families need to communicate better and we can all use a group hug from time to time but none of that does anything to address the urgent problem of the ready availability of guns in this country.[/font]
June 12, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Not too trite, but not very original or effective, either.
November 30, 2006

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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