Citizen Ruth Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 8, 2012
"Citizen Ruth" is the most blatant satire I have ever seen, and it's one of the funniest as well. Alexander Payne is such a gifted writer and his execution is usually spot-on as well. "Citizen Ruth" is not his best film, but a darn good one regardless. It's eccentric and a little out and I doubt that very many will really like it, but it's funny and endearing and Laura Dern gives a wonderfully childish performance as the titular character. Also, Kurtwood Smith is great as well. I absolutely love watching him act. Why isn't he cast in roles like this more often?
March 12, 2012
Very funny satire which pokes fun of both sides of the abortion debate. Laura Dern gives a wonderful performance
March 2, 2012
The success of The Descendants in 2011 made me track down a copy of this, Alexander Payne's debut feature which somehow I missed on its inital release, despite reading every film mag and working in a video rental store at the time. Maybe if I did read about it then, I forgot about it quickly because its premise seemed not for me - for Citizen Ruth is an abortion comedy.

An abortion comedy. Right from the start of his career we can see Alexander Payne reaching to do something different. For the majority Citizen Ruth works very well indeed - at least while you're watching it. Laura Dern is very good indeed as Ruth - and there are some nice supporting turns from people like Kurtwood Smith, Burt Reynolds and Swoozie Kurtz. The biggest problem facing Citzen Ruth is that it doesn't quite hold together - Payne is so keen on having Ruth experience both sides of the abortion argument that the film comes closer to a series of loosely connected sketches rather than a full blown narrative. Some interesting characters are interesting only to be abandoned before the half way stage - the daughter of the uptight pro-lifers who wants to be a wild child suggests some interesting opposition to the main argument of the film, but she is quickly forgotten.

Nevertheless, Citizen Ruth is protean Alexander Payne, and as such it makes for fascinating viewing. Not a great debut, perhaps, but very enjoyable whilst your watching. I just don't think I'll ever return to it.
November 22, 2011
Over-all, this movie fell short for me. The movie does a good job of poking fun at both extremist sides of the abortion battle. The story idea was good. The dialogue and the casting was pretty good. All of the principle characters were well acted.

Written and directed by Alexander Payne (see SIDEWAYS).

Laura Dern gives a creditable performance as an irresponsible, ne er-do-well, occasional reproducing mother, and constant/addicted? huffer. There is nothing about her character to root for. Its only a little less difficult to root for a huffer; than, say, an axe murder or a pedophile. The humor in her character was hard to relate to.

So, the story plays itself out. Our sometimes pregnant huffer, wanders to and fro; trying to gain some advantage and find her next inhalant high. There are a few amusing moments. But, the whole thing just sort of peters out at the end.
½ August 30, 2011
It's brilliant in the way it's not really about what it seems to be about. It takes a risk in suggesting a debate between a very touchy issue such as pro-choice and pro-life, but it's ingenius in the way that it uses this debate as only a device, when in reality, it's not a film about abortion at all. It's a film about being one with our own selves, understanding who we are, and how our choices define ourselves. The ending is a brilliiant twist on a happy ending, born out of chaos. It's tone and style is light and delicious to the taste, not to mention done with a sophisticated taste. Laura Dern is absolutely magnificent with her character being so enigmatic and simple and at the same time, bringing the tone to it's simple quirk.
July 4, 2011
Kind of a corky movie. I'm not big on these type of movies so my rating isn't very good. I suppose it got better nearer the end but I just wasn't impressed. Didn't really make me feel anything.

Maybe worth a rental.
½ May 23, 2011
Perculiar little movie thats half cute, half degradation. A bit like crossing Mary Poppins with Trainspotting. All i can say is that if i lived in a town like that id resort to inhaling adhesives too
½ March 25, 2011
Very satire but I spot a number of plot hole in this movie. Overall it's an enjoyable and fun movie. Thumbs up for Laura Dern
½ March 15, 2010
I was really glad to see a movie dealing with the abortion issue. However, Lauren Dern's stupid character was so irritating to watch. What a dipshit. Already had 4 kids she didn't care about and huffed fumes. Jesus christ, makes me support sterilization even more. Intersting, but just too damn annoying.
½ September 7, 2008
So this film is funny in some parts but mostly sad...but true. the portiat painted is one of irresponsiblity, cycle of ignorance and the idea of brainwashing. Everyone has an opinion on abortion and people want the babies to be born but what happens after. (ON my soapbox) advocate sexual matureness and use protection for pets sake.
June 20, 2006
As far as I am concerned this is Laura Derns best acting performance. I find Laura can a little hammy sometimes in the acting departmen, but here she acts has taken a different pace. Shes not this cultured caring lady, Laura plays Ruth , a drug addicted woman who had become pregnant. When she is arrested for doing drugs she is told by the judge that if she aborts the baby he will drop charges placed against her. The christian church gets involved and a war ensues between Prolife and prochoice groups. Laura holds the balance of power as a symbol that can shift authority for either group. Hilarious. Most memorable line by Ruth (Dern) "Suck the sh** out of my A**! you Fu****!" and even more hilarious is Kurtwood Smith (Red Foreman,that 70's show) portraying a bible thuimper, singing cheezy little hymns and working at a hardware store.
divinetrash
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2008
Brilliant! Laura Dern gives an outstanding performance, though the excellent supporting cast shine as beautifully. The film is as unbiased as it is hilarious.
July 11, 2008
Pretty much the best cast Alexander Payne has ever put together. Swoosie Kurtz for president!
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2008
Laura Dern is hilarious in this.
April 6, 2008
it was stupid of them to trust her with free access to so many chemicals, booze, & cash. they fully knew she was an addict and did nothing to take that into account and so got what they deserved. although the baby didn't...
December 15, 2006
Laura Dern gives a fantastic performance in this film. Unfortunately the story drags on after awhile.
½ March 2, 2008
It was like a train wreck, I couldn't stop watching. This movie is so off the wall, kind of like the stepford wives.
½ January 8, 2008
Not what I thought it was going to be like, but interesting nonetheless. The stereotypes Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers are humorous though.
MagnusMagica
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2007
"Ruth, you listen to me! Don't you do it! What if I'd aborted you? Well at least I wouldn't have had to suck your boyfriends cock! Don't you bring that up again! That's ancient history! I've been saved! Fuck you!
A brilliant dark comedy about abortion. Laura Dern gives the performance of a lifetime. Great cast and a great score.
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