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I.O.U.S.A. (2008)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 56 | Rotten: 9

A potent and lithely constructed documentary about America's financial crisis, I.O.U.S.A grabs you with figures but holds you with irreverent wit.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 4

A potent and lithely constructed documentary about America's financial crisis, I.O.U.S.A grabs you with figures but holds you with irreverent wit.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,783

My Rating

Movie Info

"I.O.U.S.A." examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. As the Baby Boomer generation prepares to retire, will there even be any Social Security benefits left to collect? Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster

Apr 7, 2009


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January 8, 2009:
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November 19, 2008:
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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (9) | DVD (1)

This solid doc reminds us how unsustainable the current American economy is.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that should be seen by everyone.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You will not likely forget the Jeremiad it presents about how the United States has been living on borrowed money -- and borrowed time -- for decades and now is presenting the bill for our extravagance to our grandchildren.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I.O.U.S.A. is a clear, cogent and compelling primer on contemporary American economics and the not-so-small matter of how we ended up at the edge of a precipice.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A documentary about the U.S. addiction to debt, I.O.U.S.A. could have easily taken the title of another movie released this week, What Just Happened?

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If this week's headlines have failed to convince you that the United States is on the verge of an economic meltdown, Patrick Creadon's scary new documentary, I.O.U.S.A., will demolish any lingering doubts.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bottom line: The party's over. There's no such thing as a free lunch. America itself may be a bubble.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

If more people had watched this film, they might still have their houses.

March 9, 2011 Full Review Source:

Well made, informative and genuinely terrifying documentary, in which the use of humour can't quite diminish the spectre of doom and gloom.

January 14, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Think of this important documentary as Economics 101, a primer on how America and Americans spend, and what hardships the future holds for us unless we change the pattern and our habits quickly.

June 27, 2009 Full Review Source:

For a film starring the national debt, this is a good one. The expected tedious numerical research is accompanied by excellent graphics and archival footage that bring it alive. Is anyone listening?

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Practically begs audiences to declaim it essential viewing, rather than quietly convincing us

February 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Fending off the global repo man

February 5, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

I.O.U.S.A manages to keep this dense, dry information dynamic enough to be interesting and terrifying enough to be important.

December 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinerina

If you believe the terrifying documentary I.O.U.S.A., America is headed for a financial crisis of monumental proportions - and apparently, we are probably too late to keep it from happening.

December 7, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Its aim is to raise awareness of an impending financial disaster if America continues acting fiscally and morally irresponsible.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[A] timely documentary...There is a sense of urgency that propels Creadon's cautionary narrative as an alarming wake-up call to financial discipline.

November 20, 2008 Full Review
Movie Eye

Creadon avoids turning his film into a partisan slugfest, instead opting to focus on how our country as a whole must come together.

November 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

A film with an urgent message that uses the medium to its advantage.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Unexpectedly entertaining, given that it's about dodgy accounting on an epic scale, the film predicts an economic cold shower that is about to douse America's prospects, thanks to its ever-expanding national debt.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

This movie is a scary, exhilarating blast of atheist common sense.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

Patrick Creadon's film is a lucid history lesson in the failures of successive Republican presidents to put a stopper in the country's leaking fiscal hole.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Chastening, compelling.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It makes a very good effort at trying to cover this enormous, important, complex issue of the national debt in less than an hour and a half.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Although the movie is unabashedly alarming, it's also intelligent fun.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Audience Reviews for I.O.U.S.A.

A very in depth documentary that breaks down America's economic problem into layman's terms and emphasizes just how big this problem is. The true horror of the situation is that the idiot leaders of the most powerful nation in the world have still not been able to foresee this problem and are not doing anything about it. One thing I know the filmmakers don't want to see is their prediction come true, and hopefully, the right people see this film.
September 15, 2010

Super Reviewer

We're screwed. I like how people in the government spend our tax money on $450 tatoos, $20,000 Hawaiian vacations, and Girls Gone Wild videos. The sad thing is this film was made in 2007, talking about how bad Bush made the economy, and how the next President will hopefully make it better. How depressing...
September 28, 2009
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

This documentary is very good at breaking things down for the layman who knows our economy is broken--but doesn't understand the specifics.

I knew that we were in a bad state, but never knew how bad things really were. This movie shows you a lot of numbers, figures, graphs and pie charts--as well as plenty of interview footage with some of the most prominent experts and people directly involved. It is shocking to see the staggering figures on the screen and learn that things are still not over.

Of course--it's not all doom and gloom. There is ultimately hope for a fix in the bleeding treasury. And, as the movie points out, it's up to the individual citizen to curb our own selfish spending and elect leader who will act.

Many may be put off by the presentation (which is more facts than it is entertainment) but this is a documentary that every American citizen should watch before going on shopping sprees at Neiman-Marcus.
November 11, 2008

Super Reviewer

A great wake-up call. The unfortunate part is I'm sure only a very small fraction of the American public has seen this film, let alone even know this problem exists. So wake-up everyone: We can't have it all and expect to go on the way we do now.
August 22, 2010

Super Reviewer

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