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Maxed Out (2006)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 6

Maxed Out's presentation of startling facts and candid interviews put a human face on the issue of debt and financial insecurity.

83

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 4

Maxed Out's presentation of startling facts and candid interviews put a human face on the issue of debt and financial insecurity.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 74,274

My Rating

Movie Info

Per its title, James D. Scurlock's virulently angry muckraking documentary Maxed Out examines the many problems associated with escalating U.S. consumer debt. Scurlock places his weightiest emphasis on the ends of the spectrum rooted in extreme evil (read: abuse) -- such as the capital lenders who wheedle poor farm families into assuming unmanageable loans and college students into placing massive amounts on credit cards. He also touches on the end rooted in extreme tragedy, such as the debtors

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Jun 5, 2007

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (6) | DVD (3)

This muckraking documentary on America's personal-debt crisis lays bare the predatory practices of credit card companies and the Bush administration's cozy relationship with the financial services industry.

December 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Do not see this film if you worry about money.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maxed Out focuses on how much we're in hock without ever really wondering why we need to buy.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This scattershot exposé of usurious banking practices examines why the most vulnerable segment of society is victimized by the lending industry and finds a simple answer: It's obscenely profitable.

October 6, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maxed Out exposes the credit card sham for what it is, and fingers the hustlers who perpetuate it.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To maximize your return on this useful report, sit through the end credits where Spurlock deposits some of his best material.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uma análise detalhada e preocupante sobre a política empregada pelas operadoras de cartões de crédito no intuito de manterem os clientes numa situação de endividamento constante - ou melh... pior: crescente.

January 6, 2008
Cinema em Cena

When it comes to credit, it pays to be informed.

November 4, 2007 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

One of the most effective of the many recent agitprop documentaries.

September 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The propagandistic Maxed Out is ultimately undermined by the fact that, as vile as many of its corporate interviewees seem, its everyman subjects are often just as culpable in creating and perpetuating the whole mess.

June 25, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

shines a light on one of the most pervasive (and potentially disastrous) problems affecting our society today

June 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

[A] dispiriting expose of predatory lending scams that mislead even smart, educated people and a credit-card industry that is designed... to work against the ordinary consumer...

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

It's a slapdash affair... yet still winds up with a raw, gritty power.

April 24, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

...the film will make you think twice about spending money you don't have.

March 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A much-needed wake-up call to face the fact that state-sanctioned usury and exorbitant late fees are destroying the prospects of working class citizens of ever achieving anything approaching the American Dream.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

As a film, Maxed Out occasionally loses its way with glib choices (get ready to get tired of the song Money) and odd diversions (a segment with a Realtor begins the movie with a whimper, not a bang). But as a cry of outrage, it's spot-on.

March 15, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

What Spurlock discovers in his scathing investigative inquiry, is a shocking national situation of debt slavery, with all the earmarks of science fiction.

March 13, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

Audience Reviews for Maxed Out

A prophetic punch in the face to the credit card system that came years before someone (Obama) stepped in and changed the rules. I loved this movie for its leanness. Its message was obvious: credit card companies prey on least fortunate of all. The film didn't need multiiple viewpoints or balance, it just presented the facts. Staggering, you have to watch this. It's on par with Michael Moore's best work.
October 1, 2011
danperry17

Super Reviewer

I really don't see how this won so many awards. "Credit Card companies and banks are screwing us over?! NO WAY!?" I was wanting more insider secrets and mind blowing statistics. Not to be found.
November 7, 2008
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

A decent effort but just feels like random interviews thrown together without exploring how people get to this point.
September 10, 2012
SunilJawahir

Super Reviewer

I thought it was really well put together and informative. My only complaint was that it didn't highlight any people that abuse credit or bankruptcy and had a very one-sided view of collection agencies as well. But this is something that everyone needs to see.
August 10, 2009
trisarahtops22

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (DE)
  • Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (UK)
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