The House I Live In (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The House I Live In (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Why We Fight director Eugene Jarecki shifts his focus from the military industrial complex to the War on Drugs in this documentary exploring the risks that prohibition poses to freedom, and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals. In the four decades since the War on Drugs commenced, over 45 millions of addicts have been arrested - and for each one jailed, another family is destroyed. Meanwhile, the prisons in America are growing overcrowded with non-violent criminals, and illegal drugs are still being sold in schoolyards. By examining just where it all went wrong, Jarecki reveals that a solution is possible if we can just find it in ourselves to be compassionate, and see past the decades of paranoia and propaganda. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Eugene Jarecki
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 2, 2013
Box Office: $0.2M
Abramorama Entertainment - Official Site

News & Interviews for The House I Live In

Critic Reviews for The House I Live In

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (22)

The movie's indictment would be more persuasive had Jarecki recognized that his audience likely already knows most of what he recaps, and can handle the odd scrap of ambiguity.

Full Review… | January 17, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

"The House I Live In" leaves you shaking your head in deadened wonder at the waste of it all.

Full Review… | December 7, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Tells a complex story with troubling ease.

Full Review… | November 20, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Americans have long celebrated justice and freedom, but director Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In forces viewers to look closely at political policies that have turned the nation into the No. 1 jailer in the world.

Full Review… | July 16, 2013

Whatever your politics, you will find things to astonish and flabbergast and enrage you in what is perhaps the most cool-headed examination of America's relationship to illegal drugs ever.

Full Review… | July 2, 2013
Flick Filosopher

Somehow, Jarecki pulls it off, circling his subject and revisiting key themes as he constructs the convincing argument that, while the drug war may affect only a certain segment of the population, it's everyone's problem.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
Montreal Gazette

Audience Reviews for The House I Live In

Documentary examining some of the absurdities of the War on Drugs---like mandatory minimum sentences, the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity, and asset seizure---and how they've turned law enforcement into a self perpetuating prison-industrial complex that does nothing to address the root problems. It effectively sets forth the argument that the system is broken and that those profiting from it have no incentive to fix things, but the idea of comparing scapegoated drug-users to Holocaust victims will certainly turn some people off. The doc's biggest flaw was that it needed to be made 20 years ago, when these crazy laws were being enacted.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

Recently, Michael Moore, in his self-appointed role as commissioner of documentaries, gave a list of guidelines that documentary filmmakers should follow. One of them is to get in front of the camera. And with the documentary "The House I Live In," we can see where that might not always be such a good idea as in making a film about the failed drug war in the United States that affects so many poor and people of color, director Eugene Jarecki comes at it from the privileged point of view of his Connecticut family who employed a nanny for many years.

So while that holds true, Jarecki does provide some keen insights here, especially as it relates to the draconian mandatory minimum sentences non-violent drug offenders face. And he benefits greatly from speaking to David Simon. But at the same time, there is a lot of material that is certainly not new(Bloom County or Bill Hicks, your choice). Plus, the documentary is now a little dated since marijuana has recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington while omitting other material like say about prohibition, which might clash with the movie's overall thesis about everything being racist and classist, ignoring the United States's long puritanical streak in favor of whatever conspiracy theories happen to come along.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A documentary that looks at the "legacy" of the US's War On Drugs. It's undeniably fascinating subject matter but its filmed in a rather sedate, distancing manner, I wanted something more passionate and angry, more exhaustive.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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