Uneven drama that's too intense for kids.
| Original Score: 3/5
"The United States Of Leland" deftly points out dilemmas in current American ideology that frequently escalate into tragedy.
| Original Score: B-
A very good film about the utter senselessness of murder...
Hoge seems to take delight in the fact that the film's conclusion is so frustratingly vague, whereas in fact it's both annoying and disappointing.
| Original Score: 6/10
Powerful and provocative--if perhaps a bit subdued.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
... the ultimate result is like one of those college rock songs that hint at a depth that just isn't there.
The drama makes us yearn to discover the reason Leland killed the boy, but the point of the movie isn't to grant us a big revealment.
| Original Score: 3/4
What Gosling accomplishes as Leland cannot be overstated in its brilliance; he gives a face, a mind and a heart to today's doped-up, condemnable teens.
Hoge pours his heart and his considerable writing talent into this exploration of one of our time's most puzzling phenomena: juvenile violence.
An intriguing movie about how badly we really want to know the unknowable, what makes kids kill other kids.
| Original Score: 4/5
| Original Score: B-
...the overabundance of periphery characters and their respective subplots winds up hurting the film more than anything else.
A thoughtful, mature, daring work that looks beneath the surface of an awful act and asks questions few would ask.
| Original Score: B+
The performances range from solid to excellent (Mr. Gosling and Mr. Donovan are among the standouts), and the ubiquitous teen angst is handled with a minimum of condescension.
The strengths of Leland ... come from its performances.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
... really powerful stuff.
A film whose nuances glimmer with a diamond's brilliance.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
A shattering glimpse of the way a community reacts when the erratic killing of an innocent suddenly hits close to home...Deserverdly stands as one of the best films of 2004.