George Washington - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

George Washington Reviews

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May 16, 2013
I try to finish watching movies that I post a review for, but this is a humorous case for me. I got 32 minutes into this hour and a half film. From the synopsis:

"While wandering around with his rag-tag band of mates, one boy gets inadvertently killed. Fearing parental retribution, the gang hides the body. Later, matters comes to a head when guilt and anxiety starts to take its toll."

None of this had happened by the time 1/3 of the film was over. Watching this movie is like being given a homework assignment that's a combination of Terrence Malick and Harmony Korine. If that sounds like your jam, you may like this film.
February 13, 2013
Imagine if Gummo made sense, and had a tragic heart to it. Now you have a small understanding of this film.
½ January 12, 2013
While it hits some nice beats, Green is let down by his failure to get the best performances from his largely amateur cast and his decision or inability to use alternative takes.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
Stand By Us.

Beautiful. There is a huge brick wall separating this experimental sample of genuine filmmaking from modern melodrama offerings. Honest, accurate and emotional to the bone, George Washington displays the reality invading cotidianity in places ravaged by harshness and loneliness in all of its layers without using extreme means to cause thought and a knot in the throat. The haunting score illuminates the pure soul of this feature. It's like a big inhalation of fresh air.

December 27, 2012
The Criterion Collection's Synopsis: ''Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the rural south are forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices in a decaying world. An ambitiously constructed, sensuously photographed meditation on adolescence, the first feature film by director David Gordon Green features breakout performances from an award-winning ensemble cast.''

Perfect. It's like Terrence Malick making a coming-of-age film. A wondrous experience.
December 2, 2012
David Gordon Green's debut was quite refreshing in 2000, an indie movie that didn't involve excessive language or violence, a movie about black kids growing up which didn't include a hip hop soundtrack, and rural South without any racism involved. It completely goes against all expectations of cliche, but it is one that needs quite a lot of attention and involvement from the viewer as well. Although Green has moved towards successfully to commercial comedy films, the earlier dramas were something to cherish.
November 6, 2012
Touching and funny at times, but unsure what the purpose of the film is, except to glorify the US government. They relocate the boys to USA, the boy get subsistence for 3 months and then they have to find work and pay for their flight to the USA. Once settled they have to find a way to become a community since they are spread around the USA, provide for their families back home and bring the plight of S.Sudan to the world's attention.
October 29, 2012
A beautifully made short film, depicting the lives of a group of kids in the South. The traintrack shots are indescribably gorgeous and the ruggedness of this rural area is seen as candidly as possible. Unsurprisingly, the film ends in a disturbing manner, but how would it be otherwise? Truly authentic.
October 19, 2012
A somber rural odyssey that affects through imagery & monologues quite effectively.
August 15, 2012
Filmed here in NC. Brilliant film that uses more visual drama than any other movie i have seen.
August 7, 2012
A beautiful film with style, feeling, power, and a strong sense of life. The search for redemption in these guilty children's lives is a tough journey, but the film ends with something completely different, acceptance. In that acceptance, we all find hope. Some of it's most powerful scenes are so simple, but it's just the feeling of how raw it is that makes us feel it more than we ever would otherwise. It's hard to believe the director of "Pineapple Express" could've ever write/direct such a haunting, original and flat-out brilliant film. A great movie.
½ July 26, 2012
Weird little low budget art house film. I had actually never seen a film like this. It is extreme art house, and kind of lacks direction or any real story at all. The director chose to cast real people not actors, or at least they seem like it because the acting is not very good. Overall it is not very entertaining, I don't recommend it unless you are an art house fan.
July 1, 2012
George Washington is a tale of friendship and tragedy that matches that of Stand By Me.
June 18, 2012
It's hard to know what to say about this film. It filled with opposites. It is amateurish, but deep, dismissible, but compelling, crude, but elegiac... A lot like life.
June 14, 2012
Man, David Gordon Green, way to make your first movie ever, like, one of the best movies that anyone's made. It's like Terrence Malick in a southern U.S. ghetto town with these really beautiful, Faulkner-amazing monologues. One of the best coming-of-age stories there is. Shoot man. I wish I made this movie. It's so pretty. It's real sad and bittersweet, but almost magically uplifting. And there are things in this movie that are just about the best things in any movie--things like dinosaur masks and suitcases full of water and stuff. D. G. G., you win the prize man.
April 7, 2012
I heard about this movie in a book that I recently bought. I ended up loving it. This movie is really engaging, with a great story and even better acting from the mostly non professional cast. Truly a great movie
March 21, 2012
An interesting film about childhood. Feels almost like a dream.
January 7, 2012
From the director of.. Your Highness and The Sitter!? What the hell happened to this guy??
½ January 7, 2012
An exceptional debut.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2012
Nasia: Sometimes I smile and laugh when I think of all the great things you're gonna do. I hope you live forever. 

"down this twisted road, please watch over my soul and lift me up so gently so as not to touch the ground."

David Gordon Green's debut feature, George Washington, is immensely different from the films he's been putting out for the last few years. He's been putting out stoner, sex comedies like Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter. George Washington couldn't be less like those movies. It is as far away from comedy as you can be. It's a slow and sad film from a child, Nasia's, point of view. She narrates the story of George, and how he and a couple of friends accidentally killed their friend Buddy. From that point on, these kids aren't really kids any more. The innocence of childhood has left them.

If you want poignant storytelling, George Washington is your film. It's a movie where you can feel for a character, that something awful has happened to. George isn't a bad, rebellious youth, as a lot of these types of films use. He's a good kid, who is in a poor area, around other poor kids. He has a disease that doesn't allow him to get his head wet, and a little bump on the head could kill him. He's limited in what he can do with his friends. 

You can feel the scene where everything turns about five minutes before it happens. When the scene is occurring, you know this is where the tragedy is going to occur. David Gordon Green does the tragic scene the realistic and proper way. Stuff like this doesn't occur like it does in most movies. There's no suspenseful music before hand, there's no slow motion while it's going on, there's no crazy freakout rant afterwards. When a tragic event occurs, you are stunned, and you do what these kids do. You sit down on the ground and stare, until one of you can get up the courage to make a decision what to do next.

I can best describe this Indie movie, by saying it resembles the same feel of a Gus Van Sant indie. There's a bunch of no name actors, that don't really try to act. They perform like real people. They occasionally will make mistakes when they talk and stutter over words, trying to find the right thing to say. Gus Van Sant did Paranoid Park like six or seven years after this, and the two are quite alike. Paranoid Park went a different route in the aftermath of the accident, but the lead up is a lot alike. 

George Washington isn't a film that is for everyone. You may end up finding it too slow or too boring. You may feel that it doesn't quite go anywhere plot wise. But if you like understated, subtle dramas, give it a watch. It just may blow you away.
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