Made in U.S.A. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Made in U.S.A. Reviews

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December 17, 2016
Admittedly not Godard's finest film, but this fractured romp (yes, romp) looks gorgeous and the story just about makes sense as it sashays from one peculiar set-piece to another. Worth watching for Marianne Faithfull's well-positioned cameo if nothing else.
October 24, 2016
It's an absurdist comedy/neo-noir from Godard with long monologues about communism. It's like the perfect movie.
½ October 10, 2016
This is probably Jean-Luc Godard's worst film. Its a bare story/plot enough as it is, but it feels like a half baked concept that doesn't even try to be comprehensible or exciting in any way. Its basically a nonsense film, and I award it the lowest score. I shouldn't have taken the chance with this film.
February 15, 2016
Didn't fully enjoyed this Godard film, which was his tribute to film-noir, but in brash colours. Loosely based on a novel by a known noir author, Godard made this film his own with some political intrigue and tons of references to film and literature. Any classic film fan with notice many with names paying to tribute to old movies, stars and directors that Godard admired. This film also features his muse and wife Anna Karina. Worth a watch, but not a high recommendation.
January 15, 2016
Jean Luc-Godard's inventive film is both a playful homage towards film noir, and layered allegory concerning the cold war. Often fun and certainly original, but the social commentary can be a little heavy-handed.
½ November 12, 2015
If you've read this far you have probably contemplated getting one of your home made movies theatrical release. Maybe you were inspired by this, Jean Luc Godard's own home made movie which looks like he had some help from a young, very young, Spike Lee. Which makes sense since Mr. Lee's own cinematic style never evolved beyond a 2 year old's. So nothing happened right? And you're still wondering why Mr. Godard can get a piece of celluloid that should be recycled into styrofoam cups not only in movie theaters but also gain incredible critical praise. Is it because he's French? Well, first off Mr. Godard isn't French, his movies aren't "new wave", they aren't "no wave", there just a something Hollywood executives made to waste budding film maker's time and to raise false hopes. On the surface Godard looks like a leftist, but by framing policies that are truthfully very conservative within the context of a film that makes the worst home movie look good, they are degrading politics contrary to their own.
Watching a Godard film is like attending a casting call, for anything from "America's got talent" to "American Idol" to any of the other casting calls. No one at a casting call ever gets a part. The "American Idol" final contestants and all of the ones who didn't make it but still showed up on the TV show were sent by an agent without any interview, judgement by judges, any of that. So why does the entertainment business go to the trouble of arranging these fiascoes? Well, it keeps people like you off their backs and when you get home you can watch the boob tube to see what could not have been. So what did you learn today? 1) find some way to recycle your self produced home movie because it will never go beyond 100 views on Youtube 2) Even if you strike it rich you will never be able to get your movie on TV or in the theaters unless you got rich in the entertainment business.
May 3, 2015
If you can stand the politically philosophical ramblings of Godard's screenplay, you might enjoy his colorful takeoff on American film noir.
September 9, 2014
Oh Godard, you silly man. This is the final film before Anna and Godard split up, and it's another clever film with irreverent gold like the bar scene, eye-popping colors, witty dialogue, self-aware references, political statements, and Anna Karina beauty.
½ July 30, 2014
Despite a genuinely interesting opening scene, a premise with lots of potential and some individual creative moments and amusing lines of dialogue, the film quickly becomes fairly dull as it would rather indulge in politically charged surrealism than develop its story and characters.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2014
In Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), every time that the name of The Bride was spoken out loud, the name would be interrupted by a beeping sound. The same thing happens here, but in various ways.

Yeah, like if that mattered...

Godard's dedication to Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller, the filmmakers who "taught him the importance of picture and sound", is a mixed, stylish and disappointing noir-comedy whose visual style resembles that of a rainbow cake, and leaves you like the mere thought of a rainbow cake: hungry.

Made in U.S.A. wants to be too many things at once. That is its main fault. What does it try to be?

- A commentary on Leftist politics.
- A criticism of Fascism.
- A tribute to American crime dramas.
- A "Walt Disney film starring Humphrey Bogart".
- A slice of "magic realism with blood".
- A film about the fascist evils of advertising.
- Style over substance...
- ...and then substance over style.
- A vehicle for transforming Anna Karina into an iconic image in full Eastmancolor.
- An excuse to nod at several Godard's artistic and political influences, such as Don Siegel, Paul Widmark, David Goodis and Kenji Mizoguchi.
- An excuse to utilize references to American pulp culture, from the humor to the comic-book style that interrupts this rare breed.

Godard is undeniably unique; he was just being too much himself. Mmm... How do I say this? It tends to be boring. The substance therein is much more interesting than the way the film delivers its comments. Anna Karina is definitely an iconic delight to look at, 150 times more iconic than Uma Thurman under Tarantino's lens, which is one of the factors, along with the underrated actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, whick keep this bizarre product running with fuel.

Maybe the title is what remains the most interesting aspect, though. A superficial look at it might make us think that the overflow of Western culture, art and politics make of this a questionably positive tribute to the U.S.; however, it is really a slap to patriotism and to American literature and ideals, which probably placed America as the author of war promotion. Bang! Well, that hurts.

Nothing hurts more than the truth, though, especially if this film takes place in the "near future of 1966" and was released in Cold War times.

February 26, 2014
Just saw this on the big screen and its passion and beauty still linger, heavily, and a review is on its way . . ."I think advertisement is fascism"
May 3, 2013
while not vintage Godard the film is not without interest
½ February 11, 2013
Quite difficult to follow, but just go with it as is best to do with any Godard film. A radical look on politics, Karina is wonderful and in charge in her last role with Godard. Not his best, but still a fantastic piece of cinema from the master.
½ October 25, 2012
Sometimes when Godard plays around with narrative, I have no problem. There's something hypnotic about Pierre le Fou, Breathless, Vivre sa Vie, and Band of Outsiders. But in other cases, the pacing suffers and I can't stand the inaccessibility of it. I did admire Raoul Cotard's cinematography showcasing brightly colored set pieces and exuberant costumes. I also never mind seeing Anna Karina. What a beautiful woman.
October 9, 2012
Do you care about politics? If not, then there's probably little chance you will care about Godard's Made in U.S.A. At least I know I didn't. There are many beautiful shots, brilliant performances, and Godard's personal touches that you can feel throughout, but overall it's confusing and empty. This was probably confusing just because I realized how little I cared around the 20 minute mark and focused more on the visuals than what they were talking about afterword. The storyline follows Paula trying to discover how her husband died. She was told that his heart just stopped one day, but she knows that's not true and wants to know the source. The whole truth lies in one scene, really, and that's when we hear the characters rattle off American names like McNamara and Nixon and they say they're killers. It's no secret that Godard's a fascist. Unfortunately what he doesn't realize is that politics are not enough to fill an entire film. We need characters that are flesh and blood. Even after this film I don't know what anyone was about other than their political stance. The tape player was always dull. I really liked the Chinese woman singing and playing guitar in the bathroom. The bar scene where the guy says he can speak in complete sentences but they won't make sense was really well done as well. But what's the point of these scenes? I don't really feel the need to comment any more than what I have. If there was a heart behind Made in U.S.A. I didn't see it. Too bad, because it seems like there were interesting ideas there.
½ July 31, 2012
not my favorite godard
½ July 25, 2012
Um filme político bem experimental, com ótimas cenas, e que no final não te deixa com a sensação de tê-lo compreendido totalmente.
½ July 4, 2012
I don't know, man . . .
½ March 25, 2012
Paula's (Karina) boyfriend has just died, and though the undertaker says it was a heart issue, she doesn't believe it, and begins to believe he was murdered for political reasons. Paula then leads her own investigation because she "hates the police", and comes across dead bodies, fishy characters, and capitalism. "Made in USA" might have the plot of a film noir, and may have some scenes that seem like a thriller, but this is for sure an art house movie first and foremost. Filmed at the exact same time as "2 ou 3 Choses que je Sais d'Elle", the film is more remembered as the last partnership between director Jean-Luc Godard and his wife Anna Karina after six years of films. No, "Made in USA" doesn't have the brilliance of their other pairings such as "Alphaville" or "Bande à part", this is still a wonderful exercise in how well Godard can use art in cinema and make such a simple movie turn into something so beautiful. Going over themes such as politics and capitalism, the film at times can be brilliant, but also can be pretentious, which at times can take away from the film. But that doesn't ruin the fact that the cinematography is so colorful, the unique score of Beethoven pieces sets an interesting tone, and the always interesting dialogue all create such a Godard-ish experience that you can forget every flaw. "Made in USA" certainly isn't Jean-Luc Godard's best, but that doesn't mean it isn't a brilliant film. And considering we'll never get to see the gorgeous Anna Karina again in his films adds a lot as well, but what sums what adds the most to the overall experience is the excellent remastering from the Criterion Collection. Recommended.
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