Made in U.S.A.

Critics Consensus

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84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,753
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Movie Info

A young woman finds herself caught up in murder and a Cold War conspiracy.

Cast

Anna Karina
as Paula Nelson
Jean-Pierre Léaud
as Donald Siegel
Laszlo Szabo
as Richard Widmark
Kyoko Kosaka
as Doris Mizoguchi
Claude Bakka
as Man with Marianne Faithful
Jean-Pierre Biesse
as Richard M. Nixon
Charles Bitsch
as Taxi Driver
Jean-Claude Bouillon
as Inspector Aldrich
Remo Forlani
as Workman in Bar
Rita Maiden
as Woman Who Gives Paula Information
Alexis Poliakoff
as Man with Notebook and Red Telephone
Yves Afonso
as David Goodis
Jean-Luc Godard
as Richard Politzer's Shadow and His Recorder Voice
Ernest Menzer
as Edgar Typhus
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Critic Reviews for Made in U.S.A.

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Made in U.S.A.

  • Jul 23, 2014
    In <i>Kill Bill Vol. 1</i> (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. <i>Made in U.S.A.</i> 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. 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2011
    Toward the beginning of this film, I thought, "Wow: Godard hasn't completely eschewed the idea of using a plot to reveal characters through action and make their decisions reflect whatever political/philosophical point he wants to share." Then, that fucking radio voice spouting socialist propaganda appeared again, and I almost hurled my remote control through the television. But I didn't, dear friends. No, my television remains unfettered by a remote control sticking through its screen. What did I really do when Godard reverted to using his radio voice? I slumped in my chair. I played Blackjack on my iPhone. I waited for it all to be over - like a root canal or a conversation with my grandmother. On a gem-within-a-pile-of-shit/looking-on-the-bright-side note, I liked the subtle post-structuralism here: the characters frequently refer to the fact that they're in a film, and some of the landmarks are named after famous film directors. This is how I think post-structuralism is effective. The mystery plot, which I suspected might dominate the film's action, is almost unintelligible. I normally try to guess the culprit, but even at the end I didn't know who did it. The main problem with the film is that by that point I didn't care. I'm just happy I got blackjack.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2010
    I've loved some other '60s Godard films, but this one disappointed me. Supposedly an arch remake of "The Big Sleep," "Made in U.S.A." had its "U.S.A." release delayed for decades due to the story rights not being properly cleared. But you'll have to do some brainwork to assemble a plot from this erratic collection of scenes. The film appears to have been shot very quickly and cheaply, and the actors just perfunctorily rattle through their lines as if they're in a hurry to get to the next location. Typically for Godard, there are frequent disruptions of cinematic reality, as characters have names taken from movie history (Ruby Gentry, Donald Siegel, Richard Widmark) and sometimes speak directly into the camera. Music lovers won't want to miss a bar scene about 20 minutes into the action, where a young, ethereal Marianne Faithfull croons "As Tears Go By" a capella. Not onstage -- just casually sitting in a corner booth.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2010
    godards noir-comedy is solid but not without its problems. the film lacks the engaging dialogue that i expect from a godard film, and despite its short running time the film wastes a lot of time on silliness that makes for barely enough time to develop the mystery, which was underdeveloped severely. the characters were interesting enough and the quirkiness of the film kept me drawn in, but the film is only slightly above average and fairly forgettable.
    danny d Super Reviewer

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