America Unchained (2007)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Writer Dave Gorman and director Andy Devonshire embark on a cross-country quest to travel from Las Angeles to the Atlantic Ocean without spending a single penny at a chain restaurant, chain hotel, or chain gas station in this documentary companion piece to Gorman's book of the same name. There was a time when so-called "mom and pop" businesses thrived in the United States. Flash-forward into the new millennium, and it begins to seem as if personal pride and individuality have been sacrificed in the name of corporate-financed convenience. Is there still enough of that old independent spirit to propel a resourceful traveler from coast to coast, and what happens when a traveling vegetarian attempts to order a meal in the American heartland? Discover the answers to these compelling questions and many more as Gorman offers his unique perspective on America's increasingly homoginized landscape.
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for America Unchained

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Audience Reviews for America Unchained


No "Googlewhack Adventure," but a very interesting premise. His visit to the closing store in Independence, OR, is worth the watch alone.

Alan Van Dyke
Alan Van Dyke

A documentary co-produced and featuring novelist and comedian Dave Gorman (author of "Googlewhacked" and occasional contributor for The Daily Show), America Unchained follows Gorman's attempts to drive from the West coast to the East coast of the US using only independently owned gas stations, motels, stores and restaurants.

An entertaining, sometimes very witty documentary that has a good idea, it is also unfortunately far too slight to get to grips with any kind of issues. Avoiding a polemic is one thing, but when you present little argument as to why the corporations should be avoided (other than frequent sounding off that the money goes to 'the man' instead of 'the people'), don't ground your subject with any kind of factual information or even basic background details, and worse, don't end the film with a decent conclusion, then you have to wonder what the point of the whole thing is. Gorman clearly feels strongly about his eschewing of chain motels, giant gas companies etc., but isn't adequately able to convey why or what he hopes to achieve - the mere process of attempting his mission seems to be enough for him. An interesting, funny portrait of a decent man, but a failure as a serious documentary.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

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