In America - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In America Reviews

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½ April 23, 2016
Jim Sheridan's magnificent and dream-like memoir of confronting grief and loss in 80s New York fully deserved its Academy Award nominations, and should be more widely known. The measure of his greatness as director and co-writer is the subtlety of the performances he elicits from the entire cast and his resistance to anything manipulative or corny.
½ April 2, 2016
Don't do depressing well... Slow moving, dry. Some tender moments, but did not enjoy.
½ January 20, 2016
An absolutely diabolical film with a lack of authenticity and a real time-period crisis; seemingly set in 1982 at some points, but nothing, from the soundtrack to the wardrobe, would indicate this. Other than ET being referenced multiple times, everything else points to this being set in the 1990s; a rather advanced LCD equipped camcorder, and the radio host announcing "Music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s" as the family travel by car to NY. Lacking in any kind of social realism, "poverty" never seems to be any real threat or hardship, next month's rent money can be gambled away trying to win a stuffed ET without any real consequence or subsequent peril. The message seems to be that black people aren't as scary as you'd think, but they do of course practice voodoo magic, and society's underclass are just a host of colourful characters; sometimes they are, and I think it's supposed to be surprising, actually good people at heart (I know right, the poor can't possibly be kind or trustworthy..). Sometimes of course, the poor are just out to get you as you'd expect. Terribly clichéd characters, laughable dialogue that ruins any potential "moments" the film may have had and a universe that seems to bend its own rules whenever it sees fit to suit its agenda. Characters behave inconsistently, with pretty much every one of them having a surprisingly bat-shit crazy breakdown and/or reconciliation that comes out of absolutely nowhere at some point in the film. Goes for whimsy over realism in its portrayal of poverty, and tear-jerker tropes in lieu of making you actually feel for any of the characters. No matter how mundane it might have been at points, I'm sure the real story it's based on is very moving, and would have been much more engaging without the added mysticism and magic. "You know, poverty's like, so bad, one time our Hallowe'en costumes.. were.. like... talked about in hushed tones..." is pretty much as threatening as poverty ever gets in this completely misguided film. The film critic who mentioned Capra in the same sentence as this steaming turd of a film really needs to resign immediately.
½ November 29, 2015
Such an underrated but touching and moving movie. I cannot recommend this enough. Immigration can be tough but with some love and good people on the way it can be a great adventure too;full of hope meaning and love.I wish Sheridan was still making such good stuff. Watch it. It deserves it.
½ November 14, 2015
Sentimental...... truly sentimental. I weep almost throughout the movie! Whenever we are facing difficulties, we may run out of ways to solve it. But if we hold a belief firnly, the silver lining will shine upon us. Not only the 2 Oscar nominees are wonderful here, the 2 kid stars are also excellent in developing the story.
September 6, 2015
A family movie, not giving out sanctimonious moral lessons, but sharing a simple message of solidarity and redemption....
June 15, 2015
One of the best movies of 2003.Great performances all around that takes the viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.Great movie.
May 17, 2015
my hubby and I were looking for a movies we hadn't seen and we ran across this one.. i so enjoyed it
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2015
Does a great job in introducing this lovely Irish family moving to New York with just a handful of scenes. From that point on it's hard not to be moved by the funny and sad things they go through. Awesome acting, especially the two little girls are adorable, Djimon Hounsou is great as always. Wonderful feel-good movie with quite a few really moving scenes.
March 20, 2015
An immigrant story you haven't seen and wouldn't expect to see in this day (there white!). Its got a little 90's feel to it, lots of drama and an obligatory sex scene. Feel good while being dirty, edgy and yet still critic proof. Not the kind of movie that you want to see again or will change your life but its a good for your soul hopeful kind of film.
½ February 23, 2015
Very interesting story with an amazing performance from Samantha Morton. She deserved to win the Oscar in 2003 and the screenplay deserved to win as well. All the performances including the kids and the dad were superb
February 13, 2015
7.6/10
Very touching movie with excellent performances by its adult cast, and most impressively by its younger cast. Th story was also very good and it's characters extremely human, which made it very emotional in some critical moments. Overall, very good movie about letting go and the American Dream.
~February 13, 2015~
February 5, 2015
Poignant, charming, beautifully filmed story of an Irish immigrant family struggling with poverty and the loss of a child to cancer in a new country, seen through the eyes of the eldest little girl in the family and her camcorder. Wonderful, worth-while flick, and the two little sister who play the sisters are wonderful, natural actresses.
August 15, 2014
This is showing on Time Warner Cable under "On Demand/Free Movies/Sundance"; worth seeing for sure. But I don't think I'll ever quite say good-bye to my Jennifer. Sometimes, I actually find myself saying hello.
June 27, 2014
In the first scene of Jim Sheridan's ''In America'' we meet an Irish family of four as they attempt to cross the Canadian border into America. Before being questioned by border control the man of the family, Johnny, reminds his two young girls to sustain the pretence that they are 'on holiday,' knowing that to divulge any more information would greatly harm their chances of entrance. As Johnny is questioned at his car window by the youngest girl naively blurts out from the back seat that her 'dad's not working,' thus arousing the suspicions of the immigration officer. He knows that is not uncommon for desperate families to seek refuge in the land of opportunity. However, the officer is not a stranger to compassion. He is conspicuously charmed by the gobby little girl, and when he learns by accident that this family have recently lost a young son his official demeanour softens and he admits the family into the U.S.A. In this utterly delightful opening scene you might say that director Jim Sheridan is setting out his stall to move his audience. He wants to charm us in the same way the little girl charms the immigration officer. He wants to earn our pity and for us to sympathise with this family's plight. For the most part he succeeds in his mission. It's a very emotional movie but I hesitate to call it emotionally manipulative. The references to ET; The nostalgic view of America; The unjust death of a child etc. All these efforts to move us and make us weep are so genuine and so transparent that you do not feel manipulated. This is one of those irresistibly charming movies that you just surrender yourself to.

Of course it also helps when you have two of the greatest living performers in the lead roles. Paddy Considine is excellent as the head of the household, Johnny. Johnny is a likeable and sympathetic character who is struggling in his career as an actor, but would do anything for his family. Since the death of his son he sees himself as a hollow shell of his former self but in key moments he proves his worth. In one great scene he somehow acquires the Herculean strength to haul an air conditioner through the streets of New York and up the stairs to his top-storey flat, only to realize that the plug does not fit into the outlet. Likewise the ever-reliable Samantha Morton is great as Sarah, who is dealing with the loss of her son in a very different way. She wears a smile and is exasperated by Johnny's lack of emotion, but deep down is still suffering from guilt and sadness over the recent tragedy. The child actresses(real life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger) are also very natural screen presences. One of the main story threads involves these two girls, Christy and Ariel, befriending an enigmatic neighbour named Mateo(Djimon Hounsou),who despite having an angry 'keep out' notice on his door, is soon revealed to be a kind-hearted artist and mystic.

The story is almost Dickension in its mix of toughness and unabashed sentimentality. Yet although it has a very soft heart and a fantastical air, it is also very observant in its portrayal of a family's struggle to adapt to a foreign country. As well as the obvious financial throes, this Irish immigrant family faces challenges ranging from social class distinctions to the unfamiliar heat waves of New York. The way the death of a small child hangs over events adds an extra layer of melancholy to their struggles. But while the movie does not shy away from grim realities it maintains a sense of childlike, spiritual wonder throughout. Among other things it's a hymn to childhood imagination, which has the ability to transform a run-down apartment building into a haunted house. Sheridan masterfully links the elements of folklore with kitchen sink realism. It is as much about the powers of the human spirit as it is about the down-to-earth throes of a penniless family. To nitpick a little I did feel like the final act was perhaps a teeny-tiny bit overwrought. All in all, though, this very heart-warming and well-acted movie certainly won me over.
½ June 25, 2014
Christy: [voiceover] It was as hard for Frankie to smile when the tumor was malignant as it was for my dad to cry after. But they both managed it. I'm going to switch this off now. It's not the way I want to see Frankie any more. Do you still have a picture of me in your head? Well, that's like the picture I want to have of Frankie. One that you can keep in your head forever. So when you go back to reality, I'll ask Frankie to please, please let me go.

In America es una película que lidea con la inmigración ilegal de una familia de Irlanda a Nueva York y la integración que esto conlleva, y tratar de vivir luego de la pérdida de un ser querido cercano. Esta película es reconfortante, y muestra como cada miembro de la familia lidea con las dificultades en este nuevo país. El padre (Johnny) se sumerge en su trabajo, ya que tiene una presión tremenda de apoyar económicamente a su familia. Su esposa (Sarah) trata de pretender que todo está bien por sus hijas, pero lleva una culpa enorme por dentro. La hija mayor (Ariel) que es la narradora de la película -una decisión acertada ya que le da inocencia a el tema - esta convencida que tiene 3 deseos para ayudar a su familia y tiene que gastarlos sabiamente. Aunque ella se muestra fuerte, lidia con esto en su propia manera, que es capturar lo más posible con una videograbadora, y pareciera que no se quiere perder u olvidar nada y por último Christy que es la pequeña, confía en todo el mundo y siempre trata de ver el lado positivo a todo. A su vida llega un hombre misterioso llamado Mateo (Djimon Hounsou), que les da varias lecciones de vida y los ayuda a sobrellevar el dolor.

Esta película lidia con muchas emociones, pero es el humor que previene que se torne trágico o melodramático. Algunas escenas igual son difíciles se ver, sobretodo la del carnaval donde Johnny trata de ganar el peluche de ET para Christy, y muestra la presión de los padres para no decepcionar a sus hijos. En lo que esta película se destaca, es en mostrar las dinámicas familiares ante un evento trágico, y las actuaciones ayudan a que esto sea realista. Igualmente la edición y algunas escenas fueron extrañas y no entendí porque tomaron ese enfoque. Por ejemplo, cuando introducen al personaje de Mateo lo hacen ver como alguien que realiza rituales y sacrificios satánicos, y luego nos damos cuanta que no tiene nada que ver con su carácter. Escenas como esta fueron las que me sacaron un poco del contexto y sobretodo de la gran carga emocional de In America.
May 10, 2014
I already suspect I'm gonna be saying this a lot for Jim Sheridan movies, but this gets by almost exclusively on its acting. A lot of the unsubtle writing, including stereotypes, clichés, and sentimentality, is smoothed over by the lovely performances, especially the Bolger sisters, who are literally perfect. I feel a little guilty about giving it such a high rating when it has so many problems (there's even an Uncle Tom played shockingly straight) but those little girls were just too adorable for me to resist.
½ May 1, 2014
Great acting and a interesting story that plays less with prejudice and more with hopes and assimilation for a family in America. It does show a less than great side of America, breaking the idiom of 'Land of Opportunity' in its idealistic sense.
½ March 29, 2014
Disappointing melodrama
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