Maxed Out - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Maxed Out Reviews

Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 4, 2007
This muckraking documentary on America's personal-debt crisis lays bare the predatory practices of credit card companies and the Bush administration's cozy relationship with the financial services industry.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 6, 2007
Do not see this film if you worry about money.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 6, 2007
Maxed Out focuses on how much we're in hock without ever really wondering why we need to buy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 6, 2007
This scattershot exposť of usurious banking practices examines why the most vulnerable segment of society is victimized by the lending industry and finds a simple answer: It's obscenely profitable.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 20, 2007
Maxed Out exposes the credit card sham for what it is, and fingers the hustlers who perpetuate it.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times
March 23, 2007
To maximize your return on this useful report, sit through the end credits where Spurlock deposits some of his best material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 20, 2007
Maxed Out doesn't really offer solutions, probably because there are none. But it does a great job of showing how the rich get richer and the poor foot the bill, plus interest.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 15, 2007
If your outrage glands need a workout, be sure to see Maxed Out, a muckraking, emotionally powerful, wickedly entertaining documentary on the dreary-sounding topic of consumer debt.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 14, 2007
Maxed Out, while occasionally muddled in its financial details, presents a more-accurate-than-not vision of a nation that is starting to look like a candidate for rehab, on both an individual and a national level, for its addiction to debt.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
March 13, 2007
The film's scattered ruminations on credit card mania add up to a powerful indictment of a culture of mindless consumption spinning out of control.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 9, 2007
Though the movie sometimes feels a bit cursory in telling its many stories, many of its points resonate strongly, in that hey-how-come-I-didn't-know-that way that the best muckraking journalism can do.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
March 9, 2007
While the documentary does a credible job of pointing out the magnitude of the problem, it skirts the issue of what can be done about it and by whom.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 9, 2007
All the film provides is this bulletin: Lefties are angry about the things Lefties are angry about, chiefly corporate profits.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
March 9, 2007
James Scurlock's often riveting documentary is likely to leave you outraged over the manipulative greed of America's banks and credit card firms.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 8, 2007
James Scurlock's documentary serves up cautionary tales of epic abuse, though the overall tone is faux cheerful and sometimes genuinely entertaining, especially in the use of clips from an old educational film that looks too fatuous to be faux.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 8, 2007
Scurlock's filmmaking style leans more heavily on woebegone personal testimony than facts and figures, but politicians willing to go up against the credit industry's lobbyists would be well advised to take a look.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2007
Scurlock does well to counter the more dire aspects of the film with a razor-sharp sense of humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 8, 2007
A film all high school seniors should see. And their parents. And their siblings, neighbors, best friends and acquaintances. You should see it, too.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 7, 2007
James Scurlock's Maxed Out takes a long-overdue swipe at the shamelessly predatory tactics of the credit-card and home-mortgage industries, which are feeding on the most economically vulnerable members of our society.
Top Critic
Nathan Lee
Village Voice
March 6, 2007
A slapdash piece of work totally indebted to second-hand rhetorical strategies (the '50s educational film, glib Bush-bashing) and threadbare indignation.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 6, 2007
Given that James D. Scurlock's documentary Maxed Out is a resolutely uncinematic progression of talking heads -- and they're talking about a subject most of us would rather not even think about -- it's a remarkably entertaining film.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 5, 2007
Oh, the stories Scurlock tells.
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
March 22, 2006
Intelligent, informative and unusually entertaining docudocu errs only when it yanks too insistently on heartstrings.