The House I Live In

2012

The House I Live In

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 64

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,114
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Movie Info

Why We Fight director Eugene Jarecki shifts his focus from the military industrial complex to the War on Drugs in this documentary exploring the risks that prohibition poses to freedom, and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals. In the four decades since the War on Drugs commenced, over 45 millions of addicts have been arrested - and for each one jailed, another family is destroyed. Meanwhile, the prisons in America are growing overcrowded with non-violent criminals, and illegal drugs are still being sold in schoolyards. By examining just where it all went wrong, Jarecki reveals that a solution is possible if we can just find it in ourselves to be compassionate, and see past the decades of paranoia and propaganda. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The House I Live In

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (25)

  • The movie's indictment would be more persuasive had Jarecki recognized that his audience likely already knows most of what he recaps, and can handle the odd scrap of ambiguity.

    Jan 17, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "The House I Live In" leaves you shaking your head in deadened wonder at the waste of it all.

    Dec 7, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • One of the best documentaries out this year, and a must-see for Senate and Congress in America.

    Nov 23, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • An angry and personal attack on America's war on drugs contends it is a grotesquely wasteful public-works scheme.

    Nov 22, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Jarecki offers 100 small conclusions rather than one big one for you to take away.

    Nov 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Tells a complex story with troubling ease.

    Nov 20, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The House I Live In

  • Dec 28, 2014
    Recently, Michael Moore, in his self-appointed role as commissioner of documentaries, gave a list of guidelines that documentary filmmakers should follow. One of them is to get in front of the camera. And with the documentary "The House I Live In," we can see where that might not always be such a good idea as in making a film about the failed drug war in the United States that affects so many poor and people of color, director Eugene Jarecki comes at it from the privileged point of view of his Connecticut family who employed a nanny for many years. So while that holds true, Jarecki does provide some keen insights here, especially as it relates to the draconian mandatory minimum sentences non-violent drug offenders face. And he benefits greatly from speaking to David Simon. But at the same time, there is a lot of material that is certainly not new(Bloom County or Bill Hicks, your choice). Plus, the documentary is now a little dated since marijuana has recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington while omitting other material like say about prohibition, which might clash with the movie's overall thesis about everything being racist and classist, ignoring the United States's long puritanical streak in favor of whatever conspiracy theories happen to come along.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2013
    A documentary that looks at the "legacy" of the US's War On Drugs. It's undeniably fascinating subject matter but its filmed in a rather sedate, distancing manner, I wanted something more passionate and angry, more exhaustive.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2012
    Documentary examining some of the absurdities of the War on Drugs---like mandatory minimum sentences, the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity, and asset seizure---and how they've turned law enforcement into a self perpetuating prison-industrial complex that does nothing to address the root problems. It effectively sets forth the argument that the system is broken and that those profiting from it have no incentive to fix things, but the idea of comparing scapegoated drug-users to Holocaust victims will certainly turn some people off. The doc's biggest flaw was that it needed to be made 20 years ago, when these crazy laws were being enacted.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2012
    The House I Live In is an uncreative, loooooooong winded, redundant documentary that isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know. There have been some powerful documentaries that are more informative and have less known information about drugs in America that give you that knowledge in a more concise, ENTERTAINING way. They'll also make you think. This one will make you yawn. This broken record of a documentary tried to beat the same thing in over and over while tweaking its own footage to sway the audiences thought. It takes almost TWO HOURS to do so as well. There's nothing insightful about The House I Live In and it's not much of a topic starter. It's mostly just boring. If you HAVE TO watch it, wait until you can see it free on FSTV or something.
    Jason C Super Reviewer

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