The United States of Leland - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The United States of Leland Reviews

November 24, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
April 16, 2004
An intriguing movie about how badly we really want to know the unknowable, what makes kids kill other kids.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
April 15, 2004
A sidetracking subplot about Madison's adulterous fling with a co-worker goes nowhere; it is one of several unsatisfying, tertiary plot strands.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
April 9, 2004
Isn't it sad that a boy like this could feel so lost that he had to kill someone? Well, maybe. But isn't it sadder that someone's dead?
April 9, 2004
It's neither an insightful nor well-made film.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 9, 2004
[Hoge] spends an awful lot of time trying to get us to understand Leland and almost none trying to get us to understand his victim.
April 9, 2004
Besides being puffed up with its importance, it's also inert and totally implausible -- one of those movies where nobody behaves in a way that seems remotely human.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
April 9, 2004
It's ponderous and endless, and raised only two question in my mind: How many times can Kevin Spacey rehash the same performance? And is death the ultimate deadpan?
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 9, 2004
It simply mopes along to one of those joyless alt-rock soundtracks that have thankfully started to fall out of fashion since the film was produced, leaving vague unpleasantness in its wake.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 9, 2004
A thoughtful, mature, daring work that looks beneath the surface of an awful act and asks questions few would ask.
Read More | Original Score: B+
April 9, 2004
Ambitious but flawed.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 8, 2004
A depressive, civics-lesson Donnie Darko variation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 8, 2004
The performances range from solid to excellent (Mr. Gosling and Mr. Donovan are among the standouts), and the ubiquitous teen angst is handled with a minimum of condescension.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
April 8, 2004
Leland is nothing if not well meant and sincere. Unfortunately, it's also pretentious, overwritten, derivative.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 8, 2004
The strengths of Leland ... come from its performances.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 5, 2004
... really powerful stuff.
April 2, 2004
A compelling, exquisitely acted drama about the shock waves emanating from -- and toward -- a single act of almost inexplicable violence.
April 2, 2004
There's something secondhand about everything here. Hoge seems to be mimicking the tone and fabric of other, better indie movies.
April 2, 2004
Kevin Spacey has only a supporting role in The United States of Leland, but this troubled-youth melodrama -- which he produced -- is very much of a piece with the phony, pretentious and preachy flicks Spacey has starred in of late.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
April 2, 2004
A moral muddle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 1, 2004
There's a reason filmmaking is considered a craft, and Hoge, a former teacher in a juvenile prison, cannot pull off what would be a tricky proposition for a skilled veteran.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 1, 2004
In spite of an exceptionally fine cast, this melodrama of suburban adolescent dysfunction never rises to the level of its literary ambitions.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
April 1, 2004
An ambitious and intelligent film probing that chronic contemporary phenomenon, the seemingly senseless crime, but it is ultimately unsatisfying for all its efforts and various pluses.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
April 1, 2004
Among its weaknesses are an overpopulated cast and a disposable victim.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 31, 2004
There's more here about Pearl's banal romantic life than Leland's crime.
March 31, 2004
Yet another joylessly trendy indie portrait of the dark side of suburbia.
Full Review | Original Score: D
March 30, 2004
The movie's idiotic fascination with the senselessness of its central act is scarily close to a fetish.
January 30, 2003
A complex and often compelling melodrama, at times almost verging on soap opera.
January 24, 2003
As maudlin and monotone as the whiny alt-rock that drenches its overly articulated emotional disclosures.