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In America (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama | 6 February 2004 (USA)
2:00 | Trailer

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A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.


Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Bolger ...
Immigration Officer #1
Immigration Officer #2
Ciaran Cronin ...
Papo (as Juan Hernandez)
Nye Heron ...
Blind Man
Jason Salkey ...
Sara James ...
Papo's Girlfriend
Bob Gallico ...
Theatre Director
Assistant Theatre Director


Following the tragic death of their five-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, drug references, brief violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

6 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tierra de sueños  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£284,259 (UK) (31 October 2003)


$15,539,266 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally written to take place in 1982 when E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) first came out, budget cuts obligated it to be set in 2002 when it was made. Coincidentally, the 20th anniversary edition of ET played in many cinemas in 2002, so that plot point didn't have to be changed. See more »


In the shop in New York, a neon sign in the background reads "Take Away" which is actually the European phrase for take out food, and the sugar packets on the tables are tubes, which are also used mostly in Europe. See more »


[first lines]
Christy: [voiceover] There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Frankie Sheridan See more »


Referenced in Take Me Somewhere Nice (2004) See more »


Baby I'm Real
Performed by Kid Creole and The Coconuts (as Kid Creole & The Coconuts)
Written by Kid Creole
Published by Ascot Music for the world, Lovecat Music and Jessica & Jonathan Music for USA & Canada
Courtesy of Atoll Music and Lovecat Music
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

3 Wishes
10 December 2003 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. I have no idea what has taken so long for this film to be released. Director/Producer/Writer Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot", "In the Name of the Father" "The Boxer") has always been a tremendous filmmaker and with "In America" he has become a wonderful story teller. This semi-autobiographical picture was co-written by Sheridan and his two daughters and is the story of an Irish family's immigration to New York. I am a fan of Levinson's "Avalon" and Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" and I will rank this with both. It causes what I call "crossover". That is when I no longer feel I am watching a movie, but that I become part of the story. The characters are no longer actors, but real people. The writing, directing and acting are all terrific. Paddy Considine (a Stephen Rea lookalike), Samantha Morton ("Minority Report"), Djimon Hounsou ("Gladiator") are all exceptional in their roles. However, this movie belongs to the real-life Bolger sisters, Sarah and Emma, who play Christy and Ariel. Ariel's innocence and need to believe along with Christy's wisdom-beyond-her-years truly make this film work. Rarely do child actors carry a movie of significance. While these two bring joy, laughter, sadness and tears, they never cross the line of overly cute or overly sympathetic. Another odd twist to this film is the importance that Spielberg's "ET" plays. The dream of home and the presence of aliens (drug dealers, etc) in their tenemant tie in nicely. Their friendship with Mateo (Hounsou) is both bizarre and heartwarming. This is an extremely emotional ride for the audience, but one well worth taking.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Set in the 80s' just based on one thing? megacult88
Ireland and Canada not good enough for them? iannisbet
Health insurance situation not realistic downtownblah
Anachronistic flaw, movie sucks, etc... jalstroemeria
Sarah Bolger Advent_Delirium
Frankie's ghost? moodoom
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