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The United States of Leland (2003)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  25 March 2005 (Italy)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 17,500 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 99 user | 64 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

Tells the story of a young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marybeth Fitzgerald
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Harry Pollard
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Karen Pollard
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Charlie
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Bengel
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Ryan Pollard
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Storyline

After stabbing an autistic boy, the sixteen year old troubled and pessimist Leland P. Fitzgerald is sent to a juvenile detention. His teacher and aspirant writer Pearl Madison gets close and tries to understand him, first with intention of writing a book, and later becoming his friend. Leland slowly discloses his sad vision of world. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | book | writer | teacher | author | See more »

Taglines:

Crime. Confusion. Compassion. They're all just states of mind.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 2005 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

20 Messerstiche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$48,384 (USA) (2 April 2004)

Gross:

$343,816 (USA) (9 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Leland is watching the basketball game with the other inmate, the sun is shining through the window, however, the shadows outside are cast in wrong direction. See more »

Quotes

Pearl Madison: This is bullshit, Elden. This is just red-tape bullshit and you know it.
Elden: No, Madison, this is about you running your own program. You asked me about this kid, I told you no. Then you, in effect, say: "Fuck you, I do whatever I want. Elden Gilmore be damned."
Pearl Madison: Look, this is about a kid who was so screwed up...
Elden: No, this is about a book. And you wanna talk about red-tape bullshit? Let's talk about how fast I could have you fired for turning your classroom over to non-certified personnel while you ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Working Title
Written by Sean Spillane
Performed by Arlo
Published by Sean Spillane (BMI)
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The critics failed to grasp the meaning of this one
2 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was looking at the external reviews (Ebert, etc.) for this film and they were all pretty much negative. However, after reading many of them, I noticed that they all made the same point. Critics were upset that the film centers around what appears to be a senseless murder of an autistic child. Certainly, this is a disturbing image. Critics like Ebert want a traditional detective story that uncovers why the killing happened and squarely places blame on the guilty. They want blame to be cast and resolved. Well, that status-quo theme is kind of what the movie is parodying. Just like society, the critics wanted a very quick resolution so they could move on to their next tragic opera. Perhaps there is no simple question to be answered here? There is a whole lot more to what happened then what is on the surface. The film does not seek to rationalize what happens, but rather understand the why. What also steams me so much about these inane reviews is that all they look at in the way of performances is Spacey and Cheadle, who were both great (and generally are). But there are other great performances at work here other than just the two current icons of Hollywood. Gosling gives an incredible performance that really only somebody of his extreme talent could deliver. Somehow, Gosling is able to make the killer of an autistic child sympathetic. This irritates many, I am sure. However, if one watches the film, they see what Leeland's motivation is, it is wrong, but it is not evil. Malone is also on top of her game as yet another confused young character. Basically, the killing of the child in this film is not the main theme of the movie. The main theme is life itself and how people go about dealing with it, the highs and lows, and how they attempt to sometimes help others deal with their lives (which does not seem to work out very well). There is a lot of good and bad in this world and how we handle each has direct impact on how much more good and bad will take place, and sometimes a confused attempt at doing good, can lead to a whole bunch more of bad. I think this is one of the more memorable films in sometime and has an ending that is as touching as anything in recent movie history. I strongly believe people should view this film, with an open mind.


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recommend any other movies like this one? madamehollywoood
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What is the deal with the Mrs. Calderon character? sideburnmikeguitar
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