IMDb > The United States of Leland (2003)
The United States of Leland
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The United States of Leland (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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The United States of Leland -- Sixteen-year-old Leland Fitzgerald kills a boy and is subsequently arrested and imprisoned.   His prison teacher, Pearl Madison, builds a relationship with him,   leading to revelations of what could have caused a young man to murder.
The United States of Leland -- "The United States of Leland" 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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7.2/10   19,321 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Matthew Ryan Hoge (written by)
View company contact information for The United States of Leland on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 March 2005 (Italy) See more »
Crime. Confusion. Compassion. They're all just states of mind.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An extremely moving, touching, thought-provoking movie See more (103 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Don Cheadle ... Pearl Madison

Ryan Gosling ... Leland P. Fitzgerald

Chris Klein ... Allen Harris

Jena Malone ... Becky Pollard

Lena Olin ... Marybeth Fitzgerald

Kevin Spacey ... Albert T. Fitzgerald

Michelle Williams ... Julie Pollard

Martin Donovan ... Harry Pollard

Ann Magnuson ... Karen Pollard

Kerry Washington ... Ayesha

Sherilyn Fenn ... Mrs. Calderon

Matt Malloy ... Charlie

Wesley Jonathan ... Bengel

Michael Peña ... Guillermo

Michael Welch ... Ryan Pollard

Ron Canada ... Elden
Troy Winbush ... Dave
Nick Kokich ... Kevin

Yolonda Ross ... Miranda
Leyna Nguyen ... TV Reporter

Jim Haynie ... Ben

Randall Bosley ... Sheriff Donaldson
Jody Wood ... Cop One

Robert Peters ... Security Guard
Kathleen S. Dunn ... Doris (as Kathleen Dunn)
Tony McEwing ... News Anchor
Lawrence Lowe ... Detention Specialist
Charles Hess ... Main Entrance Guard

Kimberly Scott ... Myra

Angela Paton ... Airplane Woman

Ryan Malgarini ... 6-Year-Old Leland

Maria Arcé ... Bethany

Dell Yount ... Court Officer

Clyde Kusatsu ... Judge

Melanie Lora ... Hotel Waitress

Rene Rivera ... Mechanic

Alec Medlock ... 12-Year-Old Leland

Jim Metzler ... Cemetery Reporter

Michael McCleery ... Mechanic #2

David Barrera ... First Officer

Sheeri Rappaport ... Second Officer

Kevin Patrick Kelly ... Doctor (as Kevin Kelly)

Evan Helmuth ... Grocery Guy

Ty Hodges ... Student (as Eric Ty Hodges)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jonathan Adler ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Brayden Cahill ... Alex (uncredited)
Edward T. McAvoy ... Creepy Old Man (uncredited)

Jenny Worman ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
Matthew Ryan Hoge 
Writing credits
Matthew Ryan Hoge (written by)

Produced by
Mark Damon .... executive producer
Stewart Hall .... executive producer
Sammy Lee .... executive producer
Bernie Morris .... producer
Jonah Smith .... producer
Kevin Spacey .... producer
Dara Weintraub .... co-producer
Dara Weintraub .... line producer
Palmer West .... producer
Original Music by
Jeremy Enigk 
Cinematography by
James Glennon 
Film Editing by
Jeff Betancourt 
Casting by
Emily Schweber 
Production Design by
Edward T. McAvoy 
Art Direction by
William Arnold  (as Bill Arnold)
Kevin Constant 
Set Decoration by
Jan Pascale 
Costume Design by
Genevieve Tyrrell 
Makeup Department
Amy L. Disarro .... additional makeup artist (as Amy Disarro)
Marina Hart .... additional hair stylist
Voni Hinkle .... hair department head
Melanie Hughes .... makeup department head (as Melanie Hughes-Weaver)
Ben Nye Jr. .... makeup department head
Shari Perry .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Michelle LeDoux .... production manager
Michael Toji .... post-production supervisor
Dara Weintraub .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Susan Abrams .... second assistant director
William Paul Clark .... assistant director
Heather Grierson .... second second assistant director
Keith Jones .... additional second second assistant director
Dawn Massaro .... second assistant director
Art Department
Ronnie Baker .... swing gang
Mychael Bates .... property master
Jenny Baum .... on-set dresser
Sam Brinson .... construction foreman (as Samuel Brinson)
Alan Burg .... swing gang
Dennis De George .... swing gang
Louise Del Araujo .... lead man
Arnold Durazo Jr. .... propmaker
Cory Fama .... laborer
Joseph C. Fama .... construction coordinator (as Joe Fama)
Iola Kay Fiengo .... assistant property master
Katie Gonzalez .... assistant property master (as Katie Sanner)
Deborah Harman .... swing gang
James Harne .... propmaker
Richard McConnell .... construction coordinator: re-shoots
Jim McDonald .... property maker (as James McDonald)
Mark Molina .... assistant art director
Tony Nuñez .... assistant props
John 'Johnny O' Ornelas .... assistant property master
Heather Pemble .... art department production assistant
Paul M. Rohrbaugh III .... scenic painter (as Paul Rohrbaugh)
Kenneth Roth .... propmaker
Art Vasenius .... lead man
Michael Wynands .... propmaker
Sound Department
David Franklin Bergad .... adr editor
David Franklin Bergad .... dialogue editor
David Franklin Bergad .... sound editor
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Frank Canonica .... supervising sound recordist: mix stage
Misty Conn .... boom operator
Ben Conrad .... foley recordist
Piotr Filipowski .... sound effects editor
Chris Gridley .... assistant sound editor
Nathan Gunn .... assistant sound editor
Amy Hammer .... mix facility coordinator
Clarissa Keller .... adr facility coordinator
Alex Names .... cableperson
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist
John Nutt .... supervising sound editor
Margie O'Malley .... foley artist
David Parker .... sound re-recording mixer
Jonathan Schwartz .... apprentice sound editor
Daniel Sperry .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Patti Tauscher .... foley editor
Eric Thompson .... adr mixer
Richard Van Dyke .... production sound mixer
James Willetts .... assistant foley recordist
Special Effects by
David P. Kelsey .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Christopher Dusendschon .... digital imaging supervisor: iO FILM
Adam Hawkey .... lead compositor: iOFilm
Keith Adams .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Garrett Benson .... first assistant camera: second camera
Kevin Brennan .... gaffer
Davie Brown .... key grip
Tony Bryan .... electrician
Jeff Butters .... gaffer
Earl L. Clark .... camera operator: second camera (as Earl Clark)
Matthew Coleman .... electrician (as Matt 'Madman' Coleman)
Ronald K. De torres .... set lighting technician
Matthew A. Del Ruth .... second assistant camera
Sean W. Del Ruth .... camera loader
Maurizio Dotto .... first assistant camera: second camera (as Nino Dotto)
Robert Edesa .... camera operator
Robert Edesa .... director of photography: additional photography
Casey Ellison .... electrician
Fernando Frausto .... company grip
Todd Fullerton .... video playback operator
Mike Gentile .... additional camera loader
Paul A. Hardiman .... electrician (as Paul Hardiman)
Michael Hester .... company grip
Casey Hotchkiss .... camera operator: second camera (as Case Hotchkiss)
Tino Jimenez .... electrician
Mark La Bonge .... Steadicam operator
Ama MacDonald .... electrician (as Ama McDonald)
Jeffrey Maroun .... electrician (as Jeff Maroun)
Chuck Mason .... electrician
Alyosha Mattei .... electrician (as Osha Mattei)
Robert D. McBride .... camera operator: second camera (as Bob McBride)
Terence McNally .... electrician
David L. Merrill .... key grip
Dominic Napolitano .... first assistant camera
Ron Peterson .... second assistant camera: second camera
Danny Plante .... company grip
John J. Plante .... best boy grip (as John Plantes)
Rudy Pohlert .... best boy electric
Lionel T. Portugal II .... company grip
Lionel T. Portugal Sr. .... best boy grip
Chris Portugal .... company grip
Eric Roizman .... assistant camera: "b" camera
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
Louis Sevol .... second assistant camera
David Terry .... dolly grip
Ron Vargas .... first assistant camera
Troy N. Wade .... dolly grip (as Troy Wade)
Frans Wetterings III .... best boy electric (as Frans Wetterings)
Rhett Wooden .... company grip
Casting Department
Lyndsey Gayer .... casting assistant
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Rich King .... extras casting
Kelly Hunt .... extras casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mynka Draper .... costume supervisor
Molly Grundman .... key set costumer
Heidi Higginbotham .... costume supervisor
Michele Posch .... costumer
Editorial Department
Joe Fineman .... post-production consultant
Mato .... color timer
Michael Nouryeh .... assistant editor
Jon Rocke .... colorist: dailies
Music Department
Mike Flicker .... supervising music editor
Matt Friedman .... music editor
Jeff Lingle .... music editor
Tracy McKnight .... music supervisor
Alysia Oakley .... assistant to music supervisor
Reed Ruddy .... music engineer
BC Smith .... music producer
Transportation Department
J. Armin Garza II .... driver: camera car
Michael Merrick .... transportation coordinator
Matthew Talamantes .... driver
Gary Wiseman .... transportation captain
Other crew
Edgar Avendaño .... assistant: Mr. Hoge
Kent James Stewart Barber .... assistant location manager (as James Barber)
Sarah Bay Williams .... executive: Trigger Street
Drew Bayers .... assistant: Mr. Morris
Christine Bonnem .... location manager
Frank Caridi .... set production assistant (as Frank J. Caridi)
Jon Damon .... set production assistant
Jaime Davis .... production assistant
Kimberly Edwards .... post-production accountant
Sean Ervin .... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Kieron Estrada .... location scout
Lee Ettinger .... sales and distribution head
Eric L. Fersten .... assistant to co-producer
Billy Greenfield .... office production assistant (as William Robert Greenfield)
Kelly Harris .... assistant location manager
Thomas J. Healy IV .... key assistant location manager
Thomas J. Healy IV .... location scout (as Thomas Healy)
Celeste Healy .... production coordinator
Heather Heath .... payroll accountant
Zack Heath .... production assistant
Michelle Hoffman .... craft service assistant
Baron Jay .... stand-in for don cheadle
Adam Jordan .... production assistant
Astrid Kemnitz .... first assistant accountant
Jeff Lane .... production assistant
Jeff Lane .... set production assistant
Stephanie Lewis .... assistant: Mr. Smith and Mr. West
Peter Madamba .... script researcher
Jay Mason .... script supervisor
Brian McMillan .... animal trainer
Vikki McMillan .... animal trainer
Lucas Moore .... studio teacher: Michael Welch
Robert W. Morgenroth .... video effects supervisor (as Bob Morgenroth)
Kyle Oliver .... assistant location manager (as Kyle 'Snappy' Oliver)
Nathan Polatin .... location manager
Nancy Pyne-Hapke .... studio teacher
Devan Richardson .... craft service foreman
Jose Salas .... chef
Matt Sprague .... office production assistant
Stephanie Stearns .... production assistant
Marsha L. Swinton .... production accountant
Kirk Tedeski .... video coordinator
Scott Tuft .... production assistant
Jude S. Walko .... assistant production coordinator
Arif S. Kinchen .... additional voices (uncredited)
Donald Barthelme .... special thanks
Brian Costello .... special thanks
Mark Everett .... special thanks (as E)
Tamara Stuparich de la Barra .... thanks
Hugh Phoenix Cross .... acknowledgment (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some drug content
108 min | Canada:104 min (Ontario)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

A recurring element of the film is the fact that Leland doesn't have any contact with his father, absent ever since his childhood. Ryan Gosling never shares any scenes with Kevin Spacey and in the courtroom sequence, even though both characters are present, they're never in the same frame.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In the scene where Becky and Leland are walking at around 2 in the morning, in the background you can see it begin to rain, but both Leland's and Becky's clothes remain perfectly dry.See more »
[first lines]
Leland:When I say I don't remember that day, I'm not lying. Wish I did, but I just don't. Sometimes the most important stuff goes away. Goes away so bad, it's like it was never there to begin with. It's funny the stuff that sticks in your head. I could tell you forward and backward about one day when I was five...
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Maltese Falcon (1941)See more »
HomecomingSee more »


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79 out of 91 people found the following review useful.
An extremely moving, touching, thought-provoking movie, 7 November 2004
Author: Macadamian-Nut from Calgary, Canada

Leland Fitzgerald (Ryan Gosling) is sent to jail for the murder of an autistic kid. When pressured with the question 'Why?' he doesn't have an answer. While in jail he meets Pearl (Don Cheadle), his teacher, who decides to take matters into his own hands and helps Leland figure out why he did it. Throughout this film we learn all about Leland's troubled life, including his ex-girlfriend Becky(Jena Malone), his famous father Albert(Kevin Spacey)and his whole sad life.

This film is Matthew Ryan Hoge's second movie, and it is spectacular in nearly everyway. This is one movie which will leave you thinking in the end, and wondering about how it all works. The movie is quite dark, but if you can handle that then you will realize just how good a film it is.

In this movie, there is no bad guy. There is no one you can blame for anything that happens. There's no stereotyping, and the audience does not try to prove Leland guilty. Instead, we sit back, relax, and watch this boy's life unfold throughout the corse of the movie. All the problems depicted in the story are very real. Drug addiction, parental expectations, overwhelming sadness; they all exist in our world.

Ryan Gosling gives one of the greatest performances of his career in this movie, as the depressed teenager Leland. His father lives in Europe and doesn't really care much about his son. The only person he loves is Becky, but she has problems of her own. He knows exactly what he did, but as he says in the film, 'You want a why, but maybe there isn't one. Maybe this is something that just happened.' There is a why, but we don't find out about it until the end. As you watch the movie, the audience finds themselves amazed that such a young person could know so much about the world. Leland notices things that people tend to ignore.

A particular thought-provoking scene which really affected me was during one of Leland's conversations with Pearl. Pearl just cheated on his wife and when Leland asks why, Pearl replies that he's only human. Then Leland says something which never really occurs to anyone: "Why do people only say that when they've done something wrong?"

Another fantastic acting job was provided by Chris Klein. In the film he plays Allen Harris, the boyfriend of Becky's sister Julie (Michelle Williams). Although he is not one of the main characters, I found myself amazed at how deep his character was. You can relate to Allen a lot. You know how much he cares for the Pollard family. It's as if they were his own flesh and blood. By the end of the movie, you realize just how far he would go to help them.

Overall, this movie is a masterpiece which has been overlooked by quite a few people. If, however, you take the time to watch it, you will most likely see that everything I've mentioned above is true. And once you're finished watching it, you'll never look at the world the same way again.


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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The United States of Leland (2003)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Almost perfect save for one big thing... the end (Spoiler). superfly169
recommend any other movies like this one? madamehollywoood
Almost perfect save for one big thing... the end (Spoiler). superfly169
Thank you , Sir Matthew Ryan Hoge sherineyousery
What exactly is mentaly wrong with Leland? Tukie2kie
Anatomy of a scene episodes sherineyousery
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