7.1/10
21,831
103 user 65 critic

The United States of Leland (2003)

R | | Drama | 25 March 2005 (Italy)
Trailer
2:24 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Matthew Ryan Hoge
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man finds solace with a young woman, his mother, and a high-school football coach who recruits him to quarterback a six-man team.

Directors: Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith
Stars: Ryan Gosling, David Morse, Clea DuVall
The Believer (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

Director: Henry Bean
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix, Peter Meadows
Half Nelson (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

Director: Ryan Fleck
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Shareeka Epps
Stay I (2005)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This movie focuses on the attempts of a psychiatrist to prevent one of his patients from committing suicide while trying to maintain his own grip on reality.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two gifted high school students execute a "perfect" murder - then become engaged in an intellectual contest with a seasoned homicide detective.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Edit

Storyline

As a detached kid spends time in juvenile hall for the unspeakable murder of a special needs kid, a writer and the people around him try to comprehend and cope with his reasoning for commiting this murder from the writings in a classroom book from his juvenile class, where he tries to let people know "the why". Written by gavin Johns

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | book | writer | teacher | author | See All (167) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 2005 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

20 Messerstiche See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,384, 4 April 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$343,816, 11 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The is the first time Ryan Gosling and Michael Peña have worked together. They reunited ten years later on the film Gangster Squad (2013). See more »

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

[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, and my dad bought me a stupid ice cream cone. I could tell you the flavor of the ice cream. It was pick bubblegum. Even stuff about the girl who scooped it out. Her hair was fire ...
See more »

Connections

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Gold In Them Hills
Written and Performed by Ron Sexsmith
Published by Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI)
o/b/o Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK Ltd./Ronboy Rhymes Inc.
Courtesy of Nettwerk America LLC
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good acting; flawed story/psychology; not a total loss
13 May 2004 | by Bob Pr.See all my reviews

The title comes from an alteration an adolescent inmate in a correctional facility makes on the front cover of his school book on government, titled "The United States;" he adds "of (his name)."

Many characterizations in this movie work well -- the scenes between Leland (Ryan Gosling) and Becky (Jena Malone), Pearl (Don Cheadle) and father Fitzgerald (Spacey) as well as with Leland, Becky and sister Julie (Michelle Williams), among many others.

But the central thread of this movie -- the fulcrum on which everything hangs -- is the character and motives of Leland. He's a somewhat shy, passive, nice high school student who daringly introduces himself to Becky whom (we find) is going to an alternative school because of a past history of drug problems. In Becky's family, she has a sister, Julie, who's just graduating from high school and preparing to go on to college; Julie's boy friend, Julie's age (and whose parents' had recently died) is also living with them.

Leland lives with his mother; his father (Kevin Spacey) and mother have long been divorced and his father is a famous novelist. Leland is very perceptive. The young boy in "The Sixth Sense" saw dead people; Leland sees teenage lovers and recognizes that years later they will divorce, that pain is going to follow many people's present experience of happiness. BUT, for reasons that are never made explicit, his prescient gift seems to operate some times, for some people, some relationships, and not for others. ???

Parts of the movie feel a bit like a derivative quilt -- borrowing from "American Beauty," "The Sixth Sense," "The Graduate," and possibly some others I didn't recognize. That wouldn't be bad if only the character of Leland worked.

I think Gosling did a great job of playing Leland but the script and the story imposed limitations. Would such an observant, meditative young man ever be homicidal? Even for altruistic reasons? Nothing in the film gives a reason for this. I'm a retired therapist with much experience working with families and teenagers; while many of the reactions shown in the film work -- this part, this most essential element certainly does not.

And there is at least one other element which, in my experience, would not fit with real life although it's not as critical. The reason for the differences between the sisters, Becky and Julie, are never hinted at but that's okay. Once two sibs begin occupying different roles (one the all good girl, the other the troubled one), the roles themselves can begin driving each other to more extreme positions. For the troubled one, Becky, it's kind of, "what do I have to do to be loved around here -- give up being me and become Julie?" And the pressure to live up to being the All-Good, parent-pleasing child, is no less intense on Julie. So, why would she break up with her boy friend of long-standing and of whom her parents so obviously approve?

Don Cheadle was good as Leland's teacher; all others were good in their parts. 98% of the scenes were good. What was missing was that crucial slip in understanding human nature.

Good acting; flawed story and psychology; worth seeing; not a total loss.


11 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 103 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed