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Gritty, Compelling and Harsh
DiscoVinyl31 December 2016
If you are a fan of Larry Clarks Kids then this is the film for you. It portrays a harsh reality that most people would rather not see. It's got that train wreck quality that won't let you turn away and at the same time has you horrified.

Sasha Lane as the protagonist Star gave a great performance. Her anger and sadness come to the surface even when she's silent. I've always liked Shia LaBeouf but I've usually felt like the films he's done don't interest me so I don't get to see his performances that much.

I realize that the film is long, but I think it's part of what makes this film special. It takes time to develop and meanders a bit in the process but again it's part of what makes the film seem so genuine. Though the premise of the story is a bit ridiculous in itself it's really just a vehicle to let us in on the behavior of these young people. What makes them tick. What kind of music they like. How they relate to each other.

Clearly this film isn't for everyone. You should have an idea what it is about before you partake in the investment of watching it. But if you are like me and enjoy the sociological aspect of feeling like you are eavesdropping on the life of these young people then it's a great film.

I'm not familiar with this director but now I'd like to see her other films. Hopefully her hand is on the pulse of a lot of different subsets of culture.
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The Cannes Jury Prize? Seriously?
Superlove99930 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I just don't get it.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I was this baffled over the Grand-Canyon-sized gap between a movie's rave reviews and my own experience viewing it. Granted, the on-the-road scenery was pretty to look at, but everything else was so laughably bad. Not one character, event, or line of dialogue rang true, and there were points where I actually felt insulted by being expected to believe what was happening on screen. Here are my major complaints:

  • Say what you will about Shia LaBeouf - at least he demonstrates an ability to convey different emotions through facial expressions and vocal inflections. That's kind of an important quality for an actor. Unfortunately Sasha Lane didn't get that memo. The movie was nearly three hours long, and I can count on one hand the number of times her facial expression changed. Casting a block of wood as Star would have been a more economical choice, with virtually identical results.

  • Here's how the adventure begins: Star is walking along the street, she sees a guy pressing his buttcheeks against the window of a passing van, and BOOM, she's instantly drawn into following them. That's supposed to be a believable precipitating incident? She's entranced by buttcheeks in a moving car?

  • The character Crystal actually says the film's title on screen within the first 15 minutes. The only way it could have been more on-the-nose is if she looked directly into the camera and winked.

  • Would it have KILLED Andrea Arnold to do some research on what it's actually like to work a door-to-door job? As someone who's worked as a canvasser, I can unequivocally say that not one magazine-selling interaction in this movie was remotely believable. According to this movie, people just LOVE when strange youngsters interrupt their day to show up on their property (dressed like total slobs in this case), selling them things they don't want and didn't ask for... especially rich people! They'll always invite you right in, and never assume you're about to rob them or case their home for a burglary! They're fine with you copping an attitude and talking back to them when you're inside their home!They'd love it if you appear out of nowhere and start following them up their driveway! They'd be totally cool with you playing around with their outdoor decor right in front of their faces! Most of all, they'd certainly never call the cops on you, not even if you're smoking weed or brandishing a deadly weapon on the sidewalk in broad daylight! Yep.

  • I'll just give one specific example of one of the many non-reality-based scenes in the movie: So, Star is picked up by a car full of older cowboy types and brought to their house for a barbecue. Total strangers pick up some random girl they've never met, and just bring her right into their home to hang out (with no obvious ulterior motive). This was completely ridiculous, but as soon as Jake shows up with his gun to steal the car, it was catapulted to outright absurd. I mean, come on... a group of older caucasian gentlemen in middle America who are all wearing matching white cowboy hats - these are the kinds of dudes who probably keep a gun next to the toilet "just in case." In what alternate universe would they have NOT been packing heat, and NOT have shot Jake dead in a nanosecond? There were probably 100 more believable ways that this scene could have played out, but the one that actually happens just left me shaking my head.

  • There were multiple parts where we could have seen the character depth/development that was so sorely lacking from this movie, but it was just one missed opportunity after another. Take the scene where Jake shows Star all the jewelry he's been "collecting" (i.e. stealing) over the years. This could have very easily been a catalyst for an argument between the characters about morals, or economic inequality, or the American value of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps," which would have been a perfect way to actually build the characters and make them seem like real people. Instead, there was nothing. It's difficult to feel invested in bland, unsympathetic characters in a movie that doesn't give you one good reason to care about them.

  • I was waiting for the whole "Star getting into cars with strange men" motif to take a scary turn, which would have been super predictable but at least interesting. It never did. Not once. This isn't just unrealistic - it makes for an unbelievably boring movie. Again, so much potential for character development/conflict/new lessons learned, but every opportunity was completely wasted.

  • While we're on the car thing: Okay, Star is constantly jumping into vehicles with strangers, including an actual trucker who says he's running late... and then once the particular scene is over, she's magically back with her group of sales associates all hunky dory. HOW DID SHE KEEP GETTING BACK TO THE GROUP???

What exactly was the point of this movie? What conflicts were resolved? What did the characters learn? How did they change or grow? To reiterate my original point, I just. Do. Not. Get it.

If you disliked this movie as much as I did, check out Tina Hassannia's review of it in Canada's National Post. You'll feel less alone.
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Ramascreen26 September 2016
Much of Andrea Arnold's American HONEY reminds me of Larry Clark's 1995 film, "Kids," struggling adolescent years, but American HONEY is much more nuanced in that on one hand you have this somewhat social commentary about how we are the richest nation in the world and yet so many of our teens live in poverty and they have to hustle and do certain demeaning things just to get by, just to survive, just to feed themselves. On the other hand, you could see American HONEY from the perspective of the characters and the impressive way in which they organize, you can see their selling and marketing skills, despite it being a scam and rough around the edges. They're doing what wall street does basically but on a smaller, smaller, way smaller scale.

Sasha Lane plays free spirited teenage named star who leaves her troubled trashy home to go on a road trip with traveling laborers her age, they go from town to town, door to door, to sell magazines. Riley Keough plays Krystal, the leader of the crew, and Shia LaBeouf plays Jake, who recruits new members. There's freedom and hard partying that come with this life, Star doesn't essentially agree with some of the group's methods, although young love and jealousy ultimately motivate Star to bend her own morality rule just to prove herself.

Firstly, just a heads up, this movie is 163 minutes long, probably not quite as long as those "Hobbit" movies but definitely one that you'd have to be willing to set aside a big chunk of your evening for, should you want to check out this film. I have to give credit to writer/director Andrea Arnold, not only for this raw depiction of American youth living on the margins, but also the casting decisions, the actors in this film are so convincing, in terms of their looks, their attitude and the way they carry themselves, you start to wonder if they really do live on the margins. Many of the moments in the film are spent on the characters bonding, so it seems that, and I'm assuming, cinematographer Robbie Ryan had to sit inside that van and operate the camera around as one character has their dialogue with another, and it's already crowded as it is, it'd be interesting to see behind-the-scenes video on how they pulled that off.

Arnold is not focusing on income disparity in the inner cities, nope, American HONEY showcases income disparity out in the plain fields of the American midwest. But this isn't some kind of poverty extravaganza either like "Winter's Bone," or "Slumdog Millionaire," the characters in American HONEY get by, they do OK one day at a time, but they undergo unforgiving journeys through suburban sprawl through small towns clearly affected by economic downturn, and you see the resilience in their hearts. You may disagree with their methods, some might even see it as dangerous but what can a fractured, abandoned life can do but to fill the cracks however way they can. They're still teenagers going through crushes and heartbreaks, your usual teenage ordeals, but they're also in a situation where they're forced to be independent adults faster, and Andrea Arnold beautifully captures all of that in American HONEY.

-- Rama's Screen --
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Lost and found on the road to nowhere.
SimonHeide2 January 2017
A young girl, named Star, with no economic abilities, bears the heavy responsibility of raising her two younger siblings.

Hungry after living the life of a teenager she gets attracted to a group of young people at a supermarket with high spirit and a bad attitude. She leaves her siblings behind and joins the group who lives from day to day selling magazines to whomever they meet. The common denominator is the selling of magazines. How to do it? How to manipulate the potential buyer with different kind of stories up the sleeve that is supposed to impose sympathy? As Oliver Twist is lured into Fagins lair and is taught to pick pockets without knowing what he is doing so is Star initially. At the point where she understands the rules and laws of the group, she is involved in such a way that she accepts the game and takes some very big risks and further compromises her own moral values.

The force of the movie is the depiction of the life on the road, the interaction between our marginalized young people and slowly getting to know our protagonist, who in the beginning is the silent observer and little by little starts to unfold her personality.

I can see that the movie is being criticized for being very long and not having a story that develops from a start- to an endpoint. I agree that some of the scenes are prolonged to a point that seems unnecessary. Besides this I think that this movie is a perfect example of how the truth often lies in the detail. This means that we need to dwell in some of the scenes and that the artistic challenge is to let this happen in a way that gets the audience involved.

Again I must express my deepest respect for director Andrea Arnold who has the rare ability to show a milieu in such a convincing way that it at certain points seems as if you are not watching a movie but instead a documentary but without losing the storytelling.

Regards Simon

Ps. When you read reviews that gives max score check to see if the user has made more than one review. If not consider the possibility of a lobbyist. If you agree consider putting this post scriptum at the bottom at your own reviews.
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Repetitive film that gets by on pure talent
tyleramato-2868020 October 2016
Andrea Arnold's "American Honey" is a bold and ambitious film filled with good performances, and for the most part I like this film, but boy does it have a ton of pitfalls. "American Honey" is repetitive, bombastic, overlong, and filled with unlikable characters, and most of the repetitiveness comes from these characters constantly listening to and singing to rap music in their white van. Sitting through 2 hours and 43 minutes of this film felt more like a chore than a cinematic experience. I'm looking forward to what Andrea Arnold has in store for us next, I truly am, and hopefully her next film won't be as preposterously long as this.
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The frustrating workings of American Honey make for a tedious yet beautiful watch.
trublu2155 September 2016
American Honey follows a young woman as she embarks on a road trip of sorts with a bunch of hippies as they try to swindle their lives away in hopes of living in the purest of utopias. It is an indie film through and through. Everything from the story to the look reeks of an independent production which really intrigued me from the minute American Honey started. Despite this everlasting and enthralling feeling of watching pure art in the way of the indie eye as seen through director Andrea Arnold, I can't help but shake the feeling that this film could have been more. To start off, there really isn't anything terrible or bad about the film outside of its indulging and bloated running time of close to 3 hours. The acting is great, the cinematography is amazing, the soundtrack is arguably perfect and the story (while being paper thin) is acceptable. The biggest enemy the film has is itself. The editing is probably my biggest issue with the film because it ends up damaging the story through this overbearing and extremely indulgent pacing. At times, there are moments where the film is unrelenting. You can't wait to see what happens next. Then there are other moments that move so slow that you question whether or not to get up and stretch your legs. It ends up being a very frustrating film to watch because anyone can see that there is an undeniable masterpiece underneath the running time. A timeless story of youth and innocence is lost in a barrage of fire pit songs, drug fueled rage and useless character traits that end up being lost or muddled in, what felt like, an assembly cut of the film. Despite this, Andrea Arnold has a very keen eye and a natural ability to make her characters feel real even if the film is as boring as the average person. Whether or not this is what Andrea Arnold was going for, I have no idea. Overall, American Honey is a film that will most certainly test the patience of its audience but those who are fans of Arnold's Fish Tank, or just simply fans of character studies or coming of age stories, American Honey will certainly leave you feeling satisfied.
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Where Did the American Dream Go?
evanston_dad6 February 2017
With all the talk generated during the most recent presidential election about how out of touch one half of America is with the other, it takes a British filmmaker to give us a movie that brings the socioeconomic discrepancies between one part of America and another to light in a way that no other recent movie has.

The young drifters in this movie are amazed at Kansas City, never having seen so many tall buildings together in one place before. A conversation with an older, professional trucker reveals that a dream both characters share is seeing the ocean. One girl thinks people who make $100,000 a year are rich.

Wow, talk about a world away from where I live (Chicago) and where a salary of $100,000 makes owning a home barely affordable. For awhile, "American Honey" is a compelling glimpse into the life of those who have long since been left behind by the American dream. But the film goes on far too long and is far too monotonous to remain compelling for its entire duration. We only really get to know one person in the movie, a young woman named Star who is running from the hopelessness of her situation to.....what, exactly? She doesn't know, and that's the point of the movie. But that point is made long before the movie itself ends, and without much character development (Star's character arc is awfully short for a nearly three-hour movie), I found my attention and interest wandering in the film's final half hour or so.

Grade: B
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Waste of Nearly Three Hours
Paul42535 March 2017
If you enjoy movies that have some interesting visuals but lack any substance in storytelling, this is the movie for you. Watching this garbage, I couldn't help but think that somehow Shia Leboeuf and his nonsensical artistic views played some role in the direction in which this was made. Frustratingly repetitive. Obnoxiously boring. Two hours and forty three minutes proving that current youth culture is composed of morons. Possibly the worst watch I've had in five years.
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American Honey (2016)
rockman18215 December 2016
Been anticipating this film ever since I've heard of it. This is a well made coming of age film about hopeless youth who are on the go. The film really reminded me of Kids but with stronger focus on its core character and her experience. It also reminded me a bit of Spring Breakers so maybe its a Harmony Korine thing. Sasha Lane stars as Star, a young drifter on the run who stumbles across a gang of people who travel in a van and are in "sales" and getting money where they can to get by. You're immediately curious about Star's previous life and experiences but you start in the moment and go on the road with her. Sasha Lane is just starting and I'm curious as to what her story is because this role was second nature to her. She's great. Love him or hate him, Shia LaBeouf can be a force on the screen. He is most certainly one in this film. There is a charismatic nature to his character and his relationship with Star (through the rage and love) is very entertaining to watch. I wish there was more of Riley Keough in this. I'm a huge fan of her after seeing her in the very excellent The Girlfriend Experience and she was the main attraction for me to this film. I may be biased but she steals the scenes she's in. The confederate bikini and oil rub scene in the motel room is fantastic.

The film has some other really beautiful scenes. Star and Jake sitting on top of the car as the wind blows and the bright lights pass by; its so wonderful. The stage is set in southern America and you get a real sense of that world on every pit-stop. Not all the character's in the gang are fleshed out in this near three hour film but its hardly a detriment as not many of them are necessarily memorable. The film is heavy on soundtrack which makes sense as you take a car trip through the eyes of Star as she goes from place to place. The scenes during the day always look like its almost sunset. I think it adds to the grittiness and roughness of the American South. The camera is mostly personal and very zoomed on Star so you get to see the world through her first hand experience. I saw a message of how tough it is to set your life straight in a hard world and having to do whatever it takes to get by on a day to day basis. I think at its heart Andrea Arnold's film can be interpreted in a few ways but I saw it as the story of a down out of luck girl who will do whatever it takes to survive. Star potentially puts herself in dangerous situations in the film but she's just fearless throughout. Which takes me back to the curiosity of her past. To me, she's unfazed with what she's exposed to and can adapt very well. Once she realizes she can make it there's a moment of beauty as she takes whatever comes her way. She's always setting animals (and other people) free in this film because she seeks to set herself free.

The first thing I'd recommend is not to be daunted by the running length of the film. Also be prepared for more of a visual, sonic, and spiritual experience over a film that's plot heavy and focused. I enjoyed it just as much as I thought I would.

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163min to tell nothing
yves-vanherreweghe1 April 2017
Wasting 163min to show the life of a nobody on the run. Probably it is this deeper meaning that made this movie so successful for the critic's popes. Besides the good acting, there is nothing in the movie. With a story-line of Max 5 minutes about kids selling magazines. I wonder for who this movie is made, for people who have no clue what happens in the world I guess. Very surprised it can have such a high score
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Great movie
jameshinton-6203220 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked it and when I saw the length of the film thought it may drag but it was nothing like that. The music tracks were truly great and the buzz feeling conveyed by the partying troupe was infectious. Throughout the film it seemed Star was going to meet with some unfortunate experiences and it made me anxious that she was going to find trouble but it was like riding waves for her.

I felt at the end it was a rite of passage, an initiation, by her going into the water and overcoming her fears, a parallel with that is the guys jumping over the fire. I am quite critical of films but I found this a watchful enjoyable experience.
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Sasha Lane!
ghost_dog861 January 2017
Featuring a cast riddled with amateur actors (aside from Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough (granddaughter of Elvis Presley) "American Honey" is more than just another Cannes Film Festival calling card for writer/director Andrea Arnold, it is a gritty, startling master-class example of "slice of life" direction, the likes of 2016's "Manchester by the Sea" or "King Jack".

Synopsis: A teenage girl, living in extreme poverty, is recruited into a traveling sales crew filled with other teens in her same situation. The group travels cross-country, scamming people into buying magazine subscriptions by day and partying incredibly hard by night.

Arnold's hand-held camera work only helped immerse me into this lesser known subculture, watching these economically disadvantaged teens make sketchy life choices as they come of age inside a van sized commune of their peers. But it's the stellar performance from newcomer Sasha Lane which gives major credibility to this film and justifies some of its more minor flaws as well as the run-time. Much of the satisfaction I received from "American Honey" came from watching Lane's character evolve throughout.

Final Thought: There are a few misplaced lines of dialogue, which seem to force-feed a bit more than I would have liked, and at a nearly three hour run-time, this Indie will be perceived as an intimidating venture for some, but boy is it worth your time. The genuine atmosphere of "American Honey" speaks to this generation like not many movies do, and will stay with you for days after viewing.
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I want my 2 hours and 43 minutes back!
TheTopDawgCritic18 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
What was the point of this film?

2 hours and 43 minutes of what... cramped van rides with degenerates and a bad iTunes playlist! Did the editing department forget to cut out the useless parts? No wait, then the film may only have been 30 minutes. But then again, I may have enjoyed those 30 minutes!

There is no building up to something... anything. There is no story here, no climax, no one to route for or against. Just a sad perspective of everyday reality that I can experience walking around the slums.

Shaky cam went out years ago. And what's with the idiotic 1980's tube-TV aspect ratio of 1.37:1?? I've seen better amateur video recordings on an iPhone along with the acceptable fit-in-my-TV- screen aspect ratio. It really was annoying.

Let's waste film on capturing flies on a car, for at least 10 seconds. Or peeing in a field. Or taking a bug out of a pool. Maybe there was a message, but I was struggling to keep my eyes open to notice it.

Sure, this was a very visual piece of work (hence my score of 2 instead of 1), but why did I have to suffer for all that time? The average National Geographic piece is only 60 minutes and does not cost 3.5 million to make! Seriously, where did all that budget go to? Not effects. Not cameras. Not sound/score. Not editing. Not vehicles. Not motels.

I am stunned by all the fake high ratings and praise for this film. Notice I did not once relate to it as a movie as it is not, it's a film, a video of someone with a cam that was bored and followed around a group of misfits around the country. That is all. Don't waste your time like I did.
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Not for the simple minded
daywilson31 July 2019
Even though the story line is very simple this movie is very complex . This isn't a movie for deep thinkers or for people who need something exciting to watch . This is the type of movie that will make you think about life and see life from from a different perspective. Not everyone will be able to relate or understand this movie and that's okay. But definitely an amazing nonetheless.. Shia never disappoints and Sasha was great and hope to see her and more movies.
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Might be the worst movie I have ever seen
williamgwhitejr-109-15258315 December 2016
If you want to watch a movie with no plot where you don't like a single character in the film and you keep waiting for something meaningful that never comes, except anxiety and depression, until you finally get to the pointless NON-ending - be sure and watch American Honey. You will waste 2 hours and 45 minutes of your life and then wish you would've turned it off at least one of the 1000 times you thought about it.

This movie rambles along endlessly. Just when you start to identify with a character, or sympathize or start to develop an understanding of them or have some level of sadness or joy for them, the writers undermind your intelligence by placing them in situations which would not make sense or have them do something no one would with any sense would do. There are a few scenes where you say to yourself, "ok, here we go... finally" only to be sucker punched again. HORRIBLE MOVIE.
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Ridiculous Premise
tobajoma17 December 2016
Who would believe that any of these trashy characters could even sell one magazine subscription, let alone enough to make a profit for themselves and their equally trashy supervisor ? If anyone looking like this raunchy crew even rang my bell, I would tell them I wasn't interested before I even knew what they wanted even if it was to sign a petition to endorse a candidate or issue I was in favor of. As someone pointed out early on, hardly anybody buys magazines anymore (and if they did they would buy it at a discount from an online site or a direct mailing, not at an inflated price from someone who looks like they crawled out from under a rock). Forget their stories, I can't imagine anyone would even open the doors for them. I assumed when they were talking about their "mission", they would at least clean up their act before attempting to approach their wealthy targets. In what fantasy do rich home owners invite grungy-looking adolescents into their home unless they know them ? Any other comment about this movie is unnecessary.
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Painfully boring and irritating
paulmaccormaic17 October 2016
This is the worst film I have seen in 50 years of movies going. It is filmed in an irritating shaky hand held camera style that is mostly out of focus. using close up techniques that are pointless, it has long repetitious scenes of passengers in a minibus. The dialogue is slurred and unintelligible. The movie seems unscripted. There are long tedious and repetitious scenes of passengers in a minibus, who, to combat boredom, sing along to the radio. This happens about 5 or 6 times throughout the movie. It was painful to watch and I was left with a feeling of being stuck in a 3- hour traffic jam with no AC, no phone, no water and bursting to use the toilet. How anybody could rate this tiresome self-consciously pretentious film above a 1 is a mystery.
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Worst I've ever seen
wayne-robb10 January 2017
This is a terrible movie, i have been watching low budget and high budget films over the past 20 years and merit some of the benefits like a great story from the lower budget ones,however this movie is full of idiots listening to idiotic music making horrible life choices and basically acting like the scum of the earth. These youngsters have no morals or respect for anything or one other than themselves. Anyone who answered a door to these morons or giving them money must be a weak dumb person,and that's what these morons pray on. There is no point to the story and no point in what they do. Its awful,the direction is even worse and as for shia labeouf. Shia has done some serious rubbish and i mean rubbish,the man likes to think he's mr cool but he is anything but,his acting talent is not that bad but he hasn't had a movie script worthy enough to prove himself. This is truly the worst film i have seen in the last 10 years, and these idiots in it and the direct should just go away from the movie business and realise there are people out there who are a lot more talented than them, who ever wrote this or funded it is one of those idiots who gave them money at the door. Cheap,bad acting,worse music,deadbeats, a recipe for trash.
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Anything with 'American' in the title can't go wrong...
robsyb15 December 2016
I understand the artistry which Is trying be unraveled by Arnold but Its a tediously slow and repetitive emo/rap loving young adults attempting to find their places In life - They 'sell magazines' as they try manipulate good people in society for their own self indulgent ways.

However at 2hrs 43 minutes of attempting to follow this movie it fails to deliver. The content is constantly repeating itself - with one scene It starts to become intriguing, however Arnold seems to stop this right after and then the repetitive content becomes apparent.

The direction is well done, however the film has you losing faith after 1:40 minutes and asking where has this film gone.

Its surprising to see Shia labeouf in this film however he is still a class act. I do wonder about his film choices, he doesn't seem to care what roles he gets as his Hollywood path seems to be stagnating.

I can't understand how this has received such high praise - I believe it is only the youngsters of the generation who have some connection with young adults of the film.

People who are giving 10 out of 10 or 'five out of five' on an IMDb site which is clearly 10 star rating don't understand the critic of films or genres, unfortunately they are a stereotype of sorts.

Get ready for a slow moving repetitive depiction of slow content, a film losing its value after time.

4 out of 10 / The 4 is just for the artistry.
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A movie not to watch
nicoloszenberg18 December 2016
This is by far the worst movie I ever seen in my life. The actors are doing a great job, but the problem of the movie is not with the acting, the problem is that the movie is tremendously long, boring, pretentious and a very bad example for the young generations. It is a movie about lost teens who live on the road, with no rules and no respect for anybody out of their herd. And the most irritating thing is that a kid, watching this movie, might think that such kind of life could be cool, an example to follow. From the other side, being boring, long, pretentious, the critics might like it. Do not lose your time in watching, but if you do, avoid that your kids watch it.
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Shia and Riley Carry The Film
cmandvl1 June 2019
I'm three years late. But this movie proved to me why Shia Labeouf is and will always be a great actor. Riley Keough, too (though this is the first time I've seen her). Those two characters made the film for me.

I like Sasha lane. However, I think that the movie is carried by her love story with Shia's character. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't care about her because she seems a little too naive and temperamental for her own good. Such as when she continuously hops in cars with strange men (which is the whole plot of this film tbh) and constantly has a temper in an environment where maybe keeping her cool would be the better option. (Especially when she chose to be there in the first place).

The other side characters feel like real life people I would see from my generation. The fact that the film cast actual people rather than actors shows. But in a good way. It makes the film feel like it is a "ride along" rather than a movie.

If it wasn't for the random, "why is this here?" artistic shots (like a grasshopper on Sasha's character's arm)...well, I feel like this was like being a fly on a wall in this particular place and people of the world.

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Too real for a disconnected culture
isaacthe11 June 2019
The actors brought subtle truth to the roles. If strictly analyzing this film for hitting the beats, delivering clear themes, take aways, pushing the boundaries of writers table paradigms, yeah I can see the 1 star rating. Connection to a story is subjective. But if I'm watching a movie, it's usually to escape reality for a moment. I found myself not seeking out the analysis while watching but simply riding along in the van. I lived out a chapter of someone else's life. Someone completely different than myself. And to me, to be completely pulled into a story and world is something a billion dollar production like avengers couldn't do with it's Hollywood quips and polished CGI everything. Those moves may entertain me. But this movie made me feel and search. Like life, you don't always get clear themed and empty platitudes. Sometimes you just have reality and it shapes you, with or without a recognizable point.
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Could Have Taken A Nap During This Movie
tanyax9914 December 2016
This is the worst film I have seen in my entire life of diverse movie going. The cinematography is irritatingly shaky and the performances are incredibly insincere, broad and maudlin. There are long, very tiresome and overused scenes of passengers in a minibus, who sing along to the radio --- what is important, unique, interesting, artful about that? It's lazy filmmaking, unlike the director's previous film which was a beautiful piece of work. It was painful to watch and I was left with a feeling of being stuck in the worst traffic of my life for three hours with nothing to do but just stare at the ineptitude of the drivers before me. The accolades on this film is just a mystery to me.
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Total waste of time
ejw-7126722 December 2016
Do not waste your time watching this totally meaningless film.

I thought with the high user reviews, and with Shia LaBeouf in it, it might be worth watching. I was wrong! This is one of the worse films I've seen in years. There's really no story to this movie. I kept waiting for something to happen, nothing ever did. While the acting and directing are OK, the script is extremely lame. Why make it two and half hours long?! It could either go on forever or have ended in the middle of the film, it would NOT have make any difference.

A total waste of time in my opinion. How it got nominations and won several awards jut confuse the hell out of me.
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what a movie!
sofiamoro1 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't choose a better movie to start my new year. When I saw the trailer for the first time ( yes I admit I must have seen it 10 times more then ) I was already captured, and my expectations weren't disappointed. This is a great portrait of a generation, it talks about beauty and hope through little frame of a road trip going around without a fixed destination, except for the pursuit of money and the ransom that comes with it. But what makes this movie so magical is the relationship between the two main actors. The tuning breaks the screen, we feel the intensity, the impetuosity, the joy of a stealthy young love, grew up in an 'hopeless place', as Rihanna's song perfectly suggests. The soundtrack is also amazing, well interrupted sometimes with calculated moments of silence. Last but not the least, I was completely enchanted by the cinematography.
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