The United States of Leland

( 3 )

Overview

When a quiet suburban boy commits a brutal crime, the seemingly serene façade of stability that surrounds him comes crashing down to earth in this chilling and thought-provoking release from Paramount Pictures. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the feature offers audio rendered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital Surround with optional English subtitles. A theatrical trailer is also included.
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Overview

When a quiet suburban boy commits a brutal crime, the seemingly serene façade of stability that surrounds him comes crashing down to earth in this chilling and thought-provoking release from Paramount Pictures. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the feature offers audio rendered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital Surround with optional English subtitles. A theatrical trailer is also included.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround; English Dolby Surround; English subtitles; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Believer's Ryan Gosling plays another troubled teen in The United States of Leland, but there's a huge gulf in realism between the two roles. Gosling's skinhead Danny Balint may have been hard to watch, but he was always "believe"-able, as it were. Gosling's Leland Fitzgerald is a much more pleasant misfit, a sensitive intellectual who voices life observations in a placid suburban drawl. But he kills the mentally handicapped brother of his girlfriend for reasons he can't explain, which makes his character kind of bogus, a cinematic construct put in place to propel an experiment involving the vagaries of teen angst and family dysfunction. The United States of Leland certainly gets caught up in concept at the expense of execution, but writer/director Matthew Ryan Hoge does probe some interesting if overburdened ideas in his chosen topic. Hoge's evident talent excuses some of his foolhardy rookie ambitiousness, salvaging what was considered a mild failure even in its most favorable notices. Producer Kevin Spacey has assembled an able cast, including an underdog performer submitting his personal best: American Pie's Chris Klein, previously considered a vapid Keanu Reeves type, who muscles up for some nuanced work. Don Cheadle and Spacey himself are also effective, playing, respectively, the juvy teacher who's counseling/exploiting Leland and his arrogantly absent novelist father, who doomed Leland to view fractured human relationships with a sadness that eventually overwhelms him. In the cinema of post-Columbine teen wackos, The United States of Leland shares more territory with a thoughtful character study like Donnie Darko (including actress Jena Malone) than a randomness-of-it-all project like Gus Van Sant's Elephant. Unfortunately, the fact that it's stagy to the point of distraction limits its usefulness.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • UPC: 097363427148
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Don Cheadle Pearl Madison
Ryan Gosling Leland Fitzgerald
Chris Klein Allen Hughes
Jena Malone Becky
Lena Olin Marybeth Fitzgerald
Kevin Spacey Albert Fitzgerald
Michelle Williams Jennifer Pollard
Martin Donovan Harry Pollard
Ann Magnuson Karen Pollard
Kerry Washington Ayesha
Sherilyn Fenn Mrs. Calderon
Maria Arce Bethany
Randall Bosley Sheriff Donaldson
Nick Kokich Kevin
Alec Medlock Young Leland
Jason Peck
Sheeri Rappaport
Yolonda Ross Miranda
Michael Welch
Ryan Malgarini
Technical Credits
Matthew Ryan Hoge Director, Screenwriter
Jeff Betancourt Editor
William Paul Clark Asst. Director
Mark Damon Executive Producer
Jeremy Enigk Score Composer
James Glennon Cinematographer
Stewart Hall Executive Producer
Sammy Lee Executive Producer
Edward Mcavoy Production Designer
Bernie Morris Producer
Emily Schweber Casting
Jonah Smith Producer
Kevin Spacey Producer
Genevieve Tyrrell Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard van Dyke Sound/Sound Designer
Palmer West Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. I Don't Remember [:21]
2. Special Handling [:33]
3. You Can Hear Footsteps [:27]
4. Sometimes I'm Somewhere Else [5:24]
5. Tears [2:07]
6. Tug of War [3:05]
7. You're Only Human [5:44]
8. Fiction or Non? [3:50]
9. Love Is... [2:52]
10. Mostly I Keep it Out [7:54]
11. Mistakes [1:29]
12. One and One Is One [2:23]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Set Up
      English 5.1 Surround
      English Dolby Surround
      English Subtitles
      No Subtitles
   Theatrical Trailer
   Previews
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ryan Gosling is great

    United States of leland is an intense and thought provoking movie about a young man who commits a murder of a mentally challenged teen. The movie isn't about the murder so much as it is why he commits it. Anyone waiting for a fight, gruesome murder or death scene this isn't for you. Anything Ryan Gosling touches is excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thought provoking

    This movie is not for everyone. It asks for alot of mental maturity from the audience, and it you don't have it, you won't like it. The movie revolves around a teenager named Leland (Ryan Gosling) who is in a juvenile detention facility for murdering his girlfriend's brother, a young mentally disabled child. Pearl (Don Cheadle) plays a teacher at the facility who tries to get out of Leland an explanation for his actions. Between private meetings and vivid flash backs on Leland's part, an extremely complicated web of a life is laid out for the viewer to try and comprehend. However, in the end the explanation is simple. Life is beautiful, but it is also painful. The complexity of Leland's character captivated me from the instant I was introduced to him and with just as amazing prefomances by Spacey and Malone, this movie should NOT be passed up. This movie will make you think, and ever since I saw this movie two years ago, I have never looked at life the same way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    DISAPPOINTING

    Expectations will be high for this film due to the excellent and thought-provoking previews. Unfortunately, the movie itself is, nicely put, boring. The viewer is kept waiting for any excitement-a murder, a fight, anything-but will be disappointed. You know a movie is bad when even the appearance of Kevin Spacey does nothing to spice it up. Lame.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews