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God Bless America Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Natural Born Liberals Read full review

3.5

Grae Drake Profile

Bread and circuses and laughter. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    56

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Bobcat Goldthwait's new movie is a burlesque that turns into a harangue that turns into a rampage.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Here is a film that begins with merciless comic savagery and descends into merely merciless savagery. But wow, what an opening.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    A niche theatrical run might draw fans of Goldthwait's previous work, this effort isn't likely to get as much help from critics as those sometimes did.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait has an ax to grind and, once he's done grinding it, he uses it to split some skulls. God Bless America is many things - audacious, bitingly satirical, unafraid of venturing into uncomfortable territory - but it is never subtle.

    Read Full Review

  • See all God Bless America reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Very dark, angry comedy about the media and its effects.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that God Bless America is a dark, dark comedy from Bobcat Goldthwait, the maker of World's Greatest Dad. The movie takes an angry stance against the media for its extreme vulgarity and stupidity -- but its "solution" is violence and killing. There are violent, gory slayings, especially in the opening few minutes, when the main character imagines killing a family (including a crying baby). Language is very strong and constant, with just about every swear word imaginable. There's also strong sexual innuendo and uncomfortable sexual tension between the two main characters, a late-40s man and a late-teen girl, though no sex. Both characters smoke cigarettes, the man drinks beer, and there are drug references. And though the movie is anti-consumerist, it has lots of references to real brands as well as spoofs of brands and fake TV ads.

  • Families can talk about God Bless America's violence. Why would a character react so strongly to the media and its effects? Is this reaction out of proportion? 
  • Is the movie angry, or funny, or both? How does this qualify as a "black comedy"? Does the movie offer any real solutions?
  • The movie depicts the media as mean, vulgar, violent, and "extreme." How close is this to the actual media of today? How is it different?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In a world where everyone is obsessed with reality TV celebrities and vulgar, extreme content, God Bless America suggests that violently exterminating the worst offenders is a good (and funny) idea. The violence has little or no consequences, and it's shown to be a much more appealing alternative than the characters' normal lives.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character utterly fails in his attempts to be a good person and succumbs to depression, anxiety (as well as a potential brain tumor), and suicidal thoughts. He's redeemed not by anything good but by the urge to murder everyone who annoys him. His companion could have been a strong female, but instead she's a somewhat sexualized teen girl who also shoots and kills people.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The movie begins with its most disturbing image: The main character imagines shooting both a crying baby (off screen) and the baby's father, leaving the mother screaming and covered in blood. There are several other violent, bloody killings as well, mostly with guns. In the finale, the characters shoot everyone on stage, as well as the audience members of an American Idol-type show. There's also a general undercurrent of anger and hate, especially when the characters watch TV news and reality shows.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Plenty of sexual innuendo and some disturbing sexual tension between the two main characters; the man is in his late 40s, and the girl is in her late teens. She shows sexual interest in him, but he rebuffs her. No sex or nudity. On a reality TV show, a woman reaches under her dress, removes a tampon, and throws it at another woman.

  • language false5

    Language: Very strong language throughout, including "f--k," "s--t," "balls," "p---y," "suck it," "c--k," "a--holes," "oh my God," "t-ts," "goddamn," "c--t," "whore," "queef," "c--ksucker," the "N" word, and "motherf----r." Characters hold signs that say "God Hates Fags."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Though the movie is very much anti-consumerism, it mentions many real brands, as well as spoofs of real brands: Escalade, iPhone, BlackBerry, Disneyland, Glee, and Rambo. There's an American Idol spoof and spoofs of other reality shows and TV ads.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character, a teen girl, is seen smoking a cigarette in one scene. The main character smokes cigarettes and drinks beer occasionally. There are drug references, but no drugs are shown.

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