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American Dreamz Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

… a lot of zzzzzzz. 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
    45

    out of 100

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

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The movie stands as a genuine offense against the venerable and indispensable institution of satire.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A film with none of the heart that has characterized Weitz's best work and none of the freshness of his most successful.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This movie seems better suited as cable or video fare than for theatrical viewing.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Not as incisive a political commentary as "Thank You For Smoking," American Dreamz lampoons the public's appetite for mindless entertainment and easy distraction from serious concerns.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is more slapdash than smooth, more impulsive than calculating, and it takes cheap shots. I responded to its savage, sloppy zeal.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A blithe, funny, and engaging movie.

    Read Full Review

  • See all American Dreamz reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Social satire more for teens and adults.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this satire pokes fun at President Bush, American Idol, and Western fears of terrorism (the would-be presidential assassins here are "Arabic" and comic). The film makes the TV show and the presidential administration look equally dishonest. A character cheats on her fiancé. Characters make fun of "white trash." Terrorists carry and fire guns, and plan a suicide bombing; one terrorist says he enjoys torturing people; another character blows himself up to protest his girlfriend's betrayal (you don't see explosion or deaths). In Iraq, a character is barely shot (grazed) and sent home on his first day. Characters drink beer and wine, and the First Lady takes pills for depression.

  • Families can talk about the function of satire. How can making fun of something provide critique or even suggest ways to change? How do this movie's particular parodies touch on broader themes, such as corruption, commercialism, cynicism? Does it matter that American Idol might be fixed, if it is designed to be entertainment?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: U.S. president appears to be dumb, depressed, and easily manipulated; cynical producers and bored host of TV show regularly rig the game.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Terrorists appear in a training video (learning to shoot); a terrorist breaks someone's arm; terrorists plan a suicide bombing; a U.S. soldier in Iraq is shot in the arm and sent home with his arm in a sling; an explosion ends the film, but you don't see it or any bodily effects, only learn that characters have been killed.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Couples kiss (Sally and William, and then, Sally and Martin -- they go on to have sex in her dressing room, offscreen, though witnessed by William); Omer is called "Omersexual" some song lyrics refer to sexual activity (including "Superfreak" and a made-up song, "Let's get raunchy tonight"); Iqbar is stereotypically gay.

  • language false3

    Language: Pushing it for a PG-13: 3 f-words, plus a couple of s-words, "hell," "bitch," "ass," "damn," slang for sex.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: American Idol is an obvious reference throughout; Osmonds record; Coal Miner's Daughter movie poster; Ferrari; Kangol; Pepsi.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Unlit cigar; beer and wine-drinking (some as background, in a bar); references to the First Lady's "happy pills," which she has her husband take as well (presumably, a mood-elevating prescription).

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