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In America

201 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Academy Awad Nominee Jim Sheridan comes this deeply personal and poignant tale of a poor Irish family searching for a better life In America. Through the eyes of their spunky daughters, two anguished parents find hope and the ability to once again believe in love and magic…even amidst the dangers of New York's harrowing Hell's Kitchen. With mesmerizing performances by Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou, In America is "a classic" (USA Today) you won't ever forget.

Special Features

  • 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Making-of featurette
  • Alternate ending

Product Details

  • Actors: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou, Sarah Bolger, Emma Bolger
  • Directors: Jim Sheridan
  • Writers: Jim Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan
  • Producers: Nye Heron, Jim Sheridan, Arthur Lappin, Meredith Zamsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In America" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 110 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on February 9, 2004
For sheer catharsis, In America beats every movie I've seen since "The Sweet Hereafter" years ago. Like that movie, it deals with the aftermath of the death of a child; unlike that movie, it comes down (after much agony) on the side of a loving family as the only thing that can heal us.
The Sullivans, a young couple with two adorable daughters, slip illegally into the U.S., moving to New York. In theory this is to help Da start his acting career; in reality, it is an attempt to escape from the sad memories of young son Frankie, recently died at 5 of a brain tumor.
The performances are all, all stunning. Samantha Morton, her hair shorn like a penitent nun's, gives a stunning performance driven by the despair in her eyes. The real-world sisters Sara and Emma Bolger seem completely transparent; they leave the impression they are not acting at all, but really living the loss of their beloved brother. The African actor Djimon Hounsou looms like a sad but powerful diety over the sorrowful family, alternatively reflecting their pain and offering them solace.
The ending will surprise you - I won't give it away here - but it is a sweet resolution. The film seems to have a basis in truth, as it is written by director Jim Sheridan and his two daughters, and dedicated at the end to the memory of Frankie Sheridan (who, as it happens, was Jim Sheridan's brother rather than his son).
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin on December 14, 2003
Jim Sheridan's IN AMERICA, though you may not realize it when you watch it, is a fable about wishes, dreams, good defeating bad, families growing stronger, love outlasting all adversity and America as the land of opportunity. It's a delightful film, touching without being too cute.
One thing you must realize throughout the film, when it takes turns toward optimism when other films would grow darker, is that the story is told through the eyes of Christie, the 10-year-old daughter of an Irish immigrant family recently relocated to New York. She narrates the story. She speeds it up and slows it down as she needs to. She talks of her sister Ariel's fears, of her mother's strength and of her father's lost smile. And, most importantly, she puts a positive spin on each of her proud family's struggles.
Another director might have taken this same story and gone in a different, darker direction with it. The elements are there, certainly. The family is poor, living in a tenement alongside beggars and drug addicts. Johnny, the girls' father, is an out-of-work actor who's uprooted his family to escape sad memories of his son Frankie, who died. Mateo, the next-door neighbor, and Sarah, the mother, are both faced with life-threatening conditions.
But the atmosphere that Sheridan provides us in this film is comforting and light. The city is enchanting. The tenement is both scary and magical, depending upon the story that Christie is telling the audience. No adult problem goes unsolved for long, even ones that seem particularly bleak. Throughout these positive twists, the importance of the narrator is key. Happy endings are important to a little girl, particularly one who feels so responsible for her own family.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mike Sobocinski on January 9, 2004
Just saw this film for the second time at the theater, and the metaphor that comes to mind is that of peeling an onion. The first time I saw the film, the skin of the onion was removed. After the first half of the film it started sinking in that this was no mere string of episodes about Irish immigrants in New York City. It was clear from the first that there was good acting, and I expected only one of those European-style "slice of life" films, but I was delighted that the story actually built up a direction and a momentum and built to a truly impressive conclusion. Shakily photographed opening scenes turned out to be a deliberate and very appropriate work of craftsmanship linked into the heart of the film. The weirdly filmed sensual bedroom scene turned out NOT to have just been tossed in for its own sake, but rather was essesntial to set up symbols for the second half of the film. Not every note of the film rings true, but in the second half, once the characters are established, we find elements of mysticism and heartbreak mixed with textures of wonder and grit. I knew I had to go back and peel away another layer. Upon a second viewing, the spiritual/religious references were revealed more clearly, and I was convinced that my emotional response had been no mere fluke of mood or of the actors alone, but that this is actually a work of art, carefully set up with multiple layers and levels of understanding. Motifs and metaphors of blood, home, planets, aliens, angels, and place will be more carefully explored on my next viewing, for they all clearly have deliberate meaning.Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2004
IN AMERICA has heart, extraordinary writing, superb acting, admirable cinematography by Declan Quinn, and, in short, everything that "small films" attempt for, in abundance. Based on autobiographical material this screenplay was written by Jim Sheridan (who also directs with great sensitivity) and his two daughters. The story is that of an Irish family - a man and wife and thier two daughters - who swallow their recent loss of their only son and emigrate from Canada to America. The story is related through the tender eyes of the older daughter, who in the manner Irish holds three wishes bestowed by her brother's death. How she uses those wishes in the Americanization of the Sullivan family forms the story line. Against all the odds that so often impale immigrants to this country - inability to find decent housing, work, friends etc - this warm family's plight is magnified by the fact that they must learn to exist in a sleazy tenement building. Father is a wannabe actor who ends up driving a cab at night, the girls struggle with the new way of language and living, and the mother longs for another pregnancy to help fill the void of her lost child. They are befriended (mutually) by an African artist who lives below them and who eventually becomes a significant part of their extended family. To tell more would be unfair, as it is the tragedy and how it turns that makes the movie glow.
Samantha Morton and Paddy Considine as the parents are as fine as actors can get. The daughters are played with impeccable grace and skill by Sarah and Emma Bolger, and Mateo (their new fried) is the creation of the beautiful actor Djimon Hounsou who shines in this pivotal role. This story is related with underplayed sensitivity and heartwarming tenderness.
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