Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Joel Murray
Tara Lynne Barr
Melinda Page Hamilton.
Directors
Bobcat Goldthwait.
Screenwriters
Bobcat Goldthwait.
Running Time
104 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Queen And Country
4 Star Empire Rating
Black Souls
4 Star Empire Rating
Station To Station
4 Star Empire Rating
She’s Funny That Way
2 Star Empire Rating
Accidental Love
1 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating

God Bless America
Land of the freaks and home of the brain-dead...


submit to reddit


Plot
Loveless, jobless and both terminally disenfranchised and ill, Frank (Murray) has had enough of the dumbing down of American culture. He takes his gun and goes on a road trip with 16 year-old Roxy (Barr), offing society’s stupidest and cruellest members.


Review
God Bless America
Who hasn't sat in front of Saturday-night TV and imagined blowing away the celeb-hungry members of the Big Brother house or the sneering panel on The X Factor, or felt unadulterated rage when the person next to you in the cinema pulls out their phone and starts texting? Presumably, director and writer Bobcat Goldthwait feels your pain. His satirical and violent tirade against the ills affecting American culture is an exercise in vigilantism and occasional intellectual elitism; it’s also, among the bloody corpses, bone fragments and discourse of a country going to hell, really very funny.

Much of the credit for ensuring the film’s centre holds comes down to the seemingly benign Frank (Joel Murray), estranged from his wife and a daughter who is slowly becoming a product of the cultural malaise that Frank so detests. Upon being told that he has an inoperable brain tumour, Frank decides to take action. Deciding to off Chloe (Maddie Hasson), a particularly appalling high-school princess with her own reality TV show, Frank sets the tone for the rest of the film. His brutal assassination of the girl is clumsy, bleakly funny and shockingly violent, but it’s enough to impress the teenage Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who teams up with the rudderless Frank and persuades him to parlay his act of retribution into a sustained campaign.

So begins a road trip that’s high on implausibility — it feels like the pair aren’t even destined to be pursued by the police — and riffs on US cultural malaise. Roxy’s endless lists of would-be victims are tempered by Frank’s yearning for common courtesy and a more caring world, albeit one where he gets to shoot people in the face. The sparkling dialogue — the bloody attack in the cinema is as cruel as it is clever — keeps the film afloat, with verbal barbs lacerating everything from inane celebrity culture to the cult of Diablo Cody. That and the growing bond between Frank and Roxy, plus the fact that the film takes a surprising U-turn, lifts it above the basic premise of a disgruntled man shooting down a world in which he no longer fits.


Verdict
Part road trip, part revenge movie, this is a tentative tale of a man who’s not going to take it anymore, sharp on the fallibility of human foibles and sometimes stingingly funny, too.


Reviewed by Philip Wilding

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for God Bless America
Empire Star Rating

RE: God Bless America

God Bless America (2011) Are you fed up with life? fed up with the people around you? fed up with the constant mindless dribble that is shown on TV 24/7? the celebrity/sport addicted media or the use of brain sapping technology like 'Twitter' and txt on smart phones etc...?. Then why not break free and go on a killing rampage to release the world of these modern day problems. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait (yes that lunatic from a few 'Police Academy' movies) and with an unknown cast (... More

Posted by Phubbs at 09:22, 25 January 2013 | Report This Post


God Bless America

God Bless America works better as a political/cultural satire than as a cinematic story, where Murray's preaching may go to the point of not only annoyance, but where one might question the writer's views in the first place. But along with Barr, the duo are fun to watch in this violent, thoughtful, and delightfully funny indie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by norgizfox at 20:50, 01 September 2012 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt1912398/]God Bless Americahe recently fired and terminally ill Frank is pissed off about almost everything in the current (American) society. When he gets the bad news that he is terminally ill and that is ex-wife (and mother of his insanely spoiled daughter) is getting re-married he completely had it with his life and wants to end it. But instead of doing so he decides to free society of everyone who is, according to him, responsible for letting society slip in a downw... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:02, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE:

Thumbs up. Probably knocking on the door of my top ten for the year. And how good is Tara Lynne Barr? Its the relationship between her and murray that really elevates the film. Need to go back and check out Zed's...I mean Bobcats, other films. ... More

Posted by MartinBlank76 at 21:20, 03 August 2012 | Report This Post


Its well acted and directed and the story is interesting but it needs a better editor because the pacing is awful. Most of the scenes go on way longer than they need to ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Evil_Bob at 11:23, 08 July 2012 | Report This Post


This is unashamed misanthropy porn, a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the disillusioned, and I absolutely loved it. It has the guts to go the distance on it's dark promise, features so many sharp gags alongside the frequent monologues, and has found an absolute gem of a young star in Tara Lynne Barr, who steals the whole film from the excellent Murray. A brilliant, brilliant film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MB2 at 03:58, 02 July 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)