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American Honey

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United Kingdom, United States · 2016
Rated R · 2h 42m
Director Andrea Arnold
Starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough, McCaul Lombardi
Genre Drama

Star, a teenage girl with nothing to lose, joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, shirking the law, and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of fellow misfits.

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What are people saying?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

So beautiful and absorbing; makes you feel like you're lost in another world even though everything is familiar. Really thoughtful portrayal of America through the eyes of a British director!

Mina Rhee Profile picture for Mina Rhee

Maybe the best use of pop music in a movie ever? Obsessed with how We Found Love by Rhianna starts playing when the two characters meet in a convenience store - I think it perfectly captures the potential of pop songs to be ironic yet perfectly sincere and heartfelt, a pure rush of emotion, at the same time.

Hannah Eliot Profile picture for Hannah Eliot

Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and also one of the most immersive I’ve ever seen. This film is not afraid to show the ragged edges that come with that liberating feeling of being young. It doesn’t shy away from baring the ugly side of youth, of running toward an uncertain future only to find that it is no better than where you came from.

What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The film works best as a poignant character study, observing Star as she settles into her independence and figures out who she wants to be, framed by a vast physical landscape that stretches socioeconomically from privileged wealth to squalid poverty. There's a wonderful intimacy in the way Arnold examines young women in her films.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Part dreamy millennial picaresque, part distorted tapestry of Americana and part exquisitely illustrated iTunes musical, “Honey” daringly commits only to the loosest of narratives across its luxurious 162-minute running time. Yet it’s constantly, engrossingly active, spinning and sparking and exploding in cycles like a Fourth of July Catherine wheel.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

It is indulgent in its length and relative plotlessness, though there’s no point at which the bravado of Arnold’s filmmaking, Lane’s riveting performance or Ryan’s stunning Polaroid-shaped lensing ever flag.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

American Honey ticks off all of the indie clichés. Fireworks? Check. Standing up in convertible with your arms outstretched? Check. Grubby children? Check. But all of this could be forgiven, or at least put up with, if the film wasn't so long and meandering.


Screen International by Jonathan Romney

While American Honey exudes ample energy, this episodic piece doesn’t muster much narrative drive over its daunting running time of two and three quarter hours. There’s probably a stronger, tighter film in here, but fair game at least to Arnold in her commitment to following the winding back roads of filmic experiment rather than the well-mapped highway of storytelling.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It’s a film which drifts onward in search for an epiphany which doesn’t quite materialise. It is indulgent, and features a scenery-chewing, furniture-smashing performance from Shia LaBoeuf. Yet there is much that is valuable in the film: a sense of mood and space, interesting ideas and a tense triangular dynamic between its chief characters.


The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

It’s visually astonishing and often devastating, too. This might be the freshest film about young people in America since Larry Clark’s Kids.


The Telegraph by Tim Robey

You could also argue that this almost intentionally exhausting film is too much of a good thing. But there’s amazingly little of it you'd want to live without.

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