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About the Movie
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star in this dynamic thrill ride that mixes explosive action with edgy humor. Mike (Eisenberg) shares a small-town life with his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart). But Mike's sleepy world goes wild after he discovers that he's actually a CIA sleeper agent with lethal fighting skills—and the target of government hitmen. Mike, the ultimate slacker, transforms into an ultra-attacker as he and Phoebe fight to survive in this exhilarating adventure.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 158
- Fresh: 68
- Rotten: 90
- Average Rating: 5.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: It turns out to be a disappointingly underdeveloped film that its makers, chiefly director Nima Nourizadeh and writer Max Landis, must have thought could coast by on a cool but half-baked idea.
Fresh: Nourizadeh, working with a script by Max Landis, plays Mike's bloody violence like visual guitar riffs, and approaches the martial-arts set pieces with heavily underlined wit.
Rotten: An amusing idea, but the ugly violence and weepy dramatics effectively kill any comedic buzz.
Fresh: You never fully buy "American Ultra" - you're not supposed to - but it's a decent ride with some nice turns.
If you watch the previews really, really closely (or you’ve seen the movie and know what to look for), you’ll see all the hints that this isn’t the 100% comedy everyone seems to be expecting. At the risk of giving some (really, really minor) spoilers, there are real twists (“Don’t fall asleep!”), genuine tension (“Fire! Now!”), and even some sad moments (“Who tells you what to do?”). There are overall positive reviews that clearly state “occasional laughs” and “find humor,” so the fact that it’s not a pure comedy was clearly not lost on some critics.
The reviewer who claims the film is an “exercise in violence for its own sake” seems to have missed all the cause-and-effect that drives the film, and I think another of his phrases should have been written “…co-stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart,” really underscoring a pairing that shows genuine chemistry.
The review that cracks the “half-baked idea” joke is a disappointing one-liner that its author must have thought could stand on a cliché, vague stoner reference.
Terrible, Terrible, Terrible!!!!
This movie sucked so bad it created a vacuum. Sucked so bad there should have been vampires in it.
I don't care what the critics say, we really, really enjoyed this movie, Will see it again too!