United States of Leland (2003)
In the last few years, it seems that Kevin Spacey's only concern when reading scripts and choosing roles has been the message of the movie. Fair enough, but with United States of Leland, it really becomes overkill. Written and directed by second-timer Matthew Ryan Hoge, this is a film that wants so badly to make a point that it buries itself in pseudo-philosophical renderings on life in general and our modern day world in particular. It actually never is close to be working, as Hoge elevates his protagonist to 'Messiahistic' proportions and builds up to a grand disclosure of the mind of Leland P. Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, there isn't much to retract here, other than jabber and prattle. None of the characters are one-dimensional or uninteresting, but Hoge fatally overestimates the importance of the events that he portrays around them. As if he doesn't acknowledge the fact that his audience knows what life is about. It's offending at its worst, and unexceptional at its best.