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‘American Ultra’ Reviews: Just Another Stoner Flick?

Thu, August 20, 2015 5:17pm EDT by Emily Longeretta 4 Comments

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are definitely a match made in movie heaven! The costars are taking theaters by storm this week  with the release of ‘American Ultra’ but is the action comedy worth it? Here’s what the critics have to say.

Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) are taking on the CIA in American Ultra with not much but a cup of ramen noodles and spoon — and yes, we’re hearing it’s hilarious. However, is the action-packed film funny enough to win over movie fans or is it just one more stoner movie?


Full of clever ideas, bloody violence so cartoonish that it’s almost cuddly, and an eminently likable leading pair in Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, the film has a lot going for it but, like a fridge-clearing omelet prepared after too many bong hits, it can’t manage to cook all these goodies into a palatable whole.

The Hollywood Reporter

Stoners take a bloodbath in American Ultra, a genre mash that’s mildly amusing until it can’t think of anything else to do besides flop around in the deep end of conspicuous gore. Taking a vacation from more serious projects by playing a couple of lethargic, ambition-free tokers who suddenly find themselves in the middle of a Joe Carnahan movie, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart smoke and say “like” and the F-word a lot and eventually kick plenty of butt in a way that looks to cook up a couple of weeks of buzzy late-summer business with good-times-seeking young audiences.

The Huffington Post

Finally we have an original superhero in Jesse Eisenberg who plays a killer nerd. Nobody is gonna mess with Jesse after seeing him in American Ultra, a refreshing comic book film never before seen or heard of and because of this, you will be on the edge of your seat wondering why. We do not have a remake of a familiar superhero whose behavior is predictable. All predictability is three sheets to the wind as you will be scratching your head wondering what’s next? And this is why American Ultra is a great film. Tarantino violence with a kinda cute twist. Never serious, though seriously performed.

Chicago Tribune

This is a deeply weird film — in the best way – and feels incredibly of this particular moment. —There’s at once intense paranoia about a nefarious, shadowy, murderous, spying government, coupled with a streak of liberal libertarianism. Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) just wants to get stoned, be happy and have the government leave him alone, embracing the ’60s ethos of “turn on, tune in, drop out.” Ultimately, the humanist nature of the film doesn’t allow that to fully happen, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun watching Mike figure that out.

— Emily Longeretta