American Honey

3 Stars

Young Star (Sasha Lane) is in a dead-end situation in life when she encounters a group of traveling magazine sellers, including the charismatic Jake (Shia LaBeouf). She accepts his offer to join the group, and embarks on an adventurous trip across America.

Unlike the film with its 162-minute runtime, I’m going to keep this brief. Newcomer Sasha Lane is breathtaking as the center of this film, which is also filled with some gorgeous footage of America at various highs and lows on the economic and class scale. That being said, this film is more of an experience than a story, with little changing over the course of the film. The closest thing this film has to momentum is the relationship that develops between Star and Jake, which essentially moves back and forth repeatedly. It is certainly fascinating, and it can hold the interest of an audience that’s not looking for a more developed narrative, but American Honey does get repetitive (which seems at least partially intentional), and it doesn’t build to anything. It just…ends. For most audiences, I think this will be more frustrating than rewarding.

American Honey • Rating: R (for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout, drug/alcohol abuse – all involving teens) • Runtime: 162 minutes • Genre: Drama • Cast: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough • Director: Andrea Arnold • Writer: Andrea Arnold • Distributor: A24
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