Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
An earnest, fictional coming-of-age story is squeezed from a bitter, true-life local tragedy. And it works.
Wall Street Journal:
This is not, by any reasonable definition of the term, a professional film, even though several experienced and established actors have been inveigled to inhabit it
Los Angeles Times:
There are scenes that work here and there, but regrettably not nearly enough to hold the film together. In the end, this affair is definitely not one to remember.
It's all presented so earnestly... that you barely realize at the time how preposterous it all is. Intrigue! Cubans! The Bay of Pigs! JFK! It's the coming-of-age tale filtered through the mind of Oliver Stone,
It's a good rule of thumb that any film that grandly puts "American" in its title is going to try to make some statements way beyond its pay grade.
If you can get past the exploitation-of-minors thing, there's a tawdry exuberance to moments like the one in which the twerp and his overage girlfriend drunkenly splash paint on each other.
New York Daily News:
Sketchily written, clumsily directed and poorly acted, even history-conspiracy aficionados will be left cold.
The title sums up the bland, unimaginative and cliche-laden thriller/coming-of-age tale.
The Cuban Missile Crisis is a year passed and the assassination is looming, and yet Adam's pubescent crises are given Wagnerian emphasis.
Only Noah Wyle, as Adam's unreadable dad, rises above the muck; he deserves his Tarantino-aided resurrection sooner rather than later.