Owen Gleiberman
March 14, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Maxed Out

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
87 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/09/07
director
James D. Scurlock
distributor
Truly Indie
genre
Documentary

We gave it an B

The scariest horror film of the season doesn’t feature toolshed torture or a South Korean sea monster. It’s this nonfiction look at the banks and the credit-card companies that stalk middle- and low-income Americans, dangling piles of approved credit in front of them and then jacking up the interest rates like loan sharks. It’s true, of course, that no one forces people to take these deals, but Maxed Out, while occasionally muddled in its financial details, presents a more-accurate-than-not vision of a nation that is starting to look like a candidate for rehab, on both an individual and a national level, for its addiction to debt.

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