Owen Gleiberman
August 29, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I.O.U.S.A.

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
87 minutes
Limited Release Date
08/22/08
director
Patrick Creadon
distributor
Roadside Attractions
author
Patrick Creadon
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A

Certain topics — the Enron disaster, the industrialization of corn — are so thick with unsexy detail that if you happen to see a good documentary about them, it can produce a kind of catharsis. ”Aha!” you exclaim. ”Now I finally get it!” I.O.U.S.A., a sharp, absorbing portrait of our national debt crisis, has that energizing brain-food effect. The film traces how America, whose federal debt reached $8.7 trillion in 2007, has put its future into hock. It’s a scary, sobering look at toothless leaders and credit-addicted consumers locked in a duet of denial. If they handed out an Academy Award for Most Gripping Graphs and Charts, this film would take it. A

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