American Son (2008) Poster

American Son (2008)

  • Rate: 5.4/10 total 440 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance | War
  • Runtime: USA:90 min (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Filming Location: Bakersfield, California, USA
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American Son (2008)


American Son 2008tt1037004.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: American Son (2008)
  • Rate: 5.4/10 total 440 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance | War
  • Runtime: USA:90 min (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Filming Location: Bakersfield, California, USA
  • Director: Neil Abramson
  • Stars: Nick Cannon, Matt Sigloch and Dotan Baer
  • Original Music By: Tim Boland  Sam Retzer   
  • Soundtrack: God Damn
  • Plot Keyword: Thanksgiving | Motel Room | Dream | Crying | Flashback

Writing Credits By:

  • Eric Schmid (screenplay)
  • Neil Abramson (story) and
  • Eric Schmid (story)

Known Trivia

  • Filmed in only 20 days.
  • A straight to DVD release.

Plot: The story of a young Marine, fresh from Camp Pendleton, who is forced to confront the complexities of adulthood and a volatile home life during a four-day Thanksgiving leave.  »

Story: The story of a young Marine, fresh from Camp Pendleton, who is forced to confront the complexities of adulthood and a volatile home life during a four-day Thanksgiving leave.


Synopsis: A young man tries to tie up some loose ends before he goes to war in this independent drama from director Neil Abramson. Mike Holland (Nick Cannon) is nineteen years old and has just completed his basic training as a private in the United States Marine Corps. Mike has a four-day leave so he can visit his family for Thanksgiving, and then has orders for combat duty in Iraq. Mike wants to spend time with his family and friends before he ships out, but he doesn’t want to tell anyone that he’ll be stationed in Iraq. While taking the bus home to Bakersfield, California, Mike meets Cristina (Melonie Diaz), and it doesn’t take long for him to realize he’s infatuated with her. Mike makes a date to spend some time with Cristina, but he already has a busy schedule over the next four days. Mike catches up with his little sister (Erica Gluck), his doting mother (April Grace) and her taciturn new husband (Tom Sizemore), and sees his estranged father (Chi McBride) for the first time in years. Mike also hangs out with his best friend Jake (Matt O’Leary), but discovers he’s begun taking a different path in life while Mike was in boot camp. And Mike happens to meet a disabled soldier back from Iraq (Jay Hernandez) who gives him an idea of what he can expect during his tour of duty. American Son was screened in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. [D-Man2010]

Before shipping out to Iraq, a 19 year old goes home to learn that he has outgrown his friends. He falls deeply in love with a young woman, a love made bittersweet by his fear that he will not be coming home again, except in a body bag. [D-Man2010]


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Chris Frisina known as executive producer
  • Keeley Gould known as co-producer
  • Keeley Gould known as line producer
  • Alex Kohner known as executive producer
  • Danielle Renfrew known as producer
  • Michael Roiff known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Nick Cannon known as Mike
  • Matt Sigloch known as Company Commander (voice)
  • Dotan Baer known as Marine #1
  • Justin Diedolf known as Marine #2
  • Renzo Fidani known as Marine #3
  • Wade Harlan known as Marine #4
  • Robert T. Parker known as Marine #5
  • Dominique Valdez known as Go USA! Guy
  • Melonie Diaz known as Cristina
  • Danielle Barbosa known as Cristina's Mother
  • Gaby Medina known as Christina's Sister
  • Anthony Medina known as Christina'a Brother
  • Matt O'Leary known as Jake
  • Erica Gluck known as Tricia
  • Tom Sizemore known as Dale
  • April Grace known as Donna
  • Bryan Marsh known as Redneck
  • Sean Marquette known as Darcy
  • Ray Santiago known as Miguelito
  • Percy Daggs III known as Shawn
  • Michael Welch known as Goldie
  • Samuel McFadden known as Samuel
  • Nancy Kliuftis known as Courtney
  • Diana Terranova known as Tammy
  • Eurydice Davis known as Amber
  • Katie Ulloa known as Christina's Boss
  • Chi McBride known as Eddie
  • Jolene Hjerleid known as Dawn
  • Herman Wilkins known as Aaron
  • Toni Quintero known as Maria (as Tonie Quintero)
  • Sal Lopez known as Cristina's Father
  • Rosie Grandiallas known as Señora Morales
  • Jay Hernandez known as Junior Morales
  • Dennis D'Antin known as Alex
  • Erick Florez known as Gang Banger (uncredited)
  • Jumper Lark known as Kyle (uncredited)
  • Alex Perez known as Marine – Private (uncredited)
  • Jose Perez known as Marine (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Jeni Chua known as hair stylist
  • Jeni Chua known as makeup artist
  • Sara C. Hernandez known as key hair stylist
  • Sara C. Hernandez known as key makeup artist

Art Department:

  • James Ambers known as props assistant
  • Christian Goss known as props assistant
  • Martin Carrasco Leon known as props assistant




Production Companies:

  • Map Point Pictures
  • Night and Day Pictures
  • Winghead Films

Other Companies:

  • B.A.M. Grip Co.  grip and electric equipment provided by
  • C.M. Meiers Company  insurance
  • Cinelease  grip and electric equipment provided by
  • DitlevFilms  end crawl
  • Great Western Caterers  catering
  • Modern VideoFilm  digital intermediate
  • Monkeyland Audio  post-production sound services
  • Monkeyland Audio  sound re-recording
  • Pacific Title and Art Studio  titles
  • Yada/Levine  Avid provided by


  • G2 Pictures (2010) (UK) (DVD)
  • Echo Bridge Home Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD)
  • Elephant Films (2010) (France) (all media)
  • Media 8 Entertainment (2008) (non-USA) (all media)
  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Handmade Digital (visual effects)
  • Pacific Title and Art Studio (opticals and digital imaging)

Visual Effects by:

  • Jason W. Alexander known as compositor: Handmade Digital
  • Todd Groves known as lead compositor: Handmade Digital
  • Lee Roderick known as visual effects supervisor: Handmade Digital
  • Howard Stein known as iq artist: Modern VideoFilm
  • Jennifer Vecchiarello known as visual effects producer: Handmade Digital

Release Date:

  • USA January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • USA 13 June 2008 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic June 2009 (Zlín Film Festival)
  • USA 25 August 2009 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and drug use



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. bobbylabonte18 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    From the first credits to the final scene of American Son is a completemasterpiece. Neil Abramson co-wrote and directed this story of a 19year old Marine named Mike, who on a four day Thanksgiving leave, mustlet his family and friends in Bakersfield know that after that leave,he will be deployed to Iraq and on his way home from training camp,meets a young woman he ultimately falls in love with and ultimatelymust decide between his home life and his soldier side. Nick Cannongives what I think would be the performance of a lifetime as this youngsoldier, he must tell his mother, his step father, played brilliantlyby Tom Sizemore, his long time best friend, and his newly found love.THis film is one of the best depictions of a soldier going off intocombat and the inner turmoil he faces with his choice to leave what heconsiders home. This film is understated and I believe deserves to beseen by everyone at least once in their lifetime.

  2. nortneyaam from Germany
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    I can completely relate. My question is when are they going to make amovie about the life of a Female military member? They have all thesewar movies and military movies that are all about Men in the military,why not make one about the Females? It is hard for us too, being in amale dominate career field. I love the movies about my brothers atwar…but where is the love for the sisters fighting too? I do thinkthat this was a Great movie. It really throws down how it feels to comehome after going to Boot. Friends and family do not understand that itis not just a job, it is also a commitment, a life style that onechooses when they sign that dotted line. You don't actually realize howmuch you have changed as a person until you go back home after about ayear or so of training and see all your old friends doing nothing withtheir lives.

  3. Kristen Mallard
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    This film was beyond excellent. How is it at a mere 5.5? Transformers 2has a higher rating. Everything was great in this movie. The story. Theacting. The music. The direction. First off, Nick Cannon has provedthat he is more than just a great actor, he's an extraordinary actor.His performance was Oscar worthy. Jay Hernandez has a small role here,but he was also incredible. Also a great performance by Matt O'Leary asNick Cannon's friend Jake. This film deserved multiple Oscarnominations including best picture. It's short at only 85 minutes, buta LOT happens and not a single second feels wasted. This film wasfunny, sad, and deeply moving. This movie deserves at least an 8.0.Incredible

  4. TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    Before very recently I never heard of Nick Cannon. But he has been onmy personal radar for marrying Mariah Carey recently, and for that Ihave great admiration for him. Since she is now 40 and he is still inhis 20s he might be her boy-toy, but I admire him anyway.

    Here Nick Cannon is Mike, coming home by bus to his Californianeighborhood after completing basic training as a Marine. There hemeets pretty Melonie Diaz as Cristina and they form a quick, unlikelyfriendship. Unlikely because people don't usually meet on theGreyhound.

    I also enjoyed seeing Chi McBride of "Boston Public" TV fame, as Mike'sdad, Eddie. And Tom Sizemore as Mike's step-dad, Dale.

    Mike has 4 days, 96 hours, to enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays withfamily and friends, and new girlfriend, before going where no young manwants to go. Iraq is today what Viet Nam was to us in the 1960s.

    Good, small movie, probably shot on a small budget. I came awayimpressed with Nick Cannon as an actor. I look forward to seeing him inother roles.

  5. dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    Young marine returns home 96 hours before being shipped off to Iraq .Over the course of the next four days he will meet a girl and start arelationship, meet his friends and deal with his family and his past.This is one of the increasing number of Iraq films that plays widerthan Iraq . Here we get to crawl around inside the head and heart of asoldier about to ship out over seas, however where he's going could beany war anywhere. I like that the film is much more universal than thecurrent war that the US is involved in. Extremely well acted the casthelps sell the story and makes you want to see how it all plays outpast the final fade out. The film is good enough that I wish it didn'ttry so hard. The film tries very hard to be relevant and veryindependent by hitting too many issues in too short a time with theresult that its hard to completely forget you're watching a movie(though I do have to give the film credit for not wrapping everythingup). Its not bad, but it's the sort of like watching someone do anincredible trick that is amazing unto itself, but which is some howmade less so by the "look at me" attitude. I really liked the film agreat deal I just wish that it clicked more with me. Definitely worth alook. Certainly on the small list of completely good Iraq related films(most Iraq films only work in fits and starts)

  6. ichocolat from
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    Have you ever imagine what would you do if you have 96 hours before youare being drafted to war zone? Places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Placeswhere you never know if you are going to be back alive, and in onepiece. Places so foreign that you wonder whether you will feel settledin once you get there. Places where you know for certain that not manypeople over there who are happy to see you, and just as glad to see yougo away.

    This is what the film is all about. About an American who has beenchosen to serve as military man in Iraq. A man who went back to hishometown for Thanksgiving, and who has 96 hours before he will be sentto Iraq to serve his country.

    This is a very good film. A film that has makes you wanna let thepowers-that-be to seriously consider calling the troops in foreigncountries to return back home, to their family and friends.

    The film was nominated for 1 award. Though it didn't win, it goes toshow how good the film is.

  7. Janey Cramer from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    I saw a rough cut of this movie in Los Angeles. A friend of mine wasinvolved with post- production and he invited me to a screening. Ididn't know what to expect — I'd only seen Nick Cannon in Drumline andthought he was kind of lightweight. Not so in this movie. Basically,the story follows him for a few days before he's about to be sent of toIraq, and in this short time, he falls in love with a girl he's justmet.

    The movie is very powerful and heartbreaking but it somehow doesn'tfeel depressing. I've seen a few other Iraq war movies, but this oneall takes place in the US, and it's not really a war movie. It's morelike a coming of age film.

    The performances were great — especially the kid who plays NickCannon's best friend — and the story is gripping as hell. The cut isaw was terrific and i am really looking forward to seeing the finalversion.

  8. miahoffmanmusic from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 11:54 pm

    I saw this movie at a screening in LA with some friends and was verymoved.

    The story is in essence about a young marine who returns home for thefirst time since joining the army for Thanksgiving, before beingshipped to Iraq. The movie follows his story for the 3 or 4 days of hisvisit home.

    The movie is very topical, but subtle too – and deals with thesensitive effects of war on family, and young men whose lives areessentially put on pause for the Iraq war.

    It is poignant that Mike meets Christina, someone who he really feelshe could care about, the weekend before he is shipped to Iraq. Younglove is not even given a chance because of war.

    The style of the movie is very realistic, great dialogue and acting. Itis very well directed. My personal favorite character is Matt O'Learyas Jake, whose performance is outstanding. April Grace portrays themother of a soldier incredibly well.

    In short, I think this movie is excellent – and as citizens of theworld, it sheds important insights onto the current politicalsituation. Not necessarily political or macro insights, although thoseare there to be interpreted, but certainly a personal view of war – andhow it affects individual families.

    It gives me more conviction that we should stop sending our wonderfulyoung men over there to die!

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