"America: The Movie" review roundup: Cheeky historical satire lacks laughter

America: The Motion Picture has been a long time coming. Announced in 2017 as Netflix's first self-produced animated feature, the R-rated comedy has finally launched on the streamer more than four years later. According to critics, it wasn't worth the wait.

Arriving shortly before Independence Day, the film offers a brash satirical retelling of the nation's birth, complete with electric guitars, werewolves, and dick jokes. Netflix describes it as a “wildly tongue-in-cheek animated revisionist history.”

Matt Thompson, an executive producer on FX's Archer, directs from a script by Dave Callaham (Sony's upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2). Producers include powerhouse duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Mitchells vs. the Machines). Archer studio Floyd County Productions, which Thompson co-founded, is responsible for the animation.

The cast includes Channing Tatum, Jason Mantzoukas, Olivia Munn, Bobby Moynihan, Judy Greer, Will Forte, Raoul Max Trujillo, Killer Mike, Simon Pegg, and Andy Sandberg.

America: The Motion Picture has been poorly received, with reviewers generally finding fault with its script, particularly its crude humor and ineffective satire. The film currently holds a 32% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In a 2.5-star (out of four) review for RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico says the film's tone is often “aggressive,” but finds things to like:

Amy Nicholson of The New York Times also thinks the film is aggressive, but sees no redeeming features in it:

Inkoo Kang gives the film 1.5 stars out of four in The Washington Post, finding little to laugh at:

Charles Bramesco compares the film unfavorably with Lord and Miller's past productions in his two-out-of-five-star review for The Guardian:

Polygon's Samantha Nelson takes issue with not just the writing but the design, too: