Don Cheadle, playing juvenile detention teacher Pearl Madison, is the powerful center around which a complex cast of characters revolves in the riveting drama THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND. A 16-year-old boy, Leland (Ryan Gosling), commits a murder, yet seems to have a normal sense of ethics and justice. He confesses his wrongdoing to his mother who turns him in to the police. What follows is a series of close-up character studies on all of the people impacted by Leland's actions. His mother (Lena Olin) is plagued with guilt, his father (Kevin Spacey)--a novelist who writes about violence in America--is complacent. Meanwhile, the family of Leland's victim is ripped apart at the seams, and his already troubled girlfriend (Jena Malone) drifts even farther astray. Director Matthew Ryan Hoge leads a brilliant cast through a cycle of moral questioning in which the characters try to understand Leland's motivations and how they will each cope with the irreversible circumstances of what he has done. A richly alluring pop soundtrack and colorful, dreamy photography pulls viewers into the film in its opening, after which the film transitions into deep philosophical conversations between the characters and takes on a much more serious tone. Fascinating in the questions it poses and impressive in its execution, THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND is a suburban family drama with lasting substance.