• R, 2 hr. 2 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Sam Mendes
    In Theaters:
    Oct 1, 1999 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 2, 2002
  • Dream Works

Opening

91% Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Jul 11
100% Boyhood Jul 11
15% Rage Jul 11
21% A Long Way Down Jul 11
—— The Class Of '92 Jul 08

Top Box Office

17% Transformers: Age of Extinction $37.1M
23% Tammy $21.6M
85% 22 Jump Street $9.8M
31% Deliver Us from Evil $9.7M
92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 $9.0M
48% Earth to Echo $8.4M
49% Maleficent $6.2M
53% Jersey Boys $5.2M
24% Think Like a Man Too $4.9M
90% Edge of Tomorrow $3.7M

Coming Soon

—— The Purge: Anarchy Jul 18
—— Sex Tape Jul 18
36% Wish I Was Here Jul 18
—— Hercules Jul 25
—— Lucy Jul 25

Premieres Tonight

100% Masters of Sex: Season 2
60% Ray Donovan: Season 2
79% The Strain: Season 1

New Episodes Tonight

—— Devious Maids: Season 2
—— Endeavour: Season 2
100% Falling Skies: Season 4
79% Halt and Catch Fire: Season 1
64% The Last Ship: Season 1
100% Last Tango in Halifax: Season 2
69% The Leftovers: Season 1
50% The Musketeers: Season 1
46% Reckless: Season 1
54% Salem: Season 1
50% True Blood: Season 7
—— Unforgettable: Season 2
80% Vicious: Season 1
—— Witches of East End: Season 2

Certified Fresh TV

—— 24: Live Another Day: Season 9
84% Extant: Season 1
79% Halt and Catch Fire: Season 1
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
97% Orange is the New Black: Season 2
97% Orphan Black: Season 2
79% Penny Dreadful: Season 1
84% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1

American Beauty Reviews

Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Kevin Spacey gives the performance of his life.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 8, 2014
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Alan Ball's script is a terrific piece of material, and Mendes responds directly to its subversive, provocative vision of a curdled American Dream.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 28, 2014
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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American Beauty approaches a manic, almost cartoonish edge without falling over. Both Spacey and Bening use extraordinary comic timing to bring these very sad, lost characters to life.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News

January 28, 2014
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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[The filmmakers'] attacks on real-estate agents, corporate America and suburbia aren't so much shooting fish in a barrel as they are shooting fish in a shallow dish.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel

January 28, 2014
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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Boldly challenging our sympathies, [Lester] somehow wins them because, to borrow a phrase, he's a man in full.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

January 28, 2014
David Edelstein
Slate
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The hairpin turns from farce to melodrama, from satire to bathos, are fresh and deftly navigated, but almost every one of the underlying attitudes is smug and easy.

Full Review Source: Slate

January 28, 2014
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Mendes and screenwriter Alan Ball, both making their feature debuts, resort to a few heavy-handed tactics to get their points across, but their sheer audacity is so exhilarating it hardly matters.

Full Review Source: AV Club

January 28, 2014
David Denby
New Yorker
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This amazing and impassioned fantasia about American loneliness begins as satire and ends with a vision of the sublime.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

February 24, 2013
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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As the latest mainstream movie symptom of our premillennial malaise, American Beauty is so brilliantly acted, written, directed and visualized that for all its despondency and despair, it is a lot of fun.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 27, 2007
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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Director Mendes guides an artful path between desire and self-disgust, playing youth against experience, male against female.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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An astonishingly assured first feature from transatlantic theater whiz kid Sam Mendes.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

October 3, 2002
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
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A great, tremendously entertaining experience. I only wish there were more films this satisfying.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

June 18, 2002
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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This is definitely a knife-to-the-heart movie -- the kind whose potent effect is easy to feel yet hard to describe.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 19, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The kind of artful defiance that Hollywood is usually too timid to deliver: a jolting comedy that makes you laugh till it hurts.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 4/4

May 22, 2001
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Mendes can stake a claim alongside the likes of Kubrick and Egoyan as one whose cinematic vision both challenges and entertains.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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At this point in the year, I'd readily call American Beauty one of the best movies of 1999. It is certainly the best-acted, with Kevin Spacey a standout among a stellar ensemble cast.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

January 1, 2000
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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American Beauty offers one of the best ensemble casts you'll see in any American movie this year.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

January 1, 2000
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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American Beauty is able to burrow inside the cliche to understand how it came to be.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

January 1, 2000
Richard T. Jameson
Mr. Showbiz
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One of the edgiest movies of the year.

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
RogerEbert.com
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American Beauty is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero's problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure.

Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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American Beauty brings a bracing blend of cunning, insight and compassion to the drama of a suburban family coming apart.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The real star of the film is Alan Ball's exceptional script, which continually reveals new, surprising layers in characters that initially seem like cartoonish types.

January 1, 2000
Robert Horton
Film.com
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If it is never really as profound as it seems to think it is, American Beauty is consistently entertaining.

January 1, 2000
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 4.5/5

January 1, 2000
Rod Dreher
New York Post
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American Beauty is a flat-out masterpiece, surely the best movie of the year; indeed, an all-time classic.

| Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
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A millennial classic.

January 1, 2000
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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Startling, brilliantly assembled.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News

January 1, 2000
David Ansen
Newsweek
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American Beauty is a very funny film that packs an unexpected emotional wallop.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

January 1, 2000
Jeff Millar
Houston Chronicle
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I can't remember the last time I've seen a mainstream, big-studio release this well-acted.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle

January 1, 2000
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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It never justifies the blatancy of its opening, and it never does anything to freshen what is only one more journey through familiar fortyish unfulfillment.

January 1, 2000
Ted Anthony
Associated Press
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American Beauty takes its place among the best family dramas of recent decades.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

January 1, 2000
Janet Maslin
New York Times
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Kevin Spacey in his wittiest and most agile screen performance yet.

Full Review Source: New York Times

January 1, 2000
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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Funny and highly entertaining.

January 1, 2000
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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An acerbic, darkly comic critique of how social conventions can lead people into false, sterile and emotionally stunted lives, American Beauty is a real American original.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 1, 2000
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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It does have a welcome freshness.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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There's too much dead air around the dialogue and the comic pacing is nonexistent.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 1, 2000
Peter Brunette
Film.com
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Hilarious, slightly sick, and super-edgy.

January 1, 2000
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Moviemakers who feel betrayed by the cheery sitcoms of their adolescence can now take it out on all the rest of us and, as a bonus, get points for profundity too.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

January 1, 2000
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Beauty is a blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

January 1, 2000
Mike Clark
USA Today
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American Beauty is a singular accomplishment so specifically keyed to Spacey's talents that it mandates going out on a limb to say it contains the performance that will ultimately be regarded as 'the one'.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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You know you're in the hands of a true filmmaker when you feel invited, at every turn, to share his sense of entrancement. I got that feeling in just about every frame of American Beauty.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

January 1, 2000
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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It's a picture with a great cool shiny surface, and it boasts superb actors, witty and iconoclastic writing, vigorous and imaginative direction and brilliantly stylized cinematography.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
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