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Ghost World (2001)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 153
Fresh: 141 | Rotten: 12

With acerbic wit, Terry Zwigoff fashions Daniel Clowes' graphic novel into an intelligent, comedic trip through deadpan teen angst.

97

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 38 | Rotten: 1

With acerbic wit, Terry Zwigoff fashions Daniel Clowes' graphic novel into an intelligent, comedic trip through deadpan teen angst.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 71,960

My Rating

Movie Info

Set during the summer after they graduate from high school, two ultra-hip friends, Enid and Becky fear drifting apart when Enid considers moving across the country to attend college. When Enid develops an attraction to offbeat Seymour and Becky sets her sights on Josh - on whom both girls have a crush - their friendship is forever changed.

R,

Drama, Comedy

Daniel Clowes, Terry Zwigoff

Feb 5, 2002

$4.7M

United Artists - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (155) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (12) | DVD (38)

The greatest distinction of "Ghost World" is its singular spirit. Here's a dark, deadpan comedy about alienated kids that manages to be smart, surpassingly odd, extremely funny and mysteriously endearing at the same time.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

See it for Birch's hostile stare and Johansson's devastating monotone.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most of Ghost World is funny, but the laughs are inextricably tied to the painful alienation and self-loathing that comes with living on society's fringes.

July 14, 2010 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By sharp turns poignant, disturbing and hysterically funny.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It isn't a perfect film, but it's never less than strikingly original.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zwigoff pulls off something in Ghost World that seems a minor miracle -- he creates someone with a complex inner life.

April 21, 2003 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While this isn't a showy or flashy movie, it has social, psychological, and ultimately mystical overtones that raise it leagues above most other teen-centered comedies.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The modest yet redeeming triumph of Ghost World is the offhand way it brings to the screen a streak of American dark humor that is dour, resilient and unexpectedly infectious.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

A top draw adaptation of a cracking comic-book.

July 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Like "Rushmore" with a female slant, "Ghost World" tackles the true torches we often keep to ourselves as well as the struggle of feeling like a specter, or, as Enid says, as though "everyone's too stupid to realize you."

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

...satisfying in ways that more than compensate for the film's soft ending.

July 21, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Has some grade A talent behind it, but it lacks any of the heart or emotion of the coming of age brand the film aspires toward...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

If more people appreciated stories like this, movies and comic books would be better off.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Anyone who grew up in the suburbs or ever felt out of place will find something to relate to in this film.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

his is 'teen comedy' of startling sophistication -- with horribly funny bits as well. A true original, with sharp humour, subtle detail and painfully realistic characters.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Based on Clowes' underground comic book, this is a tale of how the mediocrity of American subsurbs can suffocate its creative denizens, all misfits of course; it's extremely well acted by Steve Buscemi and Thora Birch.

August 17, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Zwigoff makes Enid's neighborhood a truly strange and haunted place, where plastic people robotically follow their society's norms, and those who resist are left angry, alienated, and without any ideas for how to survive.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Like its heroine, Ghost World dares to drop its defenses, deepening as it shifts from evoking sympathy for the judgmental misanthrope to saluting the bravery of those who find beauty in others' flaws.

January 2, 2004 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

É interessante notar como duas amigas, inicialmente tão próximas em seu cinismo e em sua presunção, se distanciam gradualmente, embora pouca coisa mude além do universo colegial que as cercava.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

There are bits of wicked humor, but Zwigoff begins by laughing at the kooks in Clowes' ghost of a world and never stops. The real crime is that Clowes is content to join in with him.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Audience Reviews for Ghost World

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
February 17, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The way this film ends is what I like most about it. And I say this not to put down the rest of it, but the powerful image and idea of simply disappearing really packs an inherent punch.
I suppose that would be how the film's title creates a rather analogous feel between the world, people, and how things are never quite what they seem to be. And of course, people just fade away in one way or another. That sounds really depressing, but it doesn't have to be if we're living in the moment and appreciate what we have, not what we don't. This is something the two main characters Enid(Thora Birch) and Becky(Scarlett Johansson) do not understand due to their age and the feeling that they have to get out of where they've been after they graduate from high school. Sure this would be natural, but their priorities and outlooks are clouded raising the question of who they are and where they belong.
Steve Buscemi portrays a memorable withdrawn character named Seymour who the girls meet as he's selling old records at a yard/garage sale. Things for him are somewhat bleak as a record collector with a dull job and a girlfriend that keeps him in a rut that he desperately needs to get out of. When he develops a "relationship" with Enid, he begins to realize how things for him do indeed need to change. But in a "Ghost World", perhaps ideas and plans just like to haunt those who can't seem to function in the light of day.
Yet, there is a light side to this film with some cheap laughs which are always of value.
April 13, 2013
yona71

Super Reviewer

Very little like anything I've ever seen before, and a charming exploration of what makes a dork - or a hipster, today - and what we should want out of life. The setting of the film seems to be inconsistent - is this a small-town, a mid-sized city, or what? - but the tone is well-struck, even better than in later imitators like Napoleon Dynamite and Juno. I confess to having not read the graphic novel on which it's based, but from the film, for the life of me, I couldn't glean what the title meant. I'd have given it another half-star if I'd managed that. Perfectly cast - Thora Birch in particular - and strangely enchanting, Ghost World is a winner, and hasn't lost any of its relevance 10 years later. See this film.
March 1, 2012
danperry17

Super Reviewer

"I can't relate to 99% of humanity."

Enid and Rebecca are social outsiders who, after graduating from high school, play a mean prank on a middle-aged geek.

REVIEW
A really terrific female coming-of-age film that stars Thora Birch (fresh off "American Beauty") and newcomer (at the time) Scarlett Johannson as two high school friends who discover that the ties that bind when you're sixteen don't necessarily translate to the adult world. Both girls relish their dead-pan, us-against-the-world senses of humor and their shared belief that everyone but them is dumb or square or both. But tensions arise when Johannson gets a job, starts thinking about her future and matures generally, while Birch begins to feel more and more stuck, still mad at the world but increasingly bothered by the fact that she doesn't have a place in it. The thing I liked most about the film is that it doesn't pass judgement on either girl. It doesn't try to make us dislike Johannson for "selling out" and it doesn't make a hero out of Birch for her alternative chic. Instead, it addresses frankly the tricky job of developing an adult personality whether or not you're ready to do so. Steve Buscemi does nice work as a middle-aged geek whom the girls are a little too quick to label.
February 21, 2012
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

    1. Seymour: People still hate each other. I guess they just know how to hide it better.
    – Submitted by Frances H (26 days ago)
    1. Becky: Some people are OK, but mostly I just feel like poisoning everybody.
    – Submitted by Dann M (14 months ago)
    1. Enid: Go die, asshole.
    – Submitted by Diogo X (14 months ago)
    1. Enid: [at the graduation ball, Enid watches a loner classmate eating a slice of cake by himself] God, just think, we'll never see Dennis again.
    2. Becky: [shrugs] Good.
    3. Enid: No, really think about that. It's actually totally depressing.
    – Submitted by David D (23 months ago)
    1. Enid: Everyone's too stupid!
    – Submitted by Angelita C (2 years ago)
    1. Seymour: You give them a Big Mac and a pair of Nikes and they're happy. I can't relate to ninety-nine percent of humanity.
    – Submitted by Nigel N (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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