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Ghost World (2001)


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

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

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

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


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 72,056


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 (for strong language and some sexual content)
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Daniel Clowes , Terry Zwigoff
In Theaters:
Feb 5, 2002
Box Office:
United Artists - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Ghost World

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.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
New Yorker
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 14, 2010
AV Club
Top Critic

By sharp turns poignant, disturbing and hysterically funny.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 21, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top 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.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
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.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
Baltimore Sun

A top draw adaptation of a cracking comic-book.

Full Review… | July 9, 2012

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."

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

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

Full Review… | July 21, 2009

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...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

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

Full Review… | February 14, 2008

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

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
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.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
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.

Full Review… | August 17, 2006

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.

Full Review… | January 2, 2004

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

Nothing comes close.

Coxxie Mild Sauce

Super Reviewer


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.

Eric S

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.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Ghost World Quotes

You know what my number one fantasy used to be?
I used to think about one day, just not telling anyone, and going off to some random place. And I'd just... disappear, and they'd never see me again.
– Submitted by Diana G (32 days ago)
People still hate each other. I guess they just know how to hide it better.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
Some people are OK, but mostly I just feel like poisoning everybody.
– Submitted by Dann M (16 months ago)
Go die, asshole.
– Submitted by Diogo X (16 months ago)
[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.
[shrugs] Good.
No, really think about that. It's actually totally depressing.
– Submitted by David D (2 years ago)
Everyone's too stupid!
– Submitted by Angelita C (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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