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Transamerica (2006)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 135
Fresh: 103 | Rotten: 32

A terrific performance by Felicity Huffman carries this unconventional but touching transgender road movie.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 8

A terrific performance by Felicity Huffman carries this unconventional but touching transgender road movie.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 67,719

My Rating

Movie Info

The first film by Duncan Tucker, Transamerica stars Felicity Huffman as a pre-operative transsexual named Bree (whose given name was Stanley). One week before going under the knife, Bree learns that she fathered a boy who is now 17 and is in trouble with the law. Bree would like to ignore this information, but is forced to meet the young man, Toby (played by Kevin Zegers), by her analyst Margaret (Elizabeth Peña), who will not allow the surgery to happen unless Bree meets him and confronts this


Drama, Comedy

Duncan Tucker

May 23, 2006


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March 6, 2006:
Indie Spirit Awards Distributed
Lost in the shadow of the weekend's Oscar coverage was the annual Independent Spirit Awards...
January 31, 2006:
2005 Oscar Nominations Are In!
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All Critics (147) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (32) | DVD (22)

It's funny in spots, touching in others and uniformly life-affirming.

February 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Huffman's performance redeems parts of the movie but, until the final 30 minutes, Transamerica too often feels like a journey to nowhere.

February 2, 2006 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Transamerica is a routine road-trip comedy-drama with a twist.

January 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Huffman's performance in Transamerica, as a pre-op male-to-female transsexual coping with the sudden emergence of a long-lost son, is much better than the movie it's in; indeed, she singlehandedly takes Transamerica to a higher plane.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a farce with heart, a meditation on identity, family and gender politics that has real faith in its characters -- even when the characters themselves lack it.

January 20, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As Bree, who started her unhappy life as Stanley, the angular Huffman, a fine comedic actress who carried home an Emmy this fall, is a compelling portrait of wounded dignity. She is wholly fascinating and heartbreaking.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Huffman's performance is the reason to see this sensitive, and sometimes touching drama. Paul Chambers, CNN.

March 6, 2010 Full Review Source: CNNRadio

Lifetime through Sundance

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Tucker's screenplay is sharp but also sensitive, so the ample good humour never drifts into high camp (apart from the scenes with Bree's mother - and SHE is straight).

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Comfort food for a comfortable audience, with the TV-familiar Huffman reassuring viewers that she's really a real woman underneath that unflattering make-up.

August 5, 2007 Full Review Source:

A big part of the movie's success is Huffman's irresistible and remarkable performance as Bree, a character we identify with rather than feel alienated by.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: DVD Review
DVD Review

A well-tuned vehicle.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

La sorprendente composición de Felicity Huffman es el principal atractivo de esta road movie agridulce.

November 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

(Huffman's) performance is one of those rare pieces of acting that actually deserves to be labeled a tour de force.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Huffman gives it her all, transforming her physicality and her voice and revealing a character whose lifetime of pain and heartache is present in every gesture.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Too clumsily handled to mean much.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Despite the dullness of the main character, there are enough other interesting characters and plot developments to make the story compelling.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Huffman makes Transamerica worth seeing.

March 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

By turns hysterically funny and heartbreaking, Transamerica is a film of tremendous warmth, charm and perception anchored to a central performance of unique power.

March 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It's full of enough contrived and ludicrous soap opera-type plotting to make Huffman's TV series, Desperate Housewives, seem restrained and realistic.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It's a shame Bree and Huffman's performance are trapped in a movie unworthy of their energy and courage.

February 24, 2006
Salt Lake Tribune

...that rare film that... takes us into the life of someone who might seem somewhat odd at first, but in the end turns out to be just a fellow human being.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

By turns funny, touching and blessed with a generosity of spirit.

February 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Here's one of the reasons that 2005 will be considered the year that changed motion pictures.

February 22, 2006 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Sensitively written and directed by Duncan Tucker, it's a moving, funny and involving story that takes us into the life of a transsexual who discovers that happiness is more than a nip and a tuck.

February 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

... in a constant state of terror at being unmasked as a mixed gender mama, Huffman is phenomenal.

February 17, 2006 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

Audience Reviews for Transamerica

"Transamerica" is really the first film to truly focus on the journey of a transsexual, while also dealing with a complex story filled with interesting characters, and on top of that using a frame narrative of a road trip. The transformation made by the main character not only remains inspiring for the audience, but was also bittersweet when watching the stagnant life built around Bree (Huffman) and what becomes of her in the end of the film. The characters are also varied and complicated, from her therapist to her biological son (Zegers), who she road trips with from New York to Los Angeles. Bree is a pre-op transsexual who has just found out she has a son by the one girl she had sex with before starting her transformation into a man. Her son lives a life as a recluse and drug addict in New York City, prostituting himself and dreaming of a day that he can go live with his real father out in Hollywood. Abused and worse for wear Toby (Zegers) meets Bree, who works under the guise of a church patron in order to get Toby to go with her and find him a home before her therapist will sign off for the surgery. Bree finds herself really living for the first time since her journey began, and by the end she has found something out about herself, as well as found herself able to understand what it is to be a parent and love another person with abject affection. Felicity Huffman, in the title role, gives one of the most inspired performances of the decade, and really delves into the world of transsexuality, as well as educates through example. Bree is a strong, suitable character for those who want guidance. Besides this being a prime example of an iconoclastic LGBTQ character, Bree is also a remarkably flawed and interesting character. The entire film works as both an intense voyage into the relationship between an estranged father and son, as well as a coming of age story, as well as a story about the surgery of a transsexual. It's a rich story that explores a lot of great themes and has a diverse roster of characters, so it's enjoyable as well as introspective, which makes it a great film regardless.
October 25, 2013

Super Reviewer

Lovely movie. Huffman was awesome as the sensitive Bree. Interesting how they chose a woman for the part instead of a man, but it totally worked.
I like how the emphasis isn't on the transgender theme, but in growing as a person and connecting with other people.
July 20, 2012

Super Reviewer

Felicity Huffman absolutely knocked my socks off!
July 14, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Transamerica, an unconventional road movie, to say the least, hits more than it misses, but for a supposedly boundary-breaking film, I found that it only scratched the surface of the kind of story it's trying to tell (man meets the son he didn't know he had and son meets father, but father looks and acts and feels like a... mother, I guess?). What I liked about this film was that it was very realistic in its way.

I think what I didn't like was the pacing. The film stood by a lot of road movie clichés in its first half, and I found many of the scenic driving shots to be lulls that impeded the story (as opposed to additions that helped it along). Also, the editing in the early going is rather jumpy, and the director pulls one of my least favourite tricks: starting a conversation, for instance, in a restaurant, then picking that conversation up where it left off in the car, already on the highway, as though the ten to fifteen minutes that have clearly passed have not. What, were the characters pondering it the whole time?

The ensemble cast does good work in some challeneging scenarios, particularly Huffman and Zegers, but the script and the direction cause the film to come up short. It didn't quite get where it was going... the second third of the film is a real powerhouse, but it doesn't save the stuttering first act or the suddenly-over finale. I'm worried that I'm being unnecessarily hard on this movie, but overall it just wasn't as hard-hitting (emotionally or "social-commentarily") as I expected it would be.
January 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Toby: I'm out of cigarettes.
    2. Bree: Quel dommage.
    3. Toby: What's quel dommage mean?
    4. Bree: It means you're not getting any cigarettes.
    – Submitted by Anya S (11 months ago)
    1. Toby: Beauty is relative.
    2. Bree: Not my relatives.
    – Submitted by Anya S (11 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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