About Schmidt


About Schmidt

Critics Consensus

In this funny, touching character study, Nicholson gives one of the best performances of his career.



Total Count: 203


Audience Score

User Ratings: 90,643
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Movie Info

Warren Schmidt is a retired insurance salesman, who at age 66 has no particular plans other than to drive around in the motor home his wife insisted they buy. He's not altogether bitter, but not happy either, as everything his wife does annoys him, and he disapproves of the man his daughter is about to marry. When his wife suddenly dies, he sets out to postpone the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn't like, while coping with discoveries about his late wife and himself in the process.

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Jack Nicholson
as Warren R. Schmidt
Kathy Bates
as Roberta Hertzel
Hope Davis
as Jeannie Schmidt
Dermot Mulroney
as Randall Hertzel
June Squibb
as Helen Schmidt
Howard Hesseman
as Larry Hertzel
Harry Groener
as John Rusk
Connie Ray
as Vicki Rusk
Len Cariou
as Ray Nichols
Mark Venhuizen
as Duncan Hertzel
Phil Reeves
as Minister in Denver
Matt Winston
as Gary Nordin
James Michael Connor
as Randall's Best Man
Jill Anderson
as Bridesmaid Reading St. Paul
Vaughan Wenzel
as Man Mourning Helen
Judith Kathryn Hart
as Woman Mourning Helen
Marilyn Tipp
as Neighbor Lady
Robert Kem
as Priest in Omaha
Melissa Hanna
as Dairy Queen Employee
Tung Ha
as Frat Kid
James J. Crawley
as Other Frat Kid
Stephen Heller
as Tire Store Employee
Lester KillsCrow
as Native American Cashier
Thomas Michael Belford
as Funeral Director
McKenna Gibson
as Six-year-old Jeannie
Stephanie Curtis
as Twelve-year-old Jeannie
Beth Heimann
as Wedding Singer No. 1
Linda Wilmot
as Wedding Singer No. 2
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Critic Reviews for About Schmidt

All Critics (203) | Top Critics (44)

  • A character study that has the emotional richness of the great Italian and Eastern European films of the 1960s, in which humor and pathos rode up and down on the seesaw together.

    May 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • These filmmakers have a feeling for the isolation of blasted lives, but they also can't resist putting them down.

    Jan 16, 2003
  • A poignant marker in the career of a major artist.

    Jan 8, 2003
  • This is a startling, resonant, life-affirming movie -- both deeply funny and deeply moving.

    Jan 7, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce

    Top Critic
  • A thought-provoking and often-funny drama about isolation.

    Jan 3, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • A cuttingly funny, moving portrayal of a man searching for meaning in his unremarkable, unmemorable life.

    Jan 3, 2003 | Rating: 4/4

Audience Reviews for About Schmidt

  • Apr 14, 2019
    Jack Nicholson gives a nuanced performance as a square, one of those guys who defines himself by his job, at the end of the line and suddenly w/o that job. Now what? Agonizing reappraisal. A tender look into the heart of American darkness, ably assisted by a decent supporting cast.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2013
    Another fantastic comedy from Sideways director Alexander Payne, About Schmidt tells the story of an old man searching for meaning in his life as he ventures to his daughter's wedding in Colorado. Along the way he meets various eccentrics, including his son-in-law's mother, a hilariously vulgar woman played by Kathy Bates. Jack Nicholson is great in the lead role, giving one of the best performances of his career, and Kathy Bates has some incredibly funny scenes. Like all Alexander Payne movies, About Schmidt also has an undercurrent of emotion, and Jack Nicholson does a great job of making you understand and feel for Warren Schmidt as he struggles to find satisfaction and happiness. About Schmidt is yet another well-acted, well-written, and thoughtful movie from Alexander Payne, and should come as a breath of fresh air for those sick of shallow low-brow comedies.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2012
    odd film that warrants viewing for nicholson in the lead. sadly this is not something you'll view again and again due to its slow pacing. alexander payne makes interesting films but sadly they aren't exactly crowd favourites.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 29, 2012
    One of Jack Nicholson's last great performances, About Schmidt is just the right mix of dark humor and drama.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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