About Schmidt (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

About Schmidt (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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.
Rating:
R (for some language and brief nudity)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$65,000,000.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

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
Cheryl Hamada
as Saundra
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
Mary Beth Nelson
as Bartender
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 (201) | Top Critics (42)

These filmmakers have a feeling for the isolation of blasted lives, but they also can't resist putting them down.

January 16, 2003
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

A poignant marker in the career of a major artist.

January 8, 2003
The New Republic
Top Critic

A thought-provoking and often-funny drama about isolation.

January 3, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A cuttingly funny, moving portrayal of a man searching for meaning in his unremarkable, unmemorable life.

January 3, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Each deft stroke of Payne's pen is matched by a Nicholson flourish, transforming the film into a moving, bittersweet ballet.

January 3, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Nicholson ... produces the most understated -- and one of the most powerful -- performances of his career.

Full Review… | December 20, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for About Schmidt

½

Alexander Payne and Jack Nicholson together? Awesome! But seriously though, this is a great movie. It's a moving story, if a bit depressing, but it's told so well, and the performances are absolutely brilliant. Much was made about Kathy Bates' nude scene, but it's handled well, kinda fun (in a good way), and not a big deal. I'm not saying I liked seeing her naked, but c'mon, it actually could have been worse. Thankfully it's not cruel or exploitative. I don't want to watch Payne's films too often, even if they are absolutely fantastic. His mastery of dark humor and uncomfortableness is both good and bad. He does it so well, and makes it all work and watchable, but the problem is, it can be a bit too real, thus difficult to watch very often. That's definitely the case here. It's a little easier to handle Sideways, though. I like this movie a lot. It's funny, finely observed, and just really honest.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Another genuine, intelligent gem in Alexander Payne's short but ingenious filmography. Jack Nicholson turns in one of the best performances of his career in this profoundly realistic film from the master of the tragicomedy.

Tyler Christian
Tyler Christian

Super Reviewer

Schmidt is such a peculiar fellow, brilliantly played by Nicholson. His simplistic reserve and insulation have made him content in his routine of the past 42 years. This movie follows him as that routine is just absolutely shattered, nearly all at once, and we watch him struggle. Absurd characters, or caricatures really, abound to provide comic relief against the reality of Schmidt's situation -- maybe they are presented as Schmidt's impressions. I feel like this is only half the story. I really want to know what becomes of our "sad, sad, lonely man." But it ends in a touching way, so like Ndugu, I'll hope for the best.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

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