American Beauty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Beauty Reviews

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Top Critic
February 22, 2015
American Beauty is deeply disturbing, acerbically funny, brilliantly acted, breathtakingly original and highly sophisticated.
Ann Hornaday
Baltimore Sun
February 22, 2015
A tightly coiled rage seethes beneath the pretty surface of American Beauty, a wickedly funny black comedy directed by newcomer Sam Mendes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 22, 2015
This is Spacey's best performance since he took home an Oscar for The Usual Suspects.
Bill Gallo
New Times
February 22, 2015
This seriocomic autopsy of middle-class virtue has the capacity to startle and surprise, and a gift for finding grim humor at the heart of tragedy.
Ed Potton
Times (UK)
February 22, 2015
This engrossing centrepiece meshes with subplots involving Burnham's dysfunctional family and unbalanced neighbours, in a virtuoso study of isolation, repression and fulfilment. Mendes infuses the lush visuals and lyrical script with dramatic panache.
Margaret Pomeranz
sbs.com.au
February 22, 2015
The writing is acidically amusing without ever trying to conceal the loneliness at the heart, the direction a perfect frame for the characters and the wonderful performances that create them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
February 22, 2015
Kevin Spacey is the greatest actor of his generation, hands down, no contest.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Natalie Stone
Sky Movies
February 22, 2015
The film is stunningly poignant, and when first time cinema director Mendes turns his hands to the serious aspects of the disintegration of human souls, the funny lurches to the profound with hardly a flicker of disruption.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times
February 22, 2015
Mendes loves his performers, framing their big moments with suburban metaphors and dizzily poetic fantasies.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Marc Lee
Daily Telegraph (UK)
February 22, 2015
With its parade of neurotics, psychotics, bigots and deceivers, American Beauty is an endlessly rewatchable black comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Megan Spencer
Triple J
February 22, 2015
A truly beautiful, poignant and brilliantly funny film, it doesn't get much better than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Robert Nuņez
Hollywood.com
February 22, 2015
It took a British stage director to create the ultimate movie about the American family.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
May 8, 2014
Kevin Spacey gives the performance of his life.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 28, 2014
Alan Ball's script is a terrific piece of material, and Mendes responds directly to its subversive, provocative vision of a curdled American Dream.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Philip French
Observer (UK)
January 28, 2014
Mendes manages to give individuality and distinction to some extremely familiar material.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
January 28, 2014
Disturbing, bleak, thought-provoking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
January 28, 2014
American Beauty approaches a manic, almost cartoonish edge without falling over. Both Spacey and Bening use extraordinary comic timing to bring these very sad, lost characters to life.
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
January 28, 2014
Flaws and all, this is intelligent, exhilarating, effervescent film-making, and a remarkable debut from Sam Mendes.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
January 28, 2014
Boldly challenging our sympathies, [Lester] somehow wins them because, to borrow a phrase, he's a man in full.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
January 28, 2014
Mendes and screenwriter Alan Ball, both making their feature debuts, resort to a few heavy-handed tactics to get their points across, but their sheer audacity is so exhilarating it hardly matters.
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