American Beauty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Beauty Reviews

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May 8, 2014
Why, then, did I enjoy it so little? Because of its unrelenting self-importance: American Beauty wants us to know, in every shot at every turn, just how clever and mercilessly cutting it is.
March 23, 2011
Cripplingly broad, with network-sitcom beats dressed in R-rated threads... [endorses] a particularly adolescent male point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
June 21, 2002
Mendes has assembled "American Beauty" from other groundbreaking films. His ambition lies in the way he presents "American Beauty" as a modern version of the major films he copies.
Full Review| Original Score: 2.5/4
August 2, 2002
Shrouded in ugliness despite brilliant performances by Bening and Spacey.
January 1, 2000
There's too much dead air around the dialogue and the comic pacing is nonexistent.
January 1, 2000
The film struggles with its mood swings and is marred by its own tonal and thematic inconsistencies.
December 6, 2004
A stylish film about an American family that pretends to be moral and enlightened, but revels in its mean-spirited sarcasm and its championing of self-interest.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
March 19, 2001
It wants to be an original beauty so much that it doesn't realize just how plain and ordinary it really is.
Full Review | Original Score: C
June 5, 2008
It's daring in that it sympathizes with a protagonist who's a pederast though its portrait of an American family on the brink of collapse is essentially a cartoon
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 2, 2002
When all is said and done, doesn't really offer anything new.
May 7, 2002
There is beauty to which this movie is stone cold blind: beauty it tramples on as ignorantly as Buddy Kane or Col. Fitts.
Full Review | Original Score: F
January 1, 2000
If you enjoy "films" then rush right out. Otherwise put it on your "must rent" list.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 1, 2000
It never justifies the blatancy of its opening, and it never does anything to freshen what is only one more journey through familiar fortyish unfulfillment.
January 1, 2000
Moviemakers who feel betrayed by the cheery sitcoms of their adolescence can now take it out on all the rest of us and, as a bonus, get points for profundity too.
January 1, 2000
Though the film is outrageously entertaining, its relentless struggle to find social relevance becomes so heavy-handed that it leaves you feeling sucker-punched.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 1, 2000
Director Sam Mendes presents some memorable images, and moments of Kubrick class clarity, but the whole does not hang together.
Full Review
October 3, 2002
Moves from mirthful to moody and to downright overwrought near the climax.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
March 3, 2005
Complexity, say quite a few of my colleagues. Lies, I say.
May 23, 2007
It's like Norman Bates getting good advice from Mother.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 28, 2014
The hairpin turns from farce to melodrama, from satire to bathos, are fresh and deftly navigated, but almost every one of the underlying attitudes is smug and easy.
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