American Graffiti - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Graffiti Reviews

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½ December 8, 2016
George Lucas masterfully crafts an iconic and nostalgic coming-of-age high school movie that influenced the genre on the 80's and remains fresh until today.
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2016
George Lucas is happily in his element discussing, remembering, life in small town United States before the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the arrival of the Beatles. While there's old cars and plenty of early rock and roll radio, malt shops and cruising the strip, it's in the electricity of the sock hops that Lucas really feels his groove. Nice stuff, even if the thrust of the thing is chiefly about how being white and well thought of is no guarantee of happiness. Of the four main characters, clichès all (one squeaky clean class president, one James Dean-like gearhead, one "smart guy", and one spazz nerdtype), only one "gets lucky" and he gets an asswhupping. Luckily the music saves the thing.
November 4, 2016
Iconic movie from 1973 I remember when I saw it in the theater the first time. I have seen this probably better than a dozen times and it has always been enjoyable if you are into cars this is a must see movie.
October 7, 2016
Sparkling with nervous teenage energy and that feeling that you are getting away with something great.

This film is light sweet fantasy and dreamy small-talk magic that has quietly become culturally iconic. It's a tiny glimpse of some good in being young in 50s America.

Chock full with vibrancy, awkward hilarity, high school angst, all within a day and night of small town cruising, except with all the little nuances that let the audience share in each moment.

No matter your age, you get to laugh, and you get to sense nostalgia. And especially the power of little, memorable moments.

No wonder it kicked off all the wildly successful tv series: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, and gave us the indelible Fonz!

And the list of players here is clearly a who's who of Hollywood successes. Especially the smaller roles w Harrison Ford and Susanna Somers in the smallest of bits.

A quiet, low budget, all-American triumph.

5 out of 5 horn-rimmed glasses
½ September 2, 2016
A taste of Americana. George Lucas captured the spirit of the 60's generation in this classic. The movie spawned the popular show Happy Days.
½ August 17, 2016
Teens cruise and live life before many leave for college and even Vietnam. Classic movie with a superior cast.
August 15, 2016
George Lucas's "American Graffiti" is original of youth movies.
It had told many stories, romance,mystery,and success.After watching, we felt the nostalgia and sadness, and think I wanna meet them once again.
½ August 10, 2016
Remarkable for its enduring influence, American Graffiti captures the moment when innocence ends and the futures uncertainties begin for a group of fictitious teens, speaking to many an adolescent and still being discussed today because of it. The runtime is unnecessarily protracted, the story is mostly aimless and the plot is annoyingly meandering. Many of the threads, in particular the ones featuring Paul Le Mat and The Pharaohs, are very tedious and don't have a rewarding payoff. The soundtrack is excellent though, and while being cheap, it is competently made, and will speak to many people who feel like they're at a crossroads in their life. It has a few good jokes, especially near the start, and the characters are certainly identifiable, but I had a hard enough time paying attention to it once, let alone several times.
August 5, 2016
George Lucas is known for one thing in the movie world, Star Wars. Anyone you talk to about him will say that as the first thing they think about when it comes to him. It's a shame that he never tried to branch out and expand his directorial craft after star wars. His first two films ever in his career were the only films that weren't star wars that he directed. American Graffiti is one of these two films. This is a very relatable and simple story of guys having one last hoorah before going off to a life changing place. American Graffiti is an excellent feature from Mr. Lucas in his early days in the business.
Curt Henderson, Steve Bolander, John Milner and Terry "The Toad" Fields are all high school graduates going off to college. The all decide one night to just let loose and have fun out on the strip. The entire movie follows the wild adventure each of them have in this 73's coming of age flick.
it's a really fun enjoyable film. the music in here was awesome! Really the production all around for this project is absolutely incredible. The legendary Francis Ford Coppolla the producer for this project. a non star wars movie directed by George lucas and hell even ron howard is ACTUALLY ACTING IN HERE!! to think this guy goes on to become an Oscar winning director. shoot you can even add in the fact that its one of the original coming of age films set all in 24 hours like holy shit!
really impressive directing from George lucas. he tells a really relatable wild story that stems from his own teenage years. Richard dreyfuss was pretty good here and really does look the part of an 18 year old here and as usual he is pretty vibrant and spirted with his performance. Ron howard was not bad in his rare acting involvement in this film. the writing is sooo good here. just like any coming of age film in the end they all come to some serious realization of things but this one was pretty well weaved together.
killer flick go check it out especially if your curious to see George lucas directing something that is not star wars.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2016
Proof that George Lucas can direct a great movie that isn't Star Wars or a Sci-Fi flick.
May 21, 2016
A great high school date that I still love to relive.
½ March 31, 2016
American Graffiti is honestly one of few of George Lucas's best works, I immediately get a sense of his creativity but where did it all go anyways back to the review, American Graffiti is one of those nostalgic and interesting views of the 1960's just a year before innocence and dreadful happenings took over this era, a year before JFK was assassinated and escalation caused young men to be sent to die in Vietnam and to face the brutal realities of the world. innocence is key as these young students are getting ready to be sent off to college with a great performance by Richard Dreyfuss who plays Curt a curious and excited person who not sure what he wants to do with his future as he chases the mysterious blonde in the T-Bird, Paul Le Mat as John as a layed back man who is known for his talented driving skills in racing and for having the most bitchin car in the valley who tends to get in trouble every now and then, Ron Howard as Steve a person who is liked by the valley and is very popular to most with a girlfriend Laurie played by CIndy Williams he has problems with as he says they should possibly break up as he will being going to college and she and him still have trouble as their feelings are still intact, and Charles Martin Smith as Terry a young kid who is picked on and eventually runs into some crazy things a girl who will actually talk to him, trying to get booze, witnessing a robbery, and getting jumped while trying to still his friend's car back. The acting is great is this film with great performances by the cast above including Harrison Ford as Falfa a racer that ones to race John to see if he's really as good as everyone says but is stupid at times which to something crazy towards the end of the film. One thing that really adds and amazing touch is the Wolfman Jack a funny charismatic Disc Jockey who doesn't want his identity to be known as Curt confronts him at the Radio Station as he's clueless at first as Wolfman says he isn't the Wolfman and gives advice to Curt as Curt asks that he makes a deditication to the mysterious blonde, and as Curt leaves the station he looks behind and notices Wolfman Jack getting into character and talking in his iconic voice making for a great scene that is memorable and one of my favorite scenes in the film. I look at it as you see this personalities collide into a story with interesting people, settings, and plot lines that makes this movie great and it shows that at the end life hit these kids as the innocence dies as at the end reveals in 1964 he his killed by a drunk driver which is ironic as he states to the young girl he gets stuck with about the kid who rammed into a drunk driver which is a nice touch to this story and sad but life is sad which this movie shows and Terry is reported missing in action in the Vietnam War, Curt becomes a writer, and Steve becomes a insurance agent. It shows a lot can happen in one day and a lot can a happen in life with a great directing style and script it would be unbelievably hard not to suggest American Graffiti.
½ March 7, 2016
I had wanted to see this movie for a while. So glad I had the chance to recently. There were a lot of great "moments" in this film but it was much slower than I expected it to be. One moment in particular is Harrison Ford's character singing "Some Enchanted Evening". I had made a Han Solo tribute video with that song in the background without even knowing that he had sung the song in the movie!

Anyway, overall a fun throwback film that I guess wanted to be a throwback film for those who were of that age during the time.
½ February 16, 2016
American Graffiti is a time capsule. It's a portrait of two things, small town America in the 1960's and the awkward, daunting transition into college. And the film paints a vivid picture of those two things. The plot begins and ends at a drive-in fast food joint, complete with rollerblading waitresses and a giant neon sign. The characters are dressed as leather clad greasers and plaid button down geeks who spurt 60's slang effortlessly, listen to Rock and Roll and drive hot rods and old Thunderbirds. The undeniable appeal of the film is its nostalgic detail in the characters, set design, music and costuming. It's impeccable. And none of it feels glitzy or sentimental like Grease, it feels plainly and authentically like a real day 40 years ago. It's also genuinely youthful and light. It's a story about a bunch of teenagers who do things teenagers would do and say things they would say. It has goofy one liners, melodramatic romance and bursts of violence and excitement. In capturing the mood of both that period of time and that age, American Graffiti is excellent.

For how detailed and effortlessly authentic it is, it isn't actually all that interesting, though. Nothing really happens and even though we get to know the characters well and identify with them, very little takes place. One kid decides not to go to college and his best friend does (they foil each other, big deal). They drive around and talk and drive around some more. Every once in a while there's a fight or a kiss, but overall this film is just like any average night back then and has little reason for being. Maybe that's its purpose, but I didn't anticipate it and therefore found it odd. It's listless and uncertain and, in that way, much like I remember being the few days before leaving for college. It's hard to critique it because it does what it set out to so well, but it has no real drive or narrative. It's all over the place, just like a night with your high school friends so often is.
February 10, 2016
Back when George Lucas had a brain, American Graffiti is a fantastic study on the 1960's with actual good dialogue and some impressively good performances especially in Ron Howard before his directing career.
½ January 31, 2016
This is one of the greatest "coming of age" films of all time. George Lucas' premiere cinematic effort was produced by Francis Ford Coppola, and launched so many great careers including Harrison Ford, Ron Howard (as an adult), Richard Dreyfuss, Suzanne Somers, Cindy Williams and Mackenzie Philips.

The film is eternal and strikes a cord within long after it ends; the mark of any great classic film.
January 19, 2016
As tragic as it is charming, American Graffiti examines the end of an era with a crystal clear magnifying glass. A young cast and strong performances throughout, this film is one for the ages.
December 14, 2015
It had been ages since I last saw this classic film from 1973 directed by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, so it was great to revisit it. So many familiar faces in this, all looking like babies. The soundtrack is great and the film moves along nicely. If you've never seen it, worth checking out for sure!
½ October 25, 2015
Great movie! Soundtrack is awesome. Richard Dreyfus at his finest in my opinion.
October 1, 2015
La mejor película de George Lucas tras las cámaras. Podría deberse a que en este caso sí sabe de qué estamos hablando y puede empatizar un poco con los personajes, el público, y trasladar perfectamente las sensaciones del Cruisin.

Podría incluso considerarse cultura viva americana. Del Lucas. Quien lo diría.
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