American Graffiti - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Graffiti Reviews

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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.
September 20, 2015
"With The Exception Of The Custom Hot Rods This Movie Illustrates What Teenage Kids Are Still Doing In America Today."

September 15, 2015
Although not as good as Dazed and Confused, American Graffiti still manages to give a feeling of another decade featuring an awesome soundtrack
½ September 13, 2015
Sadly time has affected this film. It appeases an older audience rather than younger because teens can go outside and see the same story lines for themselves so why watch it?
September 7, 2015
perfectly crafted trip down my memory lane
August 16, 2015
No female characters were included in the "what happened to them next" segment at the end of the film. Lucas, I hope you've evolved since then!
August 15, 2015
Classic 60's movie. A must see for everyone!
August 12, 2015
4.25. Not higher only because it's not my type of movie. It's been said that it's one of the best teen movies ever. Those critics aren't wrong.
August 12, 2015
A classic that you need to see !
August 9, 2015
Some classic actors when they were really young. How did Richard Dreyfuss age so much in the next few years.
July 27, 2015
All this movie was missing was Jar Jar in a hot rod.
July 26, 2015
A entertaining and heartfelt comedy-drama film, and one of George Lucas's best directed films, along with the first Star Wars movie.
½ July 14, 2015
This movie is plain old fun. I like seeing all these older actors like Howard, Dreyfuss and Ford when they were really young. The cars and music were both really good. I like the intertwined plot lines. This movie is simply a throwback to the 60s, so it really doesn't age since everything is meant to be old. It's timeless almost. It was funny at times too. Definitely a decent movie.
July 4, 2015
That one time that George Lucas tried to work in the world of human beings on a recognizable 20th century Earth-realm, American Graffiti. It was better than I remembered. Consistently funny, tough but at times tender, and by switching between the four characters you get enough of each one every five minutes and can check on what's going on with the other. It's like four guys telling you what happened the next day - or ten years later, or 50 years later - but with a level of coherence that's deceptively simple.

Not every line or gag works wholly, but so many do and the performances are so charming and appealing that it's impossible to think that the same director would go on to the career he did. That soundtrack makes it a musical where the songs inform the action - the one time Lucas came close to being like his contemporary Scorsese - and they're all pretty much killer. Yes, even Surfin' Safari. And the way that it ends with the Beach Boys' after those final title cards on the characters makes it profound and bittersweet. In 12 hours you get a full life, or lives.

And we've been having fun all summer loooonnggg...

PS: Harrison Ford - dare I say as bad-ass as Han Solo with half the screen-time?
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