American Pastoral

Critics Consensus

American Pastoral finds debuting director Ewan McGregor's reach exceeding its grasp with a well-intentioned Philip Roth adaptation that retains the form, but little of the function, of its source material.



Reviews Counted: 112

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,572


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.8/5

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Movie Info

AMERICAN PASTORAL follows Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father's business. Swede's seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and committing a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

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Ewan McGregor
as Swede Levov
Dakota Fanning
as Merry levov
Peter Riegert
as Lou Levov
Rupert Evans
as Jerry Levov
David Strathairn
as Nathan Zuckerman
Uzo Aduba
as Vicky
Molly Parker
as Dr. Sheila Smith
Valorie Curry
as Rita Cohen
Hannah Nordberg
as Merry (12 years old)
Julia Silverman
as Sylvia Levov
Mark Hildreth
as Agent Dolan
Samantha Mathis
as Penny Hamlin
Ocean James
as Merry (8 years old)
David Whalen
as Bill Orcutt
Corrie Danieley
as Jessie Orcutt
David Case
as Russ Hamlin
Max Ivcic
as Hamlin's Son
Brian Knoebel
as Young Guardsman
Peter Gannon
as Police Officer
Emily Peachey
as Hospital Nurse
Carter Ellis
as Guardsman #1
Jennifer Vos
as Sanatorium Nurse
Nick Marzock
as Reunion Singer
Davion Traylor
as Demonstrator #1
Chukky Okobi
as Demonstrator #2
Siovhan Christensen
as Demonstrator #3
Yannick Hogarth
as Demonstrator #4
Justin Lonesome
as Demonstrator #5
Steven Ravid
as Reunion Greeter #1
Ron Emanuel
as Reunion Greeter #2
Kathy Emanuel
as Reunion Greeter #3
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News & Interviews for American Pastoral

Critic Reviews for American Pastoral

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (32)

McGregor's performance has sincerity of a frowningly oppressive kind, but the whole thing is tinged with self-pity.

Nov 10, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

McGregor's directorial debut is a well-crafted drama but lacks the depth of Roth's masterful book.

Nov 3, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I haven't read the book, but I'm guessing Roth brought more nuance and authority to its story of a New Jersey family in the 1960s and '70s than McGregor and screenwriter John Romano have with this cultural cartoon.

Oct 27, 2016 | Full Review…

It might have fared better as a TV mini-series, where novelistic plot strands can be unpacked at length. McGregor is simply wrong for his role: He's too young, too modern, too smart.

Oct 27, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The actors emote deeply and energetically, but there's a disquieting sheen of artifice.

Oct 25, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's a remarkably committed effort that takes a few seriously misguided turns along the way, even as its actors lunge at psychological depth with every scene.

Oct 22, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for American Pastoral


Cheesy, contrived and heavy-handed, it is made even worse by how it shows leftist revolutionaries as insane psychos/imbeciles and by the unsuccessful way it tries to make us sympathize with a passive protagonist who never reacts to what is happening in front of him.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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