An American Pickle

Critics Consensus

An American Pickle lacks the tart snap viewers might expect given its creative premise, but Seth Rogen's dual performance makes this a low-key comedy to relish.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 152

47%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 506
User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

An American Pickle Videos

An American Pickle Photos

Movie Info

Preserved in pickle brine for 100 years, an Orthodox Jewish factory worker wakes up in New York City and tracks down his great-grandson.

Cast & Crew

Seth Rogen
Herschel Greenbaum, Ben Greenbaum
Sarah Snook
Sarah Greenbaum
Joanna P. Adler
Professor Kim
Simon Rich
Screenwriter
Alex McAtee
Executive Producer
Ted Gidlow
Executive Producer
John Guleserian
Cinematographer
Lisa Zeno Churgin
Film Editor
Nami Melumad
Original Music
William Arnold
Production Designer
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for An American Pickle

Critic Reviews for An American Pickle

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (41)

Audience Reviews for An American Pickle

  • Aug 17, 2020
    Delightfully droll and surprisingly poignant, An American Pickle is a light-hearted fable elevated by a terrific dual performance from Seth Rogen. He plays Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen), an immigrant from Easter Europe seeking a new life with his pregnant wife Sarah (Sarah Snook). Due to an accident at the pickle factory, Herschel is locked in a vat and kept in stasis for 100 years, brined for the future. His only living relative is a great-grandson, Ben (Rogen), a struggling app developer who is equal parts fascinated and annoyed by his long-lost family member. Right away I knew this was a movie with its sense of tone locked firmly in place. The opening few minutes establish the heightened, comically depressing life in the Old Country ("Her parents murdered by Cossacks. My parents murdered by Cossacks!") and courtship where Sarah dreams of being rich enough to own her own gravestone. Then after Herschel is resurrected and the news media is obviously doubtful, a doctor explains and the narration goes, "A doctor explains. It is good. Everyone accepts," and the same doubtful reporters now nod in approval. The movie knows its ridiculous but asking you to simply go along. By then I knew this was the movie for me. The first half of this relatively brisk comedy is where it's at its best. Rogen does an exceptional job portraying Herschel, a man out of time trying to reconcile the life and loved ones lost. There are genuinely emotional moments that affected me, and Rogen doesn't even try to undercut them with a wink or a nod. Beyond the technical ingenuity of playing identical roles in the same space, Rogen imbues each Greenbaum as a distinct character. Herschel is easily the more compelling character and Ben can be quite annoying, especially in the latter half as he tries to sabotage his great-grandfather through a series of petty recriminations. The last half hour can become a bit too episodic, repeating the escalating family feud without feeling like we're getting much further narratively. It feels like a series of shorts more than a sustained storyline, like the first half. Yet I laughed repeatedly from writer Simon Rich's (Miracle Workers) clever and aloof storytelling voice. This is a first-caliber chuckler of a movie, with a few hearty guffaws here and there. Top it off with a surprising veneer of emotional reflection and a fabulous performance from Rogen in comedy and drama, and I would cite An American Pickle as one of the more charming, diverting, and enjoyable comedies of the year. In a pandemic-ravaged year of anxiety, we need a little sweetness with a dash of tart, and that's what Pickle packs. Nate's Grade: B+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2020
    At this point, it goes without saying that 2020 has not been the best year for new releases in terms of feature film entertainment. From Netflix to Prime Video, Disney+ to Apple TV+, and even newcomers HBO Max and Quibi, all trying to be the saving grace for theatres being closed, it still seems that studios are holding back their best projects for eventual theatrical distribution. It has at least been nice to see Netflix releasing films like Da 5 Bloods and Apple TV+ releasing films like Greyhound, so at least some of the scheduled movies are being released in some capacity. One of the most recent films to be given this treatment is the Seth Rogen-lead An American Pickle on HBO Max. Originally supposed to hit theatres but now available to stream, here are my thoughts on this dry comedy.  The film begins 100 years in the past as Herschel Greenbaum, while doing his everyday job in a pickle factory, falls into one of the pickle brines. As fate would have it, that factory becomes condemned and he is left in the brine, being preserved until he is found, alive and well in the present day. Discovering that his family from the past has all passed on, he then finds that he has a great-great-grandson with the same last name as him, as well as being the same age. Seth Rogen plays both characters which makes this film far more enjoyable, but that's also where I have my issues. Although this premise is a wacky and unique fish out of water story, it never quite lives up to its full potential.  The first act of this movie has a very nice, slightly comedic progression that held my attention very well. The problem is that this film takes its premise far too seriously, which is what I actually think is what they were going for in terms of comedy. For that reason, I'll give the movie a pass for trying to be incredibly deadpan from start to finish. It was almost as if they made a Saturday Night Live sketch, stayed serious the entire time, and stretched the sketch to 90 minutes. That might sound like a harsh criticism, but it actually worked for me in that way most of the time. I just wished there were a few more clever jokes. An American Pickle has some nice emotional moments, but it gets way too caught up in the emotional side to the story by the end. Where this film shines though, is the fact that Seth Rogen has stepped out of his usual comfort zone. Yes, he's shown his dramatic chops in films like Long Shot and Steve Jobs, but I think this is the most committed to anything I've seen him in, outside of straight-up comedy. He plays off himself from two completely different time periods so well that it just felt natural. I bought his modern-day role, which was similar to his usual self, but his 100-year-old self was much more fleshed out and I thought his performance elevated that even further. Overall, to reiterate, An American Pickle is a very short movie that almost feels like a comedy sketch at times, but benefits from a strong central dual performance by Seth Rogen. Director Brandon Trost, who has clearly broken out with this film, has a solid future ahead of him in my eyes. I think he should've maybe leaned a little heavier on some more humour, but it was also obvious that's not what he was going for. I enjoyed watching this movie, but it's not a whole lot to write home about. It's an easy, breezy viewing experience that's now available to stream.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

An American Pickle Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Movie & TV guides