Ghost World - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ghost World Reviews

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June 10, 2018
There was something about it that I found fascinating the first time I saw it when I was younger. I'm not exactly sure what. It feels a lot more empty when I watch it now, but it is still a very unique and mysterious movie that is somehow relatable. (First viewing - Spring 2007)
May 19, 2018
Truly depicted teenage life for a lot of teenagers. This movie has a minimal plot and unsatisfactory conclusion. The film looked great, actors were believable but the film spent almost 2 hrs going nowhere.
½ April 29, 2018
I just finished Ghost World and I'm not sure what my reaction is. The experience was very much like a Robert Altman movie. The cast is fantastic. Thora Birch is terrific as the off-beat and cynical teen. Steve Buscemi is wonderful as usual, playing a typical role for him as the unlikely romantic lead.

I watched it on Stars which recommended it as a comedy. I'm not sure I'd call it exactly a comedy, although it was reminiscent of Harold and Maude, minus the extreme dark humor. It did have a lot of humor, but more of an alt-humor.

The ending was perfect, but left the movie in a sort of difficult-to-deal-with space. The film has an honesty about a pessimistic take on life that puts the character's downward path in place of the normal uplifting story of overcoming obstacles to fulfill your dream, so when Enid (Birch) fulfills her fantasy it is sort of the ultimate failure. This leaves us to question the ultimate meaning of the ending, and exactly what the point is.

Which makes this a powerful piece of film-making. It is odd, strangely paced, mildly depressing and it made me think. It would be a great movie to see with a group of friends who likes to sit around and talk about what a movie or book meant.
½ March 29, 2018
It's a fine film and a compelling coming-of-age narrative, even if I found the mean spiritedness to be off-putting at a times. It lacks more Scarlett Jo, as her presence informs Birch's character. Still, the real MVP is Buscemi who might just give his best performance in the role of a loveless man stuck to a nostalgic past he never experienced.
February 24, 2018
Fun movie the acting is Amazing and so is the story and had a great cast this film was also funny i highly suggest it.
½ December 30, 2017
Great movie starring a very young Scarlett Johansson, Steve buscemi, and this random girl that is amazing. This is the movie I needed right now and I got it. Thank you whoever made this movie.
½ December 10, 2017
This movie has a look and personality of its own, but lacks a discernable mood. Apathy, maybe, is the tone. As a dark comedy, apathy can work. This is the third Scarlett Johansson movie I've watched to review since deciding to binge her movies this month after reading in a newspaper it was recently her birthday. Sometimes accidental promotion is the best type of promotion, because then you can feel like you're choosing to watch a movie free of the influence of hype. I've read this film has a cult following, but this movie wasn't hyped to me by a cultist. Anyway, the lead role goes to Thora Birch as Enid. The mood seems to be a reflection of Enid and Rebecca's (played by Johansson) perspective on graduation and the world around them. Their community is in decay, and they, as recent (almost for Enid) graduates, have little to no ambition to move on to university or college to improve themselves or their community. One argument is that by living in this world, they become a reflection of it, and if it's a decaying world, they don't learn the ambition to improve themselves or community. Aesthetically, the sets and color choices can reflect the characters' personalities, changing ambitions, and personal improvements as they jointly and independently participate in the community. Their joint goal is to get a job and apartment. Rebecca takes to task getting a job shortly after some post-graduation hijinks that involve pranking a lonely Want Ad vinyl collector, Seymour. Rebecca takes a job and begins working towards her goal. Enid feels sympathy for Seymour, played by Buscemi, and begins a friendship with him. Enid and Rebecca's paths diverge. Enid's father eats like a kid and exercises little influence over her decisions. We don't know what happened with her mother. Enid's subplot has her taking an art class where the teacher tries to instill aesthetic representation in her students, challenging them to express their emotions and relationships through art, while belittling her cartooning talent.
Enid uses an historical advertising poster as an art project, which is placed in an art show, but as it creates social discontent, a scathing newspaper article, and she fails to defend the work, she consequently fails the class and fails to graduate. Meanwhile there's a lot of other stuff happening in this movie, it's definitely busy and not without entanglements and subplots.
Rebecca's journey is different than Enid's. As she succeeds at gainful employment and moves into her apartment, we see it's a better neighborhood, going from decaying walls and dead sidewalk jeans to freshly cut green grass and tall well-maintained buildings. Rebecca's apartment is even walled in white and carpeted in red as she gets over her youthful animosity and gains independence. While Rebecca progresses, Enid falters, getting more involved with Seymour, who is an older man. That's when this movie turns into one of those romance features with the older man and young girl. After they have sex, Seymour ends his relationship with another woman thinking Enid and he are mutually exclusive. When he discovers Enid isn't interested in a further relationship, his life falls apart, and he apparently loses his job, sees a therapist, and has to live with his mother with whom he doesn't get along. Enid is at a loss, as she's gained nothing from her experiences.
One of the other characters, who also has a subplot, is an old man named Norman who persistently sits at an out of service bus stop that's been out of service for a long time. Despite it being out of service, he sits and waits for the bus, which he's convinced will someday arrive. Enid assumes Norman's confused, the impression is that he may have early dementia. After several scenes throughout the movie with him at the bus stop, one evening Enid witnesses him being picked up by a bus. It's as if he becomes the man who vowed to sit at the stop until the city decided to resume buses through his neighborhood. Whyever that bus comes through, Enid takes advantage of this, packs a small case, and finally leaves her neighborhood to parts unknown. And that's the end. Based on Enid's history, we don't know if that's a good thing for her or not. Really, it just ends with a bus travelling over a bridge.
Although much of the color choices and imagery express the characters' moods, this movie comes off as overly convoluted and a little insane rather than brilliantly prosaic. Considering this movie is made by the same man who made CRUMB and BAD SANTA, insane might be what he was going for. It is definitely a darkly comedic look at underachievement. At times this movie seems to be struggling to express itself like the summer high school art students. On the other hand, the film's rambling struggles may be an immersive reflection of the characters' struggles. Overall, this film is more interesting than entertaining, and that can be a good thing. Even after all that, as Enid rides off in the end it's hardly optimistic, but more like a ghost bus driving off into a ghost world where old Norman finally caught the same bus that was not in service.
½ December 9, 2017
There seems to be a growing trend with independent films. It appears to be a backlash against the insipid teen films all too prevalent with theaters today. This new trend encompasses movies that, although they are primary concerned with teenagers, present themselves with a balance of serious drama, wit, and comic relief. At the vanguard of such films is without a doubt 'Ghost World'. The origins of the story are contained within a popular underground comic, more accurately, keeping with the parlance of the media's devotees, a graphic novel. Some may think this is merely a light hearted story similar to those contained in the dime comic book we all kept in a box under our beds. There is nothing cartoonish about this film. This is a story that would be most accurately categorized as a coming of age tale. The assignment of this genre may be the best available, but it falls short of accurately capturing the essence of the plot and convey to the audience the substantial emotional intensity infused within the story. It is this strong connection with the epitome of our humanity that has made this film an enduring classic. This fact has recently been recognized by its pristine 4K re-mastering and induction into the lauded ranks of the Criterion Collection. This selective distributor has been bringing many of the most influential examples of the cinematic arts to discerning collectors.

The plot follows a pair of teenage girls, two girls Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) as they leave high school behind and drift into adulthood. Both girls, particularly Enid, are the type of person that does not have to 'be cool.' They see themselves as calm, intelligent and in many ways above their peers. This being said, they don't come off as stuck up, rather they have an inner confidence in spite of some underlying insecurities. Rebecca is trying to get on with her life. She has gotten a meaningless job in a coffee house and has gotten used to boys and men always hitting on her. Enid, on the other hand, is beginning to feel left behind. She still rebels against the ever-present pseudo intellectual people that populate the world. Bored and possessing no certain plans the girls read a personal ad where a man is desperate to meet with a young woman he passed a while ago. The girls call the man, Seymour (Steve Buscemi) and watch as his hopes are dashed when the girl does not show. Enid is interested in how this person lives, and they follow him to his apartment. In turn, Enid goes to a weekly swap meet where Seymour sells old records. She buys an old delta blues album and finds herself enthralled with it. A friendship develops with Seymour as the one with Rebecca drifts apart. Enid is determined to find Seymour, a woman. It appears that by curing his loneliness can somehow help her cope with her own. While watching this film, I found certain scenes difficult because they invoked a sense of empathic awkwardness. One of the most compelling aspects of the film is its ability to remind the viewer of their teenage years, particularly the disconcerting, post high school angst of facing life as an adult. It is natural to attempt to repress these moments, but this movie is exceptionally well crafted, allowing you to revisit them but simultaneously able to enjoy the experience thanks to the separation of time,

Thora Birch is excellent in this film. At times it is almost an extension of her role in American Beauty. She is the young girl who feels out of place with almost everyone, her best friend being prettier than her and getting all the male attention, yet possessing the intelligence and wit to overcome this and grow as an individual. Birch has made the transition from child actress to young adult far better than most. She lives in her role, creating a character that the audience has to feel. In a few scenes her expletive laced language shocks poor Seymour, but there the words are not used for shock value but demonstrate how the differences in vocabulary mirror the differences in their lives. It is the acting of Ms. Birch that makes it so believable that these two can hope for a deep friendship. Your mind never drifts to the over used older man/younger woman trap that any mainstream teen movie would impose on the audience. In many ways, her performance here reminded me of Adrienne Shelly in Hal Hartley's classic 'Trust.' Two incomplete peoplemanage to develop a link with each other that manages to complete each of them. As always Buscemi shines in his role as Seymour. This actor has two distinct careers, one as a mainstream character actor, and the other as an independent leading man. While he succeeds in both worlds, I have always enjoyed his Indy roles more. With these films, this actor has a much better setting to display his talent. Here, his Seymour is on the face pathetic, but there is depth to his character. Much like his role in his own 'Trees Lounge' he shows a man that is living a quiet life of desperation that finds everything around him changing. Illeana Douglas plays one important secondary character. She is Roberta, the teacher of Enid's remedial summer art class. She is politically correct to the nth degree. A pseudo free spirit that cares less about art than the 'statement' it should make. In all the cast here is wonderful.

Terry Zwigoff directed this tale of everyday life. He is not a well-known' director, titles like 'Crumb' a biography of the hippy cartoonist R. Crumb, and 'Louie Bluie' a documentary about a blues singer. Like Seymour Zwigoff is into blues, old records and this shows in his understanding of his characters. Zwigoff co-wrote this film with the creator of the comic, Daniel Clowes. Together the two nail the story making it compelling and entertaining. Zwigloff's style as a director is not as straightforward as it may appear in the first viewing. Watch this movie over a few times and the little details will start to hit you. An infection here or prop there but the synergy they provide the film will add to your experience. There is a pervasive darkness that infuses the film serving as the foundation of the principle characters. Typically a movie about teenagers ends with high school graduation. For Enid and Becky, that event was the star of a new chapter. Rather than a point in life to celebrate, uplifted by successfully navigating the four treacherous years of high school they discover that little of what they learned during that period prepared them for undertaking the harsh realities of life. The Criterion Collection release preserved the film precisely as the director untended as noted in the press release and liner notes the director personally approved of this edition. The subtitle nuances provided by the director Terry Zwigoff wayrealized through the imagery. The set design and costuming juxtapose a sense of realism juxtapose a sense of realism with the visual artistry that brought the graphic novel to life, not until the meticulous restoration work performed for this release preserved the artistic integrity and author's vision as the story migrated to the high definition format of a Blu-ray film. Even if you posseses the previous edition you should investe and enjoythis upgrade. Don't be disappointed that the disc lacks the full multi-channel audio. The presentation of this movie the medium is in the message, not the presentation.
½ December 2, 2017
I had a complicated relationship with this movie. The first hour I completly hated it, I couldn't bear it, I even thought of stop watching it. I thought the characters were extremly obnoxious, that the thematic had not aged well and that its undefined plot was annoying. I forced myself to finish watching it and I'm glad I did, because the second hour was pretty great and relatable, but the damage of the first hour was already done. That's why I didn't completly loved this movie, but I gotta admit that the second part was pretty great. Once you get used to the horrible characters and their horrible personalities, you can start enjoying the movie. By the end, seeing how this awful teenager is destroying her life is the furthest thing from enjoyable, you actually feel sorry for her and can empathize with her situation and, most importantly, that forces you to think and reflect about your own life.
½ November 14, 2017
The origin of this movie was a comic, targeted at young people like high school students made by Daniel Clowes. What kind of youth would you spend? You will probably remember your youth. And the movie name is Ghost World so there are also people who think this movie is horror like a ghost is haunted but, those are not much relationship. I think there is a scene in this movie that was funny me when I watched it. For example, one day two people names Enid and Rebecca applied for the address that appeared in a dating website by mischief. However, this movie's ending is unclear so, it is little difficult to understand.
Enid and Rebecca is the best friend whom is high school students and they were not leading high school life like boring, and have just graduated from high school.
This story about after they graduate school. I thought to meet one person who is a social outsider loves a record is change their life especially Enid.
After graduating high school, they decided not go to college and try to get a job, so they did one thing after another without planning beforehand. But in my point of view, they came to live together is a good thing. And finally, at the place where Enid goes out of town on a "ghost bus" that should not pass there. As I think Enid changed life like the different point of a view life.
It taught me to my life is changed by on your own and doing what one likes is important it is because, meeting lots of different people will make you grow.
Don't be afraid of mistakes, and I will go forward to believe in yourself.
I want to live every day in a meaningful way so that I will not regret it afterward.
It is because like Enid and Rebecca when they were higher school students, spending time without thinking is a waste of time.
If you watch this movie, you could change your mind of life.
I recommend it people who would like live a satisfying life.
½ November 13, 2017
This movie's base is original novel that was written by Daniel Clowes. In 2001, Daniel and director Terry Zwigoff made movie based on novel. This movie was nominated by Oscar, Golden Globe and more 50.

The reason why I chose this movie is some girl teenagers are posting this movie with their comment on Instagram. Mostly they said good thing, so I looked forward to watch this one. Honestly, I didn't understand the message of movie. Maybe it described teenager's problem like us, but story was boring. I watched without subtitles, so I couldn't understand perfectly and that was reason why I felt boring. I like Enid's outfit and her closet, that were so awesome!

After graduated high school, Enid and Rebecca thought their course, but they decided one thing that live together. They like to find strangers and talk about them, so they like to strange thing. One day, they called number on magazine of course that was just their hobby. After that, they met Seymour who were collecting records and Enid crushed on him. On the other hand, Rebecca started working at coffee shop. She prepared to become adult and know society. So they made distance from each other. Conversely Enid and Seymour's relationship got close and close. However, few days later, Seymour came across accident. After that, what will Enid do for Seymour and Rebecca...?

I thought there were similar situations like Enid and Rebecca's way of thinking became different gradually in our daily life. So, maybe some girls agree with that situation. Rebecca aka Scarlett Johansson is a famous actress now, and if you watch this movie, you can watch and know her when she was young.However, nevertheless, I don't like so much this movie.

I read some reviews about this movie and most review are over 4 points, so most people could enjoy this one. This movie's time is about 2 hours, so I thought if it has 2 hours, please describe more details!:( I will watch this one again in my language.
November 6, 2017
Feels like the film 'Heathers' meets 'Lolita.' A genuine dry ennui exudes off the screen from Birch and Johanssen as they attempt to rationalize why Steve Buscemi is worth being around. At least 20 minutes of this movie felt like the slow descent of a shotgun barrel in my mouth, but it survives the attempt. Birch's costume designer is channeling some mix of a 1940s housewife and a colorful goth of the early 2000s: in a phase I'd describe as everything a teenage version of myself would have loved to mimic. The music is blues and pushes the mood just right.

As Buscemi sums things up himself near the end: "Things are really starting to look up for me after my ...uh, life turned to shit."
October 21, 2017
well acted independent film that really makes you think. Good to see a coming of age story about a well written female character. Of course Buscemi is great in it as usual
October 7, 2017
One of my all time favorite movies.
September 1, 2017
9/1/2017: Meh. A good cast, but only an ok movie at best.
½ August 6, 2017
Story about a girl on the fringe of popular culture who refuses to get a job since it would be participating in the capitalist regime. The movie has an odd charm from the very start. Thora Birch's whiny attitude does tend to grate on you though so be prepared. I enjoyed it. Good but not great.
½ August 2, 2017

Even when the rythm and directing dont help as much to elevate the narrative to new heights, Ghost World is captivating beyond doubt, thanks to its wonderfully constructed world full of brilliant details and funny and apropiate commentary.
July 24, 2017
This was a horrible movie These kids have worthless lives!
June 19, 2017
Onde eu encontro esse? Adaptação da graphic novel do Clowes...
June 6, 2017
Really funny and feels exactly like a Daniel Clowes comic in live action. The shot compositions and in-world fonts are fully authentic, and somehow even the people look like Clowes drawings. All the performances are great, with Steve Buscemi standing out to me as the character I couldn't get enough of watching. And although it remains a comedy the whole way through, there are some really touching and sad moments, and I felt genuine sympathy for everybody. "Ghost World" is phenomenal.
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