American Beauty
American Beauty (1999)

A biting, penetrating and often humorous take on contemporary life in suburban America, Lester Burnham becomes intrigued by a young girl named Angela, and this fascination sparks him to make some major changes in his life. He relishes these… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: January 2, 2002
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Flawlessly cast and brimming with dark, acid wit, American Beauty is a smart, provocative high point of late '90s mainstream Hollywood film.

Rex Reed
New York Observer

Kevin Spacey gives the performance of his life.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

[The filmmakers'] attacks on real-estate agents, corporate America and suburbia aren't so much shooting fish in a barrel as they are shooting fish in a shallow dish.

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Philip French
Observer [UK]

Mendes manages to give individuality and distinction to some extremely familiar material.

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John Hartl
Seattle Times

Alan Ball's script is a terrific piece of material, and Mendes responds directly to its subversive, provocative vision of a curdled American Dream.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Boldly challenging our sympathies, [Lester] somehow wins them because, to borrow a phrase, he's a man in full.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

Disturbing, bleak, thought-provoking.

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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News

American Beauty approaches a manic, almost cartoonish edge without falling over. Both Spacey and Bening use extraordinary comic timing to bring these very sad, lost characters to life.

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David Edelstein

The hairpin turns from farce to melodrama, from satire to bathos, are fresh and deftly navigated, but almost every one of the underlying attitudes is smug and easy.

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Peter Bradshaw

Flaws and all, this is intelligent, exhilarating, effervescent film-making, and a remarkable debut from Sam Mendes.

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More reviews for American Beauty

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Adriel Lim
Exceptionally quirky, entertainingly intelligent and witty and finally and importantly, stirringly poignant.
Louis Rogers
A powerful, peerless disassembly of the american dream, midlife crises and the suburbian experience. Wry, haunting and poetic.
xGary Xx
Lester Burnham is undergoing a serious midlife crisis; pining for his lost youth and obsessing over a teenage cheerleader, he's married to a joyless… More
Red Lats
Thought provoking movie. On one hand, Lester is motivated to make significant changes to his life - some positive. On the other hand, lusting after one of… More
Directors Cat
Cameron Sherwell
A highly watchable dissembowlment of the American dream, Kevin Spacey leads the cast as his character Lester Burnham goes through a midlife crisis and falls in… More

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