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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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
88%
Flixster
User Score
93%



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.

Full review…
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
Slate

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
Guardian

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

Full review…
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
[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
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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