American: The Bill Hicks Story
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15 years after his death, Bill Hicks is now more popular than ever, and is widely seen as one of the best comedian of the modern era. However, in America, where he challenged institutions and accepted ways of thinking, he suffered censorship and was never truly recognized by a wide audience. In the country which enshrines freedom of speech in its constitution his story is truly about what it means to be an American. -- (c) Variance

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas work wonders with the old photos, animating and enhancing them to simulate Hicks' excellent adventure."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"In the stand-up world, to be a cerebral comic in America is to invite anonymity. In his short life, Bill Hicks extended that invitation and, more or less, it was accepted."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"It is a bit of a revelation to realize that Hicks, who would develop into one of the angriest and edgiest standup comedians of his time, was once such a clean-cut and straight young man."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"It's greatness as a documentary is debatable, but as a eulogy, it's damn near unparalleled."
‑ Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine
"Doesn't impart much in the way of hard facts about Hicks, preferring an affectionate route of celebration, blindly fawning over this mystery man in a way that would likely make Hicks himself retch."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Ultimately, the doc comes off as yet another reminder that, in showbiz and elsewhere, one of the greatest tragedies in life is unfulfilled promise."
‑ Joe Leydon, Variety
"Posthumous albums and now this film are securing his legacy and enduring influence."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"The greatest strength of this film is that the directors did not overly glorify Hicks."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"If you have any sort of interest in stand-up comedy, this is as fine a documentary as you will see on the subject."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"Rather than simply panning around within still photos, [the filmmakers] have taken images apart by computer and composited them, even moving bits around. ... It's a weird way to recreate missing events, but it's not as dishonest as it sounds."
‑ Andy Klein, Brand X
"A portrait of the short-lived artist that will move fans while letting the uninitiated witness enough onstage highlights to leave them wanting more."
‑ John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
"The movie's appeal extends to the manner of its construction; it's an almost hypnotic kind of hybrid animation in which hundreds of photographs of Hicks in various poses and at various stages in his life are grafted onto two-dimensional backgrounds."
‑ Greg Quill, Toronto Star
"American plays less like a primer than a devotional, a dangerous thing for a satirist committed to "evolving ideas.""
‑ Corey Hall, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"Hicks deserves a truly great documentary, but for now this one will do."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Documentary American is stylishly told, but engaging chiefly because comedic wunderkind Bill Hicks is a bundle of contradictions."
‑ Brent Simon,
More reviews for American: The Bill Hicks Story on Rotten Tomatoes

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