American Splendor
American Splendor (2003)

Harvey Pekar is file clerk at the local VA hospital. His interactions with his co-workers offer some relief from the monotony, and their discussions encompass everything from music to the decline of American culture to new flavors of… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 15, 2003
DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Exhilarating both stylistically and for its entertaining, moving portrayal of an everyman, American Splendor is a portrait of a true underground original.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

I can't imagine how the filmmakers went about it, let alone pulled the whole thing off, but their film comes together in unpredictable and remarkably pleasurable ways.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

We're constantly kept on our toes regarding issues of representation while Pekar's sour but indefatigible working-class skepticism carries us along.

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Glenn Dunks

Like Ghost World before it, Pulcini and Berman have taken an unconventional comic and given it a cinematic make-over.

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Scott Tobias
AV Club

The rare artist biopic that goes beyond the dull march of events and actually illuminates the creative process.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Hugely enjoyable and very clever portrait of Harvey Pekar.

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Lisa Rosman
The Brooklyn Rail

Underneath all this schtick pulses a restrained, pensive take on how the terrific loneliness of the modern human condition can be ameliorated through its narration. Misery loves company, in other words, especially if it's comically described.

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David Ansen

A glorious rebuke to all this summer's recycled, effects-ridden, laboriously "fun" Hollywood disappointments piled along the wayside like so many crashed cars.

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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

It would be a mistake to regard American Splendor as an anthem for the common man. It is the uncommon that is being celebrated here.

Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Channels Pekar's vision of art and life as twinned struggles. One of cinema's great first-date sequences is here. We're splendidly shown how a lower-class nine-to-fiver has his own creative selves and richly expressive life.

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More reviews for American Splendor

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
Harvey Pekar is the only person who could have a bio-pic like this. Melding together documentary filmmaking and narrative filmmaking, the director team of Shari… More
Melvin White
Real Harvey: If you think reading comics about your life seems strange, try watching a play about it. God only knows how I'll feel when I see this movie. … More
'American Splendor'. What a brilliantly ambitious film, with its merging of documentary and adapted comic screenplay! Surely up there with the best… More
Unknown Hobo
I am a great fan of Harvey Pekar and was excited when I first sat down to watch this hand made bio-pic of the legendary comic book character. I think the… More
paul oh
Its awesome, fun, and charming. Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff. This film exploits that and creates a truly original film.
Jennifer Xu
American Splendor is like early age hipster or something - it's totally meaningless and self indulgent, nihilistic, and depressing to boot.