Pleasantville (1998)

David Wagner is a Nineties kid with a Fifties addiction. He's hooked on reruns of a classic television show called "Pleasantville," set in a simple place where everyone is swell and perky, "confrontation" is a dirty… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: October 23, 1998
DVD Release Date: March 23, 1999
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Filled with lighthearted humor, timely social commentary, and dazzling visuals, Pleasantville is an artful blend of subversive satire and well-executed Hollywood formula.

Joe Leydon

Ingeniously conceived and impressively executed, "Pleasantville" is a provocative, complex and surprisingly anti-nostalgic parable wrapped in the beguiling guise of a commercial high-concept comedy.

Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

There's a terrific idea at the heart of Pleasantville, and it's a shame that its creator, Big screenwriter Gary Ross, can't figure where to take it.

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Emanuel Levy

Gary Ross (Big, Dave) makes an impressive directing debut with this charming, nicely executed fable, which contrasts values of the 1950s with those of the 1990s.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

An ingenious fable, screenwriter Ross's directorial debut playfully spoofs the small-minded lifestyle idealised by 'family values' advocates, and the intolerance and insecurity underlying that ideal.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Endearing it definitely is, so much so that it's easy to overlook the simplicity, and the sly confidence trick that gets played on us.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Great movie for high schoolers and their parents.

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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune

The lighthearted fable Pleasantville takes some pointed swipes at the make-believe world of 1950s TV -- and none too soon.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Ends up having more on its mind than it can successfully handle.

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Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

Though Ross works in some heavy-handed strokes, his portrait of stodgy Eisenhower America dazzles with some of the loveliest imagery of any 1990s film.

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More reviews for Pleasantville

Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Adriel Lim
It's not supposed to be anything. These are the wisest words ever said. Beautifully shot, this exactingly euphoric and colorful film.
Thomas Bowler
Some good central performances with an interesting if slightly implausible concept. Full review later.
Kevin M. Williams
Often heavy handed though nonetheless stimulating tale of the death (and she's not coming back, baby) of the American postwar "let's make nice… More
Jan Marc Macababayao
A brother and a sister are mysteriously ensnared in a 1950's television program Pleasantville rendered in black and white. Pleasantville is a pleasant… More
KJ Proulx
?"Pleasantville" is everything you can ask for from a movie, and more. As a nerdy kids black and white television show becomes his life, he and his… More
Aj V
I understand already, things weren't that different in the 50s, things can't be perfect and pleasant even if they are on the surface, and blah blah… More