Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Sun-Times
Spacey, an actor who embodies intelligence in his eyes and voice, is the right choice for Lester Burnham.
Rolling Stone
A triumph of acting, writing and directing that defies glib description...the kind of artful defiance that Hollywood is usually too timid to deliver: a jolting comedy that makes you laugh till it hurts.
San Francisco Chronicle
A wonder of a film -- a luminous, beautifully executed drama that gathers the best cast of the year -- the best American film of the year.
USA Today
A singular accomplishment so specifically keyed to Spacey's talents that it mandates going out on a limb to say it contains the performance that will ultimately be regarded as "the one."
Spacey is diamond-brilliant in a role that plays as if custom-made for him.
New York Daily News
A tart, funny and tremendously sobering movie about the deepest recesses of personal unhappiness.
New York Post
A flat-out masterpiece, surely the best movie of the year; indeed, an all-time classic.
Baltimore Sun
A movie that will endure.
A blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames.
Chicago Tribune
I've got to admit it's a stunner.
Entertainment Weekly
You know you're in the hands of a true filmmaker when you feel invited, at every turn, to share his sense of entrancement. I got that feeling in just about every frame of American Beauty.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Mendes nonetheless works this screenplay like a jazz virtuoso plays with a familiar theme such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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