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I Am Sam
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I Am Sam More at IMDbPro »

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Sean new fan has come

8/10
Author: rickdumesnil from Canada
16 June 2012

I never was a Sean PENN fan. In fact i promised myself i would never watch a movie with his name in the generics...its called Casualties of War..how that movie made me hate that face. I even dismissed him being a good actor since i never watched his other film since that face and the subject of the film had hitting me so hard.Plus the fact that in real life he was an arrogant bleep. I AM SAM comes along. Ah Beatles songs think ill watch it. Suddenly 0mg..Sean PENN overwhelms me with his fabulous acting.He is actually awesome in this and had me rooting for him for an Oscar. Michelle Pheiffer plays her role to the hilt and all the actors are believable. nice story line not SEEN BEFORE...but done in a different way. Yes this film is a must see.....ALTHOUGH i was disappointed with the BEATLES remake. Should have use the real singers.....

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An emotional roller coaster

10/10
Author: Jake Coffey from United States
27 December 2011

The roller coaster is still going too! What a ride. An amazing movie. I Am Sam is about a middle aged man named Sam who is Mentally retarded, who has a daughter of his own. The woman who gave birth to her runs off. Eight years later, he has to fight custody with his own daughter.

I never get choked up, nor emotional when I watch a movie. This was something different, however. Sean Penn is astonishing as Sam. I can not think of anyone else who could have played the role better than him. I do not know how he could have pulled it off, but he did. Then comes Dakota Fanning. How old was she when she did this role? I do not know, but my oh my, she was *bleeping* fantastic. For such a young age, she was able to pull this off. I do not know how she did it, as well as Sean Penn, but they day. I want to compare her with Shirley Temple. For both of them, at such a young age, they are able to play some really difficult parts, and they play them real well! A spectacular cast for an exceptional movie. I have never thought of a movie this much different than critics.

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Absurd

Author: Cedric_Catsuits from United Kingdom
17 July 2011

There are so many things wrong with this film, I can't help thinking it's just another one of those self-serving showpieces that egotistical actors like to add to their resume. How many times have we seen actors cooing over portrayals of "disadvantaged" people? Lets face it, for many actors, playing a retarded person does not require much effort.

The biggest and immediately obvious gaping hole in this story is that Sam is fighting for custody of his 7-year old daughter. Why now? Why was he left to bring her up alone for 7 years? She seems pretty much the perfect child so he can't have been a bad parent for 7 years. But how does a single man with severe learning difficulties get to bring up a baby and apparently not register on any welfare radar for 7 years? It is truly absurd.

Then of course there's the question of Penn's performance. Personally I think it demonstrates very little understanding of the issues, and occasionally borders on mocking. It is not a realistic portrayal, but one moulded to suit the script, which also severely lacks credibility.

Fanning and Pfeiffer however are on a different level. Fanning was a natural child performer who never looked like she was acting (until she was about 12 anyway) and there are few more gifted. Pfeiffer gets to grips with her role and just about errs on the side of non-hamming, but she certainly steals almost every scene she's in.

The film ends too suddenly at a point where even this cynical viewer was getting drawn in, thus leaving another gaping hole. So we have a hole, a middle and a hole. And the middle is mushy.

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be prepared to cry, and smile and laugh

8/10
Author: quickiesonthedinnertable from Singapore
1 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know why I didn't watch this movie sooner. It's been on my list for a while, and I finally caught it on cable today and my eyes are brimming and my nose is running - I'd just like to say that I DO NOT CRY AT MOVIES.

Watching this has convinced me that Sean Penn may truly be the most talented actor of my generation. I got sucked right in by his performance and had to keep reminding myself that Penn is not only perfectly normal but probably highly intelligent as well. Dakota Fanning is charming, precocious and a joy to watch. Michelle Pfeiffer is always a treat and does not disappoint here. Her transformation from cold, calculating and cynical lawyer with a 'perfect' life to someone warmer, vulnerable and with a less than perfect life, is almost as important a sub-plot as the main story of Sam's struggle to keep his beloved daughter.

The premise of the movie is nothing new, but I don't think I've ever seen such delicate and inspired handling of a situation that could so easily have descended into a maudlin melodrama, given its potential for pain and heartache. Plenty of humour and the energetic pacing keep things from being weighed down.

The ending is not unexpected, but I really couldn't have seen it going any other way. Definitely recommended for the all around strong performances. Dianne Wiest deserves special mention for her delightful and memorable supporting role.

I have a small confession; I gave the movie an extra star because I am a HUGE Beatles fan ;) Enjoy!!

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Not bad

8/10
Author: ryan mcdaniel from BETHLEHEM, GA
19 April 2011

Although I did really enjoy this movie I did see it from a slightly different angle. As a child my family were briefly involved in the "child-custody legal proceedings". I think this movie does a good job showing how child service lawyers (scum of the earth) have the ability to prove that love is not a factor in determining whats best in raising a child in our society. If you have ever been through this you know that these legal proceedings can damage a child long term far more that the problems that are going on in the home. I think the foster mother at the end really showed how bad this idea of removing children from one home to give them to someone else (usually do to inability to have their own) is a quiet epidemic running through the courts right now. The lawyers and child services lady were just sickening! Something tells me they would have had this beautiful and intelligent child aborted given the chance. Almost seemed to be masking as Eugenics believers. I usually don't like when other artists cover the Beatles but this soundtrack was awesome! I guess what really surprised me about this movie was the cast. Uber-liberals fighting against government institutions that they support in the real world, go figure. Maybe this movie helped open their eyes, I hope so.

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Brilliant Sean Penn!

10/10
Author: btzarevski from South Africa
4 April 2010

I'm sorry, but have some of the people here actually seen I Am Sam to give it 1/10? Anything below 7/10 does not do this movie justice.

You can read the summary for yourselves, I'm going to briefly tell you about the ACTUAL acting. Sean Penn is utterly, unmistakably brilliant. His portrayal is touching and brought me near tears on numerous occasions. How he did not win the Oscar for this baffles me.

Michelle Pfeiffer also throws in a very good performance and her character development throughout the movie is impressive; she does very well to depict a person who needs a reality check(in this case Sam) to really examine her life.

At 6 or 7 years old, Dakota Fanning does extremely well to fit into her role with great maturity yet still maintain innocence and deep love for her father.

I cannot stress enough how well Penn is and I am amongst the many who believe he is underrated; especially in this movie. A must see for anybody; forget about the technicalities of what is realistic and what isn't. This is not based on a true story, it is fictitious accounts. Enjoy the movie for what it is; a heart-warming tale of a father's undeniable love.

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All we need is love.

9/10
Author: Danica from Serbia
11 January 2010

Definitely,one of my all time favourite movies. Simply amazing in every possible way. It is just a you-have-to-like-it kind of movie, it is that simple. Story-wonderful, acting-stunning, and the feeling you get after watching it, no matter how many times you've seen it, is the feeling which makes you feel good at least for the rest of the day. I'm not even gonna start talking about how you can't not love and cheer as hard as possible for Sean Penn's character. All in all, it has a great point, unfolded in a magnificent way and no matter how cynical you may be, even a tiny little part of you will truly, deeply believe that it is true: All We Need Is Love.

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Standing ovation

9/10
Author: nifnn from Ireland
27 November 2009

This is one those really rare movies that pulls you in from the very start and sends you on an emotional roller-coaster. Even the blackest of hearts would be moved by this film. Sean Penn's performance as a mentally disabled dad fighting for custody of his daughter is simply awesome & hypnotic which must go down as one of the great performances in cinema history, in what is a very difficult role to play, you forget its Sean Penn and you just become part of Sam's world. Michelle Pfieffer is outstanding as well as an overbearing lawyer who then finds herself as a result of Sam, becoming part of her life. This film is beautifully shot with a great soundtrack and is pretty much flawless which has so much depth, on so many levels. Its a thinking person's film. Watch it.

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A brilliant film which doesn't take the Micky

10/10
Author: Combat-Carl from United Kingdom
29 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I Am Sam is brilliant. I thought this was going to be a comedy but it ended up being one of the best tear jerker's I have ever seen. It has a beautiful concept of a struggling father. Sam (Sean Penn) has a daughter called Lucy Diamond Dawson (Dakota Fanning) and they like to read and go to the park together and they both love IHOP. Sounds nice right? The problem with this is that Sam has learning difficulties (I think it's autism) and when his daughter reaches the age of 7 she will have a higher mental age than her dad. The government believe it's best to take Lucy away from Sam (I know!) and Sam doesn't know what's happening. He hires a lawyer called Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is very cold-hearted. Sam shows her what kindness is (I'm not going to spoil how) and she helps him.

Even with his disabilities he still fights for her which is very respectful. The way the camera pan around in this film makes it look like a documentary and adds to the tension. All of the characters are really believable. Sean Penn is brilliant because he portrays a disabled well but doesn't take the Micky. Dakota Fanning is amazing even though it is only her second film and she was only 6 yet she steals the show. Michelle Pfeiffer was very good but wasn't too believable in the courtroom. Lucy's foster mother wasn't believable (I know because i'm fostered) but I enjoyed it.

Overall the film is unmissable and I'd recommend anyone who doesn't like to point and laugh at other people's misfortunes. If you are going to watch this movie for cheap laughs at disabled people watch it and it will change your mind about them in a heartbeat.

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The Oscars...

10/10
Author: nolife38 from United States
29 October 2009

I thought that I Am Sam was AWESOMEEEE>>>>>>....and I feel that Sean Penn was ripped off from the Oscars! I also thought that it was crummy that Dustin Hoffman got an award for Rainman, but Sean portrayed close to the same character and didn't get the recognition for it....and personally I feel that Sean did a WAYYYYY>>>>>better job than Dustin! I thought that it was great though for Dakota Fanning to have gotten the recognition that she received with her being as young as she was back then, and I hope that she and Sean will play in another movie together really soon! I also feel that if more people were aware of the love that these people...like the one that Sean portrayed...was noticed, then the world would be in such a more peaceful place!

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