Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Warren Schmidt (Nicholson) has arrived at several of life's crossraods all at the same time. With no job, no wife, and no family, he is desperate to find something meaningful in his thoroughly unimpressive life. He sets out on a journey of self-discovery, exploring his roots acrossWarren Schmidt (Nicholson) has arrived at several of life's crossraods all at the same time. With no job, no wife, and no family, he is desperate to find something meaningful in his thoroughly unimpressive life. He sets out on a journey of self-discovery, exploring his roots across Nebraska in a 35-foot motor home. (New Line Productions) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Payne achieves an impressive control over the look and tone, so that, melancholy as the movie is, it comes off as both comedy and comment on the human condition.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    This powerfully contained, painfully funny performance has to rank with the greatest work Nicholson's ever done -- This road movie gives you emotional whiplash, and you’ll be glad you went along for the ride.
  3. A dark comedy that's as emotionally honest as any picture of 2002.
  4. Reviewed by: Darrin Keene
    90
    This is where Payne shines. Schmidt’s Winnebago journey through America’s heartland is more like a personal voyage into his Heart of Darkness.
  5. 80
    One may not realize how truly sad this movie is until the forlorn final moments, when Payne resists an inspirational closer, and, with exquisite tact, averts his eyes.
  6. Nicholson makes the movie so poignant that it's hard to resist, but I wonder if Payne and Taylor are rejecting the skeptical attitudes of their other films to become more popular, hoping a softer emotional tone will help this picture win the Oscars that have eluded their more tough-minded works.
  7. 40
    Had Payne the grace or generosity to present the vulgarity and naiveté and tackiness of these characters as something vital and endearing and delightful, the movie might have been explosively funny.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 85
  2. Negative: 32 out of 85
  1. WilliamK
    Jan 11, 2006
    10
    Out of the despair of a life of disposable accomplishments and artificial emotion, in the end all that remains is faith, hope and love.
  2. Jun 25, 2012
    10
    Really goodReally good . Expand
  3. TonyB.
    Apr 28, 2006
    10
    This movie reaked of excellence. The way this film was written the directing the acting the story. However it may not appeal to everyone This movie reaked of excellence. The way this film was written the directing the acting the story. However it may not appeal to everyone because it has the tendancy to lag at points,however for me i found it very entertaining, well written, and very sad. Expand
  4. Jun 10, 2012
    10
    This is a great movie, i loved jack nicholson´s performance as i always do, it is very sentimental and good, one of my favoriteThis is a great movie, i loved jack nicholson´s performance as i always do, it is very sentimental and good, one of my favorite movies from nicholson, i really recomend it Expand
  5. Jun 10, 2012
    10
    I just love this! Jack Nicholson is my all time favorite actor. He plays so well all of his roles in every movie he does, great movie, it isI just love this! Jack Nicholson is my all time favorite actor. He plays so well all of his roles in every movie he does, great movie, it is really sad Expand
  6. Aug 12, 2014
    9
    Of retirement, of loss, of soul-searching. Of life. Alexander Payne creates the most natural films films can produce. This, is what shouldOf retirement, of loss, of soul-searching. Of life. Alexander Payne creates the most natural films films can produce. This, is what should have been Jack Nicholson's most deserving Oscar. He pulls himself away from his cocky, intimidating and sometimes arrogant charm that he has added to so many of his movies, and has given us a truly human role: a man with limits, faults, and weakness'. Kathy Bates makes you want to piss your pants, so to speak. The film is great. Jack Nicholson: so amazing it's surreal. Expand
  7. MIkeG.
    Dec 7, 2005
    3
    This is a movie that failed to mix the funny scenes and the serious scenes well. The funny scenes were certainly funny, and Nichollson's This is a movie that failed to mix the funny scenes and the serious scenes well. The funny scenes were certainly funny, and Nichollson's delivery is certainly dead on. But the supposedly poignant scenes are greatly blunted by the way this movie is paced. Is Payne making fun of these characters or does he want you to embrace them? It's unclear, and the result is a film that left me feeling dissatisfied with the results, unconcerned about what would happen to any of the characters, and not invested in the performances. The movie also really doesn't have an ending for Schmidt - he's just kind of an afterthought that gets lost in the Davis/Mulroney storyline. Expand

See all 85 User Reviews

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