About Schmidt

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 186

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User Reviews

  1. CherylC.
    Jan 4, 2003
    5
    We've all seen Nicholson do as well or better in other roles, and there have been far superior examples of the "what's it all about" theme. In the end, I couldn't think of any compelling reason to recommend this movie to anyone. I think Charles Taylor at Salon hit the movie dead-on, and was pleased to see his comments about some of cinema's other leading lights. Why We've all seen Nicholson do as well or better in other roles, and there have been far superior examples of the "what's it all about" theme. In the end, I couldn't think of any compelling reason to recommend this movie to anyone. I think Charles Taylor at Salon hit the movie dead-on, and was pleased to see his comments about some of cinema's other leading lights. Why do so many artists--in all genres--think that being exceedingly clever and smug is what makes good art? More importantly, perhaps, why are there so many immature minds ready to accept that bogus notion? Expand
  2. JasonZ.
    Jun 7, 2003
    6
    Not awful, but not Oscar worthy either. Nicholson was just okay. The characters were rich and the cynicism at times hilarious, but overall, the pace of the film is its fatal flaw. Isn't this just one long commercial for the Sally Struthers-like philanthropical organizations? Plus, this film is indeed truthful (read: depressing as hell). Anyone of the cusp of a mid-life crisis should Not awful, but not Oscar worthy either. Nicholson was just okay. The characters were rich and the cynicism at times hilarious, but overall, the pace of the film is its fatal flaw. Isn't this just one long commercial for the Sally Struthers-like philanthropical organizations? Plus, this film is indeed truthful (read: depressing as hell). Anyone of the cusp of a mid-life crisis should think twice about watching this one or at least remove all sharp objects before viewing. Funniest part of this one ... Nicholson doing errands in the RV. That killed me! Expand
  3. CodyM.
    Jan 29, 2004
    6
    Good story, but the film stays superficial as the life of his character does.
  4. GaborA.
    Jun 6, 2004
    6
    No plot, no point, and not all that funny, but for some reason i watched with relative ease and ultimately enjoyment.
  5. J.RyanG.
    May 26, 2005
    5
    Stanley Kauffmann's positive review is permissable, as he is a big Nicholson fan. Me too. But this movie ultimately fails. I have no idea what it is trying to say: Live for today!? No, there's not much indication of that message. Believe in love? Since potential relationships do not blossom for Nicholson, and since his family appears to be permanently distant, I don't find Stanley Kauffmann's positive review is permissable, as he is a big Nicholson fan. Me too. But this movie ultimately fails. I have no idea what it is trying to say: Live for today!? No, there's not much indication of that message. Believe in love? Since potential relationships do not blossom for Nicholson, and since his family appears to be permanently distant, I don't find this message ringing true. This film clearly inhabits spaces of some distance apart, but alas, it goes nowhere. The best thing I can say about the film--other than praising fine performances by Nicholson and the underused Kathy Bates--is that it revolves around a boring road trip with a few fleeting thrills, appropriate for the life of the main character. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Dec 26, 2002
    4
    I am a big fan of Alexander Payne. Election, in my opinion, is one of the best movies I've seen. Nevertheless, I think Charles Taylor from Salon.com wrote an exemplary piece of movie criticism on this movie. I agree with every word he wrote and especially regarding the performance of Nicholson and the inability of many critics to notice how condescending and even hateful Payne is to I am a big fan of Alexander Payne. Election, in my opinion, is one of the best movies I've seen. Nevertheless, I think Charles Taylor from Salon.com wrote an exemplary piece of movie criticism on this movie. I agree with every word he wrote and especially regarding the performance of Nicholson and the inability of many critics to notice how condescending and even hateful Payne is to his characters in this movie. Expand
  7. morris
    Sep 21, 2004
    5
    I cannot understand why this film got such good reviews? Because it is slow? Because of Jack's performance? I found it decidedly average, with but a glimmer of spark in Kathy Bate's wonderful performance. A real damp squib, with the sentimental letters hardly proving the uplifting ingrediant it so wanted to be.
  8. MarcK.
    Dec 13, 2002
    5
    I fail to understand the raves that Nicholson is getting for his understated performance. Perhaps this is a film for people who dislike Nicholson in his other, more expressive roles. Ditto Kathy Bates' performance, which is being lauded for an Oscar, and I just don't see it at all. In terms of the movie, the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the picture is slow and pointless. It all gets I fail to understand the raves that Nicholson is getting for his understated performance. Perhaps this is a film for people who dislike Nicholson in his other, more expressive roles. Ditto Kathy Bates' performance, which is being lauded for an Oscar, and I just don't see it at all. In terms of the movie, the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the picture is slow and pointless. It all gets wrapped together at the end, but does that make it a "must-see" film? I think not. Expand
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. A dark comedy that's as emotionally honest as any picture of 2002.
  2. Much more deserving of plaudits is the secondary cast--Hope Davis as Schmidt's resentful daughter, Dermot Mulroney as the waterbed salesman she's engaged to, and, above all, Kathy Bates in a hilarious turn as the latter's New Age mother.
  3. 50
    Starts out as a barbed, poignant little movie and turns into an excruciating slow-motion car wreck.