Metascore
85

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

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 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 across Nebraska in a 35-foot motor home. (New Line Productions) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    What makes About Schmidt so extraordinary is how ordinary its tale is; it's a gray picture about gray people looking for some kind of meaning in their gray lives.
  2. A seriously good movie, a challenge to viewers, a rebuke of the way many Americans live their lives.
  3. 100
    It is also Nicholson at his bravest and riskiest. By banking his fires and staying alert to the smallest details, he delivers a monumental performance that blasts your expectations and batters your heart.
  4. 90
    Payne, the great satirist behind "Citizen Ruth" and "Election," loves to populate his films with throwaway details, which in About Schmidt accumulate into a portrait of Midwestern life that's almost chilling in its exactitude.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Films exist for different reasons, and the indisputable raison d'etre for About Schmidt is to showcase Jack Nicholson giving a master class in the art of screen acting.
  6. 75
    I recommend the movie both for Nicholson's performance and for the opportunity to spend some time with the kind of man that we often meet in real life, but rarely see on screen.
  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 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 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 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 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 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 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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