American Beauty

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 808 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 808

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User Reviews

  1. PatrickD
    Nov 30, 2006
    5
    This film along with Chicago and Crash are some of the most overrated pictures of the last 10 years to win best picture. At heart, American Beauty is a failed satire. It takes rote cliches like the father with a midlife crisis to the amateur film maker to the gay retired soldier and does nothing about them. You have potential to skewer the American nuclear family and the suburban ennui, This film along with Chicago and Crash are some of the most overrated pictures of the last 10 years to win best picture. At heart, American Beauty is a failed satire. It takes rote cliches like the father with a midlife crisis to the amateur film maker to the gay retired soldier and does nothing about them. You have potential to skewer the American nuclear family and the suburban ennui, but instead we get a hackneyed plot. Notable mostly for Annette Benning's performance, this movie is pedestrian and worth watching if you like WASPs trying to emote. Expand
  2. DrSteveH.
    Jun 19, 2003
    6
    A reasonbly good film, but not as deep as some claim. A solid performance by Kevin Spacey, but Thora Birch was a revelation.
  3. YoonC.
    Sep 13, 2003
    6
    Pointless satire with straw targets and a message that is embarassing doped out New Age claptrap.
  4. JeremyE
    Sep 14, 2009
    6
    I wish people would stop talking about "Hollywood trying to push an agenda" and stupid crap like that. Just concentrate on the movie. That being said, I really just don't see what all the hype was about. Every actor in the movie played his or her part exceptionally well (especially Bening and Birch), but the story was pointless. It's just a horny man in a midlife crisis, his I wish people would stop talking about "Hollywood trying to push an agenda" and stupid crap like that. Just concentrate on the movie. That being said, I really just don't see what all the hype was about. Every actor in the movie played his or her part exceptionally well (especially Bening and Birch), but the story was pointless. It's just a horny man in a midlife crisis, his wife is obsessed with work, his daughter is a typical, nonchalant teenager. It's a story about regular life. Nothing about it was interesting at all. You keep waiting for it to pick up, but nothing happens. And the surprise at the ending of the movie has no moral or reasoning. So basically, Actors good. Plot boring. If you're an actor or a film buff, you'll enjoy it, but if you're just a regular movie watcher, skip it. Expand
  5. Jan 7, 2011
    5
    It's an american not so beauty at all story. Nothing is really happen in this movie. The Kevin's character is a sick man. I don't understand why so many people like so much this movie
  6. Dec 16, 2015
    6
    What I loved the most about this movie was the screenplay. The story is the strongest thing about this production, also Kevin Spacey's acting was one of my favorites. I was expecting a lot before watching the movie but that doesn't mean it's a bad movie. Actually is a great one, not a movie that a would consider a five time Oscar winner but it's ok. Screenplay and acting, American BeautyWhat I loved the most about this movie was the screenplay. The story is the strongest thing about this production, also Kevin Spacey's acting was one of my favorites. I was expecting a lot before watching the movie but that doesn't mean it's a bad movie. Actually is a great one, not a movie that a would consider a five time Oscar winner but it's ok. Screenplay and acting, American Beauty it's all about that. Expand
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    83
    Though excellent in many ways, American Beauty is, finally, an uneasy mix of assured technique and simplistic satire.
  2. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    Kevin Spacey (gives) a truly great performance.
  3. A ruthless dissection of suburban malaise.