User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 564 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 564
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  1. May 4, 2013
    10
    One of the smartest, funniest, and most ironic movies I have ever seen. If I had never seen this movie, I probably wouldn't be the same person. This is by far one of the best films ever made, and one of my favorites.
  2. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    The acting is great, the lighting is beautiful, the writing is pitch-perfect and the music is hypnotizing. This was Sam Mendes' debut as a film director. The result is a masterpiece!
  3. May 3, 2014
    10
    "American Beauty" is not just a film, it is a poem that is told by the warm voice of Kevin Spacey, accompanied by a soundtrack intense and exciting and a photograph soft and impact.
    The director does not exceed in the unnecessary, rather it keeps on soft tones and soft, as well as the actors' tests, which are the most talented ever seen in a movie.
    A notion aside the merits Kevin Spacey,
    "American Beauty" is not just a film, it is a poem that is told by the warm voice of Kevin Spacey, accompanied by a soundtrack intense and exciting and a photograph soft and impact.
    The director does not exceed in the unnecessary, rather it keeps on soft tones and soft, as well as the actors' tests, which are the most talented ever seen in a movie.
    A notion aside the merits Kevin Spacey, who in this film is shown not to be in no respect inferior to actors much discussed and overly praised by critics and the general public.
    The screenplay by Alan Ball is, as mentioned before, an intense poetry and reflective, that only the most sensitive will be able to fully comprehend.
    I absolutely recommend to everyone watching this masterpiece that can not miss in the collection of a true cinephile
    Expand
  4. SusanN.
    Jul 27, 2008
    10
    A film I could watch over and over and never get tired of. A film to see before you die.
  5. ToniK.L.
    Oct 5, 2001
    10
    Magnificent! Marvelous! Brilliant! Hard to say anything bad about this movie!
  6. Feb 13, 2012
    9
    "American Beauty" is a masterful film. Kevin Spacey is at it's best and the film is filled with allegories and symbolism. A must watch.
  7. Mar 5, 2011
    10
    This is the best film ever made.It's really incredible.

    There isn't other film that can complete with ''american beauty''. Ã
  8. BillM.
    May 13, 2001
    3
    Brutally cynical story about a modern American middle class family. No redeeming qualities. If it wasn't for Spacey and Benning's exceptional acting I'd give it a zero.
  9. 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.
  10. [Anonymous]
    Apr 17, 2004
    3
    The acting is completely pedestrian. Kevin Spacey is as good an actor as my next door neighbor. The philosophical ideas behind it are hardly deep or meaningful. There is nothing redeeming about it, and all of the characters are completely devoid of any qualities that make me care for them in any way. It was a totally average film. The only reason I give it a 3 is because the The acting is completely pedestrian. Kevin Spacey is as good an actor as my next door neighbor. The philosophical ideas behind it are hardly deep or meaningful. There is nothing redeeming about it, and all of the characters are completely devoid of any qualities that make me care for them in any way. It was a totally average film. The only reason I give it a 3 is because the cinematography was fairly well done. Not Hitchcock, Woody Allen or Bergman, but not bad either. Expand
  11. Aug 28, 2010
    10
    This movie is incredible. It will change your life in an undescribable way. Everything from the opening sequence to the last 5 minutes will leave you in awe.
  12. Apr 24, 2011
    10
    This movie is perfect, at least under the context I see it under. It was this film that inspired me to watch other movies and personally it's one of my favorite movies out there. There's better ones of coarse, but this one is the one I decide to hold on to, because of the impact it had when I saw it for the first time. It is a memorable piece, that runs deep and uses the color red toThis movie is perfect, at least under the context I see it under. It was this film that inspired me to watch other movies and personally it's one of my favorite movies out there. There's better ones of coarse, but this one is the one I decide to hold on to, because of the impact it had when I saw it for the first time. It is a memorable piece, that runs deep and uses the color red to foreshadow the lives of our dear beloved protagonists. Expand
  13. Nov 30, 2013
    9
    A wonderfully unique and powerful film. The script is so sharp and the acting is nothing less than superb. It is enticing to watch and certainly leaves a lasting impression. A must see movie!
  14. Nov 12, 2012
    10
    Has it all. Even prepubescent nudity, which may not be a very good thing...but it has it.
  15. DanielP.
    Sep 22, 2007
    8
    A brilliant film, that shows forbidden love and family destruction.
  16. MovieLover
    Nov 16, 2001
    0
    One of the most overrated and stupidest films I have ever seen. Nothing impresses me. They tried to make it look like a masterpiece. It didn't work at all.
  17. Oct 18, 2010
    10
    I love how the film captures the strangest of all locations: Surburbia. Many of us who live in surburbia can relate to this awkward black comedy which makes you realise we are all a bit crazy really. Possibly the strangest element of the film is the lust Kevin Spacey has for his daughters friend. Although incredibly disturbing its also seems to make you love the main character even moreI love how the film captures the strangest of all locations: Surburbia. Many of us who live in surburbia can relate to this awkward black comedy which makes you realise we are all a bit crazy really. Possibly the strangest element of the film is the lust Kevin Spacey has for his daughters friend. Although incredibly disturbing its also seems to make you love the main character even more and that can't have been achieved without some hard work and dedication. Expand
  18. JohnM.
    Feb 9, 2001
    3
    Uses a lot of bad stereotypes and purposes that self gratifacation brings true happiness. Glorifies dishonesty and deceit.
  19. [Anonymous]
    Apr 17, 2004
    3
    The acting is completely pedestrian. Kevin Spacey is as good an actor as my next door neighbor. The philosophical ideas behind it are hardly deep or meaningful. There is nothing redeeming about it, and all of the characters are completely devoid of any qualities that make me care for them in any way. It was a totally average film. The only reason I give it a 3 is because the The acting is completely pedestrian. Kevin Spacey is as good an actor as my next door neighbor. The philosophical ideas behind it are hardly deep or meaningful. There is nothing redeeming about it, and all of the characters are completely devoid of any qualities that make me care for them in any way. It was a totally average film. The only reason I give it a 3 is because the cinematography was fairly well done. Not Hitchcock, Woody Allen or Bergman, but not bad either. Expand
  20. 'garman
    Aug 13, 2009
    3
    Entertaining in the way of a freak show. As irresistible a view as an accident scene. Hollywood cynicism par excellence. I made it through the movie without losing my dinner, but nearly lost it watching them all gush in the ludicrously named "Behind the Scenes Featurette".
  21. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    American Beauty is a triumph of acting, writing, and directing. Writer Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes truly strike gold with this jaw-dropping, entrancing film. It's truly one of the best films I've ever seen.
  22. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    I have never seen a movie that cogently blends together elements of a pragmatic social satire and a poignant domestic tragedy. Though, this is by far one of the most messed up films I have ever seen. . .it is also one of the best. When you have an incredible cast, an intelligent director, a brilliant screenplay, and amazing camerawork and music, all of these parts seem to fall into placeI have never seen a movie that cogently blends together elements of a pragmatic social satire and a poignant domestic tragedy. Though, this is by far one of the most messed up films I have ever seen. . .it is also one of the best. When you have an incredible cast, an intelligent director, a brilliant screenplay, and amazing camerawork and music, all of these parts seem to fall into place and work cohesively to create a masterpiece.. Expand
  23. MarshallM.
    Oct 30, 2005
    3
    I do not know why the critics liked it so much! sure, there's some decent acting, but the charaters are all bad people and they are hard to like. i DO agree with ken B., they're just trying to see how far they can go, pushing the limits is what gets u oscar nominations.
  24. AlesandroR.
    Oct 20, 2003
    1
    Self-conscious film about how bad it is to have a job and live in a country where bombs aren't falling on your head. Mainly, though, it's social points are all too obvious and hard to believe. With the partial exception of the main character, most of the film is like pointing at middle America and saying: "See, you're all screwed up." I laughed unintentionally a few times. Self-conscious film about how bad it is to have a job and live in a country where bombs aren't falling on your head. Mainly, though, it's social points are all too obvious and hard to believe. With the partial exception of the main character, most of the film is like pointing at middle America and saying: "See, you're all screwed up." I laughed unintentionally a few times. Reaks of Hollywood's social thinking. Expand
  25. KenB.
    Jul 7, 2004
    1
    I honestly think the real purpose of this movie was to push the limit of the acceptability of child pornography. Kevin Spacey doesn't lust after an 8 year old, that would be too shocking. But a 40+ year old man lusting after a 15 year old girl is wrong, at least in this country. I know tons of pro and amatuer critics loved this movie, but I just can't get past the child porn I honestly think the real purpose of this movie was to push the limit of the acceptability of child pornography. Kevin Spacey doesn't lust after an 8 year old, that would be too shocking. But a 40+ year old man lusting after a 15 year old girl is wrong, at least in this country. I know tons of pro and amatuer critics loved this movie, but I just can't get past the child porn issue to appreciate anything about this movie. If I could give it a negative 100 to balance out some of the tens, I would. Expand
  26. chrisl
    Jun 5, 2009
    0
    A really awful overblown and pompous film with very poor directing extremely awkward dialogue, and terrible acting. Kevin Spacey in particular was really tight and bland in his role.
  27. Robert
    Feb 8, 2003
    10
    Excellent movie, one of my personal favorites. The spectacular acting and great plot combine to make this an incredible movie.
  28. Josh
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    An amazing story with awesome, very creative, plot twists and the such.
  29. HarryE.
    Jun 8, 2007
    10
    This film definitely is one of my all time favourites with such beautiful moments combined with great satire and sadness. Spacey and Bening are flawless.
  30. ThomasR.
    Apr 13, 2008
    10
    One of the best movies I've ever seen. Maybe it isn't everything the critics want in a movie, but it was everything I wanted.
  31. JesseS.
    Jan 1, 2002
    10
    The best movie ever made.
  32. AdamE.
    Jan 10, 2003
    9
    A beautifully made and wonderfully acted dark comedy masterpiece. Spacey might not be the best actor in the world but in this film his performance was excellent. What looks like a satire on middle-aged american men proves to be much more.
  33. MihaG.
    May 3, 2003
    10
    Underrated. This movie is simply perfect. Good camera, atmosphere, great characters -- Spacey rules. Story is also perfect but many people don't understand that the story is happening INSIDE the main character -- everything else is just a background, a sub-story, also perfectly designed and implemented.
  34. Canadianteen
    Jun 29, 2003
    10
    This movie was completely hilarious and at the same time very serious. It actually made me think, and very few movies every make you think and consider your life. By far it was one of the best movies I've ever watched and anyone coming from a little city knows how many movies a little city teen watches.
  35. Uter
    Sep 7, 2003
    7
    I bought this without seeing it 1st. Since it won the Oscar for best picture I was quite sure I'd like it a lot. But I was disappointed. It was well done, but really nothing exciting happens besides at the conclusion. I've since sold my dvd, and have no regrets or wishes to see it again.
  36. AndrewA.
    Jan 10, 2004
    10
    Still an all-time classic--as good and pertinent today as it was when it first came out.
  37. GerardM.
    Jul 22, 2004
    10
    I must say that the reviews i have read saying that this film is child pornography is total rubbish. If viewers are afraid to watch something with a depth go back to the little mermaid. This film is a very important social commentary that implies the fabric of the family institution is diminishing.
  38. B.J.S.
    Aug 12, 2004
    10
    This is an extremely well thought out movie. Then way that they used the camera angles and lenses to single out people or make things almost go un noticed. It also had a strong plot that allowed the director to use these editing and filming tequniques to their fullest. Its a brilliant piece of film making that gets better every time you watch it.
  39. SebaD.
    Feb 2, 2006
    10
    Thanks God for the finest red wine, for the beautifull ladies and for let me see this movie. American Beauty. A clasic. One of the best films ever made. Bening terrific. If i wasn t seen The usual suspects, this film probably be the reason of kevin Spacey bank account. Amazing, Spacey is amaizing.
  40. MarkS.
    Jul 5, 2006
    9
    Bland says the Village Voice? Bland? Uh, yeah, right. If ya don't like it, fine, but that is one of the most inappropriate criticisms one could use for American Beauty. Strong, strong film and characters. Very strong.
  41. JakeB.
    Aug 9, 2006
    10
    A beautiful piece of work by first time director Sam Mendes. Easily one of the most accomplished film debuts in the history of cinema. The story centers around a man named Lester Burnham (the wonderful Oscar winning Kevin Spacey) a man who has lost passion in his life. His wife Caroline (Annette Benning in an equally stunning performance) is a workaholic real estate agent. Both are A beautiful piece of work by first time director Sam Mendes. Easily one of the most accomplished film debuts in the history of cinema. The story centers around a man named Lester Burnham (the wonderful Oscar winning Kevin Spacey) a man who has lost passion in his life. His wife Caroline (Annette Benning in an equally stunning performance) is a workaholic real estate agent. Both are frustrated with their marriage which is basically just for show. Sexually frustrated Lest lusts for one of his daughter's (Thora Birch) girlfriends,Anglea (Menna Suvari). This lust begins Lester's search for happiness in life, so he quits his job and begins to flip burgers just like when he was a kid. Caroline is very frustrated with the fact that she has to be the breadwinner of the family and has an affair. Meanwhile the boy next door, Ricky is videotaping the Burnhams the daughter Jane in particular. The two strike a chord with each other and begin a romantic relationship. Ricky's father, Frank is a homophobe who suspect Ricky is homosexual because he is spending some time with Lester, of course this is not true. All Ricky is doing is scoring Lester some drugs. As the story progresses Lester gets used to Angela, and Angela starts to warm up to Lester. There are some wonderfully, gut busting scenes involving razor sharp deliveries by both Benning and Spacey. Both give brilliant performances. Many film play the : SUBURBIA AINT SO PERFECT! card, this one gets it right. Overall: A+ Expand
  42. SB.
    Apr 22, 2007
    10
    American Beauty is my favourite film of all time, followed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mulhholand Drive. It is a near perfect movie. It's use of "cliche" is very deliberate. Each scene is flawlessly connected with the underlying theme, symbolized in red. If you don't understand what I am talking about, you need to rewatch the movie. Then Alan Ball gives us Six American Beauty is my favourite film of all time, followed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mulhholand Drive. It is a near perfect movie. It's use of "cliche" is very deliberate. Each scene is flawlessly connected with the underlying theme, symbolized in red. If you don't understand what I am talking about, you need to rewatch the movie. Then Alan Ball gives us Six Feet Under - Genius. Expand
  43. joj
    Jan 7, 2010
    7
    I remember this movie coming out when I was younger, but knew I had no hopes of watching a film whose cover depicted little more than a woman's naval. That being said, it is perhaps all of the hype I've seen this film accumulate over the years that caused me to be a litte underwhelmed by it. Now I'm not saying that the movie doesn't accomplish what it set out to do or I remember this movie coming out when I was younger, but knew I had no hopes of watching a film whose cover depicted little more than a woman's naval. That being said, it is perhaps all of the hype I've seen this film accumulate over the years that caused me to be a litte underwhelmed by it. Now I'm not saying that the movie doesn't accomplish what it set out to do or all of the things that people tend to praise it for: it was meaningful, touching, unique and had wonderful character development. I'm actually quite glad I of the fact that I didn't see this as a child, as I would have likely gotten little more from it than a few images of the elusive female breasts. I did, however, find myself continuously picking out little nuisances that really took away from the whole experience. Of course I'm sure a lot of the things I found to be "wrong" weren't actually shortcomings in the film itself, but more just my own personal disatisfactions. I probably would have given it a 9 had I not had more time to reflect on it as a whole. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't go into this expecting an absolutely perfect movie, instead expect a poignant and often humorous story that has lost a bit of its relevance over the years. Collapse
  44. JessJ.
    Nov 23, 2002
    10
    This movie is superb. It is an absolute masterpiece which is beautifully acted.
  45. SantinoS.
    Oct 13, 2002
    9
    This is the best film about american suburbia (of course viewed with a jaundiced eye) that i've watched. its a good thing a brit directed this coz i think he brought perspective to the story. spacey gives the performance of his career so far, bening was excellent and so were the younger actors birch, bentley and suvari. really makes u think about american family life.
  46. BrandonY.
    Jan 28, 2002
    10
    A great movie to watch time and time again! The acting is superb and the themes are well thought out and provoking. A definite buy for anyone's DVD collection! The bonus features are also interesting to scope out.
  47. ZachP.
    Aug 28, 2002
    10
    Spacey has it, and shares it with us all throughout the entire film. The rest of the cast was perfect as well. I'd give this movie a twenty if I could, and dare filmmakers to try to better it in the next five years. If they can. In a word: "Spectacular"
  48. MarcS.
    Jan 15, 2003
    9
    A beautifully shot and darkly comic masterpiece. Kevin Spacey is excellent as the man desperately trying to do something with his life. I particularly enjoyed the work of Chris Cooper in the role of the neighbor, as well as Annette Bening as Lester's wife. A very well done tragicomedy.
  49. PatC.
    Dec 18, 2003
    10
    This movie has a number of problems. Not everyone will be able to resolve them. I was, and realized the movie had anticipated them beforehand. The premise became clear: The more freedom we establish for ourselves, the more vulnerable we are to the misunderstandings of our families and neighbors. We struggle. Most misunderstandings we resolve, but inevitably one of them does us in. This movie has a number of problems. Not everyone will be able to resolve them. I was, and realized the movie had anticipated them beforehand. The premise became clear: The more freedom we establish for ourselves, the more vulnerable we are to the misunderstandings of our families and neighbors. We struggle. Most misunderstandings we resolve, but inevitably one of them does us in. That's the problem, but also the beauty of the American lifestyle. Every once in a while Hollywood needs to turn out a show like this to justify its existence. Expand
  50. AlbertK.
    Feb 14, 2003
    9
    This is a very good comedy, that reflects the actual family of the U.S. Also, the parlament of this movie is very strong, making to the public think about what the hell is going on with our society........that in fact, the core of the society is the family.
  51. MaurícioG.
    Apr 30, 2003
    10
    One of my favourite 7 movies. It's philosophical, psychological debate at its best.
  52. NickT.
    Jun 25, 2003
    10
    This is probably my favorite movie...Ever. The way that Mendes presents it is flawless. The way that the camera is moved, and kept still set the tone for the movie perfectly. As does the music. Some of the music in the movie can be haunting yet awe inspiring at the same time. Although Spacey and Benning did give the best performances in the movie, Birch and Bentley's were overlooked. This is probably my favorite movie...Ever. The way that Mendes presents it is flawless. The way that the camera is moved, and kept still set the tone for the movie perfectly. As does the music. Some of the music in the movie can be haunting yet awe inspiring at the same time. Although Spacey and Benning did give the best performances in the movie, Birch and Bentley's were overlooked. I just absolutey love this movie, and I never get tired of it. I don't understand how people can give it such a low scores.....THEY'RE JUST MEANIES.....MEANIES, YOU NEED TO STOP BEING MEAN! Expand
  53. TimB.
    Jul 16, 2003
    8
    This is a fantastic movie. Though it hardly needs to be said, Spacey and Bening were absolutely wonderful. Thora Birch as Jane does a beautiful job filling a role that is not written as well as I felt it might have been. A few scenes felt almost too familiar, to the extent that I could call out dialogue before it was spoken -- whether this is a result of predictable writing or the feeling This is a fantastic movie. Though it hardly needs to be said, Spacey and Bening were absolutely wonderful. Thora Birch as Jane does a beautiful job filling a role that is not written as well as I felt it might have been. A few scenes felt almost too familiar, to the extent that I could call out dialogue before it was spoken -- whether this is a result of predictable writing or the feeling of empathy this movie inspires is unclear with just one viewing. Nonetheless, I found myself smiling, laughing, clapping, staring blankly, and wearing a disconnected sneer at various points throughout the movie. I won't go so far as to call anything offered here "deep" or "philosophical" -- in fact, at several points, I expected the movie to transition into a "Fight Club" of sorts -- but it's a very good movie with inspired performances by all involved, and well worth seeing. Expand
  54. DerekT.
    Sep 12, 2003
    10
    My favorite film of all-time.
  55. PaulB.
    Feb 7, 2004
    10
    This movie is a absolute masterpiece Kevin spacey is a complete genius.
  56. EmmaR.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    I love this film; its superb cast and original script make it an interesting viewing experience the second and third time around. Potent and well placed symbolism is skillfully combined with alternating dark and hopeful moods in the film.
  57. 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
  58. EfrainC
    Oct 23, 2006
    9
    Procrastinating film based in the empty life of an ordinary family and the existentialistic problem of life. An excellent point about the concept of beauty of life. (Pay attention around you!). Very good move with some moral contradictions. I recommend it!
  59. FelixQ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    9
    Kevin Spacey is a genius. The man is, without a doubt, one of our era's most under-appreciated talents. This movie plays it's quirks so well, and gleams with a polish that few movies ever achieve. It knows when to down-play, and when to vamp. Few movies I've seen have pulled me in this well. It scandalized my grandmother, which just told me in advance I'd love it;) But Kevin Spacey is a genius. The man is, without a doubt, one of our era's most under-appreciated talents. This movie plays it's quirks so well, and gleams with a polish that few movies ever achieve. It knows when to down-play, and when to vamp. Few movies I've seen have pulled me in this well. It scandalized my grandmother, which just told me in advance I'd love it;) But it blended each of the elements it attempted so well, that there are no visible seams, and- to use one of my favorite phrases- grabs the niche and owns it. Expand
  60. HannahF.
    Oct 11, 2007
    10
    I am merely a young girl and am certainly not allowed to watch a movie like this one, but I fatefully came upon it, and was stunned. Never before had I seen a movie this thought-provoking or plainly beautiful. It is a daring movie you never see, with its witty and realistic look at the "American Dream". Hearing a teenage boy speak of the world and all its splendor, I found myself crying I am merely a young girl and am certainly not allowed to watch a movie like this one, but I fatefully came upon it, and was stunned. Never before had I seen a movie this thought-provoking or plainly beautiful. It is a daring movie you never see, with its witty and realistic look at the "American Dream". Hearing a teenage boy speak of the world and all its splendor, I found myself crying and really pondering everything ever to happen in my life. A truly wonderful movie! Expand
  61. DandyPants
    Apr 23, 2007
    10
    Superb movie. Although it probably wouldn't have received a 10 if Spacey wasn't playing the lead. Easily the most convincing and memorable character / performance ever. It's clear that many of the "reviewers" of this movie didn't understand the underlying themes. Although family is a part of the movie, it is not the central theme. The portrayal of family life is Superb movie. Although it probably wouldn't have received a 10 if Spacey wasn't playing the lead. Easily the most convincing and memorable character / performance ever. It's clear that many of the "reviewers" of this movie didn't understand the underlying themes. Although family is a part of the movie, it is not the central theme. The portrayal of family life is incidental, and is only part of the bigger picture. One reviewer said that the movie relied on "rote cliche" and as pointed out by another reviewer, this is deliberate. Ultimately the film is about the desire to be free and the consequences of this desire in American culture. A culture that supposedly is based on freedom. Lester wants to be free from his career and his dominant wife. Carolyn wants to be free from her own meticulous nature and self-doubt. Jayney wants to be free from her parents. Ricky wants to be free from his Dad's expectations. Frank wants to be free to express his homosexuality. Angela wants to be free to be herself but for whatever reason plays a role instead. Despite living in the land of the free, every character experiences great difficulty in being who they want to be and the consequences for their desires are great. [***SPOILER***]Lester is eventually killed, Carolyn's marriage is ruined and her lover ends the relationship. Ricky is estranged from his father. Frank murders to keep his secret and so on. It is clear that one has to find a balance between the desire to be free and the social responsibilites that we live by. The movie concludes that happiness and beauty is not in the grandiose religious, familial and economic pressures of 'ordinary' life, but is found in the daily appreciation of the little things we ignore as we try to 'succeed'. We all want to be free, but the way we live doesn't allow us to be. Expand
  62. WesM.
    Jul 29, 2008
    10
    Some of the most diverse, enjoyable character-driven drama out there!
  63. AnkurM.
    Dec 16, 2009
    10
    A brilliant piece of cinema, very genuine, intense and grabs your attention easily. Kevin Spacy delivers an impeccable performence, Thora Birch is excellent. A film about just life, just like getting to know a family next door. The film has a lot to offer, very fine drama.
  64. BarryP
    Feb 1, 2009
    10
    I have never been so captivated by a film. I was totally mesmerized and I am lost for words. Incredible and it is instantly one of the best I have ever seen in my life. Words cannot properly describe how powerful this film is so if you haven't see it I suggest you do so. Wow.
  65. MingV
    Aug 11, 2009
    10
    The best a contemporary American drama can be.
  66. MichaelM.
    Oct 27, 2001
    10
    One of the Best movies ever made. Truthful story and brilliant acting all come together to form one of the greatest movies of this century!!
  67. CoryB.
    Apr 25, 2001
    10
    This was the best movie I've ever seen. I want to meet the person who wrote this movie. I'm amazed. Period.
  68. RyanM.
    May 28, 2001
    10
    One of the greatest films ever made! "Beauty" is funny and depressing. Anyone who hasn't seen this movie should. It has a contreversial ending that riveted me.
  69. NedD.
    Sep 14, 2001
    10
    Brilliant in every department. An examination of suburbia that is acute in its accuracy. Top-notch acting and directing and a razor-sharp script help make "American Beauty" an instant American classic.
  70. RyanT.
    Jul 25, 2002
    10
    Simply put it's a masterpiece. Kevin Spacey gives a truly amazing performance as a man going through a midlife crisis. The movie was very shocking and brillantly directed by Sam Mendes and deserved every academy award it got.
  71. Mads
    Dec 24, 2003
    10
    This is within no doubt one of my favourite movies. It really makes you think....
  72. [Anonymous]
    Jul 25, 2003
    10
    A great movie.
  73. BenW.
    Aug 28, 2003
    10
    F....ng brilliant... one of the best films ever made.
  74. YoonC.
    Sep 13, 2003
    6
    Pointless satire with straw targets and a message that is embarassing doped out New Age claptrap.
  75. Jeremy
    Sep 29, 2003
    10
    A stunning film-hillarious in parts as a black comedy, devastating as a tragedy, and observant and right on target as a dramatic commentary on middle-class families.
  76. AndrewM.
    May 12, 2004
    9
    So many comments commenting on this film's messages and views... Yes, they are there; some are blatant, some are discreet. Whatever I took from this movie, I did so on a sub-concious level, because I paid no immediate attention to what the filmmakers were supposedly saying. What I did instead, was simply watch and enjoy a great great film, one that was entertaining, moving and So many comments commenting on this film's messages and views... Yes, they are there; some are blatant, some are discreet. Whatever I took from this movie, I did so on a sub-concious level, because I paid no immediate attention to what the filmmakers were supposedly saying. What I did instead, was simply watch and enjoy a great great film, one that was entertaining, moving and obviously personal. Expand
  77. abak.
    Nov 27, 2005
    10
    A classic.
  78. RobertB.
    Feb 27, 2005
    10
    Amazing movie. Great acting all around by the outstanding cast, great plot, just an overall excellent movie. If you are the type of person who is uptight enough to worry whether a curse word is uttered on television, you might not enjoy this movie. Anyone who has an open mind, however, will, I believe, find this to be a tremendously interesting and engaging film.
  79. GlennM.
    Jul 23, 2005
    10
    This movie is awsome first off, and whats "ken b."s problem she has to be eighteen at least or else its illegal, i guess your just to up tight its rated R anyways.
  80. AkhilK
    Jul 27, 2005
    10
    Intelligent, charming, sad and incredibly funny, American Beauty had me admiring its every moment and excited for the next. The best scene has to be when Wes Bentley revealed his favorite movie he made to Birch. His every word was carefully written and acted out as it literally made my heart ache. This movie has the power to turn your life around. Please go see it.
  81. MarcusD.
    Jan 25, 2006
    10
    Excellent movie. It's all about finding out what you want and not letting society dictate your attitude and life. Great performance by Kevin Spacey.
  82. JB
    Aug 11, 2006
    10
    An excellent film about ordinary flawed people and their veiled but ever present search for greater meaning, with comedy served on the side.
  83. GraceB.
    Nov 3, 2007
    9
    This movie is going down as one of my all time faves. It's one of those stories that stick with you, that you don't forget about the second the movie's over. It's alot like Garden State with great detail in each and every character, and I'm sure that everyone can find a little of themselves in each one. Captivating film.
  84. ChristopherJ.
    Mar 21, 2007
    7
    This movie had some uncomfortable twists, and I appreciated all of them. The tension was almost unbearable for me at times, but the releases were satisfying enough. When the husband throws a dinner plate across the room, I almost wet myself. Some nudity parts and parental abuse parts could have been removed or toned down to improve the overall quality, but overall a fun film to watch.
  85. PatrickD.
    Jun 29, 2007
    10
    Touching, beautiful and very original.
  86. RogelioG
    Nov 13, 2009
    10
    I absolutely loved this movie! Very entertaining and dramatic. What ever message, if any, the director was trying to send, i don't care. The acting was great and so was the plot. A very watchable movie for mature audiences.
  87. 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
  88. KatieP.
    Dec 22, 2003
    10
    One of the more realistic films of our time.
  89. 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
  90. Feb 15, 2011
    9
    Such a great film. The acting in it was superb and the casting for it was dead-on. The actors did their jobs 100%. Furthermore, the crew for that film did an amazing job. The writing was perfect and shots were incredible. Personally I don't have much to say about it negatively. I suppose sometimes it gets a little too melodramatic but the black humor more than makes up for it.
  91. May 25, 2011
    10
    Alan Ball's writing is genius, Kevin's acting is groundbreaking, Annette is funny, and the director is one of the best.
    long story short, the Oscars that were given to this movie were all deserved.
  92. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    this is a very good one, very nice and interesting story, and the end is incredible.
    highly recommended
  93. Sep 26, 2011
    9
    Not just a great, but an IMPORTANT movie.
    90% of people who hate it do so because they are painfully reminded of the fact that their safe, mediocre, success-driven middle-class lives look as dire as the protagonist's.
  94. Dec 14, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view.
  95. Apr 21, 2012
    10
    A truly extraordinary dark drama/comedy. A movie that will make each and every one of us sit and appreciate life. "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."
  96. Mar 31, 2012
    7
    Amercian Beauty is a good film not great. It is a good movie thats shows forbidden love and family destruction. Kevin Spacey and the entire cast were great.
  97. May 8, 2012
    9
    For me the year 1999 has to be one of the best years in film. That was a year of some really interesting and intriguing films, films that include Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, The Sixth Sense, Star Wars Episode 1, and The Matrix. It seems that something happened to the filmmakers that year and they decided to make more risky and maybe more films that reflect the usual manâ
  98. Aug 25, 2012
    10
    The word classic is one thrown around the film industry too often these days, it is only when you watch a film such American Beauty that the true nature and prowess of inspirational filmmaking can be seen. The film to end all others in a sense that none could ever live up to its masterful performances, witty script and direction extra-ordinaire. A must-see, as many times as you can, itThe word classic is one thrown around the film industry too often these days, it is only when you watch a film such American Beauty that the true nature and prowess of inspirational filmmaking can be seen. The film to end all others in a sense that none could ever live up to its masterful performances, witty script and direction extra-ordinaire. A must-see, as many times as you can, it truly lives up to the name. Cherish it, films such as these can come just once in a lifetime Expand
  99. Mar 23, 2013
    9
    A Film I Could Never Get Tired Of! The Score Of This Movie Is The Best I'v Heard In Years!
  100. Oct 30, 2014
    9
    From director Sam Mendes and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball American Beauty follows the final days of Lester, a middle-class man whose marriage and life is on the rocks. Lester is not liked by his wife or daughter and is about to be sacked from his job. As a result he decides to live his life exactly how he wants, to the further frustration of his family.

    The film deservedly won five
    From director Sam Mendes and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball American Beauty follows the final days of Lester, a middle-class man whose marriage and life is on the rocks. Lester is not liked by his wife or daughter and is about to be sacked from his job. As a result he decides to live his life exactly how he wants, to the further frustration of his family.

    The film deservedly won five Academy Awards including best picture, best director and best actor. Writer Alan Ball delivers a clever and darkly humorous script much in the vein of the excellent Six Feet Under and the cast are uniformly brilliant, particularly Kevin Spacey in the lead role. American Beauty provides a fascinating insight into what might be going on behind the closed doors of seemingly normal suburban households and is certainly a movie worth seeing.
    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. 83
    Though excellent in many ways, American Beauty is, finally, an uneasy mix of assured technique and simplistic satire.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    Kevin Spacey (gives) a truly great performance.
  3. A ruthless dissection of suburban malaise.