Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The story of Mark Borchardt, the ultimate independent filmmaker from Wisconsin, who attempts to raise money to finish "Coven," his short film, in order to have the funds to produce his next vision. Borchardt relies on his best friend and his mother to fill many roles in the process including acting and camera operating, and he even convinces his old Uncle Bill to invest in his film. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Sara Raskin
    Near-perfect editing, and cleverly poignant dialogue.
  2. 100
    A revealing, intimate, quirky and generous portrait of nothing less than the American Dream.
  3. 100
    A very funny, sometimes very sad documentary.
  4. 83
    But this is pretty honest and true filmmaking, nonetheless; try as you might, you can't detect the leer of the satirist.
  5. 80
    Touching, frequently hilarious.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    Like its subject, American Movie works entirely on its own quirky terms.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It seems more a geek show than a slab of marketing wizardry.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. MilwaukeeJoe1
    Sep 20, 2005
    Hilarious and tragic. More funny than any hollywood fabrication. Tender at times and crass at others. I love that the Super Bowl bound Packers provided a subplot to this classic. Pabst became cool here. or was it blue velvet? Expand
  2. May 1, 2014
    This movie starts out slow but before you realize it you are engrossed a true slice of life reality show. Coming away from this movie you feel you know these people and would love to share a beer or two with them. They let you into their lives as if they didn't know they were being filmed......unlike most TV "reality" shows where the characters are obviously playing to the camera.....There are some things that are hard to put into words, and American Movie is one of them.

    If you let yourself get past the first few minutes you'll be hooked
  3. Oct 21, 2011
    It's clear to me in reading the negative reviews that those people really missed the point of what this whole film was about. To this day, this movie remains one of my favorite documentaries of all time. The more you watch it, the more you realize that there is a little Mark Borschardt in all of us, a wild-eyed dreamer. While the realities of his life are stark and his relationships with his family and children seem dysfunctional, he is an entertaining figure with idealism that is larger than life. Expand
  4. AdamS.
    Aug 28, 2005
    Made me feel sick inside. Extremely depressing.

See all 10 User Reviews