American Splendor

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 88
  2. Negative: 8 out of 88

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling

User Reviews

  1. russellkruz
    Nov 6, 2006
    10
    fantastic film.
  2. ButteredP.
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    I've seen this move twice and I have to say, it's one of the best I've seen in some time. A great deal of humor lies just beneath the surface, and often times, it's just the absurdity and irony of the situation that is so unbelievably funny. Very inventive mingling of real people with their onscreen correlatives, and while this may be the one movie you'd think I've seen this move twice and I have to say, it's one of the best I've seen in some time. A great deal of humor lies just beneath the surface, and often times, it's just the absurdity and irony of the situation that is so unbelievably funny. Very inventive mingling of real people with their onscreen correlatives, and while this may be the one movie you'd think would not stoop to a happy ending.... well, see for yourself. Expand
  3. BubicarA.
    Sep 10, 2003
    10
    Excellent stuff.
  4. MikeN.
    Sep 7, 2004
    10
    The only thing more amazing about this movie than the acting and plot was the way it was filmed. beautiful mix of reality and filming.
  5. KarenD.
    Aug 21, 2003
    10
    One of the best movies I've ever seen, and a whole new genre!
  6. JosephC.
    Aug 20, 2003
    10
    Doesn't get more ordinarily great than this.
  7. BryceP.
    Aug 30, 2003
    10
    Good movie....no seriously. In a time when movies (My bosses daughter, TLOEG, Uptown Girls, etc.) that should be released with a razor and bucket to all the audience member who need to slit their wrists, this movie really makes me happy. It seems now adays, movie producers have forgotten that adults actually go out and see movies, which is partially true since so many of these parents Good movie....no seriously. In a time when movies (My bosses daughter, TLOEG, Uptown Girls, etc.) that should be released with a razor and bucket to all the audience member who need to slit their wrists, this movie really makes me happy. It seems now adays, movie producers have forgotten that adults actually go out and see movies, which is partially true since so many of these parents with their yuppie kids find the only way to get them out of the house is by shelling out some cash for a movie so the kids can see Freddy vs. Jason for 2 hours. My point is, for any of you who have missed the fealing of watching an actual film created for adults, look no further. Plus, this movie also proves that you can also be funny without have one of your characters eat doggy poop. (Thank you very much American Wedding) Expand
  8. AaronM.
    Sep 18, 2003
    10
    Bub J., let me guess your favorite movies are 2 fast 2 furious, and bad boys II.
  9. CelineS.
    Sep 21, 2003
    10
    I love this movie. one of the most interstingly done movies around.
  10. Damngoodpicture
    Oct 4, 2003
    10
    There's not a movie out there now as funny, real, cranky or touching.
  11. Elliott
    Oct 5, 2003
    8
    By no means a great film, but nevertheless and entertaining one. It got off to a slow start and on many occasions it seemed as though it was begging to be liked. Strong acting all around however, and the approach to the story (from a directing standpoint) was nothing short of brilliant.
  12. JaneH.
    Aug 24, 2003
    10
    Very funny and very moving!
  13. MatthewP.
    Sep 20, 2003
    10
    Top notch. Giamatti and Davis are a revelation, and Pekar is a true working class hero.
  14. JoshW.
    Feb 11, 2004
    9
    It was certainly a great film and Paul Giamatti gave one of the years best performances. Despite how good it is, I personally feel that it got a little too much hype. Lost in Translation is a classic, this was just a great movie.
  15. R.Dalvi
    Apr 11, 2006
    10
    Excellent. Liked the comedy as well as the dramedy. There was the nerd thing which I liked as well. Good movie.
  16. JoeyM.
    Nov 21, 2003
    10
    Giamatti, is should be noted, is splendid in this film. Ignore, for the moment, his uncanny immitation of Pekar. Just watch how he reacts to his first meeting with Davis' character - a mix of longing, self loathing, hope and despair that marks this as one of the most unique performances of the year. In my opinion, easily the best performance by an English speaking actor in the last Giamatti, is should be noted, is splendid in this film. Ignore, for the moment, his uncanny immitation of Pekar. Just watch how he reacts to his first meeting with Davis' character - a mix of longing, self loathing, hope and despair that marks this as one of the most unique performances of the year. In my opinion, easily the best performance by an English speaking actor in the last year. Certainly this movie is not for all tastes - it does not have a conventional story, for example - but as an innovative, funny and moving character studym it is outstanding. Collapse
  17. SamL.
    Oct 26, 2003
    8
    What an exellent film. Wow, I haven't seen a good film in a long time, so this is a nice treat.
  18. ChadS.
    Sep 13, 2003
    10
    "American Splendor" is the best American film since "Almost Famous". You leave the theater feeling great. Sustained laughter, well after the scene is over, may happen to you on two or three occasions. And there's a scene between "Pekar" and his "daughter" that's unbelievably poignant. "American Splendor" reminds you what a film oughta do more often; to lose track of time, "American Splendor" is the best American film since "Almost Famous". You leave the theater feeling great. Sustained laughter, well after the scene is over, may happen to you on two or three occasions. And there's a scene between "Pekar" and his "daughter" that's unbelievably poignant. "American Splendor" reminds you what a film oughta do more often; to lose track of time, because what's happening on the screen seems like the most important thing in the world to you at that moment. "American Splendor" is a meta-movie, but you don't have to be smart or culturally advanced to "get it". It's very accessible. It's not elitist like "Adaptation". Expand
  19. KevinC.
    Feb 11, 2004
    9
    I had just finished watching a terrible movie (Underworld) when I popped this in the VCR. It totally restored my faith in movies. Completely originally done, and unlike any documentary/drama I've ever seen before. It's both humorous and sad at the same time. Very entertaining and excellently well done.
  20. BenA.
    Feb 16, 2004
    9
    VERY good. Well written, and well acted. I liked this movie; its style and direction was quite unique. It was like semi-documentary and semi-biography. Funny, entertaining, worth seeing it.
  21. RobertA.
    Feb 17, 2004
    10
    This movie is just wonderful. i really enjoyed it. Giamatti is great in this film. i didn't know what to expect when i put it in...but it ended up being one of the most uplifting experiences that i have ever had.
  22. SlipS.
    May 16, 2004
    10
    A really unique film. Very interesting, well done, and funny.
  23. J.RyanG.
    Jun 17, 2005
    7
    Technique gets in the way of substance on more than one occasion, but there is plenty of substance here. As a friend once told me, this film is about dreadfully ordinary people becoming something close to extraordinary, looking quite peculiar all the while. If only there were more SCENES - I mean whole, uncut, untouched, straightforward, unabashedly confident and beautiful SCENES.
  24. UnbearableLightness
    Dec 16, 2003
    9
    Although there were some stylistic flourishes I felt would have been better suited for the cutting room floor, I loved this film. I loved it almost as much as I loved both "Crumb" and "Ghost World". Hope Davis is amazing. A film much better suited for her acting talent than "Next Stop Wonderland".
  25. Oct 12, 2010
    7
    Large credit for the appeal of this film is the visionary direction interweaving comic drawings into the film and the masterful performance of Paul Giamatti. Deservedly received awards from independent film festivals such as Sundance.
  26. Sep 27, 2015
    7
    American Splendor is quite the postmodern film. It's an interesting take on life from the POV of a normal eccentric man. The film itself is normal eccentric, neither straightforward nor weird. Those who enjoy aspects of postmodernism such as messiness and infinite regress will likely enjoy American Splendor. And, of course, Paul Giamatti is great in it.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. 88
    One genuine small triumph of American Splendor is that the title isn't ironic. The movie is a splendid, inventive piece of urban Americana about that hardboiled original, Harvey Pekar.
  2. 91
    Thoroughly unique work of art.
  3. It's a humane and witty treatment of an average life that, incidentally, speaks to the worth and inherent drama of average lives.