An American Rhapsody


Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    Nastassja Kinski, in one of her most affecting performances, does much to convey the turmoil going in her soul.
  2. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Although there's a certain connect-the-dots quality to the storytelling, there's no denying the care and craftsmanship that Gardos has brought to her debut film.
  3. 75
    The heartfelt truthfulness of Gardos' tale, and the performances of all leads, particularly Johansson, make the film a powerful account of the universal search for identity and the meaning of "home."
  4. Made with care and respect, American Rhapsody manages to skirt the edge of excessive sentiment without falling victim to it.
  5. 67
    Has an unerring eye for the banal intricacies of 1950s pre-planned suburban neighborhoods, à la Levittown.
  6. Distinguishes itself by its subtlety and good taste. Even if we catch a hint of gypsy music on the soundtrack -- or glimpse a disturbing American neighbor lady -- Gardos steadfastly guards us from caricature. She wants to keep it real.
  7. 60
    Ms. Gardos is not a particularly flavorful filmmaker, but she is an honest one.
  8. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Kevin Maynard
    Its emotional sweep is ultimately undercut by murky characterizations and generic plotting.
  9. The result is a heartfelt film brimming with ideas and passion but hampered by a literal approach that douses the emotional heat.
  10. It's a case of the heart being in the right place, but the script getting in the way.
  11. The glammed-up Kinski looks the same age throughout and only has three expressions: angry, wistful, and someone's-killed-my-dog.
  12. 50
    Rhapsody fails to completely hook you, perhaps because the events happen so quickly you barely have time to sort out the characters.
  13. 50
    It's in the teenage section where the film goes seriously wrong and veers from an absorbing family story.
  14. 50
    For a movie with such a vibrant real-life base, An American Rhapsody is surprisingly low-impact.
  15. 50
    Two-thirds of the way through, it falls apart into TV-movie-of-the-week land, even with the rhapsodic Nastassja Kinski in the lead.
  16. Heartfelt but often plodding and awkward, the movie feels like a somewhat subpar Sunday night TV movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    Calculated yet undeniably skillful melodrama.
  18. Gardos -- treats it competently, though without much freshness or imagination.
  19. They don't get more frustrating than American Rhapsody, a near-great film for about an hour that changes into a self-indulgent mess.
  20. While Gardos knows what to ask -- and though Kinski and Johansson both easily command attention -- the filmmaker lacks the storytelling sophistication to answer with anything but prettily rendered cliches.
  21. 40
    The movie is a little crude for the subtlety of the emotions it plays with.
  22. Gardos, an experienced film editor, has little narrative sense, and decent performances (except from Kinski, who just worries and huffs around) are left out to dry.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. CCC
    Dec 6, 2006
    I just watched this movie a second time and adored it as much as the first. Quite complex and beautiful with historical significance, some I just watched this movie a second time and adored it as much as the first. Quite complex and beautiful with historical significance, some wonderful performances and just a tremendous amount of heart. Full Review »