User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 98
  2. Negative: 9 out of 98

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  1. Nov 26, 2013
    0
    "You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed..."

    Kirk Lazarus
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    4
    I agree the movie was pretty cheesy and tacky for its taste but seriously, "I am Sam" doesn't deserve this much hate.
Metascore
28

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 33
  2. Negative: 19 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    40
    As the director of this noble weepie, Nelson so overuses visual tricks -- zooms, zip pans and multiple perspectives on a simple scene -- that she turns the viewer into an exasperated parent; this is a directorial style in need of a spanking.
  2. 40
    By-the-numbers Oscar bait -- but Penn does manage, against such odds, to make us see Sam as a person, not a performance.
  3. 30
    Contrived, manipulative and shamelessly sentimental, this film is notable for the courageous reach of Sean Penn, who gives a bold, heartfelt performance.