User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 102
  2. Negative: 10 out of 102
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  1. Jan 19, 2015
    0
    Erin Cochran ... directs this mess like a substitute teacher soldiering through a day's work for a day's pay. The camera shakes uncontrollably. [I am Sam] is ludicrous, manipulative and shamelessly over-sentimental.
  2. Dec 14, 2014
    9
    I don't understand why this movie received such terrible reviews from the critics, because it is one of the best film I have seen ever. Period. A film involving a true ethical dilemma. It hard not to get emotionally involved with the film. Sean Penn is amazing in the lead role, which if it had have been released a different it likely would have won him an Oscar (Penn lost the 2002 toI don't understand why this movie received such terrible reviews from the critics, because it is one of the best film I have seen ever. Period. A film involving a true ethical dilemma. It hard not to get emotionally involved with the film. Sean Penn is amazing in the lead role, which if it had have been released a different it likely would have won him an Oscar (Penn lost the 2002 to Denzel Washington for his role in Training Day, which is hard to object). Michelle Pfeiffer was also great in her role as she develops more and more throughout the film. Sam is a character that is as lovable as any character could ever be. His meetings with his friends are great scenes to watch, they are very cute. Expand
  3. Jul 8, 2014
    10
    Truly an amazing Masterpiece, a very deep yet touching movie, i don't always watch a Drama, but this one is Different, i highly recommend it ( it's a must ! )
  4. 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
  5. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    Why don't the critics like this? It was so realistic and wonderful. The critics are being bad at their job. >:l Yes watchers, pretty much all love this. This is EPICCCC
  6. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    It may be overly sweet, but it's still an engaging film with one of Sean Penn's greatest performances sealed within it.
  7. 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.
  8. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    I truly loved it. what a great performance from penn as well as fanning's. A beautiful and lovely story with a great sense on values and the meaning of perseverance. Highly recommended. Metascore 28 doesn't give it credit
  9. Nov 10, 2010
    9
    A metascore of 28, must be a joke. i never thought my opinion would be so contrary to the critics. it was a beautiful movie and great casting. It is true what Chicago Sun-times wrote that every device of the movie is designed is to convince us Lucy must stay with Sam even though common sense makes it impossible to go the distance with the premise, but this doesn't make it a bad movie. IA metascore of 28, must be a joke. i never thought my opinion would be so contrary to the critics. it was a beautiful movie and great casting. It is true what Chicago Sun-times wrote that every device of the movie is designed is to convince us Lucy must stay with Sam even though common sense makes it impossible to go the distance with the premise, but this doesn't make it a bad movie. I would recommend it to anybody who looks for a touching movie, which also makes you laugh sometimes. Expand
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.