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American Beauty

Drama . Romance

Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation with his daughter's attractive friend.

Actors: Kevin Spacey , Annette Bening , Thora Birch , Wes Bentley , Mena Suvari , Chris Cooper , Scott Bakula , Peter Gallagher , Allison Janney , Sam Robards
Directors: Sam Mendes
Country: USA
Release: 1999-10-01
More Info:
  • Jami Bernard

    A tart, funny and tremendously sobering movie about the deepest recesses of personal unhappiness.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Edward Guthmann

    A wonder of a film -- a luminous, beautifully executed drama that gathers the best cast of the year -- the best American film of the year.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    A singular accomplishment so specifically keyed to Spacey's talents that it mandates going out on a limb to say it contains the performance that will ultimately be regarded as "the one."

    USA Today Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    Spacey is diamond-brilliant in a role that plays as if custom-made for him.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Spacey, an actor who embodies intelligence in his eyes and voice, is the right choice for Lester Burnham.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • William Arnold

    A dynamite comedy-drama that, unless it stiffs big-time at the box office, should be up for multi-Oscar nominations come February.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Bill Gallo

    It gracefully defies the usual categories, gets under your skin in ways you cannot anticipate, then works its way straight toward the heart. It's far and away the bravest and best movie of the year.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Peter Brunette

    Hilarious, slightly sick, and super-edgy ...the acting of its two principals, Annette Bening and Kevin Spacey, is so sublime that it's worth seeing on that grounds alone. Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    A blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Janet Maslin

    If you don't share the film's piercing vision of what really matters, someday you will.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    A script as fresh and distinctive as any produced in the States in recent memory.

    Variety Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    Hilarious, painful and brutally frank.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    A brilliant satirical diagnosis of what's most screwed up about life in this country, especially when it comes to sexual frustration and kiddie porn.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    A brilliant, exhilarating piece of filmmaking. It may even be the best mainstream film of the year thus far.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    (Mendes') film debut shows he can shock not only with noise and nakedness but with subtle observations.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    You know you're in the hands of a true filmmaker when you feel invited, at every turn, to share his sense of entrancement. I got that feeling in just about every frame of American Beauty.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Black comedy of the deepest, richest darkness laid over an aching meditation on the atrophy of dreams.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Surprises you with a kind of hardheaded romanticism.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    A ruthless dissection of suburban malaise.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Robert Horton

    If it is never really as profound as it seems to think it is, American Beauty is consistently entertaining, and it earns points simply for acknowledging that all may not be perfect in the current boom years. Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    A satire whose dead aim stops wounding - and starts making - stereotypes of white middle-classness.

    San Francisco Examiner Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It remains a puzzling dream, vivid in detail and overly obvious in symbolism, fueled by half-digested lumps of malice and wonder. Full Review
  • Ann-Rebecca Laschever

    In the end, the film lacks the skill of its actors and ends up feeling disjointed and confused about its own message.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Christopher Brandon

    A dark comical masterpiece that single-handedly announces the collapse of the American family infrastructure as it exists on the brink of Y2K.

    TNT RoughCut Full Review
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