Weekend B Office DVD and Video Movie Navigator  2000 R Schedule Oscars 2000
American Beauty: Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) decides to make a few changes in his rut of a life, changes that are less midlife crisis than adolescence reborn. The freer he gets, the happier he gets, which is even more maddening to his wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening), and daughter Jane (Thora Birch)--especially when he turns his lustful gaze toward Jane's friend, the sultry Angela (Mena Suvari). Carolyn responds by focusing her attention on real estate colleague Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher).

Compounding the chaos on Robin Hood Trail is the arrival next door of an equally turbulent family: strict Marine Col. Fitts (Chris Cooper), his vacant wife, Barbara (Allison Janney), and his distant son, Ricky (Wes Bentley), who soon develops a fascination with Jane. For more reviews click here














89.33 - Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"

one review pending 

Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing

40 - 65 points 

Go See At Matinee

65- 85 points

Worth Seeing

85-100 points

Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"



Sam Mendes


Alan Ball




 A man becomes intrigued by a young girl, and this fascination sparks him to make some major changes in his life.


Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham
Annette Bening as Carolyn Burnham
Thora Birch as Jane Burnham  


Running Time

1 hr. 58 min


R for sexuality, language, violence and drug content 


Dream Works




Official Site








 The People's Review of American Beauty

Mila Rudic
score = 100
American Beauty is my all time favourite movie. The acting is wonderful and exquisit and the plot is terrific. There is a true message to this movie which we have to look closer at things and even things that to us look ugly and awful are acually as beautiful as the greatest things on earth.

score = 100
comments = Fight Club tried to grasp the concept of emancipation from a materialistic existence, but didn't really get there with it's overdone ending. American Beauty however traces the life of Lester Burnham with supreme skill. Anyone who says this movie stinks is living in the a yuppie frame of mind. I have not seen such a brilliant movie since Fargo, and for those who thought American Beauty didn't speak to them, as Lester says, "It day."

Neil Doyle
score = 60
comments = Just about sums up the complete collapse of American culture that began with the 1960s and the devastating effect of the drug culture in this country.  Excellent performances by all but makes its point early on and then becomes monotonous until the slam bang conclusion.  There's not a likeable character in the whole quirky cast of characters and for that reason it's hard to work up any sympathy for the totally disfunctional families! Vastly overrated as a motion picture, I give it a 60 rating.

score = 10 
This movie is pure trash I rented it after all the hype and awards that it recieved and was very disappointed. If this is what America thinks is entertainment I think thats shameful.P.S  The short of it the simple message of enjoying life because it is too short was,took to much filth to get to, and anyone who has not gotten that yet I guess this would be a masterpiece

score = 30 
It's a shame that America choses to glorify the ugly and immoral.  I hope that this film is not a reflection of the majority of society.  The characters acted on impulse rather than responsibility.  Don't waste your time to see such trash.  This is not a film for inspiration or entertainment.

score = 90 
I thought the movie was great. Obviously it didn't represent the average American family, but that wasn't the point. The movie portrayed a large number of different problems in this country. Each problem was caused by the discontentment of each character. All of these problems collided through each character struggle in the persuit of happiness. The one character that you really made a connection with was, of course, Lester(Kevin Spacey). And all of the situations involving all the character including his own funneled down to his death. However, his death and its cause was not the message. The message was that beauty resides in the small things in life which are all too often overlooked in the desire to be happy.

M Stanley
score = 100
This is an outstanding film. Period. It traces the life of a married middle-aged man who breaks free of the American Dream, realizing he has been sleep-walking through his life. Amazingly he retraces his life's journey and picks up where he fell off the trail of his happiness, in the process revealing to the audience his changing perspective, and in turn his greater appreciation of beauty. The filmmakers do a great service by allowing him to complete his transformation, in turn expressing finally a rich gratitude for being alive, which also allows him to give his blessing to those around him. The younger generation in the audience especially understood the succinct dialog spoken by the main character's daughter, and young men will definitely have much room for thought in seeing the complex adaptation her new boyfriend has to go though to survive the onslaughts of his fathers control. Unusually rich story filled with compassion for all the characters. A risky but well-executed film from Dreamworks. See it.

score = 90
Kevin Spacey is a genius!!!

score = 10
this movie was not good

score = 100
I saw this movie in a special advance screening on campus and it was GREAT.  The dialogue was great (worth quoting in the future), there were funny parts, touching moments...a little of everything.  My favorite part of the movie was the tape of the plastic bag (you'll see...).  After the screening, there was a Q&A with the cast and it was so nice to see that they were deeply passionate about the film.  But the best part of the movie was definitely it's message.  It definitely makes you think and you'll probably walk away from the movie a better person.  Well...I did anyway!

score = 80

M Brown
score = 40
I had high hopes but I was very disappointed.  There were some good parts, but on the whole, I thought the movie was extremely weird. I found myself bored often, then something good would happen wake me up.  Then the next thing you know boredom would set in once again.  The end of the movie was interesting in a very dismal way.  I did not enjoy it.  I wish I would have stayed home and sewed or something...  Sorry

score = 100
Intoxicating. Intense with red. Spectacular acting. A tramsfomation you internalize. See it. Be it.

score = 100
A great movie! dark, foreboding, hilarious... a mixture of drama... wes bentley is hot! a definite must see!!

score = 100
This film was incredible - it SPOKE to me. Kevin Spacey heads a brilliant cast....

score = 100
kevin spacey is a really, really cool

score = 100
This movie was absolutely amazing.  Brilliant casting.  Powerful dialogue.   Kevin is one my favorite actors, and this movie is just another reason why.  I don't want to write any spoilers but it's hard to praise this movie in the abstract.   Definitely a movie to see and when on video, add to your collection.  Thank you Hollywood for giving the public a movie without cheesy dialogue, lousy effects and that appeal only to the lowest common denominator.

score = 90
This was an excellent movie.  It is not for the weak at heart.  If you are looking for a movie that makes you think outside of the box and makes you think about how important life is, check out American Beauty.

score = 100
Finally!!!! a major filom release which accurately portrays the harsh reality of everyday life.  Everything about it was brilliant.  "I believe it is the best and most accurate film of the decade".  I'm only afraid that much of the (ignorant-film) general public will not even realize how REAL to LIFE the film is and say:   That was so weird, just like the character Angela in the film. It's about time a true film was made again.  Without a doubt the best NEW Realism Film I've seen since The Ice Storm or Saving Private Ryan.

Amanda H.
score = 100
This movie was incredible. One of the best movies I've ever seen, if not THE best. It talks about so many things that are so relevant to today's society in a way that doesn't patronize, oversimplify, or throw any punches. I've never been so deeply affected by a movie- especially not by the recent pop-culture plot-oriented movies. I just wish that more people would be open to the message in this movie, and realize the value of what it has to say. Definetly worth seeing!!!

score = 100
I believe this is one of the only movies I will ever give a 100 to. It was the most realistic, perfect, poetic, funny, dramatic, brilliant movie I have ever seen.  It's mixture of themes and the it's ability to strike a nerve somewhere in everyone adds to it's awe-inspiring screenplay. Also, every performance is nothing less then brilliant.   As another post said, many will more than likely walk away never understanding this movie's shocking truthful view of life.  Many would rather be ignorant of how the world and people really work.  I urge you all "look closer" and find some greater truth in this movie. The answers you find will hopefully make you think about your own life as much as this movie made me think about mine.

score = 90
Just saw the movie today and kept my attention the whole time-never boring.Just shows how people and relationships change and how unhappy people can become and they lose themselves and are not happy.I could feel the ending coming but wishing it wouldn't happen the way it did- but I was not surprised.Was very well done!!

score = 90
Clearly one of the best movies of the year from Hollywood.

score = 100
A must see...By far the best movie I've seen this year.

score = 100
I have seen it in a packed theatre and I have seen it in a sparsely filled theatre.   Each time the crowd was entranced into a deep silence.  I was enveloped in every scene-there was hardly a time I could whisper 2 words.  I realize it is not for anyone, but I feel like I wouldn't get along well with anyone who didn't like it.  It means they didn't get it really.  The best movie I have seen at least this year.    Masterpiece in every facet---I thank the writer and director and actors and everyone else involved for making it for themselves and for us and of course, for me!

score = 100
The people who don't like this film are the ones who just don't get it. This is by far one of the best films I have ever seen. I darn near broke down when it was over. Kevin Spacey is perfect. This movie will speak to those who will listen.

score = 100
powerful and realistic to the everyday life of so many americans!  a truly understandable film for people in their twenties looking at ourselves and those we know!   well done!

score = 100
This is one of the best movies of the year. All the performances are brilliant.  This movie made you laugh and cry.  It's also very original.  This movie left a emotional impact on me that never left till the next day.  The great script, acting, direction, and music all come together to form a very moving and original film.  This is the movie to see!!!!!!!

score = 100
A Must $ee for all.... Don't know if they can make a MOVIE of the same calibre again... but i certainly hope that they do :-)

score = 100
A very good, must see movie!!!!!!!!!!

score = 80
A very interesting insight into our lives that most of us would otherwise miss. Excellent direction and acting: Kevin Spacey was the perfect choice. Story was very good and very convincing, although the "Hollywood ending" (perhaps) wasn't a necessary constituent of the overall message.  Saying that, I still think it's a must see!

score = 100
A comical instrospection of the human state. This movie at times can be odd, at times funny, but always meaningful in its portrayal of a family falling apart at its already weak seams. Its a powerful and dynamic film that has more depth than many movies I've seen and has great acting that screams throughout the movie. A must for any fan tragicomedy.

score = 100
What an insight to the truth of the mediocre demands of societal conformity,, and the devastating results if one doesn't get smart! and get rid of those demons of boredom!A great film at every level and age and stage of life even though some of the realism was unnerving as we are reminded of 'everyman' in our own lives!

the gr8 one
score = 100
I have gone to see this movie twice and can not wait to see it again. Kevin Spacey is the MAN and if he is not nominated for an Oscar that would be total highway robbery.

Linda H.
score = 100
WOW!!!!!  I have not experienced anything like this in a movie theater in years.   To say everybody in the film deserves an Oscar seems so trite.  Every performance from Lester to Ricky's mother, was on the money.  I recently read an interview with Annette Bening, and apparently she improvised Carolyn's "rant" at the dinner table when Lester announces he's lost his job. Spacey was supposed to stop her before he did, and he was so mesmerized he just let her go on.  Thank you to everyone involved for telling such a funny, sad beautiful story. This is what film making is supposed to be.

score = 90
The movie offers the fantastic opportunity to create dialogue between spouses, couples, friends, adolescents, about their current familial situations. As experienced already, I have encountered heated discussions about differences in perception and meaning in my interpretation.  A very pertinent film!

score = 100
American Beauty is one of the best movies I have ever seen.  All the actors gave an outstanding performance, especially Wes Bentley.  This newcomer was absolutely amazing and I look forward to seeing him in other films.

Phil Mc
score = 90
A fab film with rich characters with real and complex lives.  I aligned with Kevin Spacey's character and enjoyed the crazy relationship he had with his daughter and his wife, dysfuncyional yet still together.  And it was clear that she still loved him in the last scene.

score = 90
The movie combines irony and humor along with desperation and comes out to be wonderfully   pulled off. i really enjoyed it. The script calls for some 'risky' scenes that are not fumbled over or akward (unless they are ment to be).

score = 20
Talk about disfunctional families and right next door to each other!! beautiful photograhy - kevin's acting was good - other roles seemed either too silly and/or shallow. nihilism overshadowed the beauty. can't see how ending fit concept of breaking out of being trapped in everyday ratrace into realization of beauty in life with violence as the vehicle??

score = 100
This is without a doubt the best movie I have ever seen in my life. Not often am I given to gushing, but I've seen this movie three times (a first) with 12 people, altogether, and they all loved it. Kevin Spacey is more brilliant than I've ever seen him before. Annette Bening providest the perfect foil to his character. Watching Lester Burnham shed his old skin both physically and mentally is unbelievable. The teens are excellent too. Wes Bentley turns in an  excellent performance as a teen with a penchant for beauty. The scene with the plastic bag is one of the most touching scenes I've seen in a long time. Enough said. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!

Kathy Morris
score = 60
Excellent acting.  Excellent characters.  Sad commentary that a film depicting non-survival morals and ending in "non-survival" is sooo entertaining!

score = 50
I want to love American Beauty, I want to love the acting and I will, I want to love the dialogue and I almost do. I want to love the story line and events in the movie but I can't. You walk away from seeing this greatly done movie with a scared feeling that our society is falling fast. This movie creeps too deeply into reality and its heart breaking. I hope this movie doesn't lead people to follow its characters into living lives with no morals, but that it encourages us all to strive to live a more wholesome, loving and less-selfish life. That would truly be an american beauty.

score = 30
I can sum up this movie in four words.  DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. American Beauty is hardly worth 2 hours of a persons leisure time.  The occasional one liners and Annette Bening's role as the psycho mom does not make the movie "A must see!" feature.  I spent the entire movie just shaking my head and checking my watch to see if the end might soon be near.  After almost two hours of lame footage, it was to no surprise that the writer decided to add insult to injury.  He/she could have simply summed it up with a funny ending in which EVERYONE killed the deadbeat perverted father (Spacey) at the same time. But NOOO, the writer had to use the confused military father who was not able to deal with the fact that he was homosexual!!  Nice choice!!   Let's blame the gays for everything!  Maybe the writer should have taken a few moments to consider what such an ending could do to closeted youth and adults who are gay.   Blowing the neighbors head off just because one can not deal with one's sexuality sure doesn't help out in promoting acceptance in today's society.  Like I basically said at the beginning of my review, save your money.

The ranger
score = 90
I was blown away, This is a major film, wich such a different point of view. Irony and at the same time a total mystic view on life. Unbelievable run to see this movie. It is a miracle it came like it is from a major production house. Actors are amazing. film is clear, daring, simple and right on

Excellent movie.  Almost like looking at someone else's life thru a camera.  The acting was superb and will surely win many awards for 1999.

Mike Stewart
American Film has finally got it right.  A film that has essentially the co-dependent features of obscure, tepid, disturbing, and callous American life on the silver screen coupled with the normal additives of Hollywood (good looking actors and actresses) to make a film that is haunting in one aspect, yet compelling and sincere the next. AMERICAN BEAUTY may have bits and pieces or mixtures of other films in it (Mommy Dearest, The Breakfast Club, etc.) but it combines satirical comedy with "black comedy" to make a disparate film, exceedingly easy to watch.  One commented that you could barely hear anyone in the audience breath during the dangerous parts of AMERICAN BEAUTY. Very true. This is exactely what good film making is:  Bring the audience INTO the film, make them apart of it; make them feel the pain, guilt, sorrow as well as the love, even the sexual frustration (however sordid the "molestation" may have seemed to some!).  We finally have a film that breaks t! he ice on sexual identity in older middle-aged men, as well as a very good, but sinister look at the underlying aspects of those who are homosexual but choose (out of life's harsh realities) to keep their sexuality bottled up (Colonel Fitts) only to be rebuffed by the lead character (Lester Bynum) and then release his frustration by killing the lead character.  AMERICAN BEAUTY is American life, beautifully portrayed in cinema, and provided, sin and all, directly in an "in your face" style with music (finally) made especially for the film (or at least music that is superbly edited for content and score).  Ten thumbs up, even twenty.  AMERICAN BEAUTY provides us with a peek into our cosmopolitan lifestyles, life decisions and choices we have made to reject dignity, humility and hard times (life) to pursue sex, greed, and visceral vindication.  AMERICAN BEAUTY is a peek into our own lives, our fortunes, or what we wished we were. We never got the cheerleader or the '73 Firebird,! but we did get to see, as our lead character says, what life is like when it flashes before your eyes.

Mike K
score = 90
This movie was outstanding.  I loved everybit of it.  Kevin Spacey is a truly great actor.  And Thora Birch is so beautiful as the daughter. Go see this movie.

score = 90
This movie touched me deeply.  FINALLY!  a movie that doesn't try to cover up the REAL America!  Character Ricky Fitts (actor Wes Bentley) touches everyone, i think, with his confession: "Sometimes I don't think I can take it; like my heart's going to collapse."  This movie definatly portrays life as it should be...NOT perfect, NOT always happy and yet...beautiful in its own way each day.  Media try to portray happiness in what it terms "beauty" and this movie lets people know it's ok not to fall into that criteria.  As an 18 year old, I have seen the hell that teenage girls put themselves through to able to call themselves "beautiful," and this movie gives us all the reassurance that beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.   PLUS...Wes Bentley wasn't too bad looking either!
score = 100
I love this movie . I was amazed by it . Everything in it had a point and it all left a great impact on me . Wes Bentley's character was great He is a wonderful actor and I can't wait to see him rise. I think its one of the best movies I have ever seen. And i also agree with one of the people who did a reveiw. I dont feel like I would not get along anyone who didnt like this movie. Though it isnt for everyone. But still I think everyone should go see it . It definatly deserves a 100!!

Will White
score = 100
An incredible, eye-opening masterpiece.  Kevin Spacey deserves an Oscar, as so his costars.  Simply brilliant.

score = 90
Very disturbing, but has a lot of people we all know in the film. Really good acting for a change.

score = 90
I was speechless after this movie!  It is a one of a kind, it makes you think, I'll never forget it!

D.S. Mejia
score = 40
DSMEJIA: Kevin Spacey is may be one of the best actors today and Annette Bening matches his intensity in this emotional film about the unraveling of a dysfunctional '90s upper-class suburban family that is all too rapidly coming apart at the seams. And while Mr. Spacey's alienated father, who quits his job to chase his lost youth, is a character you care about and want to see and follow, the rest of the cast are rather unlikable if not simply grotesque: the wife, played by Ms. Bening, is a re-do of the Mary Tyler Moore character in "Ordinary People"--but a lush, a bitch and unfaithful;  the daughter is a selfish, self-absorbed teenager who despises both her parents, finding their efforts to be thoughtful as stupid and embarrassing; while her best friend, who is the object of Mr. Spacey's sexual fantasy, is shallow, cruel and obsessed with her looks and getting sex; and...if that's not enough, the next door neighbors are worse. The dad is a career military man who ignores his seemingly invisable wife while terrorizing his teenage son (who, by the way is a voyeur, a dope dealer, a liar and fraud, who seduces the Spacey/Bening daughter) while also spewing hatred of homosexuals. Finally, the film has a bad ending. While the highly educated, upper mid-class will no doubt find this some kind of great, highly riveting black humor, I don't. It's not entertaining, enjoyable or good cinema.

score = 10
While the acting is well done, the content is disgusting. Is this what America is about? My husband and I went and saw several people leaving. We stuck it out hoping it would get better. It was a sick sad portait of Americans, which I'm sure in some cases is not too far off. But the majority of American's have morals and standards and this was a perverted shame to put up on a big screen for people to watch. YUK

score = 90
This is absolutely fantastic! Though not for everyone... If you are looking for fluff, DON'T see this movie. Impressive character development . It's a movie that makes you think.

score = 100
WOW!! ..just got back from the movie about 10 minutes ago and I'm still enthralled in it. Great cast, great script, great everything, even down to the score for the movie...I dont see movies in the theater more than once but I'd see this one again

score = 100
I personally thought American Beauty was a great movie.  I was reading the reviews from a few people who hated it because they said it was a twisted picture of what America is really like, but as a junior in high school, it seems VERY close to reality to me.   I saw the movie because I heard it was good, but I didn't know what it was about.   I left mildly depressed, thinking that it was a very sad but valid portrait of the way America really is.

score = 100
Everyone with a soul MUST see this film!  There are so many messages and symbols that require you to "look closer" and see beyond the apparently normal lives of these people.  I was reading in my history book the other day, and I found a description of the American Beauty rose staring me in the face- it said that the American Beauty rose can only flourish by cutting the stems of the buds around it.  That description just made the film all the more amazing.  I need to see it again and again!

jane error
score = 90
The use of colour in this film was brilliant.  as for acting, the cast was well put together and thoroughly talented.  i don't think a film has provoked me this much since Happiness.  it's refreshing to see the different versions of beauty that each person has and that beauty can be found in many things(e.g. a plastic bag, an awkward teenager, death).  i also found it smashing that the only functional family in the film was the queer couple.

score = 100
This is by far the best movie I have seen all year, the acting was wonderful and the whole storyline was great. With a l ot of movies I love then movie, but think the ending is weak. American Beauty held my full attention the whole time. And its so odd seeing little Thora Birch in it, I remember her from Hocus Pocus!

score = 100
this movie was easily one of the best i have ever seen. damn good acting and a pleasently off-beat sript. it was a movie i actually took something from, which is rare. synopsis: damn good movie. see it.

Do you feel that?
score = 100
Want to try another level of life? Open your eyes, it's all there for you to see and feel. Free your mind, smoke a bowl if you must, and take a closer look at the film. There is beauty all around us everyday, but people get so wrapped up in material things and hatred, they don't see it. They don't see the beauty of life and how precious every breath we take is. It's all a gift, and can be taken from us in an instant. Don't spend your time bitching and griping, or pampering and protecting your material things. Use them, enjoy them, beat the hell out of your 4x4, that's what it's made for right?. Love the people in your life, not the objects no matter how much they cost. As Lester Burnham said "It's just a couch!" Those who don't see the beauty, and can't step out of reality for two seconds to take a closer look are missing out on the greatest adventures of life. They don't see the bag "dancing", the love in someones eyes, the force of God in the sail of a boat. They don't hear the beautiful silence of snow falling, the symphony in a sunset, or nature in a sunrise. They don't see the love, the eternal life, or the forgiveness of God staring them in the face. For that they don't see American Beauty. What do you think the end of the film is all about? Listen closer, someday you'll see.

Chris F
score = 100
I wanted to give this film 110%. This is one great American classics. No film has ever moved me as this masterpiece. Kevin Spacy, a great method actor, gives the performance of his career. No film has ever described beauty in such a real way. The first time I saw it, I went to a remote area with a friend, we shared a six pack of Corona, and discussed what we had just experienced for hours.

score = 20
I cannot understand the positive reviews. All of the characters were jerks -- I really didn't care what happened to any of them. They didn't grow in the course of the film; they really didn't learn much. The "philosophy" was as trite as the views being skewered by the film. It was a waste of time!

score = 100
American Beauty is possibly the greatest film that I have ever had the privilege of seeing. This film takes a chilling look into suburban life, and it doesn't always portray it in the most flattering light. Kevin Spacey is absolutely flawless in the performance of a lifetime. This film is definitely a must-see and a sure Oscar contender, if not the hands-down winner for Best Picture and Best Actor

score = 100
I had seen so many reviews for this movie while at college that soon after, I began to get disenchanted with it already.  What's more, the busboy at the theatre that I saw it at remarked of it simply as an "Old Folks movie".  BIG MISTAKE.   American Beauty speaks volumes to each generation in the American Family and helps us realize what has become of traditional values in that infrastructure.  People nowadays remark that when kids go bad, it's traced back to the parents.  The exact opposite is exemplified in this movie between Spacey's and Birch's characters.  In most ways, the child has become the parent and upon observing his daughter, Spacey's character (Lester Burnham) makes changes that far supersede expected midlife crises.   I will be extremely surprised if Kevin Spacey does not win a nomination (let alone the Oscar) for Best Actor.  Simple scenes like at the dinner table, and bedtime discussion with his wife (Bening, in an unusually humorous role) guarantee his nomination.   And of course, there's his last expression on film, which guarantees him the Oscar (if you don't know what  I'm talking about, I suggest seeing the movie).  No more spoilers from me.  It's a lot more than what you think!

score = 100 
AMERICAN BEAUTY is the best film Ive ever seen. It was full of American stereotypes! I think it was the best film that is ever made in USA, and maybe it was a little bit as an european film. You will like this film, if you understand it!

Greg M. 
score = 100 
I haven't been so touched by a film since I saw Ordinary People. It's as good as the 1980 classic if not better.  The people who don't "get" this movie are the people who lead shallow lives.  The type of person Kevin Spacey's character didn't wanna end up as.  The people who hate this film are the ones who are angered by something they saw in it.  Fair enough.  The screenwriter and director will be happy to know that they moved you.  Even though it was in a negative way.  If this movie doesn't win Best Picture, there is a flaw in the system.

Daniel Schneider 
score = 100 
yes, it is a "must see". No doubt about it. Go, watch it, breath it and finally understand it. if not now - you will understand it some time.

score = 90
 If this is the first major effort by Sam Mendes, I cannot wait to see what he comes up with in the future! A visual masterpiece without being overstimulating.  Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning portray unique, quirky, likeable, and amazing characters.  I was fascinated, moved, and stunned.  A new genre--no one knows what to call it-dark comedy? tragedy? it is truly exciting that such wonderful and new film is being created now--what is going to follow? This is a movie that I could see again and again. Given a 90 because I felt the teenage girls were a little weak acting-wise

score = None 
something to add--yes, this is a portrait of some pretty "screwed up" suburban americans, and that scares or offends people.  I don't think that this movie portrays "the norm"--the beauty comes not in the characters mistakes or appalling actions; it comes in their despair.  They are not =happy= in this life, and the beauty is in their desire for goodness, even if that goodness is never realized.

score = 40 
Worth seeing (barely) only for the parent- teens dynamics and perhaps as a "portrait of misery". Overall a pretty  "sick"  movie. ( and the mid-life crisis/ what is happiness bit has been done before---a lot better) I didn't like this movie so I'm glad I went on half price nite.

score = 100 
MINDBLOWING! Unlike any movie I have ever seen. There is not one single flaw in this movie. It is brilliant!

A True Human 
score = None 
Do you want the truth about this movie? Then, read on... I am a morally sound teenager of America and I was horrified by this movie.  This movie helped eliminate my wonder why the world is becoming the way it is.  Every now and then a good piece of media with good values will be formed, but this was trash.  Vile, disgusting, unrealistic, and a waste of time.  If you go and see it, you'll be wasting precious time and money.

greg s 
score = 90 
Parents, get in touch with your kids. The American beauty is the family. Thats what the film says. I got that out of it more than anything. good movie

score = 100 
I'm a huge film buff and am very critical about films, no matter what the subject matter may be. My favorite film of all time is "Ordinary People", and I must say that "American Beauty" portrayed the DYSFUNCTIONAL <keyword here< 90's family just as "Ordinary People" portrayed the disfunctional family of 1980. Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening portray two people of very low morals, but guess what?-No one else knows outside of their family-until their characters start to fall apart-this America, is reality. Those who don't understand this film because of the subject matter missed a very mindblowing experience. I loved how the homosexual couple were portrayed as quite normal, (from appearance) and those who you, in the beginning, have "figured out" are not at all who they appear to be. The whole notion of the film is to "look closer". People are not who they present themselves. People who look "normal", can be vain, cruel, spiteful, beautiful, kind, intelligent, immoral, or even better/worse. The teenagers present the full spectrum. The "blonde" is considered the beautiful "normal" person (inside and out), while Birch and Bentley are seen as strange and "ugly". In reality, the opposite is true. Bening and Spacey deserve Oscars for their roles. They both show two "capable" parents unravelling down to childish,immoral people. The symolism of red and roses is superb. Roses and the color red represent the true beauty of America, but what has beauty become? What have we become, but won't let others see? These characters allowed others to see. Do you like what you see? This movie will make you think of all of this and more, but only if you look past the superficial. Look Closer.

BJ Buck 
score = None 
When a movie as poorly written, pointless and without any....ANY realism that consentrates on sex and sensationalism is the FAVORITE for an Academy Award, the "message" this one gives is pretty clear;  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ditched the artwork in favor of an all-time low in SMUT!  Shame on them and shame on the movie-going public who support this travesty.  Oddly enough, none of those people seemed to be in the audience at the theatre where I forced myself to sit through it.  The complaints and mutterings were easy to hear when much of the audience broke into groups to voice their anger that such a movie would be so much as considered for an Oscar.                  From a former frequent movie-goer who has found better things to do.

score = 100 
American Beauty opened my eyes to a hole new meaning, it did what film should do it made you think twice. The have opened a hole new world for film they did what everyone was think but, could not bring to life they have gracefully showen us all the way.

score = 100 
People think that this movies shows just the north american sad way of life, but I think that it is more, I`m a 22th brazilian mother, wife , student and I can say that most people I know here, live just like it.

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