American Beauty

A tale of two dysfunctional and apparently typical American families. Our hero hits his midlife crisis and decides to quit his job before he is downsized, blackmailing his way out. He gets the hots for his daughter's schoolfriend and starts working out to impress her, while his wife develops a relationship with her erstwhile enemy. Next door, your friendly local neighbourhood drug dealer is into making peeping-tom videos of life around him. Throw in some gay tension, and the scene is set for an explosive ending.

121 minutes.
No persons under 16 .
Drama, Comedy, On the Art Circuit
Mind if I join you?
Mind if I join you?


Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, Peter Gallagher
Sam Mendes
ScreenplayAlan Ball
MusicThomas Newman, Pete Townshend
CinematographyConrad L. Hall
Sound formatsDolby Digital, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, DTS
Made in1999
Produced byDreamWorks SKG, Jinks/Cohen Company

Official Site


Scale (Max)20

What the Critics say

Movies for Africa
Ian Douglas
Cape Argus
Biance Coleman
Cape Argus
Adrian Monteath
The Cape Times
Stephan Hofstätter
The Star
Janine Walker
Die Burger
Francois Smith
Sunday Times
Barry Ronge
Barrie Hough
Marius Jooste
SA City Life
Tony Jackman
TV3 Screenplay
Barry Ronge
Bos Life
Jean-Pierre Pellissier
eye Weekly
Gemma Files
Box Office
Annlee Ellingson
Rough Cut
Christopher Brandon
Total Film
Dan Jolin
Film Review
Mark Wyman

What the People say

11695 Netizens

Average .. 86%


Visitor Ratings

Scale (Max)20
Tanya Bekker (15) 16
Annalise Hodgson (35) 1
Erna Meyburgh (50) 20
Natalie Vilbert (22) 18
Kristy Prosser (18) 20
Dawie van der Merwe (23) 18
Claire Jill Patterson (13) 20
Riekie Mitchell 16
Shirley Daubney 1
Isma Manitsa (27)28
Andre Swanepoel 10
Bennie van Wyk (20) 14
Lynette Anthony (23) 8
Piet Smith (22) 4
Debbie Ross 1
Clayton Petersen 18
Graham Scholtz 18
Dawie Nel 16

Average .. 69%


Visitor Comments

Bob Smith (29): ''American Beauty'' is one hell of a film. Ian, everyone is allowed their own opinion, but your views are disturbingly jaded -- lighten up!

Annalise Hodgson (35): After watching this movie, I felt dirty. Have we become such a decadent society, that Paedophilia, adultery and homosexuatlity are rated as excellent viewing? Please do not watch this movie.

Erna Meyburgh (50): This is one of the best films that I've seen this year. I feel that everybody must have done one or thought of one of these characters' behaviour in their lives. Society expects from one to be perfect in every way that is why so many people live with masks and once these masks are removed you get rejected. Ten out of ten for this excellent movie.

Natalie Vilbert (22): Thought it was brilliant. It was a movie that touched on all your emotions, and made you think about your life as such.

Kristy Prosser (18): The best movie I've seen since the Matrix, in fact this may even be the best movie I've ever seen, it has EVERYTHING! 5 Star, 10/10, I absolutely Loved it!!! I Think I'm gonna go see it again! :)

Claire Jill Patterson (13): It was cool. I would like to be an actress because of this cool movie.

Riekie Mitchell: If these families are typical, the human race is in trouble.

Shirley Daubney: Even with a full critical analysis this movie fails to succeed at anything.

Andre Swanepoel: Overhyped and not very good.

Lynette Anthony (23): Well, I must admit that I do have an open mind, especially when it comes to movies, but this one is something else. I think it is a movie that is leading up to porn. Besides some of the males species on the earth enjoying this, I find it a pointless, silly film. Definitely not a family film.

Piet Smith (22): Hated the adultery and homosexuality.

Clayton Petersen (28): Realism is in the eye of the beholder. This movie transcends all bounderies set by society and it tells you that you are but human and that you have the choice to go through life following the norms of society or that you can, in your own little corner of the world, find yourself and express yourself in ways and means that only you can. The movie is well scripted and well acted, but the most remarkable aspect of the movie is its wonderful timing. Everything flows into everything else. A movie that makes you analize yourself after you've seen it is always a good movie and this is one of the best.

Graham Scholtz (19): A very well made movie with some excellent acting. It is excellent in that things that happen in the movie do really happen in real life and I guess thats what makes it so realistic.

Dawie Nel (23): A brilliant movie od self discovery. A wake up call for all those drones out there who live one day after the other without noticing that life is happening all around them. Now we all don't have to start perving over a teenager, the movie provided that wake up call for us. Very satirical, with a nice family who is not all they appears to be. Very good debut from the director.

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