DAVID DENBY The New Yorker

"(Kevin Spacey’s) certainly a great actor, and never more viciously and tenderly so than in ‘American Beauty’…"

"…‘American Beauty,’ which is by far the strongest American film of the year."

"It’s rich, brilliant and unnerving work—a funny movie that hurts…"

"…perhaps no actor but Spacey could hold its contradictory moods together."

"Mendes is a master of embarrassment and discord…and the crack timing he brings…make us laugh again and again."

"…when Mendes wound up working with the great American cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, a miracle was wrought. …A dazzling technician he’s never been this witty or moving before, and from the opening shots we are stunned…"

"The editing by Tariq Anwar and Chris Greenbury is superb."

"I can think of no other American movie that sets up tensions with smarty-pants social satire and resolves them with a burst of metaphysics. When the different parts of ‘American Beauty’ come together at last, the movie makes something merely clever like ‘The Truman Show’ or ‘Happiness’ look like child’s play."