GENE SHALIT NBC

"Isn’t it a grand and glorious feeling when everything comes together in a move? Perfection does not exist, but how could anyone improve on ‘American Beauty’?"

"Alan Ball has written an insightful screenplay that’s out-of-sightful, and the notable Sam Mendes has been lured from the stage to direct this luminous cast."

"From Alan Ball’s eviscerating screenplay and this flawless ensemble, Mendes has fashioned a dark motion picture of indelible characters and startling incidents."

"Miss Bening and Kevin Spacey drill their characters into our brains, and the powerful performances of the three youths—Thora Birch, Mena Suvari and Wes Bentley—have an electrifying impact on these family conflicts: rebellion, lust, cruelty, sexual repression, spousal arousal, frustration, rage and bizarre eccentricity."

"Not only is ‘American Beauty’ a triumph for this year, but it also ranks with the finest movies of the ‘90s. Put it this way: ‘American Beauty’ is such a good movie, that many people will call it a film"