"‘American Beauty’ is, foremost and finally, a haunting, endlessly unnerving cinematic poem."

"Ball’s script is endlessly inventive."

"Mendes…handles his debut film with astonishing assurance and vision."

"Spacey is predictably magnificent in this mercurial role; indeed the whole cast amazes."

"(American) ‘Beauty’s’ final evocation of grace among ruins is both haunting and heartening."

"‘American Beauty’ is genuinely a thing of beauty."

"Certain scenes in ‘American Beauty’ simply belong to the young, up-to-now-unknown actor Wes Bentley. …he’s the coolest nerd to hit pop culture since the Talking Head’s David Byrne took the stage in the mid-‘70s."