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Overall Rating
4.37

Awesome63.41%
Worth A Look: 24.39%
Average: 2.44%
Pretty Bad: 4.88%
Total Crap: 4.88%

10 reviews, 104 user ratings


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Ghost World
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by EricDSnider

"The 'Reality Bites' of the next generation."
4 stars

The attitude of "Ghost World" is best summarized in this exchange between two new high school graduates, watching the cheesy entertainment at their graduation party.

REBECCA: "This is so bad it's almost good."
ENID: "This is so bad, it's gone past good and back to bad again."

"Ghost World" is not itself a keen, trenchant observer of the ironies of modern Gen-Y life. It is instead an observer of the observers -- the young, disaffected people who sit on the sidelines and mask their emotions by heckling everything they see.

Enid (Thora Birch) is the queen of sardonicism, and her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) tries to keep up the attitude. They spend their time wandering around their L.A. neighborhood, accomplishing nothing except passing off hilarious remarks about the people around them. They would be considered slackers, except they probably make fun of slackers, too.

They've just graduated from high school and have no clue what they want to do. It is clear to us that they are going to have to grow up and find something to be passionate about, and Rebecca slowly realizes this and becomes distanced from Enid. Enid, however, is in a perpetual state of apathy, casually at odds with her wimpy father (Bob Balaban) and only half-heartedly looking for a job.

She winds up meeting a nerdy, 30-ish old-record fanatic named Seymour (Steve Buscemi) and developing an unlikely friendship with him. He's as much a misfit in society as she is, though he admits to wishing it were otherwise, while she seems content with things as they are. Eventually, he will be the catalyst to help her find a place in the world.

Terry Zwigoff directed and co-wrote the film, with Daniel Clowes, on whose comic book it is based. The world of commercialism, pop culture and strip malls in which our heroes live is vividly and humorously portrayed, and though the film has a serious undertone, it is often hysterically funny.

Teri Garr, Brian George and Illeana Doulgas all shine in limited roles as Enid's dad's girlfriend, a convenience store owner and a touchy-feely art teacher, respectively.

Thora Birch is perfect as Enid, with retro-nerd glasses and too-dark hair. Steve Buscemi, who has made a career out of playing weird guys, here plays a guy who is weird in a normal way -- the kind of weird guy you might actually meet in everyday life. He and Birch do well together.

The audience may be able to sympathize all too well with Rebecca, who grows tired of Enid's constant cynicism. But that is precisely the point: She can't go on doing this forever. If she wants to have any lasting relationships in her life, she will have to get serious about something, anything. It is to the film's credit that it treats Enid more seriously than she treats herself, eventually developing her as a dynamic, sympathetic character.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5482&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/04/03 14:30:41
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User Comments

1/20/14 Dane Youssef A really worthwhile film. It scores successfully in every aspect. It's extremely important. 5 stars
11/19/11 netra smith the movie is saying something about not giving into conformity in society 4 stars
7/04/09 hammerin hank Only an idiot would find this movie idiotic. Only a bore would find it boring. 5 stars
6/09/08 Jack Honest, real, hilarious and heartbreaking. BudLite-swilling Blueshammer fans won't get it. 5 stars
4/24/08 beau HAHA "oh my god he just ordered a giant glass of milk"...."uh thats a vanilla milkshake.." 4 stars
2/25/08 SamanthaP i thought this movie was so true to life, thora birch was great! 5 stars
2/12/08 mb Idiotic. Demeaning. Lacking in life. Left after 40 min. 1 stars
11/27/06 mili this movie amazed me, it just touched me in a certain way no movie had before. 5 stars
6/13/06 Hana all time fave, brilliant film! 5 stars
1/26/06 aimless One of the few films that gets better each time you watch it 5 stars
9/09/05 matt great film 5 stars
8/19/05 ES Wow, depressing and boring= this is the new rage hmmm 1 stars
8/05/05 Nate Frary I absolutely adore this movie. 5 stars
6/29/05 Queen Tantrum Absolutely AMAZING! 5 stars
6/10/05 Charlie Pointless, but quite entertaining! 4 stars
6/07/05 Alex St. John If you enjoy dark comedies this movie is definitely for you! 5 stars
4/01/05 failingloser i <3 it 5 stars
3/22/05 Candy I just really love this movie! Its cool and awsome! I love you steve! You have cool movies. 5 stars
9/09/04 Conor Crockford great 5 stars
7/06/04 James Kustes Watch Crumb and American Splendor as well 4 stars
6/26/04 Cynthia Hanna Impressive depiction of reality! 4 stars
5/21/04 Elena this movie is hilarious; not trying to be 'goth' or hip or clever really.it's just natural. 5 stars
4/16/04 A Reader "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" is reason enough to see it. Birch, Johansson, and Buscemi all shine. 5 stars
4/13/04 Jack Sommersby Not half as clever or hip as it purports to be. 2 stars
3/15/04 ToMaSsS! it was alrite 3 stars
2/29/04 jimmy two times great film 5 stars
1/24/04 Eraserhead I personally think this film sucks 1 stars
1/04/04 Ashley Definately my favorite movie! 5 stars
11/23/03 smartmusician Loved the movie 5 stars
9/27/03 Leah Heagy I loved it!!!!! 5 stars
5/23/03 Ryan F. These pseudo goth, antisocial "I just need to find myself" films grate my nerves big time. 2 stars
5/20/03 Britishlover I can totally connect with this film. Buscemi was excellent. 5 stars
5/16/03 Piz depressingly funny and an acting gem. Nice surprise 4 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon One of the few movies I've seen to accurately portray what having friends is really like. 5 stars
4/07/03 Jack Sommersby Overpraised and underwhelming. Thin material not spruced up by attempts at eccentricity. 2 stars
4/01/03 Christopher Boatman What a teen movie should be. 5 stars
3/17/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" lyrik Funny, dramatic, perfectly acted/casted, brilliantly scripted, my kind of movie. 5 stars
1/26/03 Lord David one of my ultra-faves - totally funny & sad 5 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon Achingly true. The Birch-Buscemi duet tore my heart out and stomped that sucker dead. 5 stars
12/15/02 Kyle One of the best movies I've seen... deserved a wider release. 5 stars
11/16/02 Mike was Here Thoughtful, touching, and ultimately very very sad, despite the optimistic ending. A+ 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Thora Birch shoulda been nominated for the Oscar!! 5 stars
11/15/02 JackG One of last years best movies. It's not Hollywood, so therfor it's great. 5 stars
11/06/02 JesseL Thora Birch cannot act. This movie is a dork movie for dork people. 1 stars
10/26/02 Morally Sound Interesting and rebeliously funny movie. 4 stars
8/22/02 MaIniYaK BEST MOVIE 5 stars
8/02/02 chet like all independent films, boring and interesting simultaneously 4 stars
7/31/02 oska was expecting an 'independent' american movie, instead th usual formulaic rubbish 2 stars
7/26/02 Turtle Pretty boring and rarely funny...but it has its moments. 3 stars
7/15/02 Chuck Bittersweet, touching, sad and funny. Wow, what a film! 5 stars
7/11/02 Kristen hilarious 3 stars
7/10/02 willy.gk an affectionate, haunting film. will linger in your head for days 5 stars
5/13/02 Amy Takes a shot and misses 3 stars
5/11/02 Keith good in a "getting-in-touch-with-my-inner-troubled-teen-girl" sort of way 4 stars
4/29/02 Malcolm Masiero If you think this movie sucks, then you just don't understand 5 stars
4/21/02 Akira_773 Very good, despite falling into the same trap all movies like this do 4 stars
4/18/02 Film Dude No Andrew, this IS NOT A BLACK FUCKING COMEDY. YOU'RE A FUCKING DUMBASS. GO TO HELL! 5 stars
4/04/02 lauren mccreight trys to be cynical.....comes off whinny. 2 stars
4/02/02 Monday Morning A waste of time 2 stars
3/31/02 Reini Urban Very cute 4 stars
3/21/02 Mike Perfect for post-high school teens. Thoughtful, realistic, and complicated. No easy answers 5 stars
3/02/02 Butterbean I could relate to Enid to a point. Buscemi was great. Overall, a nice "artsy" movie. 4 stars
2/18/02 Kyle Brilliant. Not at all what I expected- definitely NOT another teen movie. 5 stars
2/17/02 Andrew Carden Well-Done Black Comedy. Some Imagintive Lines and Great Performances. 5 stars
2/17/02 John Lyons What a waste of time! The whole movie was pointless. 1 stars
2/11/02 Michael Grimm slow, little character development, total letdown 2 stars
2/11/02 Spyguy2 Wow, what a gem! I went out and bought it on dvd the next day. Brilliant! 5 stars
2/11/02 Joe This movie really tried my patience. I kept waiting for something significant to happen. 1 stars
2/09/02 A.K. Funny and touching. For once, a real movie about teenagers 5 stars
2/05/02 Nonnon Fabulous. 5 stars
1/19/02 Rego Allegro Great movie - American Independant Cinema at its best and an amazing Steve Buscemi 5 stars
1/15/02 Carly There's material here to make a 5 star movie, but Enid just pissed me off so much. 1 stars
12/30/01 Nicole Enid's my hero... and Seymour's the man I long to meet... 5 stars
12/28/01 Albert Yu Looking for Alex Hirsch!!! EIMer@ Alex I am trying to track your ass down!! email me albertucsb@yahoo.com 5 stars
11/26/01 Tam Excellent characterisation & a witty script. The ending avoided cliche. 5 stars
10/22/01 puckfreak Totally overrated if that's possible...maybe because I'm not a teenage girl? 2 stars
10/11/01 masin wolliams in the last 32 years I've seen close to 100k movies, this is in my top 5. I was blown away. 5 stars
9/29/01 Ben VanDuyvendyk A better transition than could've been hoped for, great movie if you like satirical wit, 5 stars
9/27/01 amir pakdel it was amazing to me 4 stars
9/26/01 Maple Syrup It somehow uses it's sardonic wit and cynical world view to make you feel all gooey inside. 5 stars
9/18/01 Thor-Leo Not the usual Hollywood fare but not the masterpiece that some say it is 4 stars
9/16/01 Alex Hirsch SEE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
9/16/01 Jerry R. Colvin My favorite movie of 2001 5 stars
9/14/01 chloe perfection 5 stars
9/13/01 Lachlan L. A fantastically put together collection of social satire/commentary. Beautiful, sad, insane 5 stars
9/10/01 Professor Matrix I can relate. Low art and high weirdness. Instead of the bus, I hitch hiked. 5 stars
9/09/01 Wilbot Characterization very good. Birch & Buscemi excellent. Rather sad. Ridiculous ending. 4 stars
9/04/01 daniel scarlett johannson is beautiful....check out the ghost world website, it's really well done 5 stars
9/04/01 Chris Harris I think it appeals to a minority. If you happen to be in that minorty it speaks volumes. 5 stars
9/03/01 JUSTIN G T.B. IS BEAUTIFUL IN A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/01/01 JB Great movie. Everthing is nice. It really flows. Buscemi! 5 stars
9/01/01 The D bittersweet 5 stars
8/31/01 Patrick David Barber heartbreakingly beautiful. see it a lot 5 stars
8/28/01 C. MOORE Mise en scene ooks like Clowes's illustrations. 5 stars
8/28/01 edmurder i was the target audience for this movie. 5 stars
8/27/01 Elizabeth super-sarcastic and funny, yet touching 5 stars
8/26/01 hankmekon brilliant insight with an overcast of alienation 5 stars
8/25/01 frank best movie of the summer 5 stars
8/21/01 B Horner A teenage film that was not made just for teenagers. Perfectly cast; go see it! 5 stars
8/14/01 Ryan Jones Bad. Just really really bad. 1 stars
8/06/01 Raiven Very funny, insightful, sexy and emotionally affecting. I totally loved it, and Thora! 5 stars
8/03/01 Kimble superkewl 5 stars
7/27/01 cody a hilarious comedy 5 stars
7/27/01 Heather An offbeat movie full of oddballs, misfits, teen angst, lack of identity etc., good acting 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Aug-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  27-Jun-2002




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