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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24.39%
Just Average: 2.44%
Pretty Crappy: 4.88%
Sucks: 4.88%

10 reviews, 104 user ratings

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Ghost World
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Kevin Thomas

"Not all comic book adaptations are like Daredevil. Some of them are good..."
4 stars

Movies based on comics are usually easy to pull off. Throw in a few spandex outfits, some fancy CGI and a few wisecracks and you usually have a summer blockbuster (or spectacular flop) on your hands. But not all comics are based on formerly normal teenagers with stupid powers; some are fiestas of dry observational humour. Recent indie-hit ‘American Splendour’ is one example, and ‘Ghost World’ is another.

Starring a pre-‘American Beauty’ Thora Birch and a pre-‘Lost in Translation’ Scarlett Johansson as two cynical, aloof High School outsiders, this charts their progress from graduation to real world life. Steve Buscemi plays the subject of a practical joke executed by Birch, and it is the subsequent events that draw Birch and Buscemi into one of those screen relationships that are totally believable, but rely on far too many coincidences to ever occur naturally. Essentially, Buscemi’s character merely acts as a catalyst to the degradation of the friendship of Birch and Johansson as they ‘embrace’ adult life in rather different ways. But this does not stop him stealing virtually every scene he stars in from under the noses of his co-stars.

This is a movie that seems to think it is a lot better than it actually is. Though everything about the movie is easily good enough to warrant a strong recommendation, you can’t escape the feeling that the movie has a very high opinion of itself. All the sharp script and great acting in the world can’t disguise the fact that this is basically the losers ‘Clueless’. The air of pretension hardly kills the movie, but rather gives it an irritating bout of Athlete’s Foot.

All round stellar performances (with particular praise going to the flawless performances from Johansson and Buscemi) still ensure that standards remain high throughout the movie, even when they get bogged down in a fairly boring story that should be wrapped up about twenty minutes before it eventually is.

Not quite as cool and clever and it think it is, but for a comic book adaptation, the director shows fair skill in fleshing out the 2D characters into their 3D (dimensionally at least, emotionally they remain rather flat) counterparts.

And Red Hot Chili Pepper fans, watch out for a cameo by the psychopathic taxi driver from the ‘By the Way’ video as a semi-psychotic shop customer.

If you can get past how good it thinks it is, and judge it by how good it actually is; you are in for an alternative, sarcastic, wonderfully dark cinematic treat.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5482&reviewer=368
originally posted: 04/11/04 21:14:16
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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
11/18/11 netra smith the movie is saying something about not giving into conformity in society 4 stars
7/03/09 hammerin hank Only an idiot would find this movie idiotic. Only a bore would find it boring. 5 stars
6/08/08 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
2/24/08 SamanthaP i thought this movie was so true to life, thora birch was great! 5 stars
2/11/08 mb Idiotic. Demeaning. Lacking in life. Left after 40 min. 1 stars
11/26/06 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
1/25/06 aimless One of the few films that gets better each time you watch it 5 stars
9/08/05 matt great film 5 stars
8/18/05 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
6/28/05 Queen Tantrum Absolutely AMAZING! 5 stars
6/09/05 Charlie Pointless, but quite entertaining! 4 stars
6/06/05 Alex St. John If you enjoy dark comedies this movie is definitely for you! 5 stars
3/31/05 failingloser i <3 it 5 stars
3/21/05 Candy I just really love this movie! Its cool and awsome! I love you steve! You have cool movies. 5 stars
9/08/04 Conor Crockford great 5 stars
7/05/04 James Kustes Watch Crumb and American Splendor as well 4 stars
6/25/04 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
4/12/04 Jack Sommersby Not half as clever or hip as it purports to be. 2 stars
3/15/04 ToMaSsS! it was alrite 3 stars
2/28/04 jimmy two times great film 5 stars
1/23/04 Eraserhead I personally think this film sucks 1 stars
1/04/04 Ashley Definately my favorite movie! 5 stars
11/22/03 smartmusician Loved the movie 5 stars
9/26/03 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
5/19/03 Britishlover I can totally connect with this film. Buscemi was excellent. 5 stars
5/15/03 Piz depressingly funny and an acting gem. Nice surprise 4 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon One of the few movies I've seen to accurately portray what having friends is really like. 5 stars
4/06/03 Jack Sommersby Overpraised and underwhelming. Thin material not spruced up by attempts at eccentricity. 2 stars
3/31/03 Christopher Boatman What a teen movie should be. 5 stars
3/16/03 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
12/21/02 Pigwidgeon Achingly true. The Birch-Buscemi duet tore my heart out and stomped that sucker dead. 5 stars
12/14/02 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
11/15/02 Big Ted Thora Birch shoulda been nominated for the Oscar!! 5 stars
11/14/02 JackG One of last years best movies. It's not Hollywood, so therfor it's great. 5 stars
11/05/02 JesseL Thora Birch cannot act. This movie is a dork movie for dork people. 1 stars
10/25/02 Morally Sound Interesting and rebeliously funny movie. 4 stars
8/21/02 MaIniYaK BEST MOVIE 5 stars
8/01/02 chet like all independent films, boring and interesting simultaneously 4 stars
7/30/02 oska was expecting an 'independent' american movie, instead th usual formulaic rubbish 2 stars
7/25/02 Turtle Pretty boring and rarely funny...but it has its moments. 3 stars
7/14/02 Chuck Bittersweet, touching, sad and funny. Wow, what a film! 5 stars
7/10/02 Kristen hilarious 3 stars
7/10/02 willy.gk an affectionate, haunting film. will linger in your head for days 5 stars
5/12/02 Amy Takes a shot and misses 3 stars
5/10/02 Keith good in a "getting-in-touch-with-my-inner-troubled-teen-girl" sort of way 4 stars
4/28/02 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
4/03/02 lauren mccreight trys to be cynical.....comes off whinny. 2 stars
4/01/02 Monday Morning A waste of time 2 stars
3/30/02 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
3/01/02 Butterbean I could relate to Enid to a point. Buscemi was great. Overall, a nice "artsy" movie. 4 stars
2/17/02 Kyle Brilliant. Not at all what I expected- definitely NOT another teen movie. 5 stars
2/16/02 Andrew Carden Well-Done Black Comedy. Some Imagintive Lines and Great Performances. 5 stars
2/16/02 John Lyons What a waste of time! The whole movie was pointless. 1 stars
2/10/02 Michael Grimm slow, little character development, total letdown 2 stars
2/10/02 Spyguy2 Wow, what a gem! I went out and bought it on dvd the next day. Brilliant! 5 stars
2/10/02 Joe This movie really tried my patience. I kept waiting for something significant to happen. 1 stars
2/08/02 A.K. Funny and touching. For once, a real movie about teenagers 5 stars
2/04/02 Nonnon Fabulous. 5 stars
1/18/02 Rego Allegro Great movie - American Independant Cinema at its best and an amazing Steve Buscemi 5 stars
1/14/02 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
12/27/01 Albert Yu Looking for Alex Hirsch!!! EIMer@ Alex I am trying to track your ass down!! email me albertucsb@yahoo.com 5 stars
11/25/01 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
10/10/01 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
9/26/01 amir pakdel it was amazing to me 4 stars
9/25/01 Maple Syrup It somehow uses it's sardonic wit and cynical world view to make you feel all gooey inside. 5 stars
9/17/01 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
9/13/01 chloe perfection 5 stars
9/12/01 Lachlan L. A fantastically put together collection of social satire/commentary. Beautiful, sad, insane 5 stars
9/09/01 Professor Matrix I can relate. Low art and high weirdness. Instead of the bus, I hitch hiked. 5 stars
9/08/01 Wilbot Characterization very good. Birch & Buscemi excellent. Rather sad. Ridiculous ending. 4 stars
9/03/01 daniel scarlett johannson is beautiful....check out the ghost world website, it's really well done 5 stars
9/03/01 Chris Harris I think it appeals to a minority. If you happen to be in that minorty it speaks volumes. 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
8/30/01 Patrick David Barber heartbreakingly beautiful. see it a lot 5 stars
8/27/01 C. MOORE Mise en scene ooks like Clowes's illustrations. 5 stars
8/27/01 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
8/20/01 B Horner A teenage film that was not made just for teenagers. Perfectly cast; go see it! 5 stars
8/13/01 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
7/26/01 Heather An offbeat movie full of oddballs, misfits, teen angst, lack of identity etc., good acting 4 stars
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  03-Aug-2001 (R)



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