About Schmidt

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Released 2002

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Movie Summary

Director:
Alexander Payne
Released:
2002
Rating:
R
Academy Award-winner Jack Nicholson ("The Bucket List," "As Good As It Gets") stars as Warren Schmidt, an embittered man who has just retired after 32 years as an insurance company actuary. When his wife dies suddenly, Warren packs up the 35-foot Winnebago that he and his wife had planned to travel the country in and sets out on a journey across the Nebraska plains to Denver, Colorado, for his daughter's wedding to a waterbed salesman whom Warren despises. Every move Warren makes seems wrong, and he appears destined to end his life as he lived it: a failure. But along the way, Warren recounts his journey to and shares his observations with an unexpected friend -- a poor Tanzanian orphan whom Warren is sponsoring for 73 cents a day. In his long letters to the boy, Warren begins to see himself -- and the life he has lived -- in a new light.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    What makes this exquisitely observed slice of American screen realism transcend itself is finally its moral sensibility.

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    A comedy poised on the knife's edge of tragedy, the film is a gutsy, truthful, deeply rooted vision of contemporary American life, scaled to the size of an ordinary man. It's a hum...

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Films exist for different reasons, and the indisputable raison d'etre for About Schmidt is to showcase Jack Nicholson giving a master class in the art of screen acting.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Dark Comedy