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Based on 33 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 30
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Contrived, manipulative and shamelessly sentimental, this film is notable for the courageous reach of Sean Penn, who gives a bold, heartfelt performance. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Not about the justice or injustice of the legal system. Rather it's about the tragedy of Sam's predicament. show more

  • 25
    Mike Clark USA Today

    Drawn out and dishonest in equal measure, Sam fights it out with "The Majestic" for the title of worst "important" movie of the year. show more

  • 38
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    The film's one realistic performance is that of Dakota Fanning as Lucy, whose child's shame, fear and resourcefulness ground the movie in recognizable behavior. She breathes air into this suffocating enterprise. show more

  • 25
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    It's a difficult issue, one that is not well served by a hollow confection like I Am Sam. show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Penn makes us take the leap required by Kristine Johnson and Jessie Nelson's screenplay -- you end up deeply caring about Sam and Lucy. show more

  • 63
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    The role sounds like a sentimental trap, but Penn doesn't fall into it. It's a sensational performance, and he illumines a movie that sometimes seems in danger of descending into modish Hollywood political correctness. show more

  • 63
    Jay Carr Boston Globe

    Ham-handedly manipulative film. show more

  • 50
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The kind of performance Penn delivers in I Am Sam, which may look hard, is easy, compared, say, to his amazing work in Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown." show more

  • 50
    Lawrence Toppman Charlotte Observer

    The cancer of dishonesty begins to grow half an hour into the film, and it riddles the picture by the end. show more

similar movies

  • Adam (2009)

  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

  • Philadelphia (1993)

  • A Separation (2011)

  • The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

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