American Movie

Release Date: November 5th, 1999

DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2000

R |1 hr 47 min

Plot Summary

In this cult-favorite documentary, Mark Borchardt, an aspiring filmmaker from a working-class Wisconsin background, is set on finishing his low-budget horror movie, despite a barrage of difficulties. Plagued by lack of cash, unreliable help and numerous personal problems, Mark wants to complete the film to raise funds for a more ambitious drama. With the assistance of his bumbling but loyal friend Mike Schank, Mark struggles to move forward, making for plenty of bittersweet moments.

Cast: Mark Borchardt, Tom Schimmels, Monica Borchardt, Alex Borchardt, Chris Borchardt, Ken Keen, Mike Schank, Matt Weisman

Director: Chris Smith

Genres: Documentary

Production Co: C-Hundred Film Corp.

Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics, Columbia TriStar Home Video

Keywords: Amusing, 1990s, Charming, Mother, Quest, Offbeat, Underdog, Friend

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Jami BernardNew York Daily News

    Smith's gleeful, touching documentary records the agony and the ecstasy of realizing your dream, and intangible ways that such dreams help keep people alive. show more

  • 100
    Edward GuthmannSan Francisco Chronicle

    That's why American Movie cuts so deep: It's about the American dream, about not giving up, about being true to yourself. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    A very funny, sometimes very sad documentary. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com