Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Like Man In The Moon, American applies a thick gloss of reverence and sentimentality to the story of a comic pioneer who made his living challenging the kinds of neat, convenient, slickly packaged narratives presented here.
A portrait of the short-lived artist that will move fans while letting the uninitiated witness enough onstage highlights to leave them wanting more.
It's heavy on facts, but short on insight -- a surface-level look at a performer of extraordinary depth.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas work wonders with the old photos, animating and enhancing them to simulate Hicks' excellent adventure.
Globe and Mail:
In the stand-up world, to be a cerebral comic in America is to invite anonymity. In his short life, Bill Hicks extended that invitation and, more or less, it was accepted.
Even those who shrug at his combative style of humour won't be able to deny that this is a model of detailed and distanced biographical filmmaking.
The movie's appeal extends to the manner of its construction; it's an almost hypnotic kind of hybrid animation in which hundreds of photographs of Hicks in various poses and at various stages in his life are grafted onto two-dimensional backgrounds.
Ultimately, the doc comes off as yet another reminder that, in showbiz and elsewhere, one of the greatest tragedies in life is unfulfilled promise.
Hicks's shtick is so good and his life so ordinary that it's hard to escape the feeling that we might've been better off just watching a compilation of the groundbreaking funnyman's work.