Pleasantville 1998

Critics score:
84 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Susan Stark, Detroit News: An immensely intelligent entertainment! Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Much of the interest here is in watching how the black-and-white scenes (filmed on color stock) begin to flower. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Ends up having more on its mind than it can successfully handle. Read more

Paul Clinton (, This wonderful film speaks volumes about prejudice, the freedom of ideas, and the joys of diversity. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Technical elegance and fine performances mask the shallowness of a story as simpleminded as the '50s TV to which it condescends. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Endearing it definitely is, so much so that it's easy to overlook the simplicity, and the sly confidence trick that gets played on us. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: A movie of unique ideological derangement that simultaneously demands and defies precise decoding. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The most stunning thing about Pleasantville is the film's look, which rivals that of the year's other two most visually-impressive productions, Dark City and What Dreams May Come. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: One of the year's best and most original films! Read more

Charles Taylor, Both ambitious and simple-minded, Pleasantville combines technical sophistication with a rather limited imagination. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: There's a terrific idea at the heart of Pleasantville, and it's a shame that its creator, Big screenwriter Gary Ross, can't figure where to take it. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The lighthearted fable Pleasantville takes some pointed swipes at the make-believe world of 1950s TV -- and none too soon. Read more

Derek Adams, Time Out: An ingenious fable, screenwriter Ross's directorial debut playfully spoofs the small-minded lifestyle idealised by 'family values' advocates, and the intolerance and insecurity underlying that ideal. Read more

Joe Leydon, Variety: Ingeniously conceived and impressively executed, "Pleasantville" is a provocative, complex and surprisingly anti-nostalgic parable wrapped in the beguiling guise of a commercial high-concept comedy. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Funny for about half an hour, Pleasantville thereafter becomes an increasingly lugubrious, ultimately exasperating mix of technological wonder and ideological idiocy. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: So ambitious, so clever and so satisfying in so many ways! Read more