I Am Sam
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Moving but unrealistic film has mature themes, profanity.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 26see all I Am Sam reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Rotten: Plays out in such a conventional manner that it feels like a TV movie of the week from the '70s.
- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, Monday, March 4, 2002
Fresh: The movie's magic is that we feel more rewarded than manipulated.
- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 25, 2002
Rotten: As maudlin, mawkish and shameless a heartwringer as ever contrived.
- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, January 24, 2002
"love is all you need" Sean Penn stars in this drama as Sam Dawson, a developmentally disabled adult who has been working at a coffee shop and raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) for seven years. Sam receives help in his parenting duties from a circle of trusted confidantes, including his ADD-afflicted best friend Ifty (Doug Hutchison), the paranoid Robert (Stanley DeSantis), an agoraphobic neighbor (Dianne Wiest), and his other disabled pals, Brad and Joe (played by real-life developmentally challenged actors Brad Silverman and Joseph Rosenberg). Although he provides a structured and loving environment for Lucy that includes regular visits to IHOP, video nights, and karaoke, Sam's daughter is beginning to surpass him in mental acuity. When Lucy begins intentionally stunting her own growth so as not to hurt her beloved father, social worker Margaret (Loretta Devine) takes action, removing the girl from her home and placing her in the temporary care of a foster mother, Randy (Laura Dern). As the day of his hearing looms, Sam seeks out the aid of driven, obsessive lawyer Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer), who takes the case only to prove to her colleagues that she is willing to accept pro bono work. Opposed by county lawyer Turner (Richard Schiff) in court, Rita gradually comes to care for her client and his daughter, even as they force her to consider the limitations of her own abilities as a parent. The soundtrack for I Am Sam (2001) gained considerable critical attention, consisting entirely of Beatles cover songs by such contemporary artists as The Black Crowes, Eddie Vedder, the Wallflowers, and Aimee Mann, among others. Review This movie was very emotionally involving and rife with the talent of all actors included. Sean Penn did a remarkable job portraying Sam and a very young Dakota Fanning also gave an outstanding performance as his daughter Lucy. Michelle Pfeiffer was also wonderful as Sam's lawyer Rita. The plot was very well thought out and certainly unique. I loved it. While there were certainly moments of sadness, the times of profound joy at other points in this movie certainly counteracted them, making it a fabulous film that I would highly recommend to other viewers. 5/5
- LorenzoVonMatterhorn, Tuesday, October 28, 2008
A sweet film with good performances from Penn and Fanning.
- SirPant, Friday, September 18, 2009