About Schmidt (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

About Schmidt2002

About Schmidt (2002)



Critic Consensus: In this funny, touching character study, Nicholson gives one of the best performances of his career.

About Schmidt Photos

Movie Info

Warren Schmidt is a retired insurance salesman, who at age 66 has no particular plans other than to drive around in the motor home his wife insisted they buy. He's not altogether bitter, but not happy either, as everything his wife does annoys him, and he disapproves of the man his daughter is about to marry. When his wife suddenly dies, he sets out to postpone the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn't like, while coping with discoveries about his late wife and himself in the process.

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Jack Nicholson
as Warren R. Schmidt
Kathy Bates
as Roberta Hertzel
Hope Davis
as Jeannie Schmidt
Dermot Mulroney
as Randall Hertzel
June Squibb
as Helen Schmidt
Howard Hesseman
as Larry Hertzel
Harry Groener
as John Rusk
Connie Ray
as Vicki Rusk
Len Cariou
as Ray Nichols
Mark Venhuizen
as Duncan Hertzel
Phil Reeves
as Minister in Denver
Matt Winston
as Gary Nordin
James Michael Connor
as Randall's Best Man
Jill Anderson
as Bridesmaid Reading St. Paul
Vaughan Wenzel
as Man Mourning Helen
Judith Kathryn Hart
as Woman Mourning Helen
Marilyn Tipp
as Neighbor Lady
Robert Kem
as Priest in Omaha
Melissa Hanna
as Dairy Queen Employee
Tung Ha
as Frat Kid
James J. Crawley
as Other Frat Kid
Stephen Heller
as Tire Store Employee
Lester KillsCrow
as Native American Cashier
Thomas Michael Belford
as Funeral Director
McKenna Gibson
as Six-year-old Jeannie
Stephanie Curtis
as Twelve-year-old Jeannie
Beth Heimann
as Wedding Singer No. 1
Linda Wilmot
as Wedding Singer No. 2
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Critic Reviews for About Schmidt

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (50)

Heartfelt Nicholson, not for kids at all.

September 2, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

These filmmakers have a feeling for the isolation of blasted lives, but they also can't resist putting them down.

January 16, 2003

A poignant marker in the career of a major artist.

January 8, 2003

Ultimately this is a frustrating patchwork: an uneasy marriage of Louis Begley's source novel (About Schmidt) and an old Payne screenplay.

January 7, 2003 | Full Review…

This is a startling, resonant, life-affirming movie -- both deeply funny and deeply moving.

January 7, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Nicholson, emphatically off autopilot and acting entirely without vanity, perfectly captures Schmidt's fear, loneliness and fervent hope that his life is worth more than he's come to assume.

January 6, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for About Schmidt

Jack Nicholson gives a nuanced performance as a square, one of those guys who defines himself by his job, at the end of the line and suddenly w/o that job. Now what? Agonizing reappraisal. A tender look into the heart of American darkness, ably assisted by a decent supporting cast.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Alexander Payne and Jack Nicholson together? Awesome! But seriously though, this is a great movie. It's a moving story, if a bit depressing, but it's told so well, and the performances are absolutely brilliant. Much was made about Kathy Bates' nude scene, but it's handled well, kinda fun (in a good way), and not a big deal. I'm not saying I liked seeing her naked, but c'mon, it actually could have been worse. Thankfully it's not cruel or exploitative. I don't want to watch Payne's films too often, even if they are absolutely fantastic. His mastery of dark humor and uncomfortableness is both good and bad. He does it so well, and makes it all work and watchable, but the problem is, it can be a bit too real, thus difficult to watch very often. That's definitely the case here. It's a little easier to handle Sideways, though. I like this movie a lot. It's funny, finely observed, and just really honest.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Another genuine, intelligent gem in Alexander Payne's short but ingenious filmography. Jack Nicholson turns in one of the best performances of his career in this profoundly realistic film from the master of the tragicomedy.

Tyler Christian
Tyler Christian

Super Reviewer

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