Customer Reviews


49 Reviews
5 star:
 (39)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need is love.
I am Sam is a film which follows the story of a man with the mental age of a seven year old, as he attempts to regain custody of his own seven year old daughter. This film is beautifully crafted and where sentimental could have become mushy Sean Penn ,Dakota Fanning and the rest of a brilliant cast stop this happening. I think that Sean Penns' portrayal of Sam far...
Published on 18 Aug 2004 by Ms. Dm Hughes

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I nearly hired this as i was not fully sure i would actually enjoy this! But we found it on offer in a local store so i decided to buy it.

I must say...the actors are brilliant! they did not fail their roles!

However...it is a good film but not really brilliant for me...i would say hire it first....not everyone's cup of tea!
Published on 10 Oct 2006 by kat1990


‹ Previous | 14 5 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars heart warming film, 19 July 2005
By 
H. Preston "hayleydc3" (Staffs, England UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
dakota fanning who plays sean pens daughter in the film was brilliant. for a young girl her talent for acting shone through. sean and michille pfiffers acting was also top notch. a definate must see. brilliant film for everyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whisper Words Of Wisdom...Let It Be., 2 May 2003
By 
S. Wright (Sheffield, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If you can be sure of one thing, it's that both the character Sam (Sean Penn) and the film in generally both have two sides. Sam, is immature, mentally challenged and obviously childlike...on the other hand he is seemingly the most loving and caring human being on the planet (uttering ''That's a wonderful choice!'' to everyone who purchases coffee from Starbucks where he works)...the film itself's two sides consist of these: This is a heart-felt, emotional, powerful film about disability and fighting it, and the battle with life itself to warm the heart...or it could be a shameless attempt to woo the critics and to win an Oscar...as someone who has seen this film 5 times now, I thoroughly agree with the theory.
I Am Sam is an unusual idea for a film, and that's why I can see that many would see this as a shameless attempt at being recognised, but in the end it is a great idea, and I believe the character Sam, who has the mental capacity of a seven year old, portrays his part brilliantly. And let's face it being married to Madonna must cripple you...but it's an amazing performance from Penn, probably much better than you might expect, but ask your seven year old son and he'll tell you how it feels. His daughter, Lucy (Dakota Fanning, named after the Beatles song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds), also plays a great part and will hopefully appear in more films, as she showed maturity and played her part well and added to all the other performances.
The film is serious, but yet feel-good and very funny too, but not to an extent where it is offensive. Sam's friends, who consist of a complete and total film buff, and someone who thinks he's being watched all the time, add some laughs and never cross the line.
I think anyone could enjoy this film, but it generally depends on your mood. If you're into feel-good flicks, or like films about fighting for something you want (a-la, Hallmark channel, but better) then you will adore this. If you don't like films such as this, then you shouldn't have read this far. If there's one thing, it's certainly an interesting watch. And it lifts you. I Am Sam also contains many Beatles songs reworked (They weren't allowed to use the original songs) by popular artists such as the Sterophonics (unfortunatly), Sheryl Crow, The Black Crowes and Nick Cave, but the most notable song of all is Eddie Vedder's (of Pearl Jam) take on 'Hide Your Love Away', and is certainly better than the original, as are most of the tracks on the soundtrack CD and in the film itself. But I Am Sam has to be one of the most under-rated films in years and I Am Sam is certainly no attempt to shamelessly steal trophies. You can just see it in his eyes. 5 Stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 10 Oct 2006
By 
kat1990 "xoxkatxox" (staffordshire,England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I nearly hired this as i was not fully sure i would actually enjoy this! But we found it on offer in a local store so i decided to buy it.

I must say...the actors are brilliant! they did not fail their roles!

However...it is a good film but not really brilliant for me...i would say hire it first....not everyone's cup of tea!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You will either go with your heart or your head on this film, 20 Feb 2004
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
How you end up feeling about "I Am Sam" is going to come down to which wins out, your heart or your head, because those two parts are not going to agree. In this 2001 film from director Jessie Nelson a mentally retarded man, Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) has to fight for custody of his bright 7-year-old daughter, Lucy Diamond Dawson (Dakota Fanning), with help from a cold-hearted lawyer, Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer). The state of California, represented by Richard Schiff as Turner, is concerned because Lucy is now smarter than her father and needs smarter parents (this seems a dangerous precedent to me, but you know what California law is like).
This film knows how to manipulate the heartstrings big time, starting when young Lucy asks her daddy why he is different from the other daddies and refuses to read any book that her father cannot read. Then we get to the point where the System, in its infinite wisdom, takes the little girl away from her father. When that happens we do not hear her screams, just the music turned up load, which reminded me of the extreme pathos of that same scene in Chaplin's "The Kid," where not hearing Jackie Coogan scream for his dad did not matter. Meanwhile, there is the whole bit as Sam wears down super lawyer Rita and gets her to remember that family might be as important as work. In the beginning Rita is basically shamed into taking on Sam's case, but in the end she is emotionally involved in the case and the life of her client. All that matters is reuniting father and daughter.
But the brain keeps asking some key questions about what is happening here. First, why did the State wait until this point to question Sam's parenting? The concern here is never about Lucy's safety with her father, but her desire to keep learning now that she is smarter than Sam. Second, if Lucy had been of average intelligence and not a cute little blonde kid if the State would have found her a wonderful foster home with Randy (Laura Dern) and her husband? I am inclined to think probably not. Third, why are the Department of Children and Family Services lawyers portrayed as villains? Every thing Turner says is true and he repeatedly makes it clear that his intention is the welfare of the child. He is talking practical realities and not abstract ideals.
Twice in "I Am Sam" the film echoes the famous child custody film "Kramer vs. Kramer." The first time the moment sneaks up on the audience, as well as most of the characters, and it signals a reversal in Sam's fortunes. In fact, the next time I am reminded of the other film it again signals a reversal in Sam's fortunes, and that was the point at which the head shoved the heart aside and rendered its final verdict on this film. I was not all that impressed with the rabbit coming out of the hat the first time around, and even less so the second time.
As for Penn's performance, I can see why he was nominated for an Academy Award given the propensity to give the Oscar to actors portraying handicapped individuals (Cliff Robertson in "Charly," Hoffman in "Rain Man," Geoffrey Rush in "Shine"). But I have to admit that such mannered performances next strike me as being as finally nuanced as other great acting performance. Still, he is good, and the scenes between him and Fanning sparkle.
Half the film is scored to covers of Beatles songs by Sarah McLachlan, Eddie Vedder and others, which makes for an interesting soundtrack album. Ultimately, I decided to split the difference between the ranks given by the head and the heart on this one because I did enjoy it, even as I complained bitterly about all the problems I saw in "I Am Sam." I embrace my contradictions, even in print and for public consumption. You are lucky; I was about to launch into "Heart Five, Head Three" inspired by "A Chorus Line."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Am Sam, 28 Nov 2005
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
“I am Sam” has been such a difficult film to review because although it contains some of the finest pieces of acting I have seen in a long time and overall the film’s message is a very laudable one (if a little misguided), by the end of the film I felt so absolutely manipulated that I can’t help but criticise certain aspects of the film.
Sam Dawson is a mentally handicapped adult who as the result of a casual one night stand is left caring for his baby daughter who he names Lucy Diamond Dawson, after The Beatles song. Sam struggles through the first seven years of Lucy’s life with the help of his agoraphobic neighbour and the aid of his gang of disabled friends.
Disaster strikes though on Lucy’s birthday when a misunderstanding concerning one of the Lucy’s school friends results in social services deciding that perhaps Sam isn’t sufficiently able to bring Lucy up. An initial court decision separates the loving couple and places Lucy in a foster home. Poor Sam, lost without his beloved daughter, picks a lawyer at random from the phone book and then pleas with her to represent him at the up and coming custody hearing. Rita Harrison is less than keen to take on Sam as her client initially, but as Sam’s innocent charm works on her she starts to develop a fierce liking for this unlikely hero.
As I say the film does contain many good points. Firstly the acting performances are excellent. Sean Penn is usually pretty good value for money anyway but here his powerful performance as the autistic Sam is brilliant. Dakota Fanning shows an acting skill far beyond her years and always stays the right of sickly. Michelle Pfeiffer is fairly pedestrian as the hot headed lawyer Rita, but she does everything right. Stealing the show for me are Sam’s groups of friends who not only show more than a knack for acting skill but have the childlike charm to really touch your heart.
Where the film lost it for me is the sheer audacity it takes with the manipulative tricks it plays to get the audience weeping along. Firstly the plot idea is simply ridiculous and even a minor examination of the story reveals huge gaping plot holes. Why has Sam and Lucy escapes Social Services attention for seven years? Why does Sam have no council at the initial court hearing? Why on earth was Sam arrested for just talking to a prostitute? There’s no real attempt to explain how Lucy came about in the first place, her mother when she leaves Sam stranded says “I only wanted a room for the night” Did she have to sleep with him as well then?
Everyone who dares to suggest perhaps Sam might not be the most suitable person to bring up Lucy, from the Judge to the Social Services careworker, is portrayed as a hard hearted, humourless disciplinarian. Even the potential adoptive parent growls and snaps at Sam at every turn.
Lastly even the screenplay is littered with inconsistencies. Lucy starts escaping from her foster mother’s house late at night by climbing out of her window and clambering down the trellis. However when the foster mother wants to stop her to confront her about the behaviour she puts an extra lock on the door! Eh? What happened to Lucy’s normal escape route then, the one the film maker showed up over and over again for the last 10 minutes!
It’s a film worth watching for Penn and Fanning’s performances alone but I guess any sort of more severe examination will more than take the shine off it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Had to be sent back, 12 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
It arrived on time but when I tried to watch it I realised that it was completely scratched and had to be sent back straight away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must see film, 23 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I have been meaning to watch this for a while and caught it on tv tonight. I thought Sean Penn's portrayal of a man with a learning disability was astounding and beleivable, although not altogether accurate at times, this i would say is down to dramatic license for the film, as he at times had a very good grasp of complex issues which i don't think was totally realistic hence my four stars.
However this shouldn't detract from what i thought was the most interesting and powerful message of the film, that no one with a learning disability should be assumed to be less able or patronised. The scene in the film which i think highlighted this for me was when he wanted to buy his lawyer lunch not because he wanted to be! an adult but because he was! an adult. I hope that this message comes loud and strong for everyone who views the film, i shall buy it to watch again, to laugh and cry and to help educate my boys! A must see film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 16 April 2003
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Sean Penn is just inspired in this film. Brilliant from beginning to end. A must have for any collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cliche-ridden, Sentimental American Pap., 11 Nov 2003
This review is from: I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A bird's movie. Riddled with predictable, sentimental american tripe, which proved a timely reminder as to why the vast vast majority of US made films are nauseating.
I'll give it's dues though. Sean Penn proved again that he's a great actor (although I think he studied Hoffman in Rainman a little TOO much). Pfieffer reiterated how sexy she is. Dakota Fanning was able, though VERY precocious.
In summary, if you get an invitation to go out and carve your thighs up, take it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 14 5 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

I Am Sam [DVD] [2002]
I Am Sam [DVD] [2002] by Jessie Nelson (DVD - 2002)
4.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews