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American: The Bill Hicks Story

  Unrated Closed Captioning

Matt Harlock & Paul Thomas

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Plot Summary

Legendary Texan outlaw comic Bill Hicks was and still is an inspiration to millions. A true product of the American dream, his rebellious and exhilarating comedy left no stone unturned and his profound observations on American life were a life changing experience for many who saw him. The story of a son, a brother and a friend, this funny and critically acclaimed film is told 'in the round' by the family and peers who knew Hicks best. With captivating photographs animating the scenes of his rollercoaster life - from precocious teenager, through the dark years of addiction to his spectacular recovery, Hicks found international fame before his life was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of just 32. With rare unseen footage, this intimate and emotional portrait is both a revelation for fans and the perfect introduction for newcomers, to an iconic comedy hero whose timeless material seems to resonate stronger by the year.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 57
  • Fresh: 47
  • Rotten: 10
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Recounts a bright-burning life while leaving us mostly in the dark. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Apr 7, 2011

Fresh: Ultimately, the doc comes off as yet another reminder that, in showbiz and elsewhere, one of the greatest tragedies in life is unfulfilled promise. – Joe Leydon, Variety, Apr 15, 2011

Fresh: Posthumous albums and now this film are securing his legacy and enduring influence. – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Apr 14, 2011

Fresh: A portrait of the short-lived artist that will move fans while letting the uninitiated witness enough onstage highlights to leave them wanting more. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Apr 15, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

$$$ :(

$7 to rent?!?! Where do you get off itunes? This is an obnoxious abuse of your power.

I Love Bill's Comedy...

I love Bill's comedy, but this movie is just a superficial recount of a complex life and mind. Moreover, the incessant narration and photo manipulation is beyond annoying.

P.S. The film actually has a rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, and all the top critics rated it as ROTTEN. Rent if you want; I just thought everyone deserved the truth.

why so much $?

I was just about to rent this. My husband and I were really looking forward to watching it. Then I saw the price. Why would I spend $6.99 to watch something once? I am very disappointed iTunes. :(

American: The Bill Hicks Story
View In iTunes
  • $17.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings

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