A Cinderella Story 2004

Critics score:
11 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press: A step down for Duff, who owes her fans and herself something fresher than another lazy rehash of the world's most-exploited fairy tale. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The sort of entertainment that makes you happy to be grown up and able to avoid the current onslaught of trite, lazy, unimaginative films aimed at tween-agers. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Duff is cute and chirpy; Murray is cute and bland, and the stepsisters squabble a lot. Ho-hum. Read more

Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune: Duff needed to channel TV-Lizzie for this role, but instead she gives us milquetoast. Read more

Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle: It's not a terrible movie, just a disappointingly pleasant one. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: A Cinderella Story doesn't break any new ground, but it's a well-acted little breeze of a film -- perfect if you're a 12-year-old girl. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: Thanks to a charming cast and several bubbly moments, adults in the audience may find themselves genuinely entertained by the pleasantly feathery story. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Mean Girls it's not; a plastic butter knife has more edge. But sometimes it's nice to know your kids won't cut their fingers. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: Feels like a pro forma TV movie from the get-go and relies almost entirely on Duff's likability to hold the audience's attention. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Duff plays off her Lizzie Maguire persona as a cute but unassuming girl, but also conveys soulfulness and earnest longing. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The movie starts off keenly aware of the hokum of fairy-tale schemes. Yet, like a slew of similarly themed movies (The Prince & Me and 13 Going on 30), it has a hard time giving its audience a brand-new vision. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: When not unnecessarily bland, synthetic, and indistinguishable from undistinguished teen TV, A Cinderella Story is unnecessarily coarse and dumbed down, with every character except Sam and Austin subject to perfunctory ridicule. Read more

Jason Anderson, Globe and Mail: Content to be another candy-coloured fantasy. It'd be easier to enjoy it as such if most of the young characters here weren't mean-spirited caricatures who chiefly serve to illustrate Sam's virtues. Read more

Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News: In typical Lizzie spirit, it's harmless, it's sweet, it's corny, it's fun and it all comes out impossibly right. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: Under the charmless direction of Mark Rosman, the actors seem to be frozen at the rehearsal stage, with the blessed exception of a sublimely funny Jennifer Coolidge as the Botoxed horror of a stepmother. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: Writer Leigh Dunlap and director Mark Rosman tart up their Cinderella variation with the predictable accoutrements of teen comedies. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Its take is about as original as its title, full of recycled ideas and half-hearted performances. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: The Prince is a wet rag, the slapstick stepsisters are dull and even the fretful Sam seems colorless. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The movie strains to bend the fairy tale to accommodate another coarse high school comedy of air-headed teenage vixens ganging up on a meek little angel. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: This witless little comedy takes the classic fairy tale and turns it into a Hilary Duff vehicle about popularity, e-mail and cell phones at a San Fernando Valley high school. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: A terrible movie, sappy and dead in the water. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: This teen movie is all about the packaging. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Susan Walker, Toronto Star: Give this wannabe Cinderella a big Bibbitti Bobbitti Boo. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Desperately conceived by even the most insipid standards of contemporary teen-queen cinema. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Modern footwear simply doesn't fit this perennial fairy tale heroine, who's been reborn as a Valley Girl in a rendition that stumbles in almost every conceivable way. Read more

Jennifer Snow, Village Voice: Lacks the guiltily pleasurable panache (and punch) of other recent chickadee flicks posited as protofeminist fairy tales. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Let me get quickly to the word that best describes this movie. It is horrible. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: You can say of this movie, truly, that they took the most famous tale in the world and broke it. Read more