Be Kind Rewind 2008

Critics score:
66 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Give Be Kind Rewind a little time and an open mind, and it just might grow on you. Its premise is absurd, but adorably so. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: It's inviting, undemanding and altogether wonderful. You'll want to see it again, or at least Swede it yourself. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Gondry might think he's parodying dumb comedies in which poor people rally to save beloved institutions from foreclosure -- but too often Be Kind Rewind just resembles them. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: One wants to protect this, but it's hard not to gag on the cuteness. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: The visual wit, game performances, and overflowing humanity have more than made up for the shortcomings by the time the film finds a final moment that's simultaneously abrupt and magical. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Perhaps Gondry realized the sum wasn't going to be greater than its parts and just left it at this: two halves, one more intriguing than the other, that don't add up to a coherent whole. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Rousingly bad moviemaking brings out some of Gondry's most blissful. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Eminently likable. And there's something about Gondry's persistent nostalgia that feels contemporary, or opportune, at least. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Unlike Eternal Sunshine, in which Gondry achieved real poignancy about a different kind of erasing, Be Kind Rewind falls into the same category as his The Science of Sleep: It's too silly, and straining too hard to be weird. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Be Kind Rewind may exist in a hazy, dreamy time warp, but its artistic impulses are strictly YouTube. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: There's an undeniable sense of wonder to Be Kind Rewind, a belief in both the beauty of the creative process and the magic within all men. It's an unabashed ode to common potential; it's also a lot of fun to watch. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Be Kind Rewind is, on one level, about the magic that can happen in fairy tales -- and only in fairy tales -- when enough people who like the good old ways band together to keep things simple yet cunning. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Innovative auteur Michel Gondry's latest curio is either boring or brilliantly boring. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, L.A. Weekly: The greatest mystery is how a movie peddling the bliss of moviemaking is absent any hint of joy. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Even though its thin conceit strains and stumbles into being, Gondry's movie somehow ingratiates itself to the dauntless dreamer that lives within each of us. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Most of Be Kind Rewind feels as silly and undisciplined as the mini-movies cooked up by its hapless heroes. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Michel Gondry doesn't understand -- or, perhaps, even care about -- the normal niceties of plausible plotting, thematic structure or satisfying character development. But he does understand joy. Read more

New York Daily News: Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A surprisingly sweet comedy showcasing a manic Jack Black. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: If it isn't up to his Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it at least has Jack Black and Mos Def around for laughs. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A celebration of the DIY aesthetic, and of the universal appeal of movies, Be Kind Rewind is a charmingly off-the-wall little tale. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Arguably the biggest problem with Be Kind Rewind is that Gondry never stops experimenting, even when the experimentation works against the movie's best interests. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I felt positive and genial while watching it, but I didn't break out in paroxysms of laughter. It's the kind of amusing film you can wait to see on DVD. I wonder if it will come out on VHS? Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Thick stew of awful. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: It's hard to get too cranky about a movie that, at heart, is a tribute to the joy of making things with your friends. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A feel-good film with a gentle comic spirit, a sweet affection for its gallery of silly characters and a sincere love for the process of moviemaking. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: It's a joyless ode to joy, it's a leaden salute to the silver screen, it's a painful testament to filmic pleasures. Be kind, and don't even begin to rewind. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Long before the movie ends, it slips right off the sprockets. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Be Kind Rewind declares that the riches of cinema history touch each of us personally. Films become so deep a part of us that we own them that our memories of them, whether faithful or fanciful, become their meanings. Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: The magnitude of Gondry's visual ingenuity is consistently jaw-dropping. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Takes a clever concept and cobbles a weak story around it. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Gondry would seem to have intended Be Kind Rewind more as a generous, sweet-tempered comic fable. But the souffle never rises. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: A fragile, somewhat precious celebration of DIY filmmaking and cult-film consumption. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Such a far-fetched shaggy-dog yarn borders on the patronizing. But Gondry's belief in community-based, handmade, DIY culture is infectious, and his cry against big-box homogenization (fewer choices, more copies) is a noble one. Read more

Jen Chaney, Washington Post: Read more