Eagle vs Shark 2007

Critics score:
54 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Eagle vs. Shark feels like a low-budget, foreign cousin to Napolean Dynamite, less polished and sly. But it's definitely in the same family, lulling us into friendly acceptance with its persuasively silly rhythm and deceptively big heart. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: [Director] Waititi's obviously a talent, but here he seems to be trying too hard to not try too hard; he's undermining the cleverness of the writing with the thudding hulk of its delivery. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Yes, the nerdy loser thing has been done to death, but writer-director Taika Cohen brings surprising depth to this film...Napoleon Dynamite dreams of being this movie. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The movie's idea of funny is giving the two lovers identical moles bordering their upper lips. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Eagle vs Shark has its own distinctive style, partly thanks to whimsical little interludes of animation, but mainly because it ties blithe absurdity to a rock bed of emotional truth. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: What was fresh a few years ago has naturally gone stale, and the film's excessive Napoleon Dynamite aping is almost as awkward as its maladjusted characters. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Floats by on a mood of concerned and puckish good will. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: The film's absurdist dialogue is consistently funny. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: What rescues Eagle vs. Shark is its focus on Lily. Although Horsley overdoes the winsomeness, she is genuinely appealing. Love erases Lily's geekiness and in its place stands an attractive young woman. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It's a tale that reduces angst, not to mention love, to a generational tic. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: So the only real argument I can make for Eagle vs. Shark, a stupid-absurdist comedy from New Zealand, is that I laughed a lot, often despite myself, and that while I might not be able to wholly justify it, I can mount a questionable defense. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Eagle vs. Shark might have seemed amusingly original, albeit in a self-consciously quirky, indie-movie kind of way, if Napoleon Dynamite didn't already exist. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Cringe-inducing comedy by New Zealander Taika Waititi more or less exemplifies the divide currently dictating taste in movie comedy, a schism reducible to a single question: Do you want to laugh with people, or at them? Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR.org: Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Scornful laughs are cheap laughs, and although [director] Waititi allows a few moments of gentle sweetness, he takes the easy way out too often. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: A pleasing New Zealand gloss on Napoleon Dynamite, full of geek posturing, sweet weirdness and disarmingly modest goals. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Daft, sweet, awkward and amusingly rude. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The tone and tenor of Waititi's effort are quieter, gentler [than Napoleon Dynamite]. This is low-key stuff, but strangely, goofily endearing. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It becomes increasingly difficult to care one way or another about characters who act like they have undergone frontal lobotomies. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: It sure feels like [director] Waititi got a look at Napoleon Dynamite a few dozen times on video and decided, heck, I can do that, and with cuter accents too. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Teresa Budasi, Chicago Sun-Times: A disturbing film trying to diguise itself as a quirky romantic comedy. There are indeed some laugh-out-loud moments; unfortunately most of the laughs are aimed at -- not with -- the misfits. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: If you just can't get enough of watching a waif being mistreated for comic effect, by all means go see Eagle vs. Shark. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Sorely lacks is a genuine sense of humanity. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

Jane Borden, Time Out: The actors' subtle, deadpan performances keep pure caricature at bay -- and also produce as much excruciating discomfort as laughter. Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today: Eagle vs. Shark is the kind of movie Hollywood should make but rarely does. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Jarrod and Horsley, odd as they are as screen subjects, undeniably make an indelible impression, but result is still innocuously mild and inconsequential. Read more

Jim Ridley, Village Voice: Maybe Judd Apatow's comedies also flatter the maturity-impaired by making their 10th-grade hang-ups lovable, but Apatow doesn't leave you thinking less of the women who abide them. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: You believe in it, because you believe in the small but decent lives of its characters, a rare experience for a hot weekend in June. Read more