Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
There's something sweet about Jonathan Segal's modest high school drama, "Norman," despite the contrivances of its protagonist's predicament and its stacking of the emotional deck.
The director, Jonathan Segal, skillfully builds on the tension that this situation creates, though he can't quite make Wingate's ending click. Still, Segal is so good with his actors that you may not mind.
Perhaps there was a disjuncture between director Jonathan Segal and screenwriter Talton Wingate, or the two first-timers didn't realize how difficult their movie-world premise makes it to take anything else in the film seriously.
Byrd and Jenkins earn the film its critical points, but the screenplay has too many moments that feel network-TV-bland.
Coming-of-age tales have been done and done again, but Jonathan Segal's Norman delivers a bracing twist on the genre.
Los Angeles Times:
For first-time screenwriter Wingate and Segal, in only his second feature (2004's "The Last Run), it's impressive work - they never overplay the pity card, opting for insight into the complexities of growing up instead.
New York Post:
There's a winning emotional truth in the father-son scenes in this Spokane-shot sleeper, directed with skill and sensitivity by Jonathan Segal.
For me, Richard Jenkins is the heart of "Norman." How often I've admired him; even in unworthy roles, he has such strength, he never seems the need to try.
Jonathan Segal's polished sophomore feature effectively grows more serious as it confronts the already grieving hero with the imminent loss of a second parent.
Although Norman succeeds in fleshing out its troubled main character, the actions of his peers are consistently harder to accept.