Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. 88
    It's refreshing to see Gondry's moviemaking still possessed by the community spirit he caught a few years ago with "Dave Chappelle's Block Party."
  2. 83
    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.
  3. 75
    At its best when it is at its most freewheeling -- when it tramples past logic, motivation and basic plausibility in its pursuit of a funny, whimsical kind of nonsense.
  4. 75
    A love letter to the technology and movies of the 1980s as well as celebrating the DIY ethos of the YouTube generation.
  5. A charmingly off-the-wall little tale. Black doesn't do anything he hasn't done before (in fact, he's already done his remake of King Kong!).
  6. It's as if Gondry lets his performers settle into their parts and feel their way through their stories. It gives the film an ambling pace and a unique chemistry that bubbles with strange and unexpected flavors.
  7. It's an exuberant, fanciful fable set amid the scruffy outskirts of American society, where people's need for escapism coincides with their desire to participate in its creation.
  8. 70
    An achingly sweet, shambling creation that takes its time and wanders through slow-moving sight gags and odd supporting performances (like Mia Farrow's, as a dithery, lonely woman who is among the store's only customers) and ends up with a marvelously warm community-melding scene out of maybe 1924, with a bunch of people standing around on the street watching a black-and-white silent film.
  9. 70
    In its sweet, lackadaisical way, Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind illuminates the pleasures and paradoxes of movie love.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    in a larger sense 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. As a movie critic and, even before and above that, a movie lover, how can I disagree with that?
  11. 70
    The films of Michel Gondry aren't for everyone, but viewers who vibe to his playful, cerebral, wildly imaginative sensibility might get a kick out of Be Kind Rewind.
  12. There's nothing not to like about the movie, a teensy, hand-crocheted trifle, fitted with embroidered pockets of guest stardom, including Mia Farrow as the nice local lady who wants to see what "Ghostbusters" is all about and "Ghostbusters'" own Sigourney Weaver as a movie-studio corporate meanie, ha-ha.
  13. 63
    Gondry and the gifted indie cinematographer Ellen Kuras have fun with the amateur versions of the likes of "RoboCop," "Rush Hour," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "King Kong" and "Driving Miss Daisy." These snippets are fun but frustratingly brief.
  14. 63
    Whimsy with a capital W. No, it's WHIMSY in all caps. Make that all-caps italic boldface. Oh, never mind. I'm getting too whimsical.
  15. The film doesn’t hold together. But it’s the work of a real director, however fantastic his sensibility.
  16. 63
    Predictable this isn't, but that can be seen as both an asset and a detriment.
  17. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Gondry might have been better off keeping his movie on theoretical/slapstick grounds, because, quite frankly, his attempts at sincerity just don't make it.
  18. Thirty minutes into Be Kind Rewind, you may wonder what you're doing in the theater. Sixty minutes into it, if you have stayed, you will know.
  19. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    The remake/parody sequences - trailers for which are on the official site - are outstanding, but Black’s all-over-the-place mania and Mos Def’s slightly too bland orphan hero don’t quite tie the rest of the picture together. Still, it has heart. And you’d rather see this version of "Rush Hour 2" than the original.
  20. Sweet-natured and likable as the movie is, it never really delivers on the promise of its ingenious premise, which hints at a subversive retelling of mainstream Hollywood movies but stops short at goofy homage.
  21. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The whole film has a rag-tag, purposefully shambolic feel -- but this communal commitment to a DIY aesthetic is also his undoing, particularly when he allows an irritatingly manic Jack Black to run wild and virtually hijack the movie.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feels slight and repetitive, even when there is no actual rewinding going on.
  23. Gondry’s well-meaning but too soft, too structure-less picture.
  24. The funniest things in Be Kind Rewind are not the many moments in which Mike and Jerry look like Ed Wood’s worst nightmare, but when the pair finds expedient ways to do for pennies what would take Brett Ratner millions and be less expressive to boot.
  25. 50
    Although frequently funny, Be Kind doesn't have the same pathos as "The Science of Sleep." (Nothing approaches the loneliness projected by Gael García Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg.)
  26. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    An unambiguous celebration of the state of preadolescent fixation. The movie is perhaps best understood as a 12-year-old boy: You want to give it a hug and then yell at it to pick up after itself.
  27. 42
    This movie doesn't have a mean bone in its body; the problem is, it doesn't have any bone in its body.
  28. No doubt Be Kind Rewind will soon make its way to – um – DVD.
  29. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    It's a quick trip from whimsy to silliness in Be Kind Rewind, a notably ephemeral work by Michel Gondry, whose flights of fancy can't overcome the egregious illogic of the premise.
  30. 40
    A comedy without one foot on the ground is no more than a flight of fancy, as directionless as a balloon; the master clowns of silent cinema knew that, and so does Mr. Fletcher, the gravid elder statesman of this film. As he says to Mike and Jerry, “I appreciate your creativity, but let’s be realistic for a second.” Be kind. Erase.
  31. A muddle—not amiably ambling, not affably shaggy, just a mess that gets messier till, at times, the whole thing looks improvised by amateurs more concerned with being clever than something resembling affectionate.
  32. This anachronistic tale goes beyond Capracorn to evoke Depression-era fare like "One Hundred Men and a Girl" in which the charm is overtaken by mush. One wants to protect this, but it's hard not to gag on the cuteness.
  33. Inside 10 minutes, at most 15, Be Kind Rewind reveals itself as an awful mess, and it only gets worse.
  34. Apparently pitched somewhere between a farce and a fable, this flick is neither. Just foolish. And frustrating. And, mostly, damned annoying.
  35. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    I had just sat through a comedy that wasn't funny, a drama that wasn't touching and, all told, a mess of a story told by actors making some of either the laziest or most daring of choices, depending on your perspective. Sometimes both.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 60
  2. Negative: 18 out of 60
  1. Nov 3, 2011
    This movie is goofy as hell, which is probably why I love it so much. Everyone needs to lighten up a bit, critics and the fools who walked out on it alike. Why would you walk out of a movie anyways? Full Review »
  2. RK
    Feb 1, 2009
    A very average film with some chuckles here and there and one hilarious scence when they are trying to break into a shop, but other than that pretty disappointing. Expected much more from such an excellent comedian as Jack Black. Full Review »
  3. PAbloP.
    Jul 24, 2008
    This was one of the worst movies I've ever watched. The plot was dull and lagged, the comedy wasn't funny, and the drama was just not moving. Nothing in this movie stood out other than my desire to Be Kind to myself and Turn the movie off. Full Review »