Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. People who see it may feel like dancing out of the theater afterward. Go for it.
  2. 91
    An exquisite, ecstatic film, crude in its characterizations and plotting, yes, but extraordinary in its capacity for elation and its hard-earned sentimentality.
  3. 90
    Bell explodes onscreen in a performance that cuts to the heart without sham tearjerking. Look for Billy to blast off.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    This delightful film, with its surprising depth charges of emotion, has the feel of a movie that's going to lodge itself in the public's affections for a long time to come.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    90
    Strikes a delicate balance of comedy and pathos with an uplifting final act that delivers a resoundingly satisfying emotional payoff.
  6. 88
    A triumph that deserves a broad audience.
  7. It's not just a movie about an underdog who fights the odds, it's about following one's heart -- despite the obstacles.
  8. 88
    You'd be hard-pressed to find a purer expression of rapture in a film this year than the one that opens Billy Elliot.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    Bell is utterly persuasive as the boy literally yearning to leap beyond the oppressively apparent confines of his world.
  10. Best of all, Billy (Jamie Bell) is that rarity in a film distributed by Hollywood: a real boy, confused at 11 about almost everything.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. Feb 8, 2012
    9
    Fantastically acted, wonderfully entertaining, funny and just sad enough to make it heartwarming enough to make it one of my favorite movies.Fantastically acted, wonderfully entertaining, funny and just sad enough to make it heartwarming enough to make it one of my favorite movies. I give this movie a great 92%. Full Review »
  2. DavidH.
    Jul 23, 2006
    4
    Compelling and funny at sporadic intervals. Otherwise pretty by-the-numbers. Would have given this three or four points if not for Jamie Compelling and funny at sporadic intervals. Otherwise pretty by-the-numbers. Would have given this three or four points if not for Jamie Bell's performance. I got the impression that the film got away with its maudlin sentimentality, cynically constructed melodrama and banal use of montage to the soundtrack of played-to-death British rock "anthems" on the back of it being set in County Durham where of course people talk and act so differently. As a resident of the area myself and having been born in the town that this film was set, I resent that the makers of this film made no attempt to give audiences from elsewhere any idea of what it feels like to live here. Full Review »
  3. Nov 24, 2011
    10
    "Billy Elliot" as another reviewer already said, improves with each watching. Jamie Bell gives a performance of a lifetime. Julie Walters does"Billy Elliot" as another reviewer already said, improves with each watching. Jamie Bell gives a performance of a lifetime. Julie Walters does a terrific job as well. Excellent movie. Full Review »