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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The life of 11-year old Billy Elliot (Bell), a coal miner's son in Northern England, is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. (Universal Focus)
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. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    Bell is utterly persuasive as the boy literally yearning to leap beyond the oppressively apparent confines of his world.
  4. Anchors its melodramatic formula in tough, heartfelt realism.
  5. 75
    Compared to manipulative tearjerkers like "Pay It Forward" or "Men of Honor," Billy Elliot is a model of restraint, one that earns its warmth the hard way -- by making us care about the people who are going through familiar steps.
  6. 70
    Good, colorful fun, and by virtue of its emphasis on escape through individual initiative rather than class solidarity, more likely to succeed with American audience.s
  7. It orders you to love it. It demands love, which is the best way not to get it.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. CorinnaW.
    Jan 3, 2007
    10
    Really beautiful film. Bell and Waters are simply superb.
  2. 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 a terrific job as well. Excellent movie. Expand
  3. 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. I give this movie a great 92%. Expand
  4. Sean
    Jan 22, 2006
    8
    great story, great dancing. although not as good as the musical in London
  5. Aug 25, 2011
    7
    "A young boy in a poor mining community in Northern England, wants to learn ballet, to which he seems a natural at, despite his disapproving father who feels that ballet is un-manly." Now, doesn't that sound like the hokiest premise ever? But, you'd be surprised. Expand
  6. 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 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. Collapse

See all 22 User Reviews

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