Driving Lessons


Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. Linney hits a single note for her uptight character, while Walters travels the scale indiscriminately. Her outsized eccentric darts from amusing to grating. Only Grint is just right, as the boy they, and the film, can't do without.
  2. The screwball aging diva genre isn't the only formula guiding this stubbornly old-fashioned movie. Driving Lessons belongs to the silly feel-good mode of "The Full Monty," "Calendar Girls," "Billy Elliot," "Kinky Boots" and dozens of other celebrations of Britons defying convention to become "free," whatever that means.
  3. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    This coming-of-age movie, is a clumsy contraption, but it's nice to see Rupert Grint coming out from under that colorful thatch, and coming, not a moment too soon, into an appealing pre-maturity.
  4. 50
    Everybody in the movie is so tightly wound that Walters seems a model of actorly limberness. She cuts through the movie with speed and mannish, zany wit.
  5. 63
    Linney's character is written as a one-dimensional monster whose selfish cruelty is beyond redemption and, ultimately, belief.
  6. There is but one reason to sign up for Driving Lessons: to watch Rupert Grint -- Harry Potter's redheaded pal Ron Weasley -- squaring off with Julie Walters, Queen of the English Scenery Chewers.
  7. 63
    The mild British wackiness is more droll than funny, but the movie is a pleasant cup of tea.
  8. For all its treacly excesses of the post- "Full Monty" era, British comedy hasn't entirely lost its teeth yet.
  9. 63
    Despite its slight and vaguely silly premise, Driving Lessons turns out to be sweet, never cloying, and amusing in an understated British way.
  10. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Basically conservative yet titillatingly "eccentric" British laffer could succeed in the "Full Monty" import slot.
  11. Aiming for wacky and heartwarming, the film is, at its sporadic best, a mildly diverting coming-of-age story. At its worst, it feels forced.
  12. 70
    While Driving Lessons' writer-director, Jeremy Brock, sticks to the all-too-familiar template of such tales, he's given Walters her best role since "Educating Rita." Hamming it up with the precision of a master, she makes this somewhat plodding film a pleasure, as does young Grint.
  13. Grint's role is larger and more "mature" than we've seen from him. During his adventures, Ben is seduced by a Scottish lit-festival flack (Michelle Duncan). But in some ways, his work is more limited here than it is in the "Potter" films. I have no idea why so many people consider Ben worth fighting for, or over.
  14. With the aid of a charmingly offbeat story and a jolly good dialect coach, the stars leave you thinking, well done. Their spirited performances help cover up glaring holes in the plot.
  15. 40
    Because screenwriter-director Brock fails to create a moving relationship between its mentor and student in life's lessons, the film hardly resonates five minutes after it's over.
  16. Driving Lessons was written by director Jeremy Brock as a vehicle for Grint and Walters, who appeared together in the Harry Potter movies. They make a terrific screen couple. Walters is alternately zany and poignant, with Grint the perfect foil, a bemused, confused innocent who only wants to do good.
  17. Driving Lessons follows the well-worn path laid down by other, better movies while making strained, ludicrous things happen toward the end.
  18. Linney is too sensitive and capable an actress to play a stock villain like this. That everyone in the movie dislikes her makes you dislike everyone in the movie.
  19. The sentiment's a bit thick sometimes, but Walters remains sharp, and is sure to inspire drag queens everywhere.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. SydneyR.
    Jul 20, 2007
    In about the first third of the movie, Grint's character has very little lines. He portrays his emotions very well without words. But In about the first third of the movie, Grint's character has very little lines. He portrays his emotions very well without words. But not in a very obvious and blunt way. It's over all a really cute story even if it's been done before. Full Review »
  2. a
    Jul 9, 2007
    Average film - Grint stumbles awkwardly through the film while Walters shines.
  3. JohnM.
    Jul 7, 2007
    Good idea and good cast, but poorly implemented. Disjointed and frankly just not interesting to watch, comedically or dramatically