Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Touches smartly and wistfully on a number of themes, not least the notion that the marginal members of society - the ones who get spit out on the sidewalk with no idea of how it happened - might benefit from a helping hand and a friendly kick in the pants.
  2. 75
    The humor comes from the contrast between Elling's prim value system, obviously reflecting his mother's, and Kjell's shambling, disorganized, good-natured assault on life. If Felix and Oscar had been Norwegian, they might have looked something like this.
  3. Charms because of its natural, non-magical attitude toward humanity.
  4. Heartwarming here relies less on forced air than on Petter Næss’ delicate, clever direction -- and a wonderful, imaginative script by Axel Hellstenius.
  5. A witty and sophisticated sensibility brings individuality to the classic odd-couple comedy.
  6. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    Beautifully observed, miraculously unsentimental comedy-drama.
  7. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jack Mathews
    There is a little of all of us in their awkwardness, fears and neuroses, and we root for their success in the mundane as if they were ascending Everest. Elling is still in the running for 2002's most uplifting movie.
  8. 75
    A gentle comedy, brimming with hope and faith in human resilience.
  9. A sweet but unsticky comedy from Norway that was one of the five foreign- language nominees at this year's Academy Awards.
  10. 75
    An enjoyable experience.
  11. A charming 2001 Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film.
  12. This tale of kooky social misfits finding their place in the world is an audience pleaser, for all the reasons such tales usually are.
  13. Elling believes so fervently in humanity that it feels almost anachronistic, and it is too cute by half. But arriving at a particularly dark moment in history, it offers flickering reminders of the ties that bind us.
  14. Reviewed by: Gunnar Rehlin
    A darkly funny, very human comedy.
  15. 80
    Bighearted audience pleaser.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. CherylW.
    Feb 13, 2008
    It was really good. A little sexual and there was some bad language. Other then that it was great!
  2. ArneL.
    Jun 15, 2007
    One of my my all time favourite movies! Saw it in the original version in Norway back in 2001. Great, great film!
  3. TordS.
    Dec 22, 2005
    Great film! :-))