User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 39
  2. Negative: 12 out of 39
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  1. Rusty
    Nov 5, 2009
    8
    Funny. But you have to like this style of movie.
  2. JacksonJ
    Nov 9, 2009
    9
    Hess films make many squirm, as I do occasionally, but I see very redeeming virtues in their uncomfortable depictions of sad life in the rural mountain west. For most filmmakers and movie goers, Hollywood and the Cinema is a larger than life fantasy world. Women like Catherine Zeta-Jones play female leads, Men like George Clooney play male leads, and everything is more glamorous, Hess films make many squirm, as I do occasionally, but I see very redeeming virtues in their uncomfortable depictions of sad life in the rural mountain west. For most filmmakers and movie goers, Hollywood and the Cinema is a larger than life fantasy world. Women like Catherine Zeta-Jones play female leads, Men like George Clooney play male leads, and everything is more glamorous, exciting, and entertaining than real-life. In essence, film becomes an escape from the drab mundane to another more exciting reality. Even films that are supposed to be dramatic, gritty, or depressing are played up with an engaging score, winsome actors, or beautiful scenery. This departure from reality is ferociously combated by the Hess'. Their films appear to be set in black holes that have drawn in kitsch from even the remotest corners of the universe and their characters are costumed with the saddest finds a thrift store could possibly offer, but there is purpose in the uncomfortable ugliness of it all; and if you Expand
  3. alisond
    Nov 16, 2009
    10
    Hilarious, zanny, smart and tender. We couldn't stop laughing the whole time and went back again and it was even funnier.
  4. RobD
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    This is right up hess' alley. He does a great job with great cast. It's not intended to be an intellectually stimulating movie and you shouldn't expect to get that from it. It's just plain fun entertaining humor.
  5. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    If this film was an animal it would be a majestic eagle. It tickled me in all the right places and bought me tampons from stores I simply would not expect. 10/10
  6. Jan 20, 2011
    10
    I can't believe how harshly this movie was panned by critics when it came out. This movie is clever, original, and funny. It gets better on subsequent viewings when you start to really notice little things like a candy dish full of bullets or the attire of sci fi fans waiting in line for a book signing. This is the perfect movie to watch when you want to watch a movie and don't know whatI can't believe how harshly this movie was panned by critics when it came out. This movie is clever, original, and funny. It gets better on subsequent viewings when you start to really notice little things like a candy dish full of bullets or the attire of sci fi fans waiting in line for a book signing. This is the perfect movie to watch when you want to watch a movie and don't know what you are in the mood for. Expand
  7. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    Sucks that the studio crapped its pants at the limited release reviews. This movie is funny, weird, wonderful. If it had gotten a wide release, it probably would have made its money back. Instead it soured Jared Hess' name (unfairly). RyanGee's comments: Jared and Jerusha Hess are married. Not siblings.
  8. Oct 9, 2012
    8
    One of the only movies I'm able to watch multiple times and still laugh at the ridiculousness of everything. Of course, the humor is low brow and sometimes disgusting, but the movie does follow an adolescent writer after all. It's hard to recommend this film to many people, but if you used to make movies using your parent's camcorder, then I would suggest you watch this.
  9. Jul 5, 2014
    8
    First time I watched this movie two minuets in and I was underwhelmed but it quickly grew on me and it improves each time I watch it . Crammed with dysfunctional characters and some outrageously gross moments ( the defecating python wins for sure ) but it's ripe with hilarious one liners and our house often rings with quotes from the movie. I love it and don't understand why it was soFirst time I watched this movie two minuets in and I was underwhelmed but it quickly grew on me and it improves each time I watch it . Crammed with dysfunctional characters and some outrageously gross moments ( the defecating python wins for sure ) but it's ripe with hilarious one liners and our house often rings with quotes from the movie. I love it and don't understand why it was so poorly received Expand
Metascore
28

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 13 out of 21
  1. The best part is Jemaine Clement as Benjamin’s grandiose genre hero, Dr. Ronald Chevalier. Even if you love him on "Flight of the Conchords," you’ll be unprepared for his genius--and charisma.
  2. Has little to offer besides unrelenting strangeness.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    40
    Napoleon Dynamite seems perfectly well-adjusted (not to mention downright charismatic) compared to homeschooled mama's boy Benjamin Purvis in Gentlemen Broncos, the latest oddball character portrait from one-trick helmer Jared Hess.