Me and Orson Welles


Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater.
  2. 100
    The impersonation of Welles by Christian McKay in Me and Orson Welles is the centerpiece of the film, and from it, all else flows. We can almost accept that this is the Great Man.
  3. Christian McKay who, as Orson Welles in Me and Orson Welles"gives what I believe is the most exact and uncanny screen portrayal of an historical figure, ever.
  4. 90
    Art is a fairy tale we choose to believe in, and this movie, a fiction confected about real people, is too good not to be true.
  5. A real charmer, Me and Orson Welles is the work of a director who takes nostalgia, romantic possibility and the theater seriously, without being a pill about it.
  6. Linklater's film adaptation succeeds in bringing the flamboyant Welles to life.
  7. 83
    A thoroughly credible and deeply entertaining biopic about a titanically famous film personality.
  8. 80
    This is a movie of great spirit and considerable charm. It’s about the giddiness of promise--the awakening of young talent, after years of the Depression, to a moment when anything seems possible.
  9. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    A really satisfying backstage drama, this is an exhilarating tour around a man whose talent was almost as big as his ego.
  10. Linklater has crafted an always genial and at times even joyful period charmer about that moment on the cusp: before a boy becomes a man and another man becomes a mythological figure.
  11. 75
    Designed primarily for those who are intrigued by theater, curious about Welles, or some combination of both.
  12. 75
    Me and Orson Welles is, in effect, a sequel to Tim Robbins' star-filled, self-important film about "Cradle," but it's far lighter on its feet.
  13. 75
    What do you say about a movie that proves Zac Efron can act, introduces a master thespian in Christian McKay and launches a charm assault that is damn near irresistible? I say, see it.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The British actor Christian McKay resurrects the young Welles as a magnificent mountain of talent, ego, and unsliced ham. He, and he alone, is reason enough to see this movie. The problem is the “Me’’ - Zac Efron.
  15. The very name Orson Welles stands for genius wasted and betrayed, and the movie offers some foreshadowing of his triumphs and failures to come.
  16. In addition to McKay, Danes makes a sassy, sexy Sonja. And Efron more than gets by in his role as the sweet, plucky, starstruck newbie. It's a part that doesn't require much heavy lifting, though.
  17. Christian McKay's impersonation of young Orson Welles is sensational in this enjoyable, though slight, historical fiction about a teen who spends a memorable week with the legendary wonder.
  18. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    There are moments, especially when Welles is alternating between acting as Brutus and directing everyone else, that it’s possible to forget you’re watching an actor and really believe you’re beholding Orson Welles at work.
  19. 70
    Deft, affectionate, and unexpectedly enjoyable.
  20. McKay, a British stage actor who was doing an off-Broadway production about the movie legend when casting started, and Danes, whose acting always seems so effortlessly good, are the best things about the film.
  21. 70
    A sweet, modest snapshot of a long-lost time when a bold kid with a showbiz dream and a little luck could actually get somewhere, and if he could sing and dance to boot, his chances of success would be even greater. Zac Efron fits right into 1937; in 2009, he's a lost boy.
  22. Has so little fire that Welles himself would have wondered out loud what he was doing stuck in the middle of it.
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    McKay's performance is a revelation. He nails Welles' imperiousness, charm and vocal cadences, and even bears a strong resemblance to the iconic actor/director. He is thoroughly convincing as Welles and electrifies the screen when he's on it.
  24. 63
    A lightweight but sincere coming-of-age story.
  25. The difference between McKay and Efron is like the difference between a Broadway spectacular and a high school musical.
  26. The result is an often-screwball jaunt that isn't without its fun moments.
  27. Maybe this is a good time to mention that the director is Richard Linklater, usually a lot more versatile. Try to imagine a version of Linklater’s "School of Rock" that didn’t pivot on the manic music teacher played by Jack Black but instead, perhaps, on his boring roommate.
  28. Surprisingly conventional by director Richard Linklater's standards, this pleasant, low-key dramedy is most memorable for the discovery of co-star Christian McKay.
  29. Mr. McKay is in his mid-30s, and doesn't conceal it, so what's the point? By taking the KIND out of WUNERKIND, the movie also removes the WUNDER.
  30. 50
    Efron has yet to learn that smiling pretty is merely a component of acting, not its entirety. He makes for a supremely passive lead whose chemistry with Danes is nonexistent.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Apr 7, 2013
    An enjoyable film packed full of great performances and interesting characters. Unfortunately Zac Efron, who plays the main character, is aAn enjoyable film packed full of great performances and interesting characters. Unfortunately Zac Efron, who plays the main character, is a very poor actor and he goes a long way in dragging the film down. If they had cast a better actor in his part this film would have been a lot better. Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2012
    Once again Linklater proves that he can direct anything. This film is charming and entertaining. It works as a period piece, a biopic of orsonOnce again Linklater proves that he can direct anything. This film is charming and entertaining. It works as a period piece, a biopic of orson welles and a coming of age story as well as a drama. Every aspect and genre in the film works extremely well. This film is made with so much skill it is astounding. Christian Mckay blew me away with his subtle nuances as Orson Welles. The only time the film kind of faltered for me was it's climax which is the play itself. Full Review »
  3. May 5, 2011
    Who had the larger ego, Orson Welles or Julius Caesar? I have heard about the legendary Orson Welles ego and the film â