Napoleon Dynamite

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    60
    As long as you don't mind making fun of the afflicted, there are some killer comic moments.
  2. 60
    Sure, it quickly turns into a one-note exercise in laughing at the yokels, but at least it has a vision.
  3. The performances, even those by trained actors like Mr. Ramirez and Ms. Majorino, have the hesitant, blinking opacity that some directors look for in nonprofessional casts. Their awkwardness is charming, and part of the point of the movie, but it also makes for some dull stretches and thwarts your ability to regard the characters with sympathy rather than mere curiosity.
  4. A one-note, lightweight, condescending comedy about the rubes of Idaho.
  5. It's fairly entertaining--but not the second coming of indie comedy some notices might lead you to expect.
  6. Has to be enjoyed in spurts. There's no cohesive story, just a series of opportunities for the title character (Jon Heder) to strut his gawky stuff.
  7. So deadpan a film is Napoleon Dynamite, the story and the name of a gangly high school misfit in Preston, Idaho, that I can't say whether it was intended as a character study or a comedy.
  8. 50
    At the end of Napoleon Dynamite, you're glad the geeks have their day (even Kip's chat-mate turns out be a winner); you're also relieved to be rid of them.
  9. Filmmaker Jared Hess (who cowrote the script with his wife, Jerusha Hess) installs Napoleon front and center as a punchline in and of himself -- and as that dispiriting product of narrative defeat, a symbol.
  10. Reviewed by: Kevin Crust
    40
    It's a simple collection of sight gags and pratfalls that mines the overly familiar turf of awkward adolescence without bringing anything truly original to the experience.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 605 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 390
  1. MannyC.
    Jul 20, 2004
    2
    What gets me is how this thing killed at Sundance?!? What a terrible, unnessessary, boring self-degrading film. Jared Hess is a loser, Jon What gets me is how this thing killed at Sundance?!? What a terrible, unnessessary, boring self-degrading film. Jared Hess is a loser, Jon Heder is a loser and will never act again. Cheap, unapolagetic writing; sorry and tired sight gags. Tim P. gave this a ten "becasue were all dorks". Tim even dorks need a plot, and a reason to be dorks. Dorks also need a supporting cast and something better to do than help Mexican dorks. We're all dorks, but were all not Napoleon Dynamite, and we all dont concern ourselves with sorry talk show guests of people, and while we all may be dorks, my and probably even your movie wouldnt suck as much as this one does. Full Review »
  2. brad
    Aug 28, 2005
    4
    Not that funny, not that clever. Laughed only once. Disjointed, boring story.
  3. Jan 8, 2011
    0
    Napoleon Dynamite is definitely not my kind of comedy. As Roger Ebert called it "studied stupidity," the film just shows how stupid one is. OrNapoleon Dynamite is definitely not my kind of comedy. As Roger Ebert called it "studied stupidity," the film just shows how stupid one is. Or awkward. Or both, really. Which, not being American, does not resonate with me at all. Yes, maybe many Americans feel that way about themselves, but god - this was just a horrible film! It is one of those films that does not really have a point to itself, I feel. Maybe it does, but the entire experience totally goes passed me. I could not even finish it all the way, quite frankly. I could feel my IQ fall with every minute... Definitely would avoid this by all means. Full Review »