User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 605 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 605
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  1. Poppagames___
    Jan 5, 2005
    10
    GrEaTeSt Flippin movie ever!
  2. NadiaN.
    Jan 5, 2005
    10
    Wow, this movie is brilliant! I don't believe there has ever been a movie that focused so closely on a geek's total being! This movie is the best ever!!!
  3. BobH.
    Jan 6, 2005
    10
    Beswt movie ever.
  4. AnnaB.
    Jan 6, 2005
    10
    This movie is THE best thing that has ever happened to me. haha it is such a funny movie! I loved it and was laughing the whole time! Sweet!
  5. cRaZii4NaPoLeOn
    Jan 8, 2005
    10
    Haha...Napoleon Dynamite is the best movie I have ever seen! It is hilarious! I just can't believe some people would not like something so funny..but there are people (aka flipping idiots) who don't like that stuff..but let me tell you...I'm one of the people who do!!
  6. jiml
    Jan 9, 2005
    10
    It was sweeeeet.
  7. NealM.
    Feb 11, 2005
    10
    Yeah!!!
  8. Jessica
    Feb 10, 2005
    10
    I can replay scenes in my head and I laugh hysterically....This is the GREATEST movie EVER!!!!
  9. EricaB.
    Feb 13, 2005
    10
    This move was so funny.
  10. bobm.
    Feb 15, 2005
    8
    Very peculiar comedy about high school dorks. It actually plays out really well and I found it very funny. The cast does an awesome job, and the weird 80's keyboard music fits perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised.
  11. Erin
    Feb 19, 2005
    10
    Its hillarius and brings back old memories! Even my mom and dad love it!
  12. StephM
    Feb 20, 2005
    10
    Omg this movie is the sweetess movie of all times... it hilarious and omg pedro is damn sexy!!!!... it's fricken sweet.. gosh idiot.. this movie deserves a 10 for sure.
  13. mattg.
    Feb 6, 2005
    10
    Stellar, best movie since Dazed and Confused.
  14. NhatT
    Feb 7, 2005
    10
    Hands down the best comedy of 2004. Laughed all the way through the whole movie. It was good all the way to the end. A must see!
  15. KenziLeeS.
    Oct 11, 2004
    10
    This was awesome. It was so funny. I really enjoyed watching it. I also really liked how it was "Clean."
  16. TylerF.
    Nov 11, 2004
    10
    The best movie ive ever seen. period.
  17. Jazz
    Nov 24, 2004
    10
    "6 dollars?.. thats like a dollar an hour" ahahaha.. the funniest movie ive ever seen.. id never get sick of watching it, its great fun!
  18. AndrewO.
    Nov 4, 2004
    10
    This is the best and funniest and most funniest movie i've ever seen,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,considering i have seen it 13x already. gosh, imagine the havoc i'll be causing my life when the DVD comes out,,,,,,!!
  19. ThomasH
    Nov 6, 2004
    10
    Who ever thought that movie was stupid must be handi-cap beacause that movie was the most funniest and weirdest kind of humor ever.And another thing its true nerds are really like that.So dang i give it a ten outa ten.
  20. davew.
    Oct 17, 2004
    10
    "What are you going to do today Napoleon?"
  21. KellieP.
    Oct 17, 2004
    10
    "I'm not gonna use hers, sicko!" This was the funniest movie ever. For those of you who don't think so, you obviously have no humor level at all. I dont get how this couldn't be funny. I laughed all the way through, and even months after when literally everyone who saw it was quoting it.
  22. JacobM.
    Oct 18, 2004
    9
    It can't get much better... Why all the comparisons to Rushmore? Rushmore was not close to this.
  23. JustinF.
    Nov 9, 2004
    10
    The only reason this movie gets a 10 is because there is no higher number. It is great. If you have any sense of humor at all you will absolutely love this movie!!! MUST SEE!!!
  24. MicaT.
    Dec 15, 2004
    10
    This is one of those movies that you'll either love or hate. Personally, I loved it... but it's definitely got a quirky humor that only some will appreciate.
  25. CraigS.
    Dec 17, 2004
    9
    Personally, i loved this film, although i can appreciate that how much you like it depends on how much you identify with Napoleon himself. This is a guy who inhabits a strange dorky world where the way to get girls is to improve your nunchuck-fighting skills. His half-arsed and ineffectual bouts of rebellion and resistance are funny and endearing. Needless to say i recognised much of Personally, i loved this film, although i can appreciate that how much you like it depends on how much you identify with Napoleon himself. This is a guy who inhabits a strange dorky world where the way to get girls is to improve your nunchuck-fighting skills. His half-arsed and ineffectual bouts of rebellion and resistance are funny and endearing. Needless to say i recognised much of myself (and friends) in Napoleon, so thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes a while to get into the series-of-short-sketches style of storytelling (how's that sentence for the Annual Alliteration Award? - or, indeed, that one), but once you do, its a treat! Expand
  26. BenD.
    Dec 20, 2004
    10
    The best movie in the world, especially because it has no point to it and its a change from all of the other teen movies. it goes from the popular kids to the rejected, which is cool.
  27. SteffF.
    Dec 23, 2004
    10
    I loved this movie! soo funny! finally theres a movie that is a independent, hilarious film in the big theaters. all these people who are gettin TO'd about no story can do die caues you saw the movie to laugh intill it hurts not to see an amazing story line. this movie shows you dont need a good story and lame sex jokes to make a good movie all you need is napoleon! loved it!
  28. LaurenM.
    Dec 24, 2004
    10
    It was probably accidental brilliance, but it is brilliant.
  29. NickH
    Dec 24, 2004
    10
    Thomas W. seems to have been watching a diffrent movie then the rest of the reviewers. "Absolutely brainless, souless hipster garbage" There are many well thought out sketches, and although they are somewhat disconnected they do have a strong plot. "what we get instead is enought irony and awkard 80's geek-chique to make revenge of the nerds look like casablance." There is more then Thomas W. seems to have been watching a diffrent movie then the rest of the reviewers. "Absolutely brainless, souless hipster garbage" There are many well thought out sketches, and although they are somewhat disconnected they do have a strong plot. "what we get instead is enought irony and awkard 80's geek-chique to make revenge of the nerds look like casablance." There is more then irony in the sketches. What make sthe movie funny is the fact that Napoleon and the other people in his town seem to be living in their own little world. "you don't always have to do what mtv tells you. this film is a waste." Absurdity! If you want a film that was made for marketing value, look at Ocean's Twelve, Meet the Fockers or National Treasure. If you want a smart, origional film that will keep you laughing, watch Napoleon Dynamite. Expand
  30. ClaireK.
    Dec 27, 2004
    9
    Haha! i loved this movie! it was soo funny, and i mean come on people who think it sucks and is a waste of time then you guys have no sense of humor i mean its just halarious all the things they say and just how they stand! i loved it! and i liked it when jon dances, and when he's riding the honey moon tamed stallion!!
  31. BrittanyB.
    Dec 28, 2004
    10
    I thought Napoleon Dynamite was one of the best comedy movies i have ever seen!!!! its perfect for every one,theres no sex,cursing,or any thing innapropreat. its perfect,and its hilarious...its *napoleon dynamite*
  32. LindseyR.
    Dec 6, 2004
    10
    This is the funniest movie I have ever seen in my entire life!! I cannot stop quoting it.
  33. Matt
    Oct 28, 2004
    10
    This movie is pure, unadulterated genius. I've seen it 4 times and love it. Those who do not like it probably had issues learning to read and write when they were younger.
  34. EliW.
    Jun 29, 2004
    10
    ABSOLUTELY HALARIOUS! this is the funniest movie in the history of nerd movies. it has the "so bad its so good" feel to it, and i loved every minute of it. absolutely ingenius. as dynamite would say it, "Sweet".
  35. SheridanP.
    Jun 29, 2004
    10
    It's much harder to be funny without being crude, gross, or vulgar these days. This movie is genuinely hilarious. It allows us to laugh at the geek in us all.
  36. H.Y.
    Jul 13, 2004
    10
    So funny!! I knew a lot of people like this in high school! In fact I'm one of them! A win for the nerd!
  37. ScottH.
    Jul 16, 2004
    10
    Best Comedy I have seen all year...possbilly even the best movie.
  38. JamesL.
    Jul 18, 2004
    10
    I laughed throughout the entire movie. This is the best comedy I have seen in a long time.
  39. ChadS.
    Jul 18, 2004
    7
    Since Mexicans are so often portrayed as drug dealers and every other kind of undesirable, Pedro (Effren Ramirez) is a breakthrough character of sorts, the Latino nerd. Like Napoleon, are we laughing at, or with him? With the right tone, however, you can get away with the former. "Napoleon Dynamite" isn't mean-spirited like "Happiness". Pedro's friendship with Napoleon is by Since Mexicans are so often portrayed as drug dealers and every other kind of undesirable, Pedro (Effren Ramirez) is a breakthrough character of sorts, the Latino nerd. Like Napoleon, are we laughing at, or with him? With the right tone, however, you can get away with the former. "Napoleon Dynamite" isn't mean-spirited like "Happiness". Pedro's friendship with Napoleon is by default. When his English improves, he'll make new friends. When Napoleon helps Pedro achieve his goal, he unwittingly speeds up the process. "Napoleon Dynamite" ends happily, but our hero probably has the same scary future as Dawn Wiener from "Welcome to the Dollhouse". Writer/director Jared Hess has more compassion than Todd Solondz. Napoleon has his day in the sun. Deb (Tina Majorino) likes him. But it's not going to work. He doesn't let her win at tetherball. Expand
  40. OmarY.
    Jul 19, 2004
    10
    Besides the fact that it was funny, this is a genuine movie with terrific acting, the final few scenes were absolutely PRICELESS.
  41. ArtV.
    Jul 22, 2004
    8
    I think this movie was great and Napoleons facial expressions are the truth. What the flip is wrong with all you guys who rated this movie poorly?
  42. OmarE.
    Jul 22, 2004
    10
    THIS MOVIE RULZ!
  43. BenR
    Jul 23, 2004
    10
    My New Favorite Movie. The scene when Napoleon first see's Pedros Bike is So F'in funny.
  44. MikeD.
    Jul 25, 2004
    9
    I never laughed so hard in a movie theater.
  45. SaxonM.
    Jul 28, 2004
    10
    One of the best comedies I have seen in a few years. Critics say no plot or development of character, I say for this movie, none of these are essentially needed, but they are there. Just not as obvious as a movie like Spider-Man 2. How about Napoleon memorizing his current event! So many great parts!
  46. AlexK.
    Jul 28, 2004
    10
    I loved this movie so much I decided to start the first website dedicated to Napoleon Dynamite. Check it out @ NapoleonDynamite.org. If you havent seen it your life is not complete ;)
  47. LizzieR.
    Jul 29, 2004
    10
    The best movie I've seen in quite some time. I can't believe that critics are ranking Anchorman higher than Napoleon Dynamite. It's true that not much "happens" in the movie. But not much has to. It's enjoyable enough just to be with these characters for two hours. I was sad when the movie was over! I'm going to see it in the theatre again.
  48. DanicaB.
    Aug 17, 2004
    9
    This movie is sssoooo funny!! omg like u'll laugh ur ass off at the stupidest jokes haha but ya it took me a while to figure it out but like if u dont expect some great plot then u'll love it.
  49. ThomasG.
    Aug 21, 2004
    10
    Its only one of the best movies ive ever seen all year......my friend was like what u doing today......and was like.....seeing napoleon dynamite...GOSH!
  50. TomB.
    Aug 23, 2004
    10
    This is like the greatest movie ever created i am in love with all the charactors and the 1 liners and everything about the movie was amazing.
  51. AllisonH.
    Aug 27, 2004
    10
    It was the best movie I have ever seen in my life, I have never laughed that hard during a whole movie. Most movies have funny moments, but this entire movie was a funny moment I loved it. I think everyone should see it.
  52. WesW.
    Aug 31, 2004
    10
    At the end of the movie, all of the "children" in the theater, including anyone up to about 18, were imitating classic lines from the movie and remembering them fondly. Yet, many of the adult voices I heard were saying such things as "How can you like that?" Well, I answered "Because it's the only real awesome movie that I've seen in years." In fact, the beginning credits are At the end of the movie, all of the "children" in the theater, including anyone up to about 18, were imitating classic lines from the movie and remembering them fondly. Yet, many of the adult voices I heard were saying such things as "How can you like that?" Well, I answered "Because it's the only real awesome movie that I've seen in years." In fact, the beginning credits are better than most whole movies I've seen in my life. This is a definite classic. As a matter of fact, this movie even has a fan club, which I'm a part of. Do any movies you know of have fan clubs? Expand
  53. NikkiS.
    Aug 31, 2004
    10
    Hillarious! I haven't laughed so much at the theatre in a long time.
  54. MeganT
    Sep 14, 2004
    10
    This movie was so freakin funny...i was crying almost the entire movie. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!!
  55. SebB.
    Jan 16, 2005
    10
    This movie is so funny, the actors portray their characters so perfectly. The movie baseically has no storyline, it's hilarious though.
  56. MattP.
    Jan 17, 2005
    8
    Pretty funny in that quiet, subersive way. Not for everybody though.
  57. streetrat
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    I wached it 15 times the day igot it!!!!
  58. BobR.
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    The world is divided into two types of people: those who adore Napoleon Dynamite and those who abhor Napoleon Dynamite. The only way to know which side you are on is to watch the movie. As for me and my family, we love the movie. I have seen it six times and am ready to see it again. I will laugh out loud just thinking about the many hilarious scenes in the movie. Those who love the movie The world is divided into two types of people: those who adore Napoleon Dynamite and those who abhor Napoleon Dynamite. The only way to know which side you are on is to watch the movie. As for me and my family, we love the movie. I have seen it six times and am ready to see it again. I will laugh out loud just thinking about the many hilarious scenes in the movie. Those who love the movie belong to a club that all outsiders will never understand. And that's sweet. Expand
  59. simorar
    Jan 22, 2005
    9
    Sweet!
  60. ChrisP.
    Jan 23, 2005
    8
    I love this movie. Every scene has SOMETHING memorable in it. Some of the critics complained about its meanness, but I don't see it that way - Napolean is a geek, but he's totally confident and plays by his own rules, rising above his "oppressors".
  61. bethf
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen and by-far the best movie of 2004. A lot of the things that occur do throw me back to my teen-age day (IE the snack pack of potato chips and the random mixtures of lunchrrom food we were served).
  62. ryanf
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    It was freakin awesome, the best plotless movie ever. no wait the best most funny movie ever made and the funniest that is ever going to be made.
  63. MattM.
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    This movie is nothing short of classic. This movie will live on well past our time as a cult classic which is how it should be. Once all the stupid impersonations are done people might not be as annoyed by it's randome fame.
  64. BrandieW.
    Jan 24, 2005
    9
    This movie was a refreshing break from the over-acted high-priced films we are all too often subjected to. I laughed till it hurt! Bravo for a wonderful film.
  65. CarolS
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    The most quotable movie of all time. I thought the treatment of the characters was very sweet and sympathetic...or maybe I was just a huge nerd in high school and can relate to Deb and Kipp and Napoleon more than most.
  66. EricP.
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    Whatever i feel like GOSH!!!
  67. A
    Jan 27, 2005
    10
    Freakin' SWEET!
  68. AlecB
    Jan 27, 2005
    10
    This has got to be the best movie ever made. These inexperienced actors pulled off a better performance than most movie stars do.
  69. AmberH.
    Feb 24, 2005
    10
    This movie is on my top ten favorite movies of all time. i laugh out loud every time i watch it. i love it.
  70. BenB.
    Feb 28, 2005
    10
    It flippin RULES!
  71. AmandaJ.
    Apr 14, 2005
    10
    This movie rocked my world.
  72. SallyB.
    Dec 21, 2004
    10
    I nearly peed in my pants because it was sooo funny! John Heder was PERFECT for the part!!!
  73. MarisaM.
    Dec 22, 2004
    9
    Absolutely no plot, but this is what makes it so funny. Everything is almost completely random! And you have to love the dance sequence at the end. That literally made me want to lay down on the sticky movie theatre floor laughing.
  74. JaimeA.
    Dec 22, 2004
    10
    This was pretty much the greatest movie ever made. Napoleon Dynamite hits it bang on with the power nerd in ever school. Who could not appreciate his killer moon boots and grandma hand-me down t-shirts. Anyways I should go practice my nunchuck moves.
  75. THORT
    Dec 28, 2004
    10
    Probably one of the best movies ever...but its not like anyone can ever really know that. for those of you who gave this movie a bad score you just didnt get it, and its okay to admit that you are a little slow at understanding jokes. If you found the characters unbelievable go to Idaho and you'll start to understand.
  76. DesireeR.
    Dec 29, 2004
    10
    This movie was the funniest movie i ever saw.i loved it a lots people that say 0 r so stupid.well the funniest part is that nepoleon say that people r retrait but he is the 1. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!
  77. Jun 2, 2015
    7
    While its difficult to know what to make of Napoleon Dynamite, I’m pretty sure I liked it. The film takes the familiarity of high school and makes it strange and abnormal through three strange/unique characters whose experiences prevent these moments from feeling cliché. I’m glad I saw this film while I’m still in my teens because I feel like this film does capture the awkwardness of thoseWhile its difficult to know what to make of Napoleon Dynamite, I’m pretty sure I liked it. The film takes the familiarity of high school and makes it strange and abnormal through three strange/unique characters whose experiences prevent these moments from feeling cliché. I’m glad I saw this film while I’m still in my teens because I feel like this film does capture the awkwardness of those years quite nicely. I’d probably have to see this film a couple more times to really be able to understand/express what it is I liked and didn’t like about it but I definatetly won’t forget about it. With characters so bizarre and some unnatural dialogue this is one of the more unique films I’ve seen. Expand
  78. Mar 2, 2011
    10
    High school teenage issues in a backwards town where everyone dresses as if they are in the 80's, a little behind the times. Phones with long cords, moon boots, 80's hair styles and Tupperware RULE! Napoleon is the sweetest and clueless of them all. It was created, written, produced and acted by college/college graduates and unknowns, won awards, was made on a shoestring and made lotsHigh school teenage issues in a backwards town where everyone dresses as if they are in the 80's, a little behind the times. Phones with long cords, moon boots, 80's hair styles and Tupperware RULE! Napoleon is the sweetest and clueless of them all. It was created, written, produced and acted by college/college graduates and unknowns, won awards, was made on a shoestring and made lots of money. Expand
  79. May 23, 2011
    9
    Realism for the geeks and nerds, Napoleon Dynamite is a very fascinating movie centered on a town of misfits. You'll find it surprisingly rich and inspirational while figuring out what it really means.
  80. Oct 6, 2011
    7
    I found this film entertaining, though as a comedy, itâ
  81. Apr 7, 2013
    10
    One of the best comedies ever made. Up there with Step Brothers, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Every little reaction that the characters make are memorable. There is a sweet, honest touch to the movie that most films recently have lacked. The humor mostly pokes fun at the nerdiness of high school, and it is perfectly relatable. The Napoleon danceOne of the best comedies ever made. Up there with Step Brothers, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Every little reaction that the characters make are memorable. There is a sweet, honest touch to the movie that most films recently have lacked. The humor mostly pokes fun at the nerdiness of high school, and it is perfectly relatable. The Napoleon dance scene alone is what makes it worth watching. Expand
  82. Jan 21, 2012
    9
    This is an incredible and very unique movie, and i found it hilarious. For the most part it lacks music and a plot, making it a perfect slice of teenaged life in the Midwest. unfortunately it gave rise to a number of movies with a similar comedic style, like Nacho Libre, and most of these movies were not nearly as funny
  83. Mar 31, 2012
    9
    Napoleon Dynamite is a classic film in my view. It has some of the funniest lines and scenes i have ever seen in a movie. I thought Jon Heder was fantastic. An extremely simple film but funnier than 90% of the comedies today.
  84. Jul 5, 2012
    7
    This is one of the quirkest movies I have seen. Matter of fact, first time I didn't like it, but grew on me. If you like offbeat humor and unusual characters/circumstances-this is for you. I can't imagine another character playing napolean! But most people either really like this movie or HATE it.
  85. Jan 22, 2013
    8
    Absolutely hilarious and original. Definitely a hit or miss comedy, and this one was a hit for me big time. Remains one of my favorite comedies alongside Dumb & Dumber.
  86. Nov 23, 2013
    7
    The nerdy Napoleon Dynamite and a bunch of other freaky characters, a lot of awkwardly stupid situations happening, the overall bizarreness of situations make this movie at least look unusual.
  87. Nov 16, 2012
    10
    Fabulous film, good humor, quite the movie. 10 out of 10.
    How could anyone not love this wonderful movie.
    Watch this movie, you will not regret this. :)
  88. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Relentlessly hilarious, with uncommonly unique characters dishing out pithy, yet unforgettable one-liners.
  89. Jul 20, 2013
    9
    This film is awesome in every aspect. First chance you get, WATCH IT! It will most likely leave the answering the question "Will You ever watch it again?" Saying "HECK YES I WOULD!"
  90. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite movie, ever since I was young. I've always appreciated independent film, since the filmmakers have a very adventurous and free spirit. Napoleon dynamite is a wonderful attribution to genre, that has been a slump for a long time now. Jon Heder gives a revolutionary performance as the socially awkward Napoleon, with his overtly exaggerated but very comical mannerisms.This is my favorite movie, ever since I was young. I've always appreciated independent film, since the filmmakers have a very adventurous and free spirit. Napoleon dynamite is a wonderful attribution to genre, that has been a slump for a long time now. Jon Heder gives a revolutionary performance as the socially awkward Napoleon, with his overtly exaggerated but very comical mannerisms. Perfectly acted and scripted and also appropriate for the whole family for a rainy day or movie night. An excellent 'underdog' flick Expand
  91. Dec 27, 2013
    8
    I think it describes perfectly what means being weird or different in highscool and because of that a lot of people have liked and felt identified with the movie and the characters. Napoleon Dynamite is definitely a cult film
  92. Feb 14, 2014
    7
    Napoleon Dynamite is a funny film. But is meant to target a specific audience. It has dislikes, I'm sure of it but for a first feature by Jared Hess I'd have to say this is decent. No, not decent but funny.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  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. 90
    The cast playing these eccentric characters is magnificent...This is definitely one of the most unique comedies you’ll see all year.
  3. A one-note, lightweight, condescending comedy about the rubes of Idaho.