Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 555 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: From Preston, Idaho comes Napoleon Dynamite (Heder), a new kind of hero complete with a tight red 'fro, some sweet moon boots and skills that can't be topped. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. 90
    The cast playing these eccentric characters is magnificent...This is definitely one of the most unique comedies you’ll see all year.
  2. Thrusts us into a high school senior year like no other.
  3. 75
    Hess and his terrific cast -- Heder is geek perfection -- make their own kind of deadpan hilarity. You'll laugh till it hurts. Sweet.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Napoleon Dynamite is too low-wattage to be a true nerd anthem, but it's charming in retrospect.
  5. With the exception of one truly glorious dance solo, the movie treats its hero - and his equally uncool family - with undisguised disdain.
  6. 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.
  7. 30
    If Napoleon Dynamite really is, as reported, a semiautobiographical exercise, it is one of the most astoundingly self-hating such exercises in memory.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 386
  1. JackH.
    Jan 8, 2006
    10
    An instant classic for me. One of the most funny films I have ever seen! I feel sorry for those of you who are like, "What is all the fuss about?". Either you "get" this movie or you don't. I have a feeling people that don't understand why it's funny are old and don't understand. Expand
  2. CoryG.
    Nov 29, 2008
    10
    this movie is amazing. one of my favorite parts that i always love to just act out is "break the wrist, walk away." its not supposed to have a real plot, it just kind of exists, and makes people laugh in the process. the casting for the parts was great, especially pedro. i loved his apathetic attitude. Expand
  3. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    One of the funniest movies I've ever seen, it really captures the average socially awkward teen and dysfunctional family perfectly, I loved every character and every moment of this hilarious movie, while some say some of the scenes are useless I disagree, I felt they were all necessary in defining the characters, if you like comedies or just good movies, this is a must see, this is a masterpiece that is deserving of nothing less that a perfect 10. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. PatrickD.
    Sep 11, 2005
    5
    A Classsic? I don't think so. This film had so many useless scenes, where they only end up with another "Gosh!" It was hardly even a film-more of an experiment. Expand
  6. Nov 24, 2011
    2
    Its original and it is a little funny but really the entire film is just so stupid that I simply can not stand it. I dont understand how people find this film any good. Expand
  7. Aug 23, 2013
    0
    One of the stupidest movies I have ever seen. What an asinine waste of time. Even ten years after seeing it in theatres I look back on the film with hatred. Expand

See all 386 User Reviews

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