Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Buddy movies are a Hollywood staple, but Rory O'Shea Was Here puts a new and profoundly affecting spin on the tired genre.
  2. 75
    Funny and moving, and more entertaining than some of the movies you are considering this weekend.
  3. It addresses the essential human need for dignity, for freedom, for mastery over one's life.
  4. The kind of inspirational movie that actually earns its crowd-rousing response as opposed to merely pushing the same old, emotion-coaxing buttons.
  5. 70
    O'Donnell's directing is assured and glossy as befits a former maker of television commercials, and Jeffrey Caine's exuberant script sidesteps cliché -- just.
  6. Better than the usual three-stage journey of courage, heartbreak and redemption. In this case, the triumph of the human spirit comes with a small bitter chaser.
  7. If there's such a thing as freedom for everyone, Rory's determined to give the prospect its most grueling road test.
  8. 70
    Constrained by formula but executed with heart and humor.
  9. 63
    As a feel-good movie about disabled youths, Rory O'Shea Was Here gets the job done, but it isn't interesting or daring enough to make it worth a trip to a theater.
  10. Reviewed by: Daniel Wible
    A harmless little charmer with a uniformly fine cast, played by the numbers for full tear-jerking effect.
  11. 60
    It wants to humanize the plight of the disabled, but it undermines its worthy aims by presenting its leads as martyrs and saints.
  12. 60
    A plea for equality of opportunity, a worthy objective somewhat obscured by non-disabled actors occupying the lead roles. In any case, one imagines Rory himself would prefer a Farrelly disability blooper reel.
  13. A shameless heart-tugger of considerable appeal that, like many movies that start off with much going for them, could have been so much better had its makers aimed higher.
  14. 58
    Perhaps a better moniker would have been "One Flew Over My Left Foot."
  15. McAvoy does his best with this subpar, heart-tugging material. At times his mix of easy charm and inner demon pulls Rory out from under the tired script, but those pesky dramatic forces keep pushing him back in for every predictable plot development.
  16. McAvoy is unerringly charming as Rory, a man who quickly discerns and dismisses well-meaning condescension. So one can't help wondering what he would think of this film, whose sentimentality comes across as smug.
  17. 50
    Grows ever more manipulative and predictable.
  18. The script, despite doses of irreverent humour, feels manipulative, and the music is oblivious to nuance, with a spectacular misuse of Johnny Cash singing "Hurt."
  19. 50
    The manipulative climax works, even as you feel like the jerk in tear-jerking.
  20. Rory O'Shea Was Here gazes at the physically afflicted and just about begs for our sympathy long after we've grown restless and eager to feel something else.
  21. Talented as they are, the wheelchair-bound stars of Rory O'Shea Was Here can't transcend a manipulative script.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. KeithW.
    Jul 2, 2006
    See it-Not pandering-Lovely and honest.
  2. WilliamC.
    Mar 27, 2006
    A very human story. In the same genre as Murderball and My Left Foot, where the normal viewer gets to understand a bit about the life and dreams of disabled people. Romola Garai adds sparkle and a glimpse of how each of might react to these courageous men. Full Review »
  3. DianeM.
    Jan 6, 2006
    Unlike others, I feel that this movie does not pander, but shows the possibilities for independence that people with disabilities can have. The acting is superb, particularly that of the charismatic McAvoy and the ensemble cast really works. I did not feel that I had seen a clone of "My Left Foot" but another genuine masterpiece that could stand on its own. Full Review »