Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: It is the summer of '66, and England is about to be consumed by World Cup Fever. For 12 year-old Bernie though, the biggest day of his life is looming: his Bar Mitzvah, and the day he becomes a man. However, Bernie's family is increasingly distracted by the threat of losing their business and their wayward older son, and the scale of Bernie's Bar Mitzvah diminishes daily. Worst of all the Cup Final is scheduled to take place on the same day and when England makes it through the qualifying rounds, Bernie's longed-for Bar Mitzvah looks set to be a complete disaster. (First Independent Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    In the end, though, Weiland ("Made of Honor") pours so much heart into his autobiographically "true-ish" story that accessibility is a nonissue.
  2. It's labeled a "true-ish story," and the results are cheeky fun.
  3. 75
    The story line sounds plain and simple, but the movie is enlightened by Bernie's impassioned narration and by a gallery of small comic details.
  4. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    You don't have to be Jewish to appreciate its genuine fondness for the claustrophobic warmth of family life among working-class people apprehensively inching their way toward upward mobility.
  5. 50
    On the plus side is a good cast, including Eddie Marsan and Helena Bonham Carter as Bernie's hapless parents and Stephen Rea as a sympathetic doctor.
  6. 50
    Though inspired by Weiland's own childhood, the film's plot sticks close to the underdog's coming-of-age formula and is marred by young Bernie's gratingly self-pitying voice-over.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    Instead of depicting a boy's first steps toward manhood -- ceremony aside -- it turns into an uninvolving portrait of self-absorption.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JayH.
    Dec 31, 2008
    Very touching, as well as amusing. It displays a nice feel for the time, exceptional performances all around. Well edited, fine direction and writing. Expand
  2. JimG
    Sep 2, 2008
    Sorry to say this disappoints more than it entertains. The only redeeming grace was Eddie Marsan, whose performances stand out even when material he has to work with is uneven. I love quirky period pieces, but this just doesn't add up. Expand