User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 610 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 610
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  1. Dec 18, 2010
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film starts in the slums of Mumbai where life for city's underclass is an unending struggle. Life is cheap, childhood ends early and exploitation is everywhere. It's dark, depressing, realistic. But things get better for our protagonists. Social realism is abandoned in favour of the drama / thriller (there's even a few nods to bollywood). There is a love story. This feels like a made-for-TV movie. As entertainment it fails miserably, and so it should. The reality of the slums casts a shadow over the whole movie. It's not uplifting, it just feels tawdry. Expand
  2. DK
    Jan 5, 2009
    5
    Eye-rollingly formulaic. This one wins the "Pan's Labyrinth" critically overrated film of the year award. Today's filmmakers have no clue how to tell a compelling story. Just another style over substance fluff-job.
  3. AshY
    Apr 27, 2010
    5
    @erin I'm sorry? India is in every sense a free country, which I can say, being an Indian myself. About the film: Ok, but there are much better films out there. I did not like the movie much as it shows India in a bad sense, and I love my country. The acting was good.
  4. CarlO.
    Jan 1, 2009
    6
    I must be from another planet, or I watched a different movie than the one everyone's raving about, or I got much more humanity & entertainment out of a true masterpiece like Salaam Bombay. Slumdog is contrived and shallow when it could be at its best. The silver screen buckles under the gigantic Who Wants to be a Millionaire graphics. It has its moments, to be fair, but in such a I must be from another planet, or I watched a different movie than the one everyone's raving about, or I got much more humanity & entertainment out of a true masterpiece like Salaam Bombay. Slumdog is contrived and shallow when it could be at its best. The silver screen buckles under the gigantic Who Wants to be a Millionaire graphics. It has its moments, to be fair, but in such a compelling setting as Mumbai, Director Danny Boyle manages to serve up fast food when we could have been tasting authentic street fare. Expand
  5. MartinG
    Apr 20, 2009
    5
    Utterly average. Script is okay and cheesy at times. Acting is average. The camera work is average. It does show India in a non-bollywood way which is nice, but nothing worthy of praise. The only reason it's done well is because of the PC times we live in and the "oh poor them" attitude the film portrays. It's a feel good movie so utterly predictable and unrealistic. Honestly, Utterly average. Script is okay and cheesy at times. Acting is average. The camera work is average. It does show India in a non-bollywood way which is nice, but nothing worthy of praise. The only reason it's done well is because of the PC times we live in and the "oh poor them" attitude the film portrays. It's a feel good movie so utterly predictable and unrealistic. Honestly, if you want to feel good, watch a comedy. If you want to watch something about good people hard done by coming out all the better, watch Defiance. This movie is cheesy & uninspired, no different from your average chick flick. Expand
  6. WandaD.
    Dec 29, 2008
    6
    I am not usually one to write reviews, but since my point of view is not represented....I walked out of this film. It started with a torture scene, which was soon followed by a mob scene in which the hero's mother is murdered. The hero and his brother (now orphans) are soon picked up by an "orphanage." The orphanage teaches the kids to beg and when they burn one of the kid's I am not usually one to write reviews, but since my point of view is not represented....I walked out of this film. It started with a torture scene, which was soon followed by a mob scene in which the hero's mother is murdered. The hero and his brother (now orphans) are soon picked up by an "orphanage." The orphanage teaches the kids to beg and when they burn one of the kid's eyes out to make him a better beggar - I walked out. I've seen many movies set in India and was ready for the poverty that would be portrayed. But it was too much. The scene of the kid getting his eyes burned out, haunted me for two days. The story had a great premise, but with each answer he gave in the quiz show - there was a related horror. That said, my husband really liked it. For me I could not stomach it. Expand
  7. CD
    Jan 27, 2009
    6
    I grew up in Mumbai myself, and while I am pleased that a movie about my city is receiving this much attention, I just wish it wasn't this particular film. It wasn't a horrible film, but I really didn't enjoy it as much as most people do. Regarding the credibility issue, I do agree that the film needed to "follow its own rules" as others have said. As I understand it, the I grew up in Mumbai myself, and while I am pleased that a movie about my city is receiving this much attention, I just wish it wasn't this particular film. It wasn't a horrible film, but I really didn't enjoy it as much as most people do. Regarding the credibility issue, I do agree that the film needed to "follow its own rules" as others have said. As I understand it, the movie tries to show fantastic things happening in a gritty, realistic world. But the world itself is not realistic. Apart from minor errors in terminology, (eg. talking in terms of millions rather than crores, calling the quiz show its US/UK name rather than the Indian name, etc.), the fact that all these practically illiterate people can speak perfect English is extremely unrealistic, which foreign viewers may not realise. A lot of the plot hinges on this ability. Also, as everyone should know, the 'phone-a-friend' thing doesn't happen live with everyone watching! The person on the other end would just look up the answer online before the call is even made! The quiz show is obviously always prerecorded. I also felt that, since Jamal's love for Latika drives all his actions, it was very unconvincingly portrayed. I understand the guilt he feels for leaving her behind as a child. But guilt is not the same as love. Why does he love her as an adult after having such a flimsy friendship with her as a child? I am willing to believe it's possible, but surely the director might have fleshed it out more convincingly. Lastly, the brother's suicide was extremely unjustified, and again the director could have helped us understand it better. Expand
  8. AnonymousMC
    Jan 30, 2009
    4
    This is a overrated and unnecessarily hyped movie. I have heard lots of music so far but could not what is special in the music of the film that it got nominamted for best music, backgroung music....Most of the time the backgroung music of "Kaun banega Crorepati" has been palyed, some other time a film song "Aaj ki raaat". I believe there are far better music we already have heard inThis is a overrated and unnecessarily hyped movie. I have heard lots of music so far but could not what is special in the music of the film that it got nominamted for best music, backgroung music....Most of the time the backgroung music of "Kaun banega Crorepati" has been palyed, some other time a film song "Aaj ki raaat". I believe there are far better music we already have heard in bollywood movies, even that is by A R Rahman.
    Lots of other points are there which have already been discussed in this forum, I will not go for those again, but I personally not satishfied with movie. I tried a lot to like the movie but I can not.
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  9. Alex
    Feb 19, 2009
    6
    Doesn't live up to its hype... not bad, but nothing special either...
  10. PatrickO
    Feb 3, 2009
    4
    Very disappointing. I didn
  11. JM
    Feb 8, 2009
    5
    Waste of money, was boring. just very unrealistic and horrible indi background. that video at the end? do i need to say anything, gayest crap ever. some funny parts but just not good enough. put me to sleep.
  12. smo
    Mar 8, 2009
    4
    Slums are cool. i mean, where else can you walk around covered in sh**? This movie is a feast for the overstimulated. Is someone trying to trumpet down the distinction between films and music videos for good? I do like the juxtaposition of game show to 'hard knocks school of life', yet this theme is no longer that fresh.
  13. DavidW.
    Dec 21, 2008
    5
    You've got to be kidding me. Do absurdly "earned" riches and a Bollywood starlet (there was no obvious chemistry between the actors so no "love" in sight) really make up for that horror of an early life? If they do then you can call the movie "uplifting". I don't think so and I am appalled by the way the audience is led around by the nose. We must really need a happy ending in a You've got to be kidding me. Do absurdly "earned" riches and a Bollywood starlet (there was no obvious chemistry between the actors so no "love" in sight) really make up for that horror of an early life? If they do then you can call the movie "uplifting". I don't think so and I am appalled by the way the audience is led around by the nose. We must really need a happy ending in a big way to jump for joy over this movie. Expand
  14. Ross
    Dec 29, 2008
    4
    The point of the movie is boring. Its 2009 and Im still watching movies about humans trudging around on earth. At this point in time, the viewer and critic MUST take into consideration, the TIME in which we live in, I am not interested in plots, even with high quality, that involve feeble comparisons between rich and poor, and young modesty for the rules and grandiose randomness primitive The point of the movie is boring. Its 2009 and Im still watching movies about humans trudging around on earth. At this point in time, the viewer and critic MUST take into consideration, the TIME in which we live in, I am not interested in plots, even with high quality, that involve feeble comparisons between rich and poor, and young modesty for the rules and grandiose randomness primitive civilization sometimes presents. I crave something innovative, constructive, and complex; in complexity simplicity can be established, at any point, for a common viewer, in 2009 i expect more from all entertainment genres. I am not a troglodyte. Expand
  15. JamieSamson
    Jan 25, 2009
    6
    what a tale... but it's not a great picture, a bit above average at best. yes, the setting is dramatic, yes, story holds some clever twists, but if you go expecting an epic, it falls quite flat.

    first 60 minutes were kinda borning, then the next 20, okay, then flat again. a fairly packed theater laughed about 4 times, was tense for about 3 and didn't clap at the end. It is
    what a tale... but it's not a great picture, a bit above average at best. yes, the setting is dramatic, yes, story holds some clever twists, but if you go expecting an epic, it falls quite flat.

    first 60 minutes were kinda borning, then the next 20, okay, then flat again. a fairly packed theater laughed about 4 times, was tense for about 3 and didn't clap at the end.

    It is written... it's worth about 3 Oscars, not 10.
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  16. O.C.H
    Mar 9, 2009
    6
    Like so many others, I watch Slumdog because of all of the Oscar hype. After watching it, I can only say this: I have no idea why this won so many of the darn things. There were a few interesting bits, but the entire first half was pretty boring. Plus, the entire story is about as plausible as me dating Latika. Is it worth watching? If you like love stories, then possiby. Should it have Like so many others, I watch Slumdog because of all of the Oscar hype. After watching it, I can only say this: I have no idea why this won so many of the darn things. There were a few interesting bits, but the entire first half was pretty boring. Plus, the entire story is about as plausible as me dating Latika. Is it worth watching? If you like love stories, then possiby. Should it have won any Oscars? NO! Expand
  17. KevinCorcoran
    Apr 10, 2009
    5
    Not impressed. Nowhere near the hype. Didn't even deserve to get nominated for anything. The dork and the girl barely even know each other...and that's what they built this steaming pile of overrated on? Also, if I never hear a damn Indian song again it will be too soon.
  18. StuartM
    Apr 25, 2009
    5
    I didn't really understand why the movie got all that hype and I still don't after watching it. They beat the fact that they were poverty stricken orphans to death. They beat the fact that the one brother is good and the one is bad to death to. Underneath all of its flashiness it was a cheap love story wrapped around some occasional violence. Good movies and especially Oscar I didn't really understand why the movie got all that hype and I still don't after watching it. They beat the fact that they were poverty stricken orphans to death. They beat the fact that the one brother is good and the one is bad to death to. Underneath all of its flashiness it was a cheap love story wrapped around some occasional violence. Good movies and especially Oscar worthy ones have to strike a better balance between plot driven and character development stories. The wrestler another Oscar nominated movie took 111 minutes just to tell us hes a washed up loser who only know how to wrestle. Expand
  19. GerryG
    Apr 4, 2009
    4
    I'd sure like to talk further to Sylvia V who gave the film a 2. Finally someone else who recognizes how Western audiences delude themselves into a sense of moral superiority by vicariously experiencing the struggles of others from the safety and comfort of their arm chair. No wonder North Americans are so completely lacking in substance. They confuse the images of personal struggle I'd sure like to talk further to Sylvia V who gave the film a 2. Finally someone else who recognizes how Western audiences delude themselves into a sense of moral superiority by vicariously experiencing the struggles of others from the safety and comfort of their arm chair. No wonder North Americans are so completely lacking in substance. They confuse the images of personal struggle and survival and in this film or the personal sacrifice of people like "Schindler" or with "Erin Brockovich" with themselves and delude themselves with the illusion of moral superiority by association. Consequently, when the chips are down, Americans simply assume their own superiority without ever having risked or sacrificed anything of real substance themselves. This is an OK movie but it is so utterly implausable it's little more than fluff. I think it's appeal is in the vicarious experience and idiotically tidy plot. Expand
  20. StevenH
    Jun 1, 2009
    4
    I was waiting for them to get gunned down by the gang at the end, but when they didn't, and especially after the credit sequence, I decided that this is one of the most overrated films ever.
  21. ZekeB.
    Nov 12, 2008
    5
    I just got back from a screening of Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm crazed with critical hyperbole. You should definitely see it, but, unlike every other review I've read, I have some issues: To paraphrase, and update, an old Rodney Dangerfield joke, look up "deus ex machina" in an online dictionary, and you'll find a link to "Slumdog Millionaire". It's a thrilling I just got back from a screening of Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm crazed with critical hyperbole. You should definitely see it, but, unlike every other review I've read, I have some issues: To paraphrase, and update, an old Rodney Dangerfield joke, look up "deus ex machina" in an online dictionary, and you'll find a link to "Slumdog Millionaire". It's a thrilling fast-paced hipster version of Forrest Gump,but it's still Forrest Gump, with an Indian accent( dot, not feather.) Not one of its hero's successes are hard fought or earned; they come from insanely implausible coincedence. It's deliriously goofy, and compelling, but those critics comparing it to Dickens because of a little Faginesque behavior ought to re-examine the careful way old Chaz constructs his plot contrivances. And the fact that Water, a much more heartbreaking India-based film, got slammed for artifice a year ago just goes to show how a good PR campaign can still spin wonders. All that said, it stands a great shot at a Best Screenplay and Best Picture nomination; it's Rocky directed by a guy with the street cred of Quentin Tarantino.It could be this year's giant success, unless some journalist debunks the entire "based on a true story" concept. Expand
  22. SamC
    Nov 29, 2009
    4
    I have seen a lot better movies about conditions in the Third World. Entertaining but contrived with some ridiculous twists.
  23. jacksfilmblog.blogspot
    Jan 21, 2009
    5
    With so much happening on screen, you won
  24. TomK
    Dec 31, 2009
    6
    Inauthentic and manipulative, poorly acted (by the adults, the children were better), but entertaining. Poverty has never looked like so much fun.
  25. ChuckM
    Jan 24, 2009
    5
    Totally overrated and did not connect with me at all. Not magical or tragic enough to move you and the gameshow parts are painfully bad. Very heavy handed, TV movie-like directing with not enough payoff to maintain interest. Once you realise how each incident pans out, your mind will start to drift. Not a terrible movie by any means but a bit cheesy, I really have to disagree that Danny Totally overrated and did not connect with me at all. Not magical or tragic enough to move you and the gameshow parts are painfully bad. Very heavy handed, TV movie-like directing with not enough payoff to maintain interest. Once you realise how each incident pans out, your mind will start to drift. Not a terrible movie by any means but a bit cheesy, I really have to disagree that Danny Boyle is a great director. Though I've loved a few of his films, some feel very childish. This is one of them. For this type of film all others have to be judged alongside Amelie, this comes nowhere near! Expand
  26. MC
    Feb 23, 2009
    5
    Poorly acted, entertaining, but too long formula piece. "It's grim, we get it, move on." I understand why some in India feel it's exploitive, but I can't tell who's being exploited, the naive movie goers or the poor people portrayed in this very average movie.
  27. bernd
    Feb 27, 2009
    5
    Very overrated and cliched. Not worthy of any Academy Awards. What happened?
  28. Gideon
    Apr 12, 2009
    5
    Gerry G is a d bag. I doubt you have had to sacrifice anything in your upity life. I like how you compare a movie to real life of "all Americans". I think it is fairly ignorant for either of you to base your opinions of who Americans are from tv or visiting a small area of this country. You act like everyone in America sits on their ass and does not work or fight for what they have. Good Gerry G is a d bag. I doubt you have had to sacrifice anything in your upity life. I like how you compare a movie to real life of "all Americans". I think it is fairly ignorant for either of you to base your opinions of who Americans are from tv or visiting a small area of this country. You act like everyone in America sits on their ass and does not work or fight for what they have. Good thing there is the internet; if you didn't have a blog to bitch on or complain about, you'd get back handed like the bitch you are. Hate on us all you want. I Wonder where your shitty country would be with out us. Oh I forget. People tend to stop dick rhydin if the money comes up dry. If Americans are so damn stupid, then how did we get where we are today. How does it feel to be weaker then a bunch of fucking idiots. I have lived in poverty most of my life. I worked my ass off and I assure you I am more well off then 90% of people that have even posted on this blog. You may rip on me for my sorry english but I am a lab engineer and work in data centers costing over 40 million dollars. Go fuck yourself buddy. What do you do? Keep basing your opinions off of little polls people create to make all Americans look stupid. You cultural racist piece of shit. Go ahead and hate the great! Expand
  29. TylerB
    Apr 18, 2009
    6
    Mediocre movie. Way Overrated. I just don't get how it got such high reviews. The only things good about this movie were the child actors and the cinematography. The obviously bad brother who for some random reason decided to help the good brother at the end didn't make sense. Alot of other things kind of weirded me out but overall it was entertaining in short bursts throughout Mediocre movie. Way Overrated. I just don't get how it got such high reviews. The only things good about this movie were the child actors and the cinematography. The obviously bad brother who for some random reason decided to help the good brother at the end didn't make sense. Alot of other things kind of weirded me out but overall it was entertaining in short bursts throughout the movie. I'd recommend seeing it once but I really preferred Gran torino and Benjamin Button. I can't vouch for the other movies that were nominated but I didn't see those. Expand
  30. Jul 13, 2011
    5
    I am giving this movie three stars which it deserves just because of the cinematography and some other minor things. Else this movie is trash. I bet if an Indian director would have made this, it wouldn't have been considered even eligible for the Oscars. The dirtiness in this movie makes me retch. There wouldn't be a mortal on the planet called earth who could jump into **** for gettingI am giving this movie three stars which it deserves just because of the cinematography and some other minor things. Else this movie is trash. I bet if an Indian director would have made this, it wouldn't have been considered even eligible for the Oscars. The dirtiness in this movie makes me retch. There wouldn't be a mortal on the planet called earth who could jump into **** for getting an autograph of Amitabh Bachan. And as if AB will give it as well!
    And I hated the dialogue when Jamal says: "This is the real India," when a police constable was beating him up barbarically, and then an American interrupts and gallantly produces some dollars from his purse, saying "Let us show him the real America." or something like that. That made me shut my television off. Of course the movie didn't instill any excitement when Jamal was about to answer a question on the game show. You know that it is gonna be right. But the cinematography and the background music was great. And following Jamal through his journey is not all that bad, though. It is exciting sometimes. The love story which runs parallel is somewhat fascinating.
    This is a movie worth watching, but don't overestimate it as an award winner. Certainly if you are a non- Indian, it would be a new experience.
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  31. Sep 3, 2014
    6
    Slumdog Millionaire is above-average in comparison to most of Danny Boyle's overtly British and unnecessary work over the past ten years. Slumdog is only occasionally charming; and unfortunately, isn't quite as special as your favorite critic may have it out to be.
  32. Feb 19, 2014
    6
    It was an ok movie, although all the hype and (over)rating around have tempted me to give it a strictly negative review, but people who say "overrated" should really weight that word in the right way sometimes. Anyway, it was a good movie from a technical point of view or something like that, maybe just a tiny bit slow paced, but its great flaw to me was that, aside from what peopleIt was an ok movie, although all the hype and (over)rating around have tempted me to give it a strictly negative review, but people who say "overrated" should really weight that word in the right way sometimes. Anyway, it was a good movie from a technical point of view or something like that, maybe just a tiny bit slow paced, but its great flaw to me was that, aside from what people thought of the movie being overrated or not, the movie really really took itself too seriously for what it was ultimately aiming at: nothing. This is an entirely subjective way of looking at things, but here's what I think: if you are doing something that is just stupidly, straight-forward fanservice-y, even though I morally think that's wrong I will still respect you more than someone who does it subtly or that just thinks/acts like it's more than it is and ends up being just that but with a veil of dishonesty. That said, I think this movie acted like it was heading towards some big revelation or moral of the story, and left me empty-handed. What was the point of it all? "All experiences matter in life"? More like "wow, that was lucky". A shame, because for a non-hollywood movie it looked really great, had some good premises (the slums etc.) and it still retained its country's traditions (the final dance scene, I kind of like how it's a normal thing for indian movies even though right off the bat you'd think it's inappropriate or just silly). Expand
  33. Feb 1, 2015
    4
    I don't know why this got so much critical acclaim. It's boring as hell. The story jumps all over the place, and I get it's meant to be flashbacks or whatever but still, I barely even knew what was happening. And it got boring pretty quick.
  34. Jun 5, 2015
    5
    It's not a very entertaining movie. The plot is distorted, the characters are likable, however, and the acting is fine, but it's just not my cup of tea.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    80
    Absolutely perfect family entertainment for anyone over the age of ten. It is a celebration of not just the usual triumph of the human spirit, but a celebration of the human experience.
  2. 88
    The result is magical and life affirming, and will enrapture those who are not scared away by the mention of "subtitles."
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    70
    What's perhaps most fascinating about the film is Boyle's relentless focus on the realities of present-day India as a vehicle for his spectacle and laughs.