Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Perhaps the most ingeniously imaginative element in Son of Rambow, a film exploding with imagination (some of it scrawled directly over the film in animated expressions of Will's private world), is its very conceit.
  2. Funny and sweet and guaranteed to flood you with good feeling.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    In many ways, Son of Rambow plays like a pint-size, even cheekier version of the recent Michel Gondry film "Be Kind Rewind." Both are stories about people making movies not because it's their job but because doing so brings a vast sense of play into their lives.
  4. 83
    Watching skinny-armed little Will pretend to be the spawn of Sly Stallone in a series of botched feats of derring-do is a treat, as is much of this film.
  5. Reviewed by: Jamie Tipps
    This year’s diamond in the rough, a small movie that is big in heart and promises to be big at the box office.
  6. 80
    Jennings's film, with its missing fathers, sometimes threatens to become cloying, but it's almost always righted by a healthy dose of slapstick or the spectacle of little kids posing as muscle-bound killers.
  7. 75
    A gentle story that involves a great deal of violence, but mostly the violence is muted and dreamy, like a confrontation with a fearsome scarecrow that looks horrifying but is obviously not real --- or real enough, but not alive.
  8. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    A quirk-heavy comedy that tonally reads almost exactly like "Millions," as executed by amateur actors having the time of their lives.
  9. 75
    The film is filled with scenes about scrappy, cut-and-paste filmmaking, and the movie-within-a-movie that drives the plot also ends up as the centerpiece of the hugely affecting final scenes.
  10. As is the case with many English comedies, some of the film's slang is hard to understand. But Jennings' sprightly films proves that although England and America are countries divided by the same language, they are united by slapstick comedy.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Don't be put off by the title. This is no sequel, but a surprisingly charming British comedy that is only tangentially associated with "Rambo."
  12. Few movies have captured the intoxicating effect of pop culture on kids better than Son of Rambow.
  13. 75
    For much of its frolicsome, rambling running-time, Son of Rambow is like a guarana-spiked soft drink: It goes down easy and delivers a kick.
  14. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    At its most likable, Son of Rambow evokes the rush of discovery that turns budding cinephiles into lifers--that delight in finding a film that seems to express or coalesce some inchoate yearning, including a yen to share.
  15. A likable, lightly sticky valentine to childhood, the 1980s and the dawning of movie love, Son of Rambow was written and directed by Garth Jennings and produced by Nick Goldsmith, the duo behind the underappreciated fantasy "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
  16. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Son of Rambow bristles with the anarchic energy of late childhood and a genuine respect for the life-changing power of movies--even (or especially) the schlocky ones.
  17. A crowd-pleasing combination of buoyant spirit and occasionally dark humor.
  18. My only regret is that the film could not somehow take a leap forward to 1988. I would love to have seen what Lee and Will could do with "Die Hard."
  19. 63
    The resulting tale of friendship and family touches plenty of crowd-pleasing buttons but comes across as more than a little derivative.
  20. An endearing, well-acted trifle with lovely intentions.
  21. Luckily, Son of Rambow, a comedy that's part kid-buddy flick, part valentine to filmmaking - and full of heart - has both.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    A sweetly raucous adventure. Widely quoted comparisons to "Billy Elliot" and Tim Burton overstate the case for what is really a modestly eccentric entertainment.
  23. The team who made "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" display plenty of whirligig energy, if not much control or lightness of touch.
  24. 58
    The shooting of the movie-within-a-movie offers the brightest moments in Son Of Rambow, a testament to the innocence of the boys' creative impulse and the sheer unlikely pleasure of their friendship.
  25. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    A hodgepodge of popular kids' elements crammed into a mishmash of a movie.
  26. 50
    An '80s coming-of-age comedy with more energy than ideas.
  27. The super-hip style is groovy but doesn't mask the fact that Son of Rambow doesn't really go anywhere special or say anything much. For a film about falling in love with the movies, its insights on them are next to nil.
  28. If it happens to hit you right - that is, if you happen to catch its wavelength of tear-and-a-smile whimsicality - the movie will speak to you.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Nov 3, 2013
    The theme of this story is really good. Unfortunately it is only accomplished through excessive unnecessary foul language, random violence and drug use. Content which could had been avoided without compromising the experience of the movie. Full Review »
  2. May 25, 2013
    Eleven year old Will, sheltered from the outside world as part of a religious group known as the Plymouth Brethren has never seen a movie before. When his new found friend, school trouble-maker Lee Carter, shows him Rambo: First Blood the two set out to make their own movie, inspired by the Stallone classic.

    The pairs attempt to create their own stunts are certainly humorous, if not exactly laugh out loud funny, but it is the pairs friendship that is really at the heart of the movie. Bill Milner and Will Poulter are excellent throughout ensuring it never becomes overly melodramatic and Jules Sitruk brings extra doses of comedy as the leather clad foreign exchange student.

    Son of Rambow is certainly not a film that will have you creasing up with laughter but as the end credits role it is difficult not to feel good.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2012
    Why did you watch it?
    I saw a few scenes from this film a while back on TV and found them light hearted and amusing so asked to borrow it on
    DVD from a friend.

    Tell me about it.
    Son of Rambow tells the story of two young boys growing up in the 80's, William and Lee, who become firm friends while making a Rambo-inspired home movie full of self-performed stunts and childish violence. The boys are polar opposites at first, William's family belong to a strict and traditional religious brethren, so strict that William is not even allowed to watch TV for documentaries at school, while Lee is the school's worst behaved child. Despite their differences, the pair become friends by chance and both appreciate each others company, Lee's renegade behaviour gives William experiences outside of the brethren (perhaps none more so than watching Rambo: First Blood) while Lee finds a kindred spirit to overcome his loneliness at home.

    Should I watch it?
    Creating a film about a pair of schoolchildren's recreation of Rambo certainly scores points for originality. As I mentioned before, the light hearted and amusing in places and would be suitable for adults and children alike. The young actors Bill Milner and Will Poulter are excellent and are supported well by a small cast.
    The writers take inspiration from a range of films, not just Rambo, with the scarecrow in the field and French exchange student Didier coolly lighting his cigarette in church coming to mind. As a throwback to the 80's the film is excellent, catchphrases, clothes and music are all spot on. Just like J.J Abrams recent Super 8, hopefully Rambow will inspire a generation of young filmmakers.
    Son of Rambow is a quirky and original British comedy-drama, which suffers from being a little too sweet in places towards the end but more than makes up for it with great acting and humorous moments.
    Full Review »