Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 24
  2. Negative: 8 out of 24
  1. 75
    A delightful surprise because despite all the backstage drama, this is a movie that tells stories that work -- is charming, is moving, is funny and looks professional.
  2. 75
    The two youngsters are not polished performers, but that's actually part of the subtle charm.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    The story is enhanced by solid performances all around by Bonnie Hunt, Aidan Quinn and Kevin Pollack.
  4. The performances take the movie to a higher level.
  5. Even when his technique is amateurish, Jones' belief in the material is refreshing. Pollak's gentle humor is well balanced by the blunt wit of Bonnie Hunt as the O'Malley matriarch.
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Sweetly earnest little drama.
  7. The entertainment gods have cast mixed blessings on Stolen Summer. Let Pete Jones pray.
  8. Stolen Summer is no disaster, though. It's merely one more misfire fortunate enough to attract actors like Bonnie Hunt and Aidan Quinn, who almost make it work.
  9. It would be a mildly lovely thing to be able to say the movie isn't bad. But it is.
  10. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The film is shamelessly presented by Miramax as "The Project Greenlight Movie," and writer-director Pete Jones's big break may ultimately prove a liability.
  11. It plays like a big-budget, after-school special with a generous cast, who at times lift the material from its well-meaning clunkiness.
  12. 40
    Cringingly earnest, totally unremarkable fable.
  13. 40
    Beyond fulfilling the dreams of a seemingly nice fellow, the whole venture is a victory of hype over substance, loudly accomplishing nothing.
  14. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Plays like an aggressively heart-tugging, exceedingly vanilla Disney telemovie.
  15. For better or worse -- plenty of both, in fact --it's a movie that has a coherent vision. It's a shame that vision just doesn't happen to be very interesting.
  16. There are many plot complications, most designed to get us to applaud our tolerance of religious differences.
  17. 38
    The best story here is the one about how Stolen Summer made it to the screen; that's more compelling than anything that happens in Pete's world.
  18. You leave Stolen Summer with the feeling that you have watched acrobats stumble on a tightrope with no net below. Not a great show, but at least nobody got badly hurt.
  19. 30
    Just slides off the screen and disappears.
  20. 30
    Summer is like an episode of the religious children's series "Davey and Goliath," without the entertainment value of animation and a talking dog.
  21. Say a little prayer and save your money.
  22. 10
    A promotional gimmick that's being slipped into theaters with the sort of stealth accorded only the unprofitable or the unwatchable.
  23. 10
    Made with no discernible craft and monstrously sanctimonious in dealing with childhood loss, it might as well be called "Pray It Forward."
  24. How feeble a movie is Stolen Summer? So feeble they've just about buried the title on the film's own poster.

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