Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Jun 9, 2011
    80
    There are moments when this funny, self-consciously quirky film feels a bit like a Welsh "Napoleon Dynamite."
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 16, 2011
    67
    Submarine pulls off the difficult trick of being bittersweet without being saccharine and does so with a quietly riotous aplomb.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    Submarine has its own specific miseries and darkly funny vibe. It makes quirkiness briefly seem like a good thing again.
  4. Reviewed by: Ray Greene
    May 29, 2011
    70
    An auspicious, controlled and altogether droll debut film that resembles Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" without being derived from it.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 9, 2011
    70
    Ayoade owes a debt to Wes Anderson (Rushmore), but the parents here are so beautifully written, and Hawkins and Taylor particularize them so well, that the movie manages to hold its own.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 9, 2011
    88
    Submarine isn't an insipid teen sex comedy. It flaunts some stylistic devices, such as titles and sections and self-aware narration, but it doesn't try too hard to be desperately clever.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 9, 2011
    88
    Isn't merely joke-funny. It's texture-funny.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 5, 2011
    67
    It's also a mistake, I think, to have Oliver and Jordana be so emotionally flat. No doubt Ayoade was reaching for a hipper-than-thou vibe here, but their inexpressiveness is more annoying than cool.
  9. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 29, 2011
    50
    The film is so self-conscious it seems to be dictating your every reaction.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 1, 2011
    83
    Where "Bridesmaids" has plenty of solid gags, it's not much to look at; Submarine always has something impressive to watch even when its plot is on autopilot.
  11. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 5, 2011
    90
    Writer-director Richard Ayoade has the knack. A fresh and inventive cinematic voice, he's taken a subject that's been beaten half to death and brought it miraculously to life in his smart and funny debut feature, Submarine.
  12. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 15, 2011
    50
    The main problem with Submarine is that Oliver is not a likable protagonist.
  13. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jun 2, 2011
    70
    Divided into three chapters in a largely unsuccessful attempt at structure, the voice and the style don't combine as explosively as they should to pick up the material's slack.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 3, 2011
    80
    A charming indie that combines dreamy aspiration with mucky, hilarious reality.
  15. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 1, 2011
    25
    The movie knocks itself unconscious trying to be offbeat, but instead of cinematic heart, the director self-indulges in cinematic art, drowning the whole thing in freeze frames, slow-motion and color-coding, owing everything he knows to the worst of Jean-Luc Godard and Wes Anderson.
  16. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 3, 2011
    88
    The excruciating and the hilarious mingle nearly to perfection in this marvelously visualized and deeply felt British film.
  17. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 16, 2011
    63
    Does well in capturing the cruelty of school life and the assorted "types" who inhabit schools there and here. But it's more twee than clever, more affectionate than romantic and more promising than satisfying.
  18. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    The film's humor comes in part from the gap between what Oliver says and what the audience sees.
  19. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jun 16, 2011
    83
    Submarine pulls off a nice little feat: It's a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick that feels fresh despite being, well, a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    It's a deliciously amusing and sometimes surprisingly poignant look at the difficulties of being a 15-year old outsider whose chief goals in life are getting laid and making sure his parents don't split up.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 2, 2011
    75
    Ayoade, the British comic making a remarkable feature debut with his adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's 2008 novel, blends mirth and malice with deadpan brilliance.
  22. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 9, 2011
    70
    At its best when it feels specific to its setting; Erik Wilson's often lovely cinematography captures the distinctive, watery light and raw weather of the Welsh seacoast in winter, and Hawkins, as always, captures a character who is completely specific in terms of class, place and period.
  23. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jun 9, 2011
    75
    Ayoade is well known to British viewers for his role as a coddled nerd in the sitcom "The IT Crowd," so it's fair to expect laughs from his directorial debut feature. But much depends on your mind-set; U.S. audiences could have trouble with the movie's less-than-sunny worldview.
  24. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    May 31, 2011
    75
    It cheats a little, using a mix of amateurish extreme close-ups and striking Welsh industrial vistas to substitute for real technical proficiency, but also applies more formal consideration than most films, namely teen-centered comedies, ever do.
  25. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 5, 2011
    80
    Submarine isn't a perfect film, but it's a terrific first one.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 16, 2011
    88
    As an homage to an influential director, Submarine blows "Super 8" out of the water.
  27. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jun 2, 2011
    91
    Submarine is the film "Youth In Revolt" should have been, an achingly sad yet ribald account of a hyper-verbal oddball's ascent/descent into manhood.
  28. 100
    One of the most irresistible films of the year so far.
  29. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 29, 2011
    70
    Writer-director Richard Ayoade's feature debut is witty and quirky, with a gripping performance by Paddy Considine.
  30. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 2, 2011
    80
    This is the kind of story, as Oliver himself would admit, that we have already seen dozens of times. But Mr. Ayoade's keen visual wit and clever, knowing touches keep it surprising and nimble, especially in the quick, lurching early scenes, which are startlingly funny.
  31. Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 30, 2011
    80
    In all, this is a movie that is partial to youth as a state of being. The grownups seem finished, as frozen in their lifetime roles as creatures out of myth or the Bible. But Oliver and Jordana have the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, become anything. Submarine is an exhilarating surprise.
  32. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 5, 2011
    90
    It's a cagey delight, and an imposing feature directorial debut for one of Britain's TV stalwarts.
  33. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    May 31, 2011
    80
    Submarine may not be epic cinema, but in a modest way, it's close to perfection.
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    May 29, 2011
    70
    Rises above the genre's tired, cookie-cutter competition, presenting familiar elements, such as preternaturally articulate teens preoccupied with virginity, through fresh eyes.
  35. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jun 1, 2011
    60
    Though Submarine isn't a dull head-movie, amid the bells and whistles, Roberts seems less its star than its cameraman.
  36. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 2, 2011
    100
    Wonderfully funny and subversively affecting.
  37. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 9, 2011
    63
    For much of the film, this is very funny and fairly original stuff, though Submarine starts to run aground about the time that Jordana and Oliver's relationship does.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 5, 2011
    10
    Normally I wouldn't give movies like this a 10, more of an 8 but due to the pretentious-steaming-pile-of-you-know-what people out there givingNormally I wouldn't give movies like this a 10, more of an 8 but due to the pretentious-steaming-pile-of-you-know-what people out there giving it a 0 I hae to try an balance it. Also Richard Ayoade is brilliant in everything he's done. Most notably 'The IT Crowd' and 'Garth Mergingi's Dark Place'. Please if you haven't seen it an only know the premise don't give it a rating. Your screwing with peoples bread and butter when you do. Full Review »
  2. Oct 5, 2011
    10
    Fantastic in every way.
  3. Jun 5, 2011
    9
    Not perfect by any means, and the main character is odd and destructive to the point of not being relatable - but it's still effortlesslyNot perfect by any means, and the main character is odd and destructive to the point of not being relatable - but it's still effortlessly charming for the most part, especially towards the start and the end. Ayoade has better things to come. Definitely not for everyone Full Review »