The Battle of Shaker Heights


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 22
  2. Negative: 8 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. Surprisingly sweet and smart... LaBeouf does an excellent job, and the talented Beeney is one to watch.
  2. 60
    LaBeouf somehow manages to turn Kelly's self-centered behavior and irritating character quirks into a sympathetic lead, and the well-written script by newcomer Erica Beeney brings a lot of humor to some very touching moments.
  3. If there is a delicate story of forgiveness, friendship and family buried somewhere in Erica Beeney's script, Potelle and Rankin haven't managed to find it under the throes of empty rebellion and painless triumph.
  4. 50
    The nice thing about seeing so much time, money and effort go into a bland film is that it makes you appreciate truly inspired filmmaking even more.
  5. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    The dubious whimsy, devoid of any directorial voice, plays more like a very special episode of Dawson’s Creek.
  6. Best to experience Shaker Heights for what it is: not a movie, exactly, but the true season capper of ''Project Greenlight,'' a series that finds its very drama on the road to mediocrity.
  7. 50
    Isn't bad so much as jumbled...You get the sense of too much input, too many bright ideas, too many scenes that don't belong in the same movie.
  8. 50
    While decidedly green, at least isn't mealy or tasteless. And if the juice in tyro screenwriter Erica Beeney's witty dialogue can't quite flow through the hard tissue of underripe gimmicks and derivative set pieces, there's enough sweetness in the performances, and tautness in the direction (by Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin), to forestall any serious bellyaching.
  9. The characters talk like smart, unpredictable people, and Kelly Ernswiler is one of a kind.
  10. If that sounds a lot like Rushmore, it is, except that the heart has been sucked out of the thing -- replaced by glib chatter, gratuitous Baudelaire references, and distracting product placement.
  11. 50
    Directors Potelle and Rankin lack the skill to integrate the sometimes drastic shifts between comedy and drama - and the serious portions ultimately get short shrift, apparently at the behest of Miramax's marketing executives.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    In a better movie -- a much better movie -- LaBeouf might make the same sort of impact Dustin Hoffman did in ''The Graduate.'' But the kid's young. There are movies to come.
  13. Painfully blasé coming-of-age story.
  14. Another heartfelt coming-of-age story that plays much more like a television movie than a theatrical feature.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Although Erica Beeney's script beat out more than 7,000 entries, the screen version dulls her potentially distinctive voice with deadly doses of sentimentality.
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Goes down fighting, but it goes down just the same.
  17. LaBeouf's got the beef, and his inevitably bright future may be the only reason anyone will ever look back on The Battle of Shaker Heights.
  18. The best thing that can be said about this lethargic coming-of-age tale, noticeably undernourished at 78 minutes, is that it's better than the even more pathetic "Stolen Summer."
  19. Dispiriting mess. The movie is bad in a boring way: tepidly paced, disjointed and lacking any emotional hook.
  20. 20
    May lead to a new axiom: success has many fathers, but failure has "Project Greenlight."
  21. Brain-numbingly innocuous, cliche-soused melodrama.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Dec 15, 2011
    If you had watched season two of Project Greenlight in making The Battle of Shaker's Height, then you're definitely going to see the manyIf you had watched season two of Project Greenlight in making The Battle of Shaker's Height, then you're definitely going to see the many flaws within this film. Some of the performances were convincing like Amy and Shia's roles, but overall the film felt clunky and completely boring. This was a pretty forgettable movie and it's a shame that an original plot like this had to turn into a TV quality like movie. Full Review »