The Debut

Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. The cast is uniformly excellent; all involved seem keyed into the subtextual subtleties of a story that, while simple on the surface, is exceedingly rich underneath.
  2. Illuminating as it is entertaining.
  3. Delightful coming-of-age film that becomes universal by way of its subject matter.
  4. 75
    Familiar in its story arc, but fresh in its energy and lucky in its choice of actors.
  5. Sometimes amateurishly acted by the appealing younger cast but is nonetheless a neat blend of well-drawn major characters and drama, music, dance, romance and humor that generates considerable charm and achieves a heartwarming resolution of its generational conflict.
  6. 70
    Having built his cast from friends and family, the director is left with some stilted acting, but that's easily outweighed by the film's infectious enthusiasm.
  7. A likable, if somewhat earnest, exploration of cultural identity.
  8. 60
    Has a sweet low-budget quality that sometimes slips into TV-movie schmaltz.
  9. It is also, despite the all-too-rare focus on the Filipino American community, a creakily familiar take on an age-old family dynamic.
  10. A melodramatic yarn that transcends some of its technical and storytelling flaws through the cheery energy and sincerity of its cast.
  11. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    A pleasant and polished first feature for director Gene Cajayon.
  12. That it feels so predictable is, ironically, a tribute to the universality of the experience it explores.
  13. 50
    Earnest and predictable.
  14. 40
    A hackneyed coming-of-age drama.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. TriaF.
    Mar 16, 2003
    10
    This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This film brought warmth to American's perspective of the Filipino culture. An excellent example for an average Filipino lifestyle back home. Perfect movie for the family and friends. A UNIVERSAL A++++ Full Review »
  2. TriaF.
    Mar 16, 2003
    10
    This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This film brought warmth to American's perspective of the Filipino culture. An excellent example for an average Filipino lifestyle back home. Perfect movie for the family and friends. A UNIVERSAL A++++ Full Review »
  3. TriaF.
    Mar 16, 2003
    10
    This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This This is not just an ordinary Filipino film, but an introduction for the Philippines unity with America's entertainment bounderies. This film brought warmth to American's perspective of the Filipino culture. An excellent example for an average Filipino lifestyle back home. Perfect movie for the family and friends. A UNIVERSAL A++++ Full Review »