Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest befriends Sam Kim, a self-destructive yet charismatic Korean American man who has checked in. Sam teaches the fatherless boy all the rites of manhood. (Palm Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    Kang's marvelously assured feature debut is a subtle adaptation of Ed Lin's acclaimed novel "Waylaid."
  2. 80
    There were half a dozen occasions, maybe more, when I roared out loud with laughter. This just may be a filmmaker with great things in him; this one's pretty damn good.
  3. It's Kang's first feature and it suffers from rocky moments and an unsure eye, but his sense of detail is rich with prickly contradictions and he resists tidying up the story.
  4. Unlike so many indie films, Michael Kang's gently empathetic debut embraces eccentricity without drowning in its own hip irony.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    70
    A well-worn coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail and a sharp visual sense.
  6. 70
    The backdrop of this seedy motel is just the perfect place to illustrate the awkward times of early teen life.
  7. The Motel, Michael Kang's modest Sundance applause reaper, doesn't deserve to be shotgunned for the sins of 30 other movies. But the underwhelming syncopation of make-nice clich├ęs is too familiar.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6

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