User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 64
  2. Negative: 4 out of 64
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  1. L.JTan
    Apr 6, 2007
    10
    A moving lovingly crafted tribute to first generation Americans that rings true regardless of ethnic origin. A must see!
  2. [Anonymous]
    Mar 18, 2007
    10
    A powerful, moving film that everyone can relate to -- in particular those trying to meld the cultures of East and West and create a sense of home. Mira Nair's best work.
  3. NikzadS.
    Mar 27, 2007
    10
    This is a hard-hitting movie. So real and true to life and yet so beautifully crafted. Amazing work done by the actors of the movie, especially by Irfan Khan and Tabu. Excellent direction by Mira Nair. Its like reading the novel without the book, its like living with the characters themselves. It just doesnt get better. Its thought provoking.
  4. Jennifer
    Dec 8, 2007
    10
    The movie is very rich and satisfying. The picture was beautifully laid out and captivating the entire time. A reviewer below said the book is better than the movie. I
  5. sfdafsadsfsa
    Nov 29, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie. Not as good as book though.
  6. LR.
    Mar 13, 2007
    9
    A splendid movie. Mira Nair's movies are always beautiful to look at, the story and characters match the vibrant, realistic visuals.
  7. JayC
    Mar 16, 2007
    9
    Excellent family story of typical intergenerational communiction problems. It is not just because of cultural differences that families do not communicate well, but it does add a lot to this story. Excellent acting and plausable twists kept me interested as did the deep emotional content of the material and actors. I cared about this family and their well-being.
  8. ChadS.
    May 12, 2007
    9
    To its credit, "The Namesake"(which tops the two-hour mark), could've been a lot longer without causing anybody(who isn't a philistine) to check their watches. If a director's cut exists, that's where we'll learn how Gogol Ganguli(Kal Penn) met Maxine(Jacinda Barrett). "The Namesake" has a truncated feel because Gogol is already treated like a member of To its credit, "The Namesake"(which tops the two-hour mark), could've been a lot longer without causing anybody(who isn't a philistine) to check their watches. If a director's cut exists, that's where we'll learn how Gogol Ganguli(Kal Penn) met Maxine(Jacinda Barrett). "The Namesake" has a truncated feel because Gogol is already treated like a member of Maxine's wealthy family when the audience is first introduced to her. Perhaps the filmmaker simply wanted to avoid the predictability involved in seeing a white family adjust to their offspring's "exotic" new friend, if acceptance into the fold is going to be the end-result anyway. "The Namesake" does a terrific job of not turning Maxine into an ugly American when she's inside the Ganguli household. Contrary to Maxine(who for the most part seems unaware of her countless faux pas' to Indian customs), Gogol and his sister are consciously arrogant about their American-ness when they return to their native India. "The Namesake" is mostly an amazing film about being an American on a cultural group's own terms. Expand
  9. SayanG.
    May 13, 2007
    9
    Fantastic, real, alluring, with the smells of Calcutta and NY blended together 2 great cities of the modern world with history that spans and ties people across the globe. Bengali's should be proud!!!
  10. ThomasH.
    Jun 24, 2007
    9
    Probably the best movie out this year! Great cast, with terrific Indian scenery. The best part is the message about foreigners trying to assimilate into a new culture, and the desire to keep traditions. This is the must-see movie of the year!
  11. ChetR
    Jun 16, 2008
    9
    Nair is beginning to fulfill her promise by evolving into a major filmmaker in a very specialized niche.
  12. RD.
    Mar 28, 2007
    8
    Great movie. DOe snot preach that NRis are bad and Indians are great. Excellent performances especially by Tabu and Irfan Khan. But drags in the middle due to which it feels a little boring. otherwise an excellent movie a bit humorous, sad and even witty at times.
  13. RobertI.
    Apr 1, 2007
    8
    Touching film, sweet-spirited. Needed editing to cut out 15 minutes.
  14. TimD.
    May 15, 2007
    8
    A lovely, heartfelt, beautifully-acted film that explores relationships and family in the framework of cultural and generational contrast, with depth and complexity. Rich in emotional content and, in its low-key way, passionately told.
  15. Steve
    Mar 18, 2007
    8
    Another great film from Mira Nair. What I like about this fim an dothers by Nair, is that she looks at the best and worst qualities of both countries and then blends them together. The weakest link of the film is Kal Penn. Once his character goes beyond high school, Mr. Penn is not as strong as the other actors.
  16. Syzygy
    Mar 17, 2007
    8
    Delicate story lovingly told by a master storyteller. The arc of the narrative is large, spanning four decades and two very different continents. It paints a deep story about the power traditions maintain on immigrants against the allure their adopted country builds in them and their children. There is also an excellent character centered subtext that further enriches the story.
  17. PaulK.
    Mar 28, 2007
    8
    Good film. Definitely worth checking out, if you have an interest
  18. Nov 28, 2011
    8
    I've never read the book, but the movie was very good. Well acted and moving. I would suggest not to watch it more than once or twice. 8/10 or 81/100.
  19. MasonP.
    Mar 12, 2007
    7
    Solid film; although I found it a little too predictable and found the acting of the lead role a bit lacking.
  20. FredB.
    May 18, 2007
    7
    A movie that shocked me. I thought it was going to be a waste of my time. But its actually not that bad. No action, but a lot of touching scense.
  21. NeilB
    May 5, 2009
    5
    Too much plot, too little time. Worthy but a bit cheesy in places
  22. CO
    Jan 10, 2008
    5
    This movie covered too much ground in too little time. I never felt a palpable connection with the characters in the movie besides the father and mother. The scenes regarding the son seemed trite and irrelevant to the plot. I feel like the movie should have focused more on the racial issues than just mere glimpses (i.e. the mailbox graffiti). The classroom scene where Kal Penn first makes This movie covered too much ground in too little time. I never felt a palpable connection with the characters in the movie besides the father and mother. The scenes regarding the son seemed trite and irrelevant to the plot. I feel like the movie should have focused more on the racial issues than just mere glimpses (i.e. the mailbox graffiti). The classroom scene where Kal Penn first makes his appearance was horrible. My guess is that they wanted to depict to what extent Kal's character lamented his name but the scene never really grabbed me. It fell into the category of a B teen movie. The filming locations were beautiful but the plot hardly matched. Expand
  23. NathanR
    Jan 6, 2008
    5
    If you want a much better story about the conflict and struggle to adapt between immigrants and their first generation children, watch/read the Joy Luck Club. I echo Andrew K. in that the movie tried to cover too much, and in the end, felt twice as long as the 2+ hours it really is. When you can surmise the message of a movie within the first 10 minutes of watching it, it makes you wonder If you want a much better story about the conflict and struggle to adapt between immigrants and their first generation children, watch/read the Joy Luck Club. I echo Andrew K. in that the movie tried to cover too much, and in the end, felt twice as long as the 2+ hours it really is. When you can surmise the message of a movie within the first 10 minutes of watching it, it makes you wonder what the next two hours are for. Expand
  24. AndrewK.
    May 13, 2007
    4
    The Namesake would've been a much better film if it didn't try to cover so much territory. I know it's based on a novel, but a novel is a medium that can cover that large a scope. The film started with its focus on Ashoke and Ashima, and then halfway through it switched to focus on their son, Gogol. You can't switch the character you're focused on halfway through The Namesake would've been a much better film if it didn't try to cover so much territory. I know it's based on a novel, but a novel is a medium that can cover that large a scope. The film started with its focus on Ashoke and Ashima, and then halfway through it switched to focus on their son, Gogol. You can't switch the character you're focused on halfway through a film. Especially to such an uninteresting character. If they were going to focus on Gogol, they should've started with him and shown parts of the parents' story in flashback to help bring understanding to his journey. Ashoke and Ashima were much more interesting characters, and I wish that the film had just been about them. The actors that played their parts were brilliant. Kal Penn, as Gogol, has got to be one of the worst actors I've ever seen. The scenes with his girlfriend (the white one that acts like Kirsten Dunst) were unbearable. They were completely superficial and boring, which I think is somewhat the point, but it didn't come off as realistic. I also resent it when filmmakers think their viewers are so unattentive that they have to be reminded of things that happened earlier in the film by showing us brief clips over again. I disagree with a comment made by Dennis Lim at The LA Times, who said (in a roundabout way) that the film was not didactic. Wrong. We are being constantly reminded of the themes of the film (i.e. Gogol hates his name, etc.) and what it is that we are supposed to be focusing on. There's also a scene in which Gogol is in high school that comes off just like all Hollywood schlock, portraying teenagers in a completely unrealistic way. Gogol is supposed to have graduated in '96, and the other students act like middle eastern people are SOOOO strange. I graduated in '01. I went to school with tons of middle eastern students. Nobody treated them like they were freaks. We got along just like everyone else. Bottom line is this movie is way overrated, lacked focus, had too broad a scoap and was didactic and unrealistic. Which isn't a very good endorsement, is it? Expand
  25. T.S.
    Apr 22, 2007
    2
    Please do not be fooled by this film. This is not a "comedy" by any stretch of the imagination. It is an unfathomably slow moving film about an Indian family that moves to america. The director will have 3 minute shots of people drinking tea etc.
  26. RN.
    Apr 24, 2007
    1
    Rarely have I been in such disagreement with everyone on a film. This one is just terrible, it is so bad you even notice the poor set and make up. The only thing I can say that is complimentary is the cinematography is good.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    88
    A thoroughly engaging, terrifically moving family story that's rich in beautifully observed and lovingly conveyed human detail.
  2. It is hard to imagine a better cast or production values so the film should find audiences among sophisticated urban adults.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    A richly compelling story of family and self-discovery.