Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. This one's so much fun, it's worth taking the whole family.
  2. 75
    One of the joys of Waking Ned Devine is in the richness of the local eccentric population.
  3. There's not a whole lot to Waking Ned Devine, but it may be enough for those who like their quirky comedies from the British Isles - a burgeoning genre now - both atmospheric and gentle.
  4. 75
    An unabashed excursion into feel good territory.
  5. 90
    Waking Ned Devine works up enough feel-good momentum that in the end it's irresistible.
  6. A roguish and delightful comedy of duplicity that's as entertaining as it is sly.
  7. Kirk Jones, who wrote and directed this blithe comedy, has been a prize-winning director of television commercials. And he has the knack of finding rubbery, expressive faces and letting each villager's quirks emerge on cue.
  8. The plot is far from intricate, but Waking Ned Devine more than makes up for its narrative simplicity with a uniformly engaging cast of Hibernian oddballs.
  9. Reviewed by: Joshua Klein
    This slight movie gets by on its grungy charm, if not its class.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie is a passable entertainment -- call it The Half Monty.
  11. The wonder is that the cast -- a terrific ensemble with talents honed on such hallowed stages as the Abbey Theatre -- brings it off with far more verve than the slight tale deserves.
  12. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    Destined to be a crowd-pleaser though it may be, this collection of Irish quirks and "charm" tied together by a slender plot also leans heavily in the direction of predigested commercial claptrap.
  13. Reviewed by: Ilana Lindsey
    While one can detect a genuinely amusing screenplay somewhere under the flat direction and mysteriously stiff performances, the film is tediously slow.
  14. 50
    Predicated on the slimmest of notions, this debut by Jones is so cuddly-cute in its desire to be pleasing that it's all but transparent.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    Unfolds with such unforced inevitability that absurdity never condescends to sticky adorableness.
  16. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    A surpassingly sweet, funny and picturesque movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Bannen and the gawky Kelly, whose screen chemistry is vital to the film's success, make a delightful pair of stumbling shysters, and Jones' script weaves a sizable tapestry of other characters to flesh out the village.
  18. Writer-director Kirk Jones III keeps the movie resolutely brisk and light, twisting mildly this way and that but never detouring for long.
  19. 60
    Writer-director Kirk Jones has the movie roll over, fetch and chase its own tail in order to make you love it.
  20. 60
    Though it strives for broad humor, pushing cuteness and light irony, this bland 1998 movie isn't exactly a comedy.
  21. 50
    It's instructive that Waking Ned Devine is being so aggressively sold as a feel-good comedy; the "good" feeling in question is called condescension.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Sep 11, 2014
    Although it is more of a lighthearted drama than a straight-up comedy, "Waking Ned Devine" still presents a wholesome message and some delightful performances. Full Review »
  2. Aug 31, 2013
    A decent but slow movie. Overall it was enjoyable, but at times it failed to adhere to the principle of Chekhov's Gun. Couple that with the excessively simple and mildly gruesome resolution and it's hard to call it anything but decent. Full Review »