Be Kind Rewind is, on one level, about the magic that can happen in fairy tales -- and only in fairy tales -- when enough people who like the good old ways band together to keep things simple yet cunning.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
It's inviting, undemanding and altogether wonderful. You'll want to see it again, or at least Swede it yourself.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
A film that's sweet and well-intentioned, but with a heart where its brain should be.
David Gritten - Guardian [UK]
Hollywood showbiz is about the now and the new, so there is something subversive about Gondry pitching his tent in the wasteground of obsolescence behind the gleaming edifice of modernity.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Takes a clever concept and cobbles a weak story around it.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Jen Chaney - Washington Post
Such a far-fetched shaggy-dog yarn borders on the patronizing. But Gondry's belief in community-based, handmade, DIY culture is infectious, and his cry against big-box homogenization (fewer choices, more copies) is a noble one.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Rousingly bad moviemaking brings out some of Gondry's most blissful.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
A fragile, somewhat precious celebration of DIY filmmaking and cult-film consumption.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Dean Essner - New York Daily News
Gondry might think he's parodying dumb comedies in which poor people rally to save beloved institutions from foreclosure -- but too often Be Kind Rewind just resembles them.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Most of Be Kind Rewind feels as silly and undisciplined as the mini-movies cooked up by its hapless heroes.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
I felt positive and genial while watching it, but I didn't break out in paroxysms of laughter. It's the kind of amusing film you can wait to see on DVD. I wonder if it will come out on VHS?
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Be Kind Rewind may exist in a hazy, dreamy time warp, but its artistic impulses are strictly YouTube.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
One wants to protect this, but it's hard not to gag on the cuteness.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
A celebration of the DIY aesthetic, and of the universal appeal of movies, Be Kind Rewind is a charmingly off-the-wall little tale.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
A feel-good film with a gentle comic spirit, a sweet affection for its gallery of silly characters and a sincere love for the process of moviemaking.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
There's an undeniable sense of wonder to Be Kind Rewind, a belief in both the beauty of the creative process and the magic within all men. It's an unabashed ode to common potential; it's also a lot of fun to watch.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Perhaps Gondry realized the sum wasn't going to be greater than its parts and just left it at this: two halves, one more intriguing than the other, that don't add up to a coherent whole.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Gondry would seem to have intended Be Kind Rewind more as a generous, sweet-tempered comic fable. But the souffle never rises.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
A surprisingly sweet comedy showcasing a manic Jack Black.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
If it isn't up to his Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it at least has Jack Black and Mos Def around for laughs.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Long before the movie ends, it slips right off the sprockets.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
It's a joyless ode to joy, it's a leaden salute to the silver screen, it's a painful testament to filmic pleasures. Be kind, and don't even begin to rewind.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
It's hard to get too cranky about a movie that, at heart, is a tribute to the joy of making things with your friends.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Arguably the biggest problem with Be Kind Rewind is that Gondry never stops experimenting, even when the experimentation works against the movie's best interests.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
For all of Gondry's undeniable talent, it would be hard to imagine him pulling off this delicate and even cornball conceit without his star, Jack Black.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Unlike Eternal Sunshine, in which Gondry achieved real poignancy about a different kind of erasing, Be Kind Rewind falls into the same category as his The Science of Sleep: It's too silly, and straining too hard to be weird.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Be Kind Rewind declares that the riches of cinema history touch each of us personally. Films become so deep a part of us that we own them that our memories of them, whether faithful or fanciful, become their meanings.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Gondry, as writer and director, can't stop the creative helium from leaking out of his cinematic balloon.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Eminently likable. And there's something about Gondry's persistent nostalgia that feels contemporary, or opportune, at least.
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Dean Essner - Digital Spy
Dave White - Movies.com
What a foul junkyard of Quirk it is!
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
A glowing valentine to creativity in opposition to commerce.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Sua natureza auto-referencial transforma o filme numa grande homenagem ao proprio cinema.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Be Kind Rewind should gather dust on both DVD and VHS shelves.
Christian Toto - Washington Times
Once the movie starts finding its focus it becomes a very unique experience
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
A surprisingly quiet and whimsical comedy about a ridiculous and unlikely series of events that turns into a nearly-as-likely miracle. Best bit: the film's own Sweded preview.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
An ode to finding one's creative side and the joys of being able to share one's creations with others.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Tackles the hackneyed with the tender hand and heart of writer/director Michel Gondry.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
But with a skill that is difficult to pinpoint, Gondry seems to stumble like a fox from this paper-thin plot into a precious little ode to community.
Robert Davis - Paste Magazine
Director Michel Gondry delivers the first great film of 2008.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
'Be Kind Rewind' is a whimsical adventure with genuine affection for its characters, but Gondry's story is essentially weightless, a fanciful flight in search of a raison d'etre.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
It's central message is that filmmakers are wonderful people, which is pretty much what you would expect filmmakers to say.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
The process of Sweding soon becomes a community project, another glance back and ahead at the same time.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Ultimately trades in schmaltz of the unearned kind.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
The remake/parody sequences are outstanding, but Black's all-over-the-place mania and Mos Def's bland orphan hero don't quite tie the rest of the picture together. Still, it has heart.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine Australasia
And the film ought to be funny, with Mike and Jerry recreating those films as home movies. But somehow it's not, the laughs are very thin on the ground.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
Brilliant ideas dance on the high side of Creative Street, but Michel Gondry's outlandish premise doesn't stretch far enough to go the distance.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The premise of Be Kind Rewind is pure Michel Gondry. The end result is anything but.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
corny, cool and beautiful
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
Let's not go to the videotape.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
The community-produced version of Fats Waller's story leads to a block film party in what may be the most touching ending of Gondry's films.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Be Kind Rewind may be the least ambitious of Gondry's films but is also his most fun.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
Gondry has merely used the plot to celebrate community, friendship, love, creativity, making something out of nothing and the power of myth to sometimes be greater than truth.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
It falls short in the character development category, relying on a whimsical vibe, the charm of its actors, and ceaselessly inventive movie re-creations to get by.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
At best it's a collection of very good ideas in search of a framework, and at worst a dramatically stale film based on a terribly messy screenplay.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Nothing can save this overambitious enterprise embarked upon by a couple of idiots, full of sound and fury but ultimately signifying nothing.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
One of the most bizarre concepts to hit the big screen unspools erratically in "Be Kind Rewind," an outrageous comedy that offers some clever scenes and more than a few laughs.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The trouble with this movie about amateur film-makers is that the entire film comes across as amateurish.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Be Kind Rewind, like last year's great Sundance film Son of Rambow, is a celebration of the power of film and the joy of the movies; not just great art, but also great trash.
James Rocchi - Cinematical
Whimsy overwhelms this sweetly innocuous tribute to DIY video - which is hobbled enough by its core premise of guys shooting their own versions of popular movies on VHS.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Michel Gondry's latest cinematic breakthrough Be Kind Rewind grants passage into his magical imagination and proves yet again he's one of today's artistic giants.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
...quickly devolves into quirky boredom.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It truly inhabits the do-it-yourself spirit of independent filmmakers coloring outside the lines drawn by Hollywood.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
It's a happy pill in the shape of a cinema ticket.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
It's not nearly as funny as its premise would suggest, and the movie even becomes a little dull when it tries to make a few points about the differences between commercialism and art.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
It's hard to tell which is the work of art, the audience or the movie. Because they are both so beautiful.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Alternately so whacked out as to be inaccessible, and so sweet and naive as to be irresistible.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Thick stew of awful.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
I liked the various ways in which Gondry utilized his essentially absurdist conceit as an ingenious way of exploring how people relate in deeply personal ways to the power of cinema
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Give Be Kind Rewind a little time and an open mind, and it just might grow on you. Its premise is absurd, but adorably so.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
A charming picture about filmmaking all dressed up as a comedy. Exaggerated and wonderfully silly, the movie concerns hilarious amateur movie-making -- but sneaks in a message about community and the transformative power of art.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
The magnitude of Gondry's visual ingenuity is consistently jaw-dropping.
David Jenkins - Time Out
[Gondry] seems almost to relish his house-of-cards approach, so much so that the uncharmed critic might reasonably feel it a waste of breath to blow it down. I would agree.
Steven D. Greydanus - Christianity Today
Lots of heart. But it won't change your life.
Dean Essner - Little White Lies
Communal commitment to a DIY aesthetic is [Gondry's] undoing, particularly when he allows an irritatingly manic Jack Black to run wild and virtually hijack the movie.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Will leave you with a huge grin on your face.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
The greatest idea for a comedy ever... Please understand that this is a Michel Gondry, so even as commercial as it wants to be, it's still an art film.
Fred Topel - Rotten Tomatoes
This cute comedy is a magnetic movie that will likely attract the arthouse audiences.
Chad Greene - Boxoffice Magazine
Michel Gondry doesn't understand -- or, perhaps, even care about -- the normal niceties of plausible plotting, thematic structure or satisfying character development. But he does understand joy.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A pathetic new piece of whimsy from the cult fantasist Michel Gondry.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
It takes a special talent to wring so much warm, humane comedy out of such a screwy premise. But the real triumph is how Gondry uses it to champion no-budget indie filmmaking, salute cinema's unifying properties and thumb his nose at the Hollywood system.
Neil Smith - Total Film
Moments of Gondry inspiration make Be Kind Rewind worth your time, even if you decide to wait for the video.
Matt McNally - BBC
Loopy, goofy and endearing.
Michele Kenner - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
the visual wit, game performances, and overflowing humanity have more than made up for the shortcomings by the time the film finds a final moment that's simultaneously abrupt and magical.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Michel Gondry is a visionary of sorts, but he needs a talented writer to add emotional depth to his child-like creativity if he is going to reach the heights of Eternal Sunshine again.
Matthew De Abaitua - Film4
100 minutes of sweet-natured idiocy.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
The director has attempted to construct quite a complex little film here, but only parts of this delicate concoction work effectively. The movie feels like a strange, lightweight piece of ephemeral fluff.
Orlando Parfitt - IGN Movies UK
The picture is a harmonious callback to low-fi filmmaking and community spirit, allowing Gondry a wide open meadow to let his viral creativity and mischievous determination frolic...It's endearing eye candy.
Brian Orndorf - DVDTalk.com
Apparently intends to tell a story about people's relationships with movies but winds up saying films are impersonal just because they look professional and don't star YOU.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Be Kind Rewind not only reminds us why we love film so damn much, it pays tribute to those films that may have had a hand in it.
Michael Ferraro - Bronsonfive
...makes you nostalgic for the early days of backyard moviemaking, before digital video cameras and desktop editing software turned everyone into mini-Spielbergs.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Even though its thin conceit strains and stumbles into being, Gondry's movie somehow ingratiates itself to the dauntless dreamer that lives within each of us.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
The level of foolishness here is simply too high, and the execution so slapdash that the result doesn't seem so much a parody of amateurishness as an example of it.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
It's one of those rare experiences that remind us not exactly why we love movies, but how we love them.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
A kid's movie for adults, a charming notion for a time of postmodern ennui.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
A genuinely original independent film, though one that requires patience and tolerance of the writer-director's style.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
... a kind of communal folk art spin on industrialized moviemaking and an affectionate tribute to our relationship to the movies of our lives.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Gondry invites us to rewind to a time before corporate domination, while failing to realize that 'corporate' and 'professional' are not synonyms.
Scott Renshaw - Orlando Weekly
Innovative auteur Michel Gondry's latest curio is either boring or brilliantly boring.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
The greatest mystery is how a movie peddling the bliss of moviemaking is absent any hint of joy.
Robert Wilonsky - L.A. Weekly
Cute but a little empty, Be Kind Remind boasts an original premise without the clarity of writing and character dimension to back it up.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Quirky Jack Black comedy is sweet and silly.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
This charming little fairy tale is more than a sweet and heart-warming story; it is a thoughtful exploration of the power of stories, why we are enthralled byhearing and watching them and why we are even more captivated by telling them.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Gondry is the first director since School of Rock's Richard Linklater to fully capture Black's truculent charm and actually make it - charming.
Pam Grady - FilmStew.com
...the lack of subtlety with which Gondry has imbued the latter half of the proceedings ensures that the film is ultimately an extraordinarily tough slog indeed.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
a brilliant little allegory
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
A comedy hobbled by a preposterous plot and a phony finale.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A would-be heart-tugging, inspiring paean to the do-it-yourself ethic/aesthetic and its concomitant community-building powers, the latest film from visual lo-fi innovator Michel Gondry is slight and finally unconvincing, alas.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
Be Kind Rewind explores the meaning of originality, but it's also a fable about art and social change.
Armond White - New York Press
There's just enough whimsical good humour to carry Be Kind Rewind, but Michel Gondry's latest does tend to keep crashing into 'oh come on now, what were you thinking?' self-indulgence.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
The fake-movie vignettes are a delight to watch, and they would have made for great music videos or short films. What they don't do is hold together a movie where the characters are forgettable and the situations are contrived.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Only crazy rubber-faced Jack Black could pull off such a spoofy, overly-eager slapdash of a project.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
In Michel Gondry's estimation, we're defined by our dreams, our art, and our histories, a conviction he once again expresses with whimsical, lyrical inventiveness.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Michel Gondry has taken a stunning leap forward with Be Kind Rewind. It's his most successful film.
Marcy Dermansky - About.com
It may be full of madcap surrealism and clever-clever meta-cinematic touches, but it is also an unfashionably good-natured film with real heart. Oddball, endearing, and very, very funny...
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
A people's cinema rough cut heart so squarely in the right place over in Passaic as opposed to Hollywood, that it's pretty much hard to resist.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
A scruffy, likeable little comedy, even though it's not actually very funny or involving.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Anyone who has ever made a no-budget home movie, replete with exaggerated performances and makeshift props out of The Warriors, will hold a special place in their heart for Be Kind Rewind
Marlow Stern - Manhattan Movie Magazine
A sweet and simple story that aims to be no bigger than it is, a shaggy dog fable about dreams and the transformative power of even the worst movies.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
The storyline is utterly improbable, but Gondry thrives in an alternate world of whimsy and conviviality.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
A potentially brilliant idea for a movie has been squandered.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
One of Gondry's weakest films, this one-note comedy is a short stretched to the limits of a feature-length movie that even pros like Jack Black can't rescue.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com