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Driving Lessons (2006)

tomatometer

48

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 75
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 39

Though it has charm, Driving Lessons is a middling offering in the genre where the youngster coming of age meets a quirky senior who teaches valuable lessons about life.

56

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 12

Though it has charm, Driving Lessons is a middling offering in the genre where the youngster coming of age meets a quirky senior who teaches valuable lessons about life.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 194,116

My Rating

Movie Info

Two strong-willed women wield their influence on a shy teenaged boy in this coming-of-age comedy from the United Kingdom. Seventeen-year-old Ben (Rupert Grint) is the son of a soft-spoken vicar (Nicholas Farrell), but it's his mother, Laura (Laura Linney), who rules the household, and she has put Ben cheerfully under her thumb, keeping him busy with a variety of good-will errands for the church and numerous local charity causes. With summer vacation looming before him, Ben is looking forward to

PG-13,

Drama, Comedy

Jul 3, 2007

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All Critics (82) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (39) | DVD (12)

Writer-director Jeremy Brock has backloaded much of the hero's family conflict into the final scenes, which collapse under the weight.

December 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Driving Lessons is a poignant miniature that offers [Julie] Walters a chance to be typically wonderful - saucy but deep - and [Rupert] Grint to stretch quite commendably.

December 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Barely worth the trip.

November 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an exercise in calculated high-quirk in which the most egregious forms of stereotyping -- particularly along gender and religious lines -- attempt to pass for 'human' behaviour.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Brock] sticks to the inspirational formula of contemporary English sentimental comedies: that real life has little relevance.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Driving Lessons, with perfectly cast actors, a poignant and often hilarious script and original music, is a study in how fun British humor can be.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brock subscribes to the new school of British Imperialism: crafting cozy little trifles that conquer foreigners with preciousness.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

Driving Lessons is as dull as its title.

March 6, 2008
Washington City Paper

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but as we see in most autobiographical coming-of-age films, adolescent truth is just as boring as adolescent fiction.

September 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

The highlight here is most certainly Julie Walters, who hams it up royally, and does a fine job of making her role as an aging actress more than just a cartoon character.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A warmly funny coming of age story as the ultra conservative clashes with the unconventional in a confluence of the unexpected

June 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Típica besteira de cinema independente que se julga mais inteligente e observadora do que é na realidade. O surpreendente é perceber que, enquanto Walters e Linney apelam para caricaturas, o jovem Grint oferece uma atuação sólida e envolvente.

April 13, 2007
Cinema em Cena

Too many alcoholic outbursts and pitiful breakdowns wear down your patience.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The film is anchored by Walter's brilliant performance. She has a field day with this rambunctious, pampered yet terribly insecure woman. Grint is often reduced to playing straight man, but his reactions are priceless and the fact that he and Walters have

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

The characterizations and comic situations both seem forced and labored.

December 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Will be remembered as the movie in which we got to see Ron Weasley utter the s-word and the f-word (numerous times); drink wine; and hook up with a Scottish hottie who introduces him to Nick Drake and sex (in that order).

December 8, 2006
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Walters is alternately zany and poignant, with Grint the perfect foil, a bemused, confused innocent who only wants to do good.

December 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Driving Lessons runs out of creative gas near the ridiculous end.

November 22, 2006

... the film hardly resonates five minutes after it's over.

November 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Depressingly symptomatic of the kind of film that constitutes 'art house cinema' these days.

November 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

For his feature directorial debut, screenwriter Jeremy Brock ("Mrs. Brown") has chosen from a chapter of his own life to tell a story that is as charming and eccentric as it is unsurprising and implausible.

November 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

Brock creates a sensitive, personal tale of an underdog coming into his own.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for Driving Lessons

CAST: Rupert Grint, Julie Walters, Laura Linney, Nicholos Farrell, Oliver Miburn

DIRECTED BY: Jeremy Brock

SUMMARY: A coming of age story about a shy teenage boy trying to escape from the influence of his domineering mother. His world changes when he begins to work for a retired actress.

MY THOUGHTS: It was exactly what I was hoping for. An offbeat dark comedy. Light on the darkness though. Julie Walters was brilliant in this movie. She's so funny in this film. First time seeing Rupert Grint in a film besides the Potter one's. He did good in this film. He plays a very shy boy but aged with a poets soul. Just wanted to watch a movie that would make me genuinely laugh without trying to hard, and this film did it for me. Fun movie with some serious stuff going on in it as well. His mother is a bit insane. My opinion, but I don't think many will disagree with that comment. But all in all, a good watch. See it if you get a chance.
May 5, 2010
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

very charming! rupert grint comin into his own. Julie Walters was GREAT!
October 10, 2009
MissMorganLeee
Morgan Salem

Super Reviewer

Didn't quite go where I thought it would, but it was a good movie. Laura Linney plays the type of mother you would want to strangle to Ruper Grint, also good as a sheltered, shy teen who goes to work for Julie Walters's character who is either eccentric or a bit crazy. Some of it wasn't quite believable, like the girl he picks up (or other way round, to be more exact), but this mostly works and is a good coming of age film.
May 16, 2009
romy861

Super Reviewer

Because I would very much like to see Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe succeed in their acting work beyond the wonderful Harry Potter movies, I wanted very badly to see this. But because Laura Linney is a part of the project, I didn't exactly fire this one up my netflix queue. It finally did bubble to the top, and I've watched this now three times with great interest. The good news is that Linney does not appear throughout. In fact screen time is so dominated by the relationship between Grint and Julie Walters that Linney fairly fades into the background, appearing only in the bookend (dismal) home life scenes for Grint. The better news is that Linney plays quite a villainous role; she's perfect for that kind of work. The best news, however, is that Grint does manange to do a good job of playing the repressed 17-year-old coming of age under the apt tutelage of masterfully has-been actress Walters. Their relationship is a thing of intricately problematic beauty, and both play their parts with brilliant authenticity. You know, it's funny watching "Ron and Mrs. Weasley" function in a different arena. It is as if Grint, in this gem of a film, is living under the stairs on horrid Privet Drive and is trying to find his way to the wholesome environs of The Burrow. I am feeling optimistic about Grint's chances to go on and do good work once the HP franchise has run its course. Last but certainly not least: Whoohoo! I want to see more of Michelle Duncan. Makes me want to jump on a plane for Scotland : )
June 12, 2008
binky013

Super Reviewer

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