The Battle of Shaker Heights - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Battle of Shaker Heights Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 23, 2009
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Elden Henson, Amy Smart, Billy Kay, Kathleen Quinlan, William Sadler, Shiri Appleby, Ray Wise, Anson Mount

Director: Efram Potelle, Kyle Rankin

Summary: Teenaged Kelly (Shia LaBeouf) loves reenacting battles. When he befriends Bart (Elden Henson), also a war enthusiast, they decide to take on a school bully by using time-tested strategies. But their friendship is tested when Kelly falls for Bart's sister. Directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle and screenwriter Erica Beeney are winners of Project Greenlight, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's moviemaking contest.

My Thoughts: "It was funny and entertaining. Shia plays a kid who's mother is a painter and kinda a hippie.. His father is a recovering drug addict trying to better himself by helping those who are still addicts.. Shia's character is funny, smart, and angry. I think others would enjoy this movie. It was made before Shia got big.. I think it kinda reminded me of his Even Stevens character with all the smart come backs.. Liked Elden Henson in this movie too. Haven't really seen him in a lot of films."
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2011
The Battle of Shaker Heights may be a simple movie, but it does that in the best way possible. It brings together a great cast of characters in this low-budget, loveable movie. The story of Kelly (Shia Labeouf) as an actor in war films, decides to takes his acting skills into real life situations. When he mixes his war-life with romance, things get complicated and friendships are lost. This is a harmless movie that people of all ages can enjoy, with a heart-warming story and a great life lesson, The Battle of Shaker Heights just barely makes itself a great memory, but I will definitely be revisiting it in time. Very solid teen flick that not too many people know much about...
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2010
For it being a very small indie with essentially no reason for people to go see it other than it won Project Greenlight, it is a great movie. Shia LaBeouf really did a great job and carried the movie with no trouble. The story was a little corny, but it still manages to be a fun coming-of-age movie.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
The only reason to watch this film is for LaBeouf, the only person in the film you will care about. It felt to me like Smart didn't know how to portray her character, she seemed lost.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2007
Good film, very original.
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2007
Shia LaBeouf is amazing!
February 13, 2010
Maybe I'm a sucker for coming of age stories, but I liked this movie. Shia LaBeouf was a much better actor back in these earlier years, and I always enjoy seeing Elden Henson too. (First viewing - 7/28/2008)
½ December 30, 2015
An odd little indie spotlighting a teen who dislikes his father and re-enacts battles from past wars. Average performances by the actors, but one can't expect more when the story is so simple and the characters are merely marionettes that live only for the writers. Amy Smart and Shiri Appleby almost save this movie.
September 20, 2015
Shia carries what was probably a great script. It's a bit uneven because of the genre shift in the editing room, but in the end, to cap off season two of project greenlight, it really landed for me.
½ April 27, 2015
Pretty dumb, though kind of interesting. I like the military reenactment angle for a comedy, but they don't really use it to their advantage much to truly distinguish this film. The reenactment scene towards the end of the film is still pretty funny though.
½ December 10, 2013
Nothing special in the directing or script; in fact, the film suffers a bit due to both. The acting, however, especially from LaBeouf, is heartfelt and honest, helping to keep the audience watching until the trite final scene.
July 27, 2013
Meh. Has good ideas, doesn't know where exactly to go with them. Some funny moments, decent writing, and an ok performance from LaBeouf.
½ January 22, 2013
The end product is pretty good, but knowing what it was originally (a full blown dramedy), I really wish the dramatic elements had stayed in it. Shia before he became a big star; yes, he can act.
September 5, 2009
Shia LeBoeuf (who should change his name) carries this Proj. Greenlight film. A good afternoon waster.
½ July 3, 2009
This is a movie that isn't sure what it wants to be : a comedy, a thought-provoking, coming of age drama, both, or neither. It wasn't a bad movie, but it doesn't allow for much endearment to any of the characters. In turn, you don't care what happens to them.
February 13, 2009
After dodging this film for years (since I heard it was not filmed in my beloved city), I finally borrowed a copy from a fellow Ohioan. He was super-psyched that the location in the title was in Ohio- I am not that easily impressed.

The word for today, boys and girls, is VRAIMENT...there is none in this movie! Although Shaker Heights IS located in Ohio, a midwestern state, these characters do not bare even the most superficial resemblance to people from the area. Parents in Shaker are attempting to breed champions of society...the writers blew it when they had these children WORKING in a LOCAL SUPERMARKET. Dude, that would sooo never happen! Even if these kids were living in the Ludlow or Milverton neighborhoods of Shaker, they would not be working in service arenas, if ever at all! Please do not take me for an elitist...I simply want someone to write a film about the area, that speaks truthfully about the people from the area...that does not involve a duck.

These writers failed horribly at that. I got the same wave of nausea during the viewing of this film that I get everytime I view a film shot in SoCal, with people wearing tres SoCal bright ensembles...but they are supposed to be somewhere in NYC. As a present NYC transplant, I can assure you, future writers, that beachwear- no matter how dark the color- is not being worn at anytime in NYC. The next time anyone wants to write about Northeastern Ohioans or Ohioans in general try to research the area. Shaker- as popular cultural references go- is a country club sort of city. Think: pearls, khakis, polos and diamond studs. Rarely do people get harassed physically by bullies, because that is uncivilized. The majority of children in that area attend the private and preparatory schools in the region; some out of state.

This movie and the characters were just not Shaker Heights material. More like Strongsville, Ohio. Come on Damon and Affleck- you simply cannot just 'greenlight' anything!
½ January 30, 2009
The end product is pretty good, but knowing what it was originally (a full blown dramedy), I really wish the dramatic elements had stayed in it. Shia before he became a big star; yes, he can act.
January 27, 2009
Charming, quirky, and refreshingly different. Shia LaBeouf shows huge acting chops at a young age-- he really helps carry both the humor and the drama of the film. And, I HAVE to comment about Project Greenlight here-- season two, which follows the production of this film, provides an unprecedented look at the entire movie-making process. It's captivating to watch the drama-behind-the-camera unfold as the directors and writer scramble to get this movie made on an extremely tight schedule (the whole film was shot in 3 weeks!). You can get both season 2 and the feature film in a DVD box set-- highly recommended!
½ October 26, 2008
For someone who equally loves to reenact war battles I felt I enjoyed it more than most people. Shia LaBeouf does do a good job with the material. But it does raise the fact that he was playing a senior in this film and 4 or 5 years later is playing a senior in "Transformers".?.?.?.
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