Bee Season - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bee Season Reviews

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Time Out
November 16, 2011
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 6, 2005
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AV Club
December 6, 2005
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 23, 2005
[A] pretentious family-in-crisis drama ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 22, 2005
Fine directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (The Deep End) take a detour into mumbo jumbo.
| Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 22, 2005
There's no shortage of material on the screen in Bee Season -- it's just not assembled in a satisfying manner.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 22, 2005
Bee Season is earnest and heartfelt and respectful. And a botch.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 18, 2005
Co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, whose visual schemes lent a hypnotic aura to their previous collaborations ... don't find the right balance of story and image this time.
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
November 18, 2005
It's more thoughtfully conceived than most of what passes for filmmaking these days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 18, 2005
The film succeeds, because both the tale and the young performers (Cross and Max Minghella as Eliza's teenage brother, Aaron) are so compelling.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 18, 2005
A cold and intellectual look at people searching for spiritual meaning that, instead of imparting any resonant observations about faith and family, comes off as kooky and affected.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
November 18, 2005
Fragmented and obtuse, with characters who fail to resonate.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 18, 2005
Tempts with a bit of a buzz, but then can't deliver and becomes more than a bit silly and self-admiring.
| Original Score: C-
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 18, 2005
Though Bee Season has flaws beyond Gere's casting, it compels us to look at the things that words and lives are made of, which is no abstract achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
November 18, 2005
Reflecting Goldberg's virtuoso novel, the film sets up rich dichotomies of what people say and do, and of satisfying the self vs. pleasing the community.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 18, 2005
Over the years this actor has become a beguiling silver fox, trickier than he seems, but [Gere] still doesn't have the psychic weight to pull off a role like Saul.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 17, 2005
One of the most unusual portraits of spiritual striving you're likely to see. And for that alone, it's worth your attention.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 17, 2005
The lack of emotion is a bit off-putting at first, but as the story unfolds, we grow to appreciate that the film's detached tone reflects the family dynamics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
November 17, 2005
The intellectual grist is intriguing, but one can't escape the feeling that Bee Season is only skimming the surface of its source material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 14, 2005
It got waylaid.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 11, 2005
So intent is the film on finding symbols and magic in anything and everything, it forgets that flesh-and-blood humans are waiting on screen and off for something to really care about.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 11, 2005
While directed with intelligence and visual flair by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, Bee Season ultimately is undone by the same trait that makes young spelling whizzes insufferable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 11, 2005
Bee Season ... goes vaguely out of focus from the beginning.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 11, 2005
Bee Season can spell strongylid but it doesn't know the definition of tension.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 11, 2005
I don't know whether Gere, an avowed Buddhist, took this role to embarrass kabbala faddists like Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, or to see if he could pass for Jewish -- and a scholar! It's a lost cause, in any case.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
November 11, 2005
Though bathed in ecclesiastical light and a work of obvious craft and ambition, Bee Season is grimly serious and rather full of itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 10, 2005
It doesn't quite manage the shattering emotionality of the novel, but it's an intriguing, if slightly plodding, adaptation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 10, 2005
The performance by Flora Cross is haunting in its seriousness. She doesn't act out; she acts in.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 10, 2005
Bee Season is affecting in ways that movies have all but given up trying to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 10, 2005
Based on the well-regarded novel by Myla Goldberg, Bee Season is a serious film filled with both great and awkward ideas.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 10, 2005
Bee Season buzzes with a reverence for the spiritual potential of language, but strands its characters at an irritating loss for words.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 10, 2005
Bee Season, at its core, is about something powerful: The ways in which family members wreak destruction on each other with the best of intentions.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 10, 2005
The movie's most powerful theme is not the damage done by overambitious parents, but the bewilderment of urban adults who are deeply ambivalent toward religion while desperately longing for spiritual fulfillment.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 9, 2005
Cold and elusive, Bee Season lacks the crucial emotional ingredients to make us care, and it remains too stubbornly esoteric and cerebral to appeal to anything more than a small and curious art-house crowd.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 9, 2005
The movie works earnestly to transform unfamiliar concepts of philosophy as well as by now exceedingly familiar concepts of endearing/sadistic spelling-bee hysteria into cinematically new representations of letters made flesh.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
November 8, 2005
Its hieroglyphics are vividly rendered, but Bee Season never manages to spell them out.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 7, 2005
The trouble with these various plights is that we are required to lend them equal sympathy, and to go on sympathizing until our ears pop.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 13, 2005
Results less in an intense psychological portrait of a family crisis than a baffling puzzle where cause and effect are never firmly established.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 6, 2005
The film is ice cold, never finding a way to invite the viewer into the story.