Bend It like Beckham (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bend It like Beckham (2003)



Critic Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.

Movie Info

An Indian family in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way. Unlike her traditional older sister, Pinky, who is preparing for a lavish Indian wedding and a lifetime of cooking the perfect chapati, Jess dreams of playing soccer professionally, like her hero David Beckham. Wholeheartedly against Jess' unorthodox ambition, her parents eventually reveal that their reservations have more to do with protecting her, than with holding her back. When Jess is forced to make a choice between tradition and her beloved sport, her family must decide whether to let her chase her dream--and a soccer ball--or follow a more orthodox path.more
Rating: PG-13 (for language and sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Mayeda Burges, Guljit Bindra, Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 30, 2003
Box Office: $32.4M
Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site


Parminder Nagra
as Jesminder Bhamra
Keira Knightley
as Juliette Paxton
Anupam Kher
as Mr. Bhamra
Shaheen Khan
as Mrs. Bhamra
Archie Panjabi
as Pinky Bhamra
Frank Harper
as Alan Paxton
Juliet Stevenson
as Paula Paxton
Paven Virk
as Bubbly
Harvey Virdi
as Teetu's Mom
Ash Varrez
as Teetu's Dad
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bend It like Beckham

Critic Reviews for Bend It like Beckham

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (36)

The acting is as nimble as the footwork.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Fine character work by Juliet Stevenson, Archie Panjabi, and Bollywood regular Anupam Kher makes this well worth seeing.

Full Review… | March 26, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

More rooted in small-screen sitcom than anything deeper.

Full Review… | March 26, 2007
Top Critic

Nagra and Knightley have winning personalities, but credit should also go to writer/director Chadha for getting the balance right between humour and pathos, and sporting and romantic action.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Every generation has to discover the same clichés that were drummed into previous generations, and kids could do worse than to learn them from this film.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

As Spencer Tracy once said of Katharine Hepburn, there's not much meat there, but what's there is choice.

Full Review… | August 8, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bend It like Beckham


A funny and uplifting tale about self discovery and acceptance. An enjoyable watch for the whole family, can be enjoyed by football fans and haters alike.

Graham Willis
Graham Willis

Super Reviewer


A thoroughly enjoyable movie thats worth a watch! Nice to see us Brits have still got it!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


Bend It Like Beckham is a fun movie about a British Indian girl named Jess (Parminder Nagra) who loves the game of soccer more than anything, but is encouraged by her traditional parents to abandon her passion and focus on other areas of her life, like finding a husband. She lies and defies them in order to keep playing, but her deceit causes friction at home, while a love triangle develops between Jess, her coach (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and her best friend on the team (Keira Knightly).

It may not be an original story, but it's a fun one that's frequently joyous to watch, and the focus on Indian culture made it seem fresh to me. The acting and soccer match scenes are equally well done, and the themes of culture clash and following one's dreams will be easy to sympathize with for most people.

Bend It Like Beckham is just a good, solid, entertaining family flick to watch. The movie was clearly made with a respect for Punjabi culture and a genuine love for soccer. It's hard not to like; give it a try.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

Bend It like Beckham Quotes

– Submitted by Gary C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Gary C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by David H (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Bend It like Beckham on our Movie forum!