Bend It like Beckham Reviews

Top Critic
Jumana Farouky
TIME Magazine
August 1, 2008
The acting is as nimble as the footwork.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 26, 2007
Fine character work by Juliet Stevenson, Archie Panjabi, and Bollywood regular Anupam Kher makes this well worth seeing.
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Derek Elley
Variety
March 26, 2007
More rooted in small-screen sitcom than anything deeper.
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
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.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 8, 2003
As Spencer Tracy once said of Katharine Hepburn, there's not much meat there, but what's there is choice.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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John Anderson
Newsday
May 28, 2003
Beckham is so earnestly yearning it packs an emotional impact far greater than the sum of its parts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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April 22, 2003
The movie isn't unwatchable. It's clumsily good-natured, the actors are appealing, and there are worse ways to spend two hours than looking at pretty young girls in shorts kicking balls.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 4, 2003
No mere feel-good movie, it's a feel-great movie.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 4, 2003
That rare breed of crowd pleaser, one in which it doesn't matter that you immediately know how it's all going to end, because getting there is so much fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 4, 2003
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 3, 2003
A rare amalgam of funny, sweet, action-packed and inspiring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 28, 2003
Chadha's created something magical; an atmosphere of happiness and hope, in which we could all bend a ball like Beckham -- or like Jess.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2003
A routine, genial sports movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 28, 2003
Plays very well indeed in modern America, where our melting pot of immigrant cultures inevitably leads to clashes over assimilation and tradition.
| Original Score: B+
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
March 28, 2003
It elicits laughs and the kind of rousing, root-for-the-underdog enthusiasm that translates well in any culture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 28, 2003
This is a movie with bruised shins and a huge heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
March 28, 2003
A warm, winning comedy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
At the heart of it is Nagra, an engaging sweetheart with a great pair of feet.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 28, 2003
It may not have the sly 'bend' of a Beckham kick, but it operates in a straight-ahead fashion that's guaranteed to score with most audiences.
| Original Score: B
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
You seldom leave a theater walking on air, much less float all through a movie. But the joyous Bend It Like Beckham never lets you down.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 20, 2003
Chadha has an ear and an eye for the funny, the touching and the just plain odd in her culture's gradual assimilation into the British mainstream.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 18, 2003
I don't want the title to scare people away, because this is such a wonderful film.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 14, 2003
You'll probably fall for it anyway -- I did.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
March 13, 2003
Enjoyably shameless confection.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 13, 2003
Made with a craftsmanship and pizzazz that restores your appreciation for honest commercial moviemaking, Bend It Like Beckham puts a new definition of femininity on screen, casual and cool and in your face.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
March 13, 2003
At least its big-hearted earnestness seems honest, with the girls' friendship carrying more spark than the obligatory love subplot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 13, 2003
Just about perfect as a teenage coming-of-age comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 12, 2003
Like Nagra and Knightley, the movie is a sweetheart.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
March 12, 2003
An energetic, feel-good blend of comedy, romance and benign drama -- with a side dish of social commentary -- that works despite its strict adherence to the culture clash/generation gap formula.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 12, 2003
A smart, lively and altogether warmhearted dramatic comedy that blends tradition and modernity on screen as adroitly as teenage Jess does in her irresistibly complicated life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 12, 2003
Bend It Like Beckham is supposedly a movie about youth; its biggest shortcoming is that it rarely feels young.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 12, 2003
Coming after Monsoon Wedding and My Son the Fanatic, Bend It Like Beckham seems like a step backward.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
March 11, 2003
A shrill, poky comedy about good sportsmanship and the pursuit of big dreams.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 11, 2003
Bend It Like Beckham is enjoyable enough that the sprinkles of artificial sweetness in the mix don't do lasting or irreparable damage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Adams
Hollywood Reporter
April 29, 2002
A charming, often hilarious experience, brimming with excellent performances and clever dialogue.