• PG-13, 1 hr. 52 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Gurinder Chadha
    In Theaters:
    Aug 1, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Sep 30, 2003
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures


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Bend It Like Beckham Reviews

Jumana Farouky
TIME Magazine
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The acting is as nimble as the footwork.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

August 1, 2008
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Fine character work by Juliet Stevenson, Archie Panjabi, and Bollywood regular Anupam Kher makes this well worth seeing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 26, 2007
Derek Elley
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More rooted in small-screen sitcom than anything deeper.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2007

Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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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 Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 7, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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As Spencer Tracy once said of Katharine Hepburn, there's not much meat there, but what's there is choice.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B+

August 8, 2003
John Anderson
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Beckham is so earnestly yearning it packs an emotional impact far greater than the sum of its parts.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2003
David Edelstein
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

April 22, 2003
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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No mere feel-good movie, it's a feel-great movie.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

April 4, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

April 4, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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April 4, 2003
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A rare amalgam of funny, sweet, action-packed and inspiring.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 3, 2003
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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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

March 28, 2003
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A routine, genial sports movie.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

March 28, 2003
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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+

March 28, 2003
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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It elicits laughs and the kind of rousing, root-for-the-underdog enthusiasm that translates well in any culture.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2003
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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This is a movie with bruised shins and a huge heart.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2003
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
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A warm, winning comedy.

| Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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At the heart of it is Nagra, an engaging sweetheart with a great pair of feet.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 28, 2003
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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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

March 28, 2003
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
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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.

March 28, 2003
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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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

March 20, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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I don't want the title to scare people away, because this is such a wonderful film.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

March 18, 2003
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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You'll probably fall for it anyway -- I did.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

March 14, 2003
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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Enjoyably shameless confection.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 13, 2003
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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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 Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

March 13, 2003
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
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At least its big-hearted earnestness seems honest, with the girls' friendship carrying more spark than the obligatory love subplot.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 13, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Just about perfect as a teenage coming-of-age comedy.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 13, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Like Nagra and Knightley, the movie is a sweetheart.

| Original Score: 3/4

March 12, 2003
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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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

March 12, 2003
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

March 12, 2003
Stephanie Zacharek
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Bend It Like Beckham is supposedly a movie about youth; its biggest shortcoming is that it rarely feels young.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 12, 2003
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Coming after Monsoon Wedding and My Son the Fanatic, Bend It Like Beckham seems like a step backward.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 12, 2003
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
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A shrill, poky comedy about good sportsmanship and the pursuit of big dreams.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 11, 2003
James Berardinelli
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2003
Mark Adams
Hollywood Reporter
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A charming, often hilarious experience, brimming with excellent performances and clever dialogue.

April 29, 2002
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