Cemetery Junction - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cemetery Junction Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2012
A group of friends tired of their suffocating existence in a working class suburb in the 1970s look for ways to escape to a better life. Cemetery Junction is very much a nostalgic trip back in time to a period when an aspirational working class looked to escape their roots, only to be restricted by their own lack of exposure to a world they had no experience of. It's strange to think how over a few short years the internet has transformed the world in this way; the working classes of the 70s were mired in "I expect my dinner on the table" sexism and racism born of ignorance rather than malice simply because they knew no better. Christian Cooke's central character represents the hopes and dreams of a young man wanting more than a life spent at a soul destroying factory job but soon realises that a life at a soul destroying office job doesn't seem much more appealing despite the carrot of the trappings of the upper middle class. The support provided by a very charismatic and chiselled Tom Hughes seems like the first steps of a future star and Gervais' hilariously ignorant 70s family provide some very funny moments. Very much in the same vein as the sitcoms of Clement and Frenais, it may stick to a well worn formula of feelgood romanticism but it has enough in the way of well observed comedy and likeable characters to make you enjoy the journey. Shane Meadows lite.
Super Reviewer
September 12, 2011
Not bad, story set in the 70's about a group of friends and their lives. Nothing you won't have seen before, and I have seen the whole 70's setting done to better effect, but it's an undemanding movie with a few laughs and a few sweet moments in it too. Nice to watch on a dull weekend.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2011
Captures only a part of the 70s in England, but captures it well, unfortunately it aims it at a large audience so probably has bad reviews. I cant believe the soundtrack, cus I hate most those songs, but together they worked well for an OST.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
I grew up in the 70's, and I have to admit that I really seem to like movies based in that decade...especially when it revolves around young adults. This movie was no exception. Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant, did a fantastic job on this enjoyable little film. Heartwarming, funny, and life lessons revealed here. Fantastic ending, also. Kudos!
Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2011
"Why does Noddy have a bell on his hat? 'Cause he's a cunt!"

A 1970s-set comedy centered on three young working class friends in a dreary suburb of Reading.

While it lacks the puerile talentless 'comedy' stylings that dominate most popular comedies these days, Cemetery Junction manages to provide a stunning example of the British comedy-drama at its best. Flawless heart-breakingly realistic performances all round (Ralph Fiennes makes a chilling boss, even with the few lines he has), great hilarious set-ups (won't reveal too much, but one of the best ones involves Slade, and a certain well-known children's TV character), and a heartwarming message about family, friendship and wanting more out of life (themes perfected by Gervais and Merchant with The Office and Extras). It provides situations and gags that sound relatively unoriginal on paper, but become something new entirely on screen. It has a real heart, genuine emotion, genius humour, and showcases what makes good old-fashioned British dramas the best.

However, I fear those seeking a stupid comedy like The Hangover or Cop Out (where ridiculous unrealistic characters say random things desperate for laughs) will probably be disappointed. In short, a fantastic film for those who appreciate British comedy dramas in the vein of The Full Monty or East is East. Also, watch out for bald-headed Manc Karl Pilkington's 1 second cameo!
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2010
I have never watched an episode of The Office, but I really was sort of skeptical when I saw that its creators had written/directed a film. That film, Cemetery Junction, is not at all what I would have expected to see. Rarely are the cynics' assumptions disproven, but this film should really take a lot of people by surprise. It is sentimental, yes, maybe even sappy, but not in a poorly done way. The film NEEDS to be maudlin; it would not be as affective otherwise. All of us find ourselves at crossroads at various points in our lives. We are continually growing, moving forward. As a coming of age story, Cemetery Junction does everything it should do. We have a couple strong, lovable characters in the lead, the required sort-of-funny-but-really-just-obnoxious side kick, the baddies, and one strong supportive adult. What I wouldn't have expected are some of the supporting characters that are truly desperate or dysfunctional. There are many truly heartbreaking moments in the film, but also just as many humorous ones. Everything is perfectly balanced and plays out as it "should". Appropriately enough, the film even ends with our young lovers rushing to catch their train. Our personal journeys do not always work, but part of the magic of films is the promise that they can, and maybe even will. After all, why not?
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2010
It?s refreshing to see a mainstream British film with the ambition to strut its stuff on studio terms.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2010
Curious concoction of styles and genres that doesn't quite gel as a whole. Its heartwarming core love story is by the numbers and nostalgic and so the broad comedy seems out of place with it (casting Gervais himself and a cafe owner cariacture were mistakes). Fiennes and Watson ooze class but the young cast show their inexperience at times.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2010
Cemetery Junction is a coming of age tale that has this weird, slight hint of Stand By Me and another weird hint of A Clockwork Orange. Three friends (Tom Hughes, Christian Cooke, and Jack Doolan) cavort throughout a small English town raising hell and trying to get laid on a nightly basis. Each has a distinctly different personality: one is a rebel with a cause, namely rebelling against his fathers passiveness, another is obsessed with working a starting a future that has no future, and the third is the nerdy guy who can't compute around the female of the species. The thing about the three is that while each one of them is taking different paths they really don't know where they're going. They're basically identities that don't have an identity yet.

This is a well made film from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant that while it has some funny moments isn't really a comedy. There's some movie cliches in the film, but it's executed in a fresh way by the creators and the actors in the film. The message in the film outweighs some of the typical movie moments. A very good film from across the Atlantic.
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2010
While it's not necessarily anything new in terms of storytelling or characters, it's still a really fun and well made movie with a huge heart. The good acting and above average cinematography make this deserving of your time. It has a great message about dreams and making the most out of life.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2010
Cast: Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones, Ricky Gervais, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Julia Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode, Steve Speirs

Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Summary: "Taking a new job to escape a bleak existence as a working-class stiff in a small English town, Freddie Taylor (Christian Cooke) gets ensconced in more drama than he bargained for when he runs into his old flame, Julie (Felicity Jones). Now Freddie and his mates, Bruce (Tom Hughes) and Snork (Jack Doolan), must navigate the consequences of the lovely lady's unexpected reappearance.

My Thoughts: "I really enjoyed this dramedy. It has many laughs. My favorite was the dialogue between the grandma and father. Great stuff, plenty of laughs from them. But its an all around great British comedy/drama. Loved the characters. Its about these three friends who are just trying to find their way. Snork just wants to find a gal who will accept him and his tattoo (which is hilarious). Freddie, doesn't want to end up like his father (Gervais) working at a dead end job and having nothing to show for it. Bruce wants out of the small town and is angry at the world, but mainly at his father and goes around getting himself into a lot of fist fights. In the end they all in some way find their path. It's a really good story with laughs throughout that really makes it not only relatable but enjoyable."
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2011
"Cemetery Junction" starts with Freddie Taylor(Christian Cooke) being hired by Kendrick(Ralph Fiennes) to be trained by Mike Ramsay(Matthew Goode) to sell life insurance. This helps Freddie's plan to avoid the factory where his father(Ricky Gervais, who wrote and directed with Stephen Merchant) toils for one of his two jobs. However, it does not go well at first as Freddie has trouble persuading his pal Brian(David Earl) that life insurance is more important than porn. Freddie's other friends are not faring any better as Bruce(Tom Hughes) works in a factory while living with his alcoholic father(Francis Magee). At the same time, Snork(Jack Doolan) probably should never take off his shirt in public again, thereby severely limiting his social life. At least, Freddie renews the acquaintance of Julie(Felicity Jones), his childhood sweetheart who is also Kendrick's daughter and Mike's fiancee.

While "Cemetery Junction" is an engaging movie with likable performances from its young cast, it also suffers from haphazard editing with sudden plot shifts throughout and one scene that goes on forever that fails in its attempt to be the climax. So while the movie might seem forced and cliched at times(especially the soundtrack), it actually has more important things on its mind as it gives fresh perspective to what it truly means to be an adult which lends a great deal of emotional depth to the proceedings. The guys have a decision to make as they are confronted by possible future versions of themselves, with only two readily apparent choices, both of which are traps.(Kendrick is from the same neighborhood as Freddie and might see part of himself in the young man.) Thankfully, this is not only limited to the men, as Julie's fate is also on the line. So, it should come as no surprise that the ending feels familiar but also with a twist, allowing the characters to comment on the silliness of it all.
Super Reviewer
February 22, 2011
Awesome , awesome hilarious portrayal of three friends "coming of age" in the '70's in Great Britain. Funny and memorable portrayal of three friend sharing their adventures of drinking, fighting and "chasing birds" while coming to grip with the fact that they have got to get out of the blue-collar working class town of Cemetary Junction. Ricky Gervais directs this hilarious yet honest movie. Try it!
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2010
For a film written and directed by Ricky Gervais, "Cemetery Junction" is a rather straightforward coming-of-age drama, rather than the stocky, bland comedies we are used to from Gervais. With strong lead Christian Cooke leading the tale of a young man becoming an employee for an insurance company, run by the brilliant Ralph Fiennes, rather than working the factories like everyone around him. In his pursuit for the "dream", he comes across the always gorgeous Felicity Jones, who steals every scene she's apart of. Unable to escape his home life and unable reach his unattainable goals, the conclusion of the film brings shades of "The Graduate".
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2010
Cemetery Junction is a decent coming of age movie from writer directer Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Set in the early 70's and nicely shot, it tells the story of three outcast friends find themselves drinking, joking, fighting, and chasing... read more girls, while dreaming of escape from their blue-collar hometown of Cemetery Junction. Although its well scripted and it all came together nicely at the end, I found it lacking in momentum and memorable moments. Overall, well worth your rental money.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2010
Hmm, a comedy? I'd say more like a drama.

Cemetery Junction was written and directed by two great comedians, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the same guys who brought you The Office (and a rather recent show An Idiot Abroad). However Cemetery Junction failed to give me the laughs. There were some laughs in places, even though they were rather primitive for the most part, unless I just didn't get the humour and just laughed at the most basic of humour in the movie.

Other than that, the movie was more of an emotional drama if you ask me. I think in terms of putting across a clear message to the viewers it succeeds. The film is about a young adult, who has aspirations in life, to get a job, to be rich and to have a family. Two of his friends however are less interested in that and just live life as it is. The location is supposed to be one of the poorest in UK as I've gathered and so it was a big deal to be able to get out there and to get a well-paid job. Well it is a big deal even now, but for those guys it would've been a dream. Things get more complicated when the main character meets a childhood friend he falls in love with.

The film showed contrast of lives well - the people who want to do something big with their life and those who just prefer to get on with it, the people who value freedom, independency and personal aspirations, and those who just follow the standard conventional methods and try to mute the others. I think that was the movie's strength. However I was preparing myself to watch a comedy, and in terms of giving laughter it didn't do so well in my opinion.

All in all an OK movie. I doubt I'd watch it again though.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2010
Unoriginal and cliche riddled - the plot moves all too sequentially from one highly predictable moment to another. Whilst I'm certain the brief appearances of the writers are earnestly meant, they feel like pasted in cameos with little relevance to the story. Ricky and Steve should pay less attention to their previous success and press releases and more attention to their writing.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2010
Great coming of age comedy drama set in the 70's about three friends who want to escape their home town of Reading, England, one character in particular, Freddie, getting what he believes to be a job as a salesman with decent prospects that will eventually lead to a brighter future while his friends keep battling on at their boring 9-5's but it seems there's certain things in life getting in the way of the friends achieving their dream. This is a well written and acted film that manages to be funny and dramatic at the right times with a decent soundtrack giving it the feel of the 70's. Good cast to including Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Ricky Gervais alongside newcomers Christian Cooke, Matthew Goode and Felicity Jones all giving cool and entertaining performances. That crappy pic to the left isn't the actual cover!
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2010
Could Gervais and Merchant now do something hilarious?
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