I Am David (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Adapted from Anne Holm's 1963 novel of the same name, I Am David is a family adventure film from writer/director Paul Feig, one of the creators of the short-lived, cult-favorite television dramedy Freaks and Geeks. Ben Tibber stars as David, a boy who, with the help of his friend Johannes (James Caviezel), escapes from a Bulgarian prison camp and begins a harrowing journey that leads him to Denmark via Italy. I Am David also stars Joan Plowright, Maria Bonnevie, and Silvia De Santis.

Rating: PG (for thematic elements and violent content)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Feig
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 5, 2005
Box Office: $0.3M
Lions Gate Films - Official Site


as David

as Johannes

as The Man

as Giovanni

as American Man

as American Woman

as David's Mother

as Vineyard Owner

as Party Guest

as Store Owner

as Policeman

as Swiss Border Guard

as Swiss Policeman

as Young David

as Party Guest

as David's Father

as Quarry Guard

as Border Guard

as Policeman

as Bulgarian Officer

as Bulgarian Soldier

as Truck Driver

as Communist Protester

as Young Mother

as Swiss Border Guard
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for I Am David

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Critic Reviews for I Am David

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (13)

Clearly, huge tankers of disbelief must be suspended in a sea of goodwill to get into the spirit of the film.

Full Review… | December 8, 2004
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The film is marred by too many coincidences, but there are a couple of twists at the end that tug at the heartstrings and leave you with a warm feeling.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

It's not lack of a strong story that keeps I Am David from taking off. Blame a straightforward approach that makes the movie feel too much like an after-school special.

December 3, 2004
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Feig's neorealist approach to the look of the film might work better if he didn't fill it with so many coincidences and melodramatic flourishes.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

I know, I know, I'm supposed to get sentimental about this heart-warming tale. But I couldn't believe a moment of it, and never identified with little David.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Manipulative though it is, it doesn't generate much real emotion.

Full Review… | December 2, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for I Am David

The story sounds interesting on paper and does succeed in grabbing your interest in the initial moments. But over-drama replaces action and adventure as the story unfolds. I've no problem with some emotional quotient, but the film goes completely overboard its genre and loses its track. The melodrama gave the feeling of "been there, seen it all", and not in a pleasant manner. Having said that, I'd like to add that unlike "Julia's Eyes", it didn't make my head spin as its after-effects either.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

This film's two strengths are the harrowing nature of its subject matter and the rather well-constructed reveal at the end. After all, the concept that a young boy was able to escape a Communist concentration camp and journey as far as he did is rather remarkable.
But whereas 127 Hours succeeded in at least reaching for a more expansive theme, I Am David can only retreat to shallow, aphoristic moralizing. Throughout the film, the writers give us benign supporting characters, whose intentions David constantly - but I guess understandably - misinterprets. The filmmakers scream at David throughout that people are basically good, and we're supposed to delight when he listens. Such themes may be inspiring on the Lifetime network, but I for one think the human condition is far more complex than this film gives it credit for.
Additionally, Ben Tiller, in the eponymous role, plays one or two notes throughout the film, and even these belie any complexity in his character. I understand that he's young, but check out the level of acting Elijah Wood was able to rise to at a similar age in Radio Flyer or The War, two flawed movies, but Wood is excellent in them.
Finally, there is a hint of anti-upper-class bias. Aside from the bully brother, what is the difference between the family and Italy and Joan Plowright's character? Both offer David assistance in seemingly generous, pure ways, but the upper-class family is ultimately rejected without a good explanation.
Overall, the film's heart is on its sleeve, but it becomes bogged down in cliche melodrama.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This is one of the most amazing films ever. It is inspiring, sad, beautiful, and just great.

Rachel F

Super Reviewer

I Am David Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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