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.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Hinges on a rather unbelievable characterization of fascist kindness.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
| Original Score: C+
| Original Score: 1/4
Get out the Game Boy instead.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
It's like Tom Sawyer's Great Escape - a strange combination of stories that's interesting, but doesn't quite capture your emotions.
| Original Score: 3/5
While some parents might wish the film had more emotional depth, they will probably appreciate the gentle humor. Then they can introduce their children to the book.
| Original Score: 2/4
It's so under-dramatized that it's barely there.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Short, simple and inoffensive, it's well suited to family viewing, albeit on the gogglebox one Sunday teatime rather than the big screen.
| Original Score: 2/5
An unconvincing fairy tale that masquerades as an earnest plea for freedom.
Essentially a tearjerker, with little originality or insight.
The words creak with calculated composition that never sufficiently capture the foreignness of the situations or individuality of people.
| Original Score: D+
Falls prey to the defect of all poor road movies: In gluing together unbelievable but convenient episodes with sugary sentimentality, it loses most of its credibility.
Manipulative though it is, it doesn't generate much real emotion.
It's a Hallmark Hall of Fame special dressed up as a feature, one that juggles feel-good humanitarianism and oddly inappropriate stabs at whimsy.
One of those well-intentioned misfires that so frustrate both audiences and critics -- brimming with thematic potential, yet consistently unable to establish and maintain an effective tone.
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.
While the material itself has promise (it's an adaptation of Anne Holm's best-selling novel), this drama fumbles and stumbles its way to a resolution that's far too easy.
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.
How David escapes, alas, is less compelling than wondering how this drearily earnest movie escaped the Hallmark Channel.
| Original Score: 2.5/4