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Son of Rambow (2007)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 85 | Rotten: 31

Undeniable heart and charming young leads save the film's nostalgic storyline from suffering at the hands predictability.


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 9

Undeniable heart and charming young leads save the film's nostalgic storyline from suffering at the hands predictability.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 62,254

My Rating

Movie Info

It all begins in 1980s Britain, when young Will Proudfoot, raised in isolation among The Brethren, a puritanical religious sect in which music and TV are strictly forbidden, encounters something beyond his wildest fantasies: a pirated copy of "Rambo: First Blood." His virgin viewing of the iconic thriller blows his mind--and rapidly expanding imagination--wide open. Now, Will sets out to join forces with the seemingly diabolical school bully, Lee Carter, to make their own action epic, devising



Garth Jennings

Aug 26, 2008


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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (31) | DVD (5)

Jennings is clearly having a wonderful time recreating the fantasies of his youth, but sometimes his perspective get a little too inbred, and the picture suffers for it.

May 30, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We cringe and laugh at -- and are ultimately moved by -- their clumsiness and innocence. And it endears us to the Rambo films in ways we never could have anticipated.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With apologies to Mr. Stallone, no one would ever argue First Blood was an essential part of any healthy childhood. But the ability to make-believe certainly is.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Son of Rambow is an inventive and amusing coming-of-age movie that deftly entwines elements of farce and fantasy, rebelliousness and sentiment, while paying seriously funny tribute to the transcendent power of art.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These two boys have, along with writer-director Garth Jennings, turned a coming-of-age story into a treatise on both the fragility of artistic vision and the danger of popular opinion.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

After the movie, I imagined its writer-director, Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) being more than a little like Will, and the movie uncannily similar to one of Will's comic epics.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funnier than anything in this vaguely dark comedy is the thought of [Sly] Stallone sitting through it.

August 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Crammed tight with every kid-pic cliche you can imagine.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

It's a fun idea, but quite awkwardly staged and, in the end, not particularly engaging.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

A feel-good family flick that doesn't pander to the younger members of the equation.

September 8, 2008 Full Review Source:

This is a winner, a film to which you can safely take your kids and enjoy yourself.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Waffles between heart-on-its-sleeve candor and winking self-awareness.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Though the film is primarily designed to appeal to viewers in the early-teen demographic, a maturity and intelligence is at work here that will connect with many adults also.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia) | Comment (1)
Herald Sun (Australia)

The script is not so much written as assembled, anecdote by anecdote. As a result, you never quite settle in.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

It's a mildly startling choice of subject matter, but Jennings takes for granted that even the most innocent cineastes have their sadistic side.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

This quite charming film does have a strangeness about it; you feel that not all the pieces fit comfortably together.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

I was not so engaged as to be moved . . . and felt impatient at the lack of dramatic pace

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It may not all work but Son of Rambow is a totally original and really sweet film with an ultra soft heart

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Its heart is surely in the right place. Yet so much of it just doesn't work...that it's hard to get very excited about it.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Jennings and Goldsmith's kid-fueled '80s film proves as inspiring as it is inspired.

June 12, 2008 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

The boys' video project is modern enough to stand in contrast to the brick and tweed of the locale, but rather than glossing over that uncomfortable fit, Jennings highlights it with a one-man Flock Of Seagulls.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

An almost unbearably tedious kidpic about two fatherless boy opposites using Rambo as a role model.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews uneven film, but a special one that earns its ahs.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

If you, too, are a son of Rambow, or are from the era of The Lone Ranger or even the Power Rangers, this movie calls to you.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

SON OF RAMBOW is full of ideas and imagination, but I think Jennings buries himself with all of his ambition.

June 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Jennings has crafted a work that beautifully -- and humorously -- evokes childhood and the impact of movies on children.

June 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Son of Rambow

Son of Rambow is one of those rare movies that are purely enjoyable due to the fact that it relies on such simple ideas to create its effective, memorable and amusing plot. This is one of those films that just sucks you in right from the get go due to great characters, a fine plot and quirky humor. I wasn't expecting anything great to come out of this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you love these types of films, you're sure to enjoy this one, and even if you were skeptical about seeing it, I would recommend it, because it may surprise you at how good it is, just like it did with me. Acting wise, this film has a wonderful cast. Especially in the two leads. Will Poulter and Bill Milner have great on-screen chemistry and it's what make this film so wonderful. Son of Rambow has enough charm and original ideas going for it to make you want to see it again and again. Very enjoyable, fun and memorable, these types of films are what is missing in the comedy genre. I think it's wonderful how once in awhile a film like this surfaces and makes every other comedy that tries to attempt similar things fail. Brilliant, sad and funny, Son of Rambow is great filmmaking, and one of the best comedies that I have seen in quite some time due to its cast, great story and effective directing. If you come across this one, pick it up you'll be glad you did. This is far better than what most people would say about it, and there's plenty great moments to keep you interested from start to finish.
December 9, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Make Believe. Not War.

Great movie!!! The Son of Rambow is more than the sum of its parts, its about that old aged fable shown in many kids films, but in a different light, great coming-of-age movies as Christina Ricci's Now and Then (1995), River Phoenix's Stand by Me (1986) to the magic of The Goonies (1985). Son of Rambow is amusing to the point of hilarity, touching to the point of sentimentality and rewarding like a good home movie should be; made well with imagination, wit and determination.

SON OF RAMBOW is the name of the home movie made by two little boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions. Set on a long English summer in the early 80's, SON OF RAMBOW is a comedy about friendship, faith and the tough business of growing up. We see the story through the eyes of Will, the eldest son of a fatherless Plymouth Brethren family. The Brethren regard themselves as God's 'chosen ones' and their strict moral code means that Will has never been allowed to mix with the other 'worldlies,' listen to music or watch TV, until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and maker of bizarre home movies. Carter exposes Will to a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood and from that moment Will's mind is blown wide open and he's easily convinced to be the stuntman in Lee Carters' diabolical home movie. Will's imaginative little brain is not only given chance to flourish in the world of film making, but is also very handy when it comes to dreaming up elaborate schemes to keep his partnership with Lee Carter a secret from the Brethren community. Will and Carter's complete disregard for consequences and innocent ambition means that the process of making their film is a glorious rollercoaster that eventually leads to true friendship. They start to make a name for themselves at school as movie makers but when popularity descends on them in the form of the Pied Piper-esque French exchange student, Didier Revol, their unique friendship and their precious film are pushed, quite literally, to breaking point.
August 5, 2012
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

This charming British comedy tells the story of a religious boy befriending the school bully, who's shooting a film for a competition. After accidentally seeing Rambo-First Blood as the first film of his life, Will is fascinated and enthusiastic to join the project. Set in the 1980s this film is full of nostalgia about that era, the love for film and the worth of friendship. The storytelling is imaginative, the plot bitter sweet and the humor wonderfully disrespectful but with its heart at the right spot. The talented kids actors make it all work and the 80s soundtrack is fun too. A very lovable, funny and sweet experience for children and adults alike.
March 12, 2012

Super Reviewer

The movie only misses on a couple target but sure gets points for being fun. It of course gets sappy, but it is tolerable.
June 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Son of Rambow

    1. Lee Carter: This has been my best day of all time.
    – Submitted by Isabella M (2 years ago)
    1. Didier: I will be star of your movie.
    – Submitted by Ingri A (3 years ago)
    1. Will Proudfoot: I'm not supposed to be your friend.
    2. Lee Carter: What? What's wrong with me?
    – Submitted by Ingri A (3 years ago)
    1. Mary Proudfoot: Promise me you'll put these things out of your mind, William.
    – Submitted by Ingri A (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Sohn von Rambow (DE)
  • Le fils de Rambow (FR)
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