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That's What I Am (2011)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,537

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, That's What I Am is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical


Drama, Comedy

May 16, 2011

Samuel Goldwyn Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (8) | DVD (1)

Since a large portion of the film is taken up with the theme of school bullying, it may have some contemporary relevance, but good intentions do not always a good movie make.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An entertaining, well-made plea for tolerance...

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A forgettable title and a barely there theatrical release don't do justice to the captivating and nostalgic coming-of-age dramedy "That's What I Am"...

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Harris's depiction of a saintly, soft-spoken, bow-tie-wearing middle-school teacher lends the movie a moral weight it probably couldn't have summoned had another actor played the role.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lessons are learned, bullies get their comeuppance, and every Wonder Years plot device is trotted out for maximum and-I-was-never-the-same-again nostalgia.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing turns out as you might expect, and the plot twists provide unexpected suspense.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The only half-decent picture to come out of World Wrestling Entertainment's years-long experiment with making movies

January 13, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Message movie about tolerance has a few mature themes.

April 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

That's What I Am isn't a movie, sadly, it's an unreconstructed piece of television and one that's suffused with the values of the US networked shows of yesteryear.

July 12, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

It means to be an earnest, uplifting family film, but the movie evinces a fitful attention span, and director Mike Pavone never comes up with a way to successfully stitch together all its disparate, capital-I issues.

May 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

The latest (and by far most sneaky) attempt to slip one of its wrestlers into multiplexes, WWE Films' That's What I Am is surprisingly low on testosterone.

May 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Charming but conventionally plotted, it's a gentle ride that's lit up by compelling turns from Harris and Ellison.

May 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

WWE Films went really highbrow with their latest movie... This is WWE's take on Gandhi!... Truly touching, which is not something I could say about 12 Rounds or The Condemned.

May 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Screen Junkies

[VIDEO] awkwardly plotted drama that doesn't satisfactorily resolve the prickly social conditions it professes to explore.

April 30, 2011 Full Review Source:

A charming, inspirational indie (with a terrific performance by Ed Harris)...upholding such time-honored principles as tolerance, human dignity and compassion.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

What we learn here is that bullying is definitely, but definitely, a bad thing. Sadly, so is this film.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A placard preceding the film's title card assures that it's "inspired by true events," but the note is unnecessary, given the limpness of the narrative arcs. Who would make up such an anticlimactic story?

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

An emotionally affecting coming-of-age drama set in the 1960s about the importance of the many splendored virtue of respect.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for That's What I Am

Cute film set in the 60s with a story that would be just as relevant set in today's culture. Definitely a "feel good" movie with heart!
January 4, 2013

Super Reviewer

Dignity plus compassion equals peace is the message of this really enjoyable, nice little movie. As an added bonus, this was very Wonder Years-ish, complete with author narration. A good, solid story with interesting characters, and chock full of some very talented children. Ed Harris was, of course, fantastic! He adds a little special something to everything he is in...
April 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

"That's what I am" reminds me a bit of a cheesy wonder years rip off. The narration, the time period, the girl - and while I do say cheesy - I also must have to say, it worked magnificently!
The movie had some great meaning behind it being released during WWE's waging of war on bullies while it is slightly exaggerated at points it reminds us how cruel children and humanity in general can be to those who seem a bit different then the rest of us. We all have our unique personalities, and one thing we should generally exercise is, "Tolerance" , if nothing else.
This movie reminds us of being tolerant of differences and showing signs of human dignity that is hard to come by anymore.
A great flick! And an awesome 'heel' performance by Randy Orton.
October 30, 2011

Super Reviewer

Cast: Ed Harris, Molly Parker, Randy Orton, Amy Madigan, Mia Rose Frampton, Chase Ellison, Alexander Walters, Daniel Roebuck, Sean Michael Cunningham, Cameron Deane Stewart

Director: Michael Pavone

Summary: A 12-year-old boy is convinced he's been pushed toward social suicide when his teacher pairs him up for a project with the school's biggest reject. But the boys form an unexpected bond when bullies turn their attention to an unlikely target.

My Thoughts: "Another film from the WWE which features one of their wrestler's, Randy Orton. His part in the film was small, which made room for real actor's to shine. I have a bit of a pet peeve with wrestler's acting. Not many or if any are very good. BUT... This has to be the best movie the WWE has put out. Ed Harris. That's all I need to say as to what made me want to see this film. He is a favorite of mine and is a brilliant actor. The story is something everyone should see. Especially kids/teenagers. The film could be a great learning experience for them and some adults. It's really great of the WWE to put a light on issues kids are dealing with today with bullying. Like I said before, it's a movie you should watch with your kids if you have them, or just watch it because it's a good film."
May 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Mr. Simon: You should always have a book with you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. Big G.: I can't make them be nice people. And even if I could, there would be others to take their place.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. Andy Nichol: My father was a good man. He just wasn't very user friendly.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. Mr. Simon: I am a teacher that's what I am.
    – Submitted by Hamza A (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Simon: Human dignity plus compassion equals peace.
    – Submitted by Frodo T (2 years ago)
    1. Andy Nichol: Why would God make someone look like Big G, so that everyone makes fun of him?
    2. Sherri Nichol: Maybe because God didn't see anything wrong with him in the first place.
    – Submitted by Kellie P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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