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The Debut (2000)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,275

My Rating

Movie Info

Ben Mercado is a talented high school senior who enrolls in a prestigious art school in order to realize his dreams of becoming an animator. However, his plans come into conflict with those of his immigrant father Roland, a postal worker intent on seeing Ben become a doctor. Their long-simmering feud (for Ben a struggle to fit into American life and reject his Filipino heritage; and for Roland, a quest to give his children a better life than he had) threatens to boil over and ruin the elaborate

Sep 9, 2003


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Latest News on The Debut

February 8, 2012:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Plans Directorial Debut
He'll star opposite Scarlett Johansson.


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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (6) | DVD (8)

Director Gene Cajayon, with co-writer John Manal Castro and a charming cast, continually subverts expectations.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Mostly the situations, albeit compressed, ring true; the characters are admirably multi-dimensional, and there are welcome doses of humor that compensate for any contrivances.

November 15, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
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An earnest and predictable little indie.

October 18, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A neat blend of well-drawn major characters and drama, music, dance, romance and humor that generates considerable charm and achieves a heartwarming resolution of its generational conflict.

October 17, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The film has a sweet low-budget quality that sometimes slips into TV-movie schmaltz.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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Celebrates community and family, and does so in such a warm-hearted way that its formulaic nature is easily forgiven.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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The Joy Luck Club did the "white people are ignorant" story with less obviousness

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source:

That it feels so predictable is, ironically, a tribute to the universality of the experience it explores.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Predictable but heartfelt, and valuable in that it is one of the first Filipino-American productions.

October 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Compuserve

For all its familiarity, The Debut (an unfortunately bland and vague title) is a film from the heart...

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A heartfelt, crowd-pleaser of a story.

December 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The unabashed earnestness of everyone involved allows you to forgive some of the shortcomings.

October 5, 2001 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

All involved seem keyed into the subtextual subtleties of a story that, while simple on the surface, is exceedingly rich underneath.

October 4, 2001
New Times

A smart, engaging demonstration of how the conventions of the coming-of-age comedy-drama can be adapted and given new meaning.

June 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Has at its heart a strong cast of actors giving their all to earn a resounding ring of truth with the movie's target audience.

April 18, 2001 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire

As well-meaning as an after-school special and only slightly more inspired.

April 10, 2001

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