• Unrated, 1 hr. 36 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Kim Mordaunt
    In Theaters:
    Jan 10, 2014 Limited
    On DVD:
    Apr 29, 2014
  • Kino Lorber


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The Rocket Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

Inescapeable hopelessness turns out to be neither

Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Original Score: 2/4

April 18, 2014
Ray Pride

A vital fairytale about a ten-year-old Laotian boy whose family thinks he's been cursed since birth, "The Rocket" is an unlikely heartwarmer.

Full Review Source: Newcity

April 13, 2014
Erik McClanahan
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In some ways, it feels like a throwback to many '80s teen movies, where everything comes down to a competition at the end, and the hero will finally get the chance to prove his worth.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

March 31, 2014
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Vivid, travelogue-y village pic.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

March 14, 2014
Tara Brady
Irish Times

Try not to fall off the edge of your seat during the film's nail-biting final scenes.

Full Review Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 4/5

March 14, 2014
Rich Cline

Despite some dark edges, this crowd-pleasing Laotian drama is far too heartwarming for its own good.

Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com | Original Score: 3.5/5

March 14, 2014
Peter Bradshaw

It is a likable piece of work whose gentleness is an interesting contrast to the grim and even tragic subject matter.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 3/5

March 13, 2014
Deborah Ross
The Spectator

[It's] a feel-good, triumph-over-adversity story involving a small boy and, although this outcome also isn't in any doubt, at least the journey is fascinating and it's been made with a heart that is warm.

Full Review Source: The Spectator

March 13, 2014
Adam Lowes

This utterly charming, fable-like coming of age tale will live longer in the hearts and minds of audiences.

Full Review Source: HeyUGuys | Original Score: 4/5

March 13, 2014
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express

A simple but charming, affecting and thought-provoking story, rich in atmosphere and local history, and beautifully acted by its young leads.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 4/5

March 13, 2014
Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

A Lao-brow fable that resonates richly with the realities of globalisation.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 4/5

March 13, 2014
Angie Errigo
Empire Magazine

A stirring, lushly-constructed celebration of youthful spirit.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

March 10, 2014
Simon Kinnear
Total Film

This strikingly original feelgood fable is artfully balanced between director Kim Mordaunt's roots in documentary and a spellbinding magic realism.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

March 10, 2014
Liam Maguren

A first [feature] for both Mordaunt's filmography and the country's catalogue of internationally-released titles and it's difficult to imagine a debut being stronger.

Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz | Original Score: 4/5

March 6, 2014
Christopher Runyon
Movie Mezzanine

The Rocket won't change anyone's world, but as a pleasantly sweet piece of world cinema, it's still worth seeing and being charmed by.

Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine | Original Score: B

March 4, 2014
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It follows a search for personal salvation while painting a portrait of Laotian life that's both revealing and relatable.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

March 4, 2014
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerful, deeply moving drama about a young boy who comes to terms with the tragedies that have befallen his family by creating a thing of beauty - a gorgeous, high-flying rocket emitting triumphant bursts of color - out of refuse left by the war.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 28, 2014
James Mottram
The List

A coming-of-age fable driven by naturalistic performances and a poignant atmosphere of loss.

Full Review Source: The List | Original Score: 4/5

February 26, 2014
Marc Mohan

This engaging fable oscillates between feel-good spunk and unexpected tragedy, and hits the right notes along the way.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B+

February 18, 2014
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mordaunt doesn't always succeed at balancing the sentimental, the political and the ethnographic, but at its strongest the story is a seamless melding of history's dark undertow and a child's indefatigable optimism.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

January 16, 2014
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