The Motel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Motel Reviews

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Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
A wonderful reminder that adult life is never as difficult as puberty was.
Don Willmott
February 9, 2007
A welcome addition to the "awkward adolescence" genre,
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Kam Williams
Upstage Magazine
January 25, 2007
A most impressive feature film debut by writer/director Michael Kang who has crafted a compelling tale by examining rites of passage from a fresh perspective, namely, that of a Chinese-American adolescent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 17, 2006
The Motel gives the lie to all those mainstream teen sex comedies starring happy, horny gwailos .
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
October 20, 2006
Perhaps The Motel meanders a bit too much -- hard to do in a 76-minute film -- but it is an engaging little movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Brian Orndorf
September 21, 2006
Kang and Chyau make for a great team, with Chyau able to give an honest performance that requires humiliation, but never disrespect.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
September 21, 2006
As rundown as it is and as downbeat as its denizens are, only 76 minutes seems like too short a stay at "The Motel."
Full Review| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
September 1, 2006
It's a modest triumph of unflattering realism, proving yet again that a camera, a few good actors, the right material and a sensitive director are all you need to illuminate any particular aspect of humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
September 1, 2006
It's pretty much a customary coming-of-age tale, though it is told with refreshing honesty and realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 31, 2006
... suffers from rocky moments and an unsure eye, but [Kang's] sense of detail is rich with prickly contradictions and he resists tidying up the story.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 31, 2006
There is honesty and integrity in the filmmaking and the performances, which make The Motel among the best character studies of the year.
| Original Score: B+
Josh Ralske
All Movie Guide
August 5, 2006
...specific and detailed enough to separate itself from the pack.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
July 28, 2006
It's Kang's understanding of human nature -- not particularly profound, but true and sharp as a perfectly drawn arrow -- that makes this unpretentious production sing.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
July 27, 2006
A well-worn coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail and a sharp visual sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
July 27, 2006
Even if writer-director Michael Kang doesn't exactly break new ground, he imbues his debut with a quiet, compelling inertia that mimics puberty's rudderless drift, its burgeoning desire for something, anything, to change.
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
July 8, 2006
It's actually really touching in parts, as well as infuriating.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
July 6, 2006
The film about of a teenage Chinese-American boy struggling with adolescent issues while working in his family's fleabag motel has the precise brevity of a well-crafted short story.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 30, 2006
Unlike so many indie films, Michael Kang's gently empathetic debut embraces eccentricity without drowning in its own hip irony.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
June 29, 2006
Like the best independent films, The Motel realizes that life is made up of minor pleasures and tiny epiphanies, not sweeping character arcs or big dramatic moments
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Ken Fox
TV Guide
June 28, 2006
Kang's film avoids broad generalizations about the Asian-American experience to focus on the horrors of adolescence, when differences in race and ethnicity can only add to the general torment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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