Bend It Like Beckham 2003

Bend It Like Beckham

Critics Consensus

Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 155

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 469,770

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Movie Info

Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), the daughter of a strict Indian couple (Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan) in London, is not permitted to play organized soccer, even though she is 18. When Jess is playing for fun one day, her impressive skills are seen by Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley), who then convinces Jess to play for her semi-pro team. Jess uses elaborate excuses to hide her matches from her family while also dealing with her romantic feelings for her coach, Joe.

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Critic Reviews for Bend It Like Beckham

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (132) | Rotten (23)

Audience Reviews for Bend It Like Beckham

  • Jul 29, 2015
    Winning blend of culture clash, generation gap, and female empowerment as an English-born Indian girl Jess tries to pursue her dream of playing soccer, much to the consternation of her deeply-rooted traditional family. This was the last movie when you might've asked yourself "Who's Keira Knightley?" as 2003 was her springboard to superstardom - you may have heard about a movie released just one month earlier she was in about some cursed pirates. Her appeal is just as evident here as the striker who recruits Jess off the park pitch into an organized league and the two become fast friends. Parminder Negra is equally charismatic as Jess and a pity she hasn't been in more movies. Sharp eyes will recognize Anupam Kher playing her father as Bradley Cooper's sympathetic psychiatrist from Silver Linings Playbook. Jess' attempt to keep her feet in both worlds provides an enthralling look into a culture with very different values, existing as a country within a country. A crowd-pleaser to be sure, and may be faulted for trying to please too much by fitting everything in a too-neat little package by the end. I also felt uneasy with the evolving relationship the team coach who appears mid-twenties has towards the girls, who presumably are near 18 since they talk about attending university soon, but look more like they are 15.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2012
    A funny and uplifting tale about self discovery and acceptance. An enjoyable watch for the whole family, can be enjoyed by football fans and haters alike.
    Graham W Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2012
    A film about following your dream, friendship and family. The inter-culture relation of the Indians and the Europeans was particularly interesting to watch. It's a feel good drama about a girl's dream to become a soccer player but due to her heritage, she had a hard time finding acceptance to do so. The use of racial jokes was effective, also there were some elements of lesbianism which was a play on the stereotype of girls playing soccer. Overall, it's a clever film that can inspire young people
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2011
    Well-acted and brilliantly directed by Chadha, Bend it Like Beckham is both a brilliant satire and excellent comedy that keeps you laughing well beyond the first laugh.
    Ilyaas H Super Reviewer

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