Bend It like Beckham - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bend It like Beckham Reviews

Page 1 of 689
July 1, 2016
Charming coming-of-age tale with well-written characters.
½ June 29, 2016
Charming especially Parminder Nagra - a classic and fun film that can be visited and revisited.
½ April 17, 2016
Even though you're smiling gleefully throughout it, it feels to the modern-day viewer like a TV movie. But a pretty good TV movie at that.
March 22, 2016
this film still stands up to the years. it's a lot of fun, but doesn't talk down to the audience. i think you really get a good impression of what it's like to be Indian outside of India. hugely enjoyable film
½ February 28, 2016
Despite containing a few formulaic sports film tropes, "Bend it Like Beckham" benefits from charming performances from Paraminder Nagra and Keira Knightley as well as having a social critique on racism.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
½ July 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.
½ June 14, 2015
Charming little multi layered movie with much more than soccer going on.
June 14, 2015
Just watched this again 12 years after I first saw it and it was worth a second viewing. It's a great wee inter-cultural feel-good football movie with a fabulous cast, with some going on to much bigger (if not necessarily better) things. Yes it is predictable in places but it is carried off with such energy, humour and charm it doesn't matter. Even the inability of John Barnes to act doesn't spoil it.
½ May 18, 2015
Formula can work in several ways, but two seem to be predominant in our sentimental cinema system. One formula, perhaps found in a manipulative Katherine Heigl vehicle, travels down a bumpy path until it crashes into a nearby ditch. The dialogue, never witty to begin with, is littered with the cliches of the past. The plot, robotic in its determination to take a detour into Tinsel Town, causes an eye-roll instead of a deservedly smitten sigh. But then, there's the formula found in a Gene Kelly musical. We quickly figure out how everything is going to end (he'll get the girl! Come out on top! Defeat the "villain"!), but its ability to exude agreeable comedy and make the most of its befitting stars turns predictability into an art form. We want him to get the girl, to come out on top, to defeat his nemesis. Formula can work wonders, as long as it's done right.
"Bend It Like Beckham" is a formulaic coming-of-age dramedy, but never did I feel manipulated to smile, to laugh, to do anything pertaining to unbridled amusement. Years down the road, I may not remember the inner workings of its plot; what I will remember, though, is how much elation I felt during its quick 112 minutes. So lucrative is its formula that I turned into one of those middle-aged monsters who finds themselves unembarrassed to talk to the screen, begging the characters to make the right decisions.
A radiant Parminder Nagra portrays Jesminder Bhamra, a British teenager of Indian descent. Though her family resides in London, still strong is their attachment to their strict culture. A picture of their maker hangs above the fireplace, judging every move; the mother (Shaheen Khan), conservative and close-minded, doesn't much care about education, preferring that her daughters learn how to cook a proper Indian meal and feed it to their (future) nice, Indian husband.
But Jess feels trapped. She's a high school senior, bright, and completely in love with -- GASP -- soccer. While the other teenage girls in her culture have accepted their upcoming marital dilemma, Jess wants something more. She wants to receive a good education, to become the female David Beckham. Fearing the wrath of her domineering parents, she attends soccer practice under the guise that she's headed to a demanding job.
Jess becomes close to a fellow teammate, Juliette (Keira Knightley), and soon develops a crush on her young coach, Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Before, her biggest concern was to avoid getting caught by her parents. Now, she not only has to worry about punishment; she also has to deal with the fact that Juliette fancies Joe too.
On paper, "Bend It Like Beckham" sounds, expectedly, like tepid formula. But with its irrepressibly wonderful cast and knack for natural comedy, it's a notable success that gives us an excuse to abandon our problems and find escape in someone else's. It's a warm film, perhaps doped up with copious amounts of anti-depressant medication.
The best thing about "Bend It Like Beckham" is Nagra, an appealing actress that gives Jess an immediately charismatic air. So often are we told to like the teen at the center of a coming-of-age movie; unusually, Nagra makes it easy for us to root for Jess. Delightfully supporting her are a spry, witty Knightley, a hilariously shrill Shaheen Khan, and Juliet Stevenson, who portrays Juliette's mother with extroverted comedic skill.
It's rare to laugh out loud during a film, and "Bend It Like Beckham" provides plenty of gut-busters. Not because of a well-timed punchline, not because of a physical comedy mess -- because human interaction is funny, because clashing cultures can be funny. "Bend It Like Beckham" is a winner.
½ May 2, 2015
5/1/15 This film is completely predictable and formulaic. I felt like it was done as a high school film project. The story is the same old coming of age formula, only that it is based on Indian culture. It just made me mad that her parents and other Indians thought it was shameful that she wanted to play soccer. It is completely ridiculous that this still exists in the world today, and yet the point was that I was supposed to feel sorry for her. The film wanted the audience to then feel great for her that she "overcame". Instead, I was just annoyed by the sexism of the Indians in the film. Don't watch this. It provide nothing new that you can't see in a better film.
March 8, 2015
I like this movie , had it on vhs years ago. Paula Diehl
March 3, 2015
A wonderful feel good movie that celebrates the human spirit! The acting is superb and the pacing is perfect. One of my all time favorites.
February 6, 2015
Fluff that was fine.
January 29, 2015
It's enjoyable for the most part thanks to the enthusiasm of the cast, but it's a little predictable by the end. Full review later.
January 10, 2015
A great feel-good movie about following your dreams and family tradition.
December 15, 2014
12/15/2014: Young girl plays soccer and hides it from her parents. Very predictable, but ok.
½ November 1, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Optimism is my attitude when I come into a film, regardless if I have seen the film before. Bend It Like Beckham was a film that I have seen long ago back during the start of High School. During then, I remembered feeling pleased about it, but not close to the point where I actually want to share my adoration for it. Therefore, I assumed my recent viewing would be a much more pleasant one, possibly seeing the underlying beauty that I was not able to appreciate at the time. Nope. All of my good feelings towards this film have been replaced; delivering an experience that was both narrative and emotionally predictable, wrapped around in sentimentality that never truly earns it, and comedy that often falls flat. I did however appreciate the film's contrast between family and self-aspirations, or traditional and western cultures; but director, Gurinder Chadha, fails to wrap it around with something superficially engaging. The one thing that was absolutely great was actress, Parminder Nagra, who does not resort to the melodramatic reactions, in order to sell her character's drive for freedom.

I'm simply just going to conclude this review by stating, do not watch Bend It Like Beckham, if one is expecting a film that offers an emotionally and viscerally rewarding experience.
½ October 30, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Optimism is my attitude when I come into a film, regardless if I have seen the film before. Bend It Like Beckham was a film that I have seen long ago back during the start of High School. During then, I remembered feeling pleased about it, but not close to the point where I actually want to share my adoration for it. Therefore, I assumed my recent viewing would be a much more pleasant one, possibly seeing the underlying beauty that I was not able to appreciate at the time. Nope. All of my good feelings towards this film have been replaced; delivering an experience that was both narrative and emotionally predictable, wrapped around in sentimentality that never truly earns it, and comedy that often falls flat. I did however appreciate the film's contrast between family and self-aspirations, or traditional and western cultures; but director, Gurinder Chadha, fails to wrap it around with something superficially engaging. The one thing that was absolutely great was actress, Parminder Nagra, who does not resort to the melodramatic reactions, in order to sell her character's drive for freedom.

I'm simply just going to conclude this review by stating, do not watch Bend It Like Beckham, if one is expecting a film that offers an emotionally and viscerally rewarding experience.
½ October 29, 2014
must watch it again. good as far as i remember.
½ October 14, 2014
Loads of fun, great acting and a reasonably fresh take on the football genre. Can't wait to show it to my girls one day.
Page 1 of 689