Birthday Girl

Critics Consensus

Kidman shows her range in this quirky movie, but the shift in tone from romantic comedy to thriller may leave viewers unsatisfied.



Total Count: 122


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,248
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Movie Info

John Buckingham was an ordinary bank employee with a small home and a life built on routine...until he took a bride through an on-line mail order service called "From Russia With Love." The morning she arrives is her birthday, but he's the one who's in for the surprise. When the new bride's two "cousins," Yuri and Alexei, arrive John's life is turned upside down as he learns the truth behind their relationship and is taken on the adventure of a lifetime--when they take her hostage and force John to rob his own bank.

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Kate Evans
as Claire
Stephen Mangan
as Bank Manager
Alexander Armstrong
as Robert Moseley
Jo McInnes
as Waitress
Ben Miller
as Concierge
Jonathan Aris
as D.I. O'Fetiger
Rebecca Clarke
as Bank Colleague
Xander Armstrong
as Robert Moseley
Raj Ghatak
as Bank Colleague
David Mark
as Bank Colleague
Sue Maund
as Woman With Lost Hat
Steve Pemberton
as Duty Sergeant
Jack Pierce
as Bank Colleague
Alan Stocks
as Passport official
J.J. Toba
as Policeman 2
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Critic Reviews for Birthday Girl

All Critics (122) | Top Critics (33)

  • A deviant topical comedy which is funny from start to finish.

    Jun 11, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Matt Arnoldi
    Top Critic
  • 'Butterfingered' is the word for the big-fisted direction of Jez Butterworth, who manages to blast even the smallest sensitivities from the romance with his clamorous approach.

    Apr 8, 2002
  • A deceptively clever romantic comedy that is also part caper, part thriller and a perfect vehicle for both Ms. Kidman and her talented co-star, Ben Chaplin.

    Mar 13, 2002

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • As I watched the film struggle with all its switches and turnabouts, I wondered why it wasn't funnier, more charming or more exciting.

    Mar 13, 2002

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • It's all over the road -- sometimes farce, sometimes horror, sometimes thriller, sometimes police procedural. And the truth is, no one in it is particularly sympathetic.

    Feb 16, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It may not be particularly innovative, but the film's crisp, unaffected style and air of gentle longing make it unexpectedly rewarding.

    Feb 5, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Birthday Girl

  • Oct 06, 2011
    It's not a good movie but it was okay to watch. Ben Chaplin is good...Vincent Cassel is good. And Nicole Kidman's russian sound like an asian speaking russian. I wouldn't recomend it. But it's not bad or boring.
    Martin S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2011
    Well, they tried to make a dark comedy thriller here but the ingredients don't blend properly and takes a left turn too many. Chaplin is a little too naive, but Kidman's delicious Russian accent helps.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2011
    A fun, off beat sleeper of a movie. Nicole Kidman is good in this one, and Ben Chaplin does his usual great job. It was not what I was expecting, and I was actually surprised that I liked it as much as I did (especially since there are many people that gave it 1 or 2 stars..??). Good for laughs, and has that darker side to keep it interesting! Good Movie, in my opinion, and I am NOT a Nicole Kidman fan for the most part.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2010
    For the first forty-five minutes of this film, I liked it better when it was called <i>Derailed</i>. At least that had Clive Owen in it. The second forty-five minutes did little to further develop the characters, and there weren't any compelling suspense/action sequence that adequately held my attention. Throughout, the film had a few chuckle-worthy moments that made me wonder whether the filmmakers wanted to make a thriller or a comedy. Either way, it failed to engage, and I think it would've benefited from a decision to move the story in one of those directions.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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