The History Boys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The History Boys Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 22, 2006
Taking a production pretty much intact from stage to screen robs it of its surprises. The cast seems to know what's coming, and so do we. There's not a single moment where you sense 'discovery' taking place.
| Original Score: 3/5
Pete Hammond
November 22, 2006
It is hard to imagine what possible point there was in turning it into a movie. Nothing MOVES.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 2, 2006
Performances border on the theatrical.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 27, 2006
It gave me the creeps.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 14, 2006
History Boys fails because Nicholas Hytner, who also directed it onstage, didn't rethink it for the movies.
| Original Score: 1/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
December 27, 2006
...despite all the earnestness...the characters and their tribulations never engage our sympathy or interest.
| Original Score: 2/5
Cole Smithey
April 15, 2009
In attempting to absolve the perverse actions of a teacher on the basis of his apparent tutoring skills, Alan Bennett has created a dubious work of fiction that is beyond empathy or humor.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Geoff Berkshire
July 6, 2010
The play's the thing -- the only thing -- here
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 24, 2006
Flunks its most crucial test: the need to properly adapt a stage play to the screen medium.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Gabriel Shanks
Modern Fabulousity
November 6, 2006
The move to celluloid has defanged the piece, leaving a shaggy, smartassed and sentimental dramedy in its place.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
November 22, 2006
Surprisingly thin gruel considering all the fuss over the theatrical presentation.
Full Review| Original Score: 1/5
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
December 13, 2006
[T]oo stagey, and yet it lacks the vital energy of the stage production it is adapted from...
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
December 19, 2007
The transfer from stage to film doesn't always go smoothly, as it's hard to shake the film's theater roots.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 21, 2006
The play, however, has been heavily cut and the boys blend together, as director Nicholas Hytner masses them in groups and Bennett provides only the barest of descriptions.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 21, 2006
Even with multiple trips outdoors and crosstown gropes on Hector's motorcycle, The History Boys is a play pretending to be a movie.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 21, 2006
The History Boys is essentially filmed theater, with minimal, and usually clumsy, attempts to take the action out of the classroom.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 22, 2006
The History Boys is hit-and-miss with each scene. There's no through line, in the sense that the audience never really is made to care about the things the characters care about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 15, 2006
Although grounded in the fact-based world of academia, The History Boys offers little of substance.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly
December 26, 2006
The unique duplication of stage cast to screen cast might be the most exciting thing about this conventional classroom exercise.
| Original Score: 2/4
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
January 2, 2007
It's too bad that the film loses its way because The History Boys asks some interesting questions about what to learn and how to use it.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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