The History Boys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The History Boys Reviews

February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 22, 2006
A funny thing happened to The History Boys on the way to the screen. The players are the same, the dialogue is pretty much identical, but the vibrancy of the play -- its exhilarating immediacy -- has been muted.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 22, 2006
The film becomes a sermonette on tolerance. But with its one-sidedness, it fails to practice what it preaches.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 22, 2006
The History Boys is a movie that asks questions like 'What is education really for anyway?' and asks them in an altogether witty, brainy way. It turns history into what it really is, the story of our lives.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 21, 2006
Full of energy, ideas and fine acting.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 17, 2006
The History Boys boasts a dazzling verbal cleverness%u2014the gleeful rat-a-tat of snappy banter expertly executed%u2014that doesn't keep it from also being deeply, exquisitely sad.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 15, 2006
...It's a rare pleasure to see a film that assumes literacy on the part of its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 15, 2006
There are no spontaneous moments on screen: The characters aren't reacting to each other; they're waiting for the cut to deliver a line they've had memorized since [the play] played the London National.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 15, 2006
The History Boys is best when it crackles with the passion of ideas about the function and importance of ... ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 15, 2006
Although grounded in the fact-based world of academia, The History Boys offers little of substance.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
December 14, 2006
It's been quite a while since movies have offered such a nice night out at the theater.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 8, 2006
[An] exuberantly free-spirited but faithful movie version of Alan Bennett's masterful hit play about education, class, sex, love, death, memory and that often equally fantastical thing we call history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 8, 2006
This is achingly perceptive writing that director Nicholas Hytner, working with the same superb cast that performed in London and on Broadway, brings to life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2006
The movie was made while the actors were still performing the stage version, and they modulate their performances for the screen admirably, even if the film is not quite as engaging as the play.
December 7, 2006
If you take The History Boys as a filmed record of a somewhat unexpected stage phenom foremost, chances are you'll relax into and let some performers take it from there.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2006
... offers a sharp critique of the means and measures of education.
November 27, 2006
It gave me the creeps.
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
November 24, 2006
It's chatty, it's wordy, but a passion for the well-written word lies at the thematic heart of the thing, and cinematic flourishes would only clog the arteries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 23, 2006
A thrillingly smart and immensely enjoyable screen version of Alan Bennett's celebrated play.
November 23, 2006
It has a flow and an intimacy that the often awkward theatrical version lacked.
November 23, 2006
The movie adaptation has been lifted from the theater with original cast and director Nicholas Hytner intact; the actors interact as cozily as chums on a playing field.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 23, 2006
Bennett captures the racy, joshing, embattled atmosphere inside a British boarding school better than anybody has done since Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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
November 21, 2006
The History Boys is essentially filmed theater, with minimal, and usually clumsy, attempts to take the action out of the classroom.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 21, 2006
The History Boys is an erudite, sharply written film with consummate performances, but its origins on the stage are all too obvious.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 20, 2006
A lively and entertaining disquisition on the purpose and uses of knowledge in a world that cares less about scholarship than quantifiable results.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 20, 2006
Disappointingly overworked and mechanical.
November 20, 2006
Griffiths' brilliantly rumpled academic with recklessly roving hands is matched by the disarming Samuel Barnett as a sad-sack gay student, and the bull's-eye precise Frances de la Tour, a battle-weary standard bearer for feminist history.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 20, 2006
The current of intellectual energy snapping through the ferociously engaging screen adaptation of Alan Bennett's Tony Award-winning play feels like electrical brain stimulation.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
November 20, 2006
The movie is brilliant and infectious, much like Bennett's voice: English-deadpan but never snide, and generous to a fault.
November 20, 2006
The History Boys is alive on the screen.
November 17, 2006
The History Boys feels too much like a filmed play, and filmed not all that gracefully.
November 16, 2006
But if The History Boys arrives at a perilous moment for culture and learning, and if the news it brings isn't all good, it nevertheless instills in you hope for the youth of tomorrow.
November 15, 2006
The History Boys is one of the best, most reverent, comprehensive and seamless transfers from stage to screen ever made.
November 13, 2006
Director Nicholas Hytner brings Alan Bennett's London and Broadway smash to the screen with the original stage actors and brings out the frisky best in all of them.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 2, 2006
Performances border on the theatrical.
October 11, 2006
Auds coming cold to this largely faithful adaptation of Alan Bennett's clever but contrived classroom comedy won't be so wowed, given pic's irrevocably stagy feel.
October 8, 2006
[The film] offers a sly mix of broad comedy, tender wordplay and heartfelt subversion.