The History Boys Reviews

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February 3, 2007
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.
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.
December 22, 2006
The film becomes a sermonette on tolerance. But with its one-sidedness, it fails to practice what it preaches.
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.
December 21, 2006
Full of energy, ideas and fine acting.
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.
December 15, 2006
...It's a rare pleasure to see a film that assumes literacy on the part of its audience.
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.
December 15, 2006
The History Boys is best when it crackles with the passion of ideas about the function and importance of ... ideas.
December 15, 2006
Although grounded in the fact-based world of academia, The History Boys offers little of substance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 23, 2006
A thrillingly smart and immensely enjoyable screen version of Alan Bennett's celebrated play.
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