Please Stand By

Critics Consensus

Please Stand By hits a number of familiar coming-of-age beats, but adds just enough of a Trek-fueled twist to keep things interesting.



Total Count: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 562
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Movie Info

A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in order to boldly go and deliver her 500-page Star Trek script to a writing competition in Hollywood. On an adventure full of laughter and tears, Wendy, played with exquisite delicacy by Dakota Fanning, follows the guiding spirit of Mr. Spock on her journey into the unknown. "It is there for us to conquer, not to fear." Directed by Ben Lewin (The Sessions) and also starring Academy Award (R) Nominee Toni Collette, with a special guest-appearance by Patton Oswalt.


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Critic Reviews for Please Stand By

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (16)

  • Lewin can't quite transcend the inconsistencies and dwindling credibility of the concept or give the material a driving pulse, even with its race-to-the-deadline setup.

    Jan 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • You can guess how most of its scenes will play before you even come to them, and it has a circumspect, sanitized quality, as if meant to be shown in group homes without causing undue upset.

    Jan 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Touches the viewer with the subtle emotional wallop of a feather brushing against the heart.

    Jan 26, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • A sensitive character study whose story beats are a little bit overly familiar.

    Jan 26, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Lewin ... posits this as a whimsical road comedy, but I couldn't help questioning both the logic and the consistency.

    Jan 25, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Please Stand By deflates into a perfectly watchable but soft parable in which a can-do young American loses a battle, only to win the war of growing up, while the adults in the room confront their own unhelpful rigidities.

    Jan 25, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ella Taylor

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Please Stand By

  • Jan 22, 2019
    Dakota Fanning stars in the compelling character drama Please Stand By. The story follows a young autistic woman who writers a Star Trek script for a fan competition, but when she misses the mailing deadline she decides to make a trek to Los Angeles to submit her script to the Paramount studio in person. Fanning gives an incredibly good performance, and is backed by a strong supporting cast that including Alice Eve, Toni Collette, and Patton Oswalt. Additionally, the script is especially well-written; particularly in how it uses the Star Trek motif. And the soundtrack does an impressive job at setting a lighthearted yet earnest tone. Heartwarming and inspirational, Please Stand By is an entertaining film with a positive message.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2018
    Dakota Fanning gets her layup shot with the easy Hollywood trope of mental illness (nearly always Oscar material performances due to sympathy, see Rain Man), and does well as a woman who dreams of submitting her Star Trek script to Paramount Studios. It's a nice story without a lot of waxy yellow buildup, even if predictable.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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