Starter for 10 (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Starter for 10 (2006)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Starter For 10 is a spirited coming-of-age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker teritory. The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy.

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Movie Info

A working-class English boy who has been fortunate enough to be accepted into a posh private university struggles to realize his lifelong dream while simultaneously winning the heart of the girl he loves in a romantic, bittersweet comedy directed by Tom Vaughan and starring James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, and Charles Dance. The time is the mid-'80s, and the University Challenge phenomenon is sweeping through England. Despite his underprivileged background, Essex boy Brian Jackson (McAvoy) knows that he has what it takes to make it to the finals on one of the most popular programs in all of England. Upon being accepted into Bristol, the ambitious young student soon tries out for the school's University Challenge team, and set the gears of his ultimate fantasy into motion. Effectively estranged from his single-parent mother (Catherine Tate) just for being accepted into the school, Brian soon gets set to cross yet another class line when he becomes smitten with his beautiful University Challenge teammate and attempts to woo her into his arms her with his formidable advanced general knowledge skills.

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Cast

James McAvoy
as Brian Jackson
Alice Eve
as Alice Harbinson
Rebecca Hall
as Rebecca Epstein
Catherine Tate
as Julie Jackson
Mark Gatiss
as Bamber Gascoigne
Charles Dance
as Michael Harbinson
Lindsay Duncan
as Rose Harbinson
Guy Henry
as Dr. Morrison
Elaine Tan
as Lucy Chang
Nicholas Gleaves
as Speaker for Nuclear Disarmament
James Gaddas
as Martin Jackson
Robert Cawsey
as University Challenge Competitor
Rasmus Hardiker
as University Challenge Competitor
Sule Rimi
as Marcus
Ben Willbond
as University Challenge Competitor
Su Elliot
as Cleaning Lady
Joseph Friend
as Young Brian
Joe Van Moyland
as Hippie at the Party
Raj Ghatak
as Nigel De Havilland
Reuben-Henry Biggs
as Anthony Salmon
Tom Allen
as Tristram Neville
Kenneth Hadley
as Television Director
Ian Bonar
as Colin
Bethan Bevan
as Cordelia Sykes
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News & Interviews for Starter for 10

Critic Reviews for Starter for 10

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (29)

Conventional, slight, but charming.

Full Review… | December 4, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This is expertly crafted entertainment that follows all the beats of a traditional romantic comedy, but it's done with such sincerity that it's difficult to begrudge the odd descent into cliché.

September 22, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

There's nothing here we haven't seen done better before.

Full Review… | September 22, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

[The film] bears many of the hallmarks of teen comedies, but also boasts virtues not generally associated with the genre, such as wit, class consciousness, multidimensional characters, and a penetrating intelligence.

Full Review… | September 22, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

Some nice performances and modest laughs highlight this amiable British comedy about a young man who goes off to Bristol University in the mid-'80s and does what young people naturally do when they go to college.

Full Review… | March 16, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Written by David Nicholls, adapting his own novel, and directed by Tom Vaughan, a British TV veteran making his feature debut, Starter for 10 clips along smartly.

March 16, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Starter for 10

Liked this one a lot - I like anything with an 80's theme, generally, but this actually is very likeable and has some funny bits to it. Rebecca Hall was the standout here. I loved her dry, intelligent character.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A young James McAvoy delivers in Starter For 10, a slightly cliched romance-comedy feature.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

½

What's not to love about a nebbish, made-under James McAvoy with daddy issues? As with Rachel Weisz, I prefer Rebecca Hall's American accent to her own British.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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