Stolen Summer Reviews

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David Rooney
Variety
March 26, 2009
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
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Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
September 23, 2002
A period story about a Catholic boy who tries to help a Jewish friend get into heaven by sending the audience straight to hell.
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Arizona Republic
August 23, 2002
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
June 27, 2002
Nearly all the fundamentals you take for granted in most films are mishandled here.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
May 31, 2002
The kids often appear to be reading the lines and are incapable of conveying any emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 16, 2002
Even when his technique is amateurish, Jones' belief in the material is refreshing.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 10, 2002
The performances take the movie to a higher level.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 3, 2002
The problem, amazingly enough, is the screenplay.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 3, 2002
Ill-considered, unholy hokum.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
April 26, 2002
If you ignore the stilted adult performances, Stolen Summer is a persuasive portrayal of boyhood friendship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 26, 2002
A static and sugary little half-hour, after-school special about interfaith understanding, stretched out to 90 minutes.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
March 26, 2002
Made with no discernible craft and monstrously sanctimonious in dealing with childhood loss.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 22, 2002
A sweet story appropriate for the whole family, though it feels a bit like an after-school special.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 22, 2002
An artificial exercise in personal childhood reverie whose squishy, generic personality shows evidence aplenty of corporate fingerprints.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
March 22, 2002
Plays out with a dogged and eventually winning squareness that would make it the darling of many a kids-and-family-oriented cable channel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 22, 2002
Watching Stolen Summer makes one question the entire Project Greenlight process, starting with the notion that anyone off the street is fit to write and direct a motion picture if only they want it badly enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 22, 2002
Jones ... makes a great impression as the writer-director of this little $1.8 million charmer, which may not be cutting-edge indie filmmaking but has a huge heart.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 22, 2002
A delightful surprise because despite all the backstage drama, this is a movie that tells stories that work -- is charming, is moving, is funny and looks professional.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
March 22, 2002
Begins promisingly with some nicely observed bits of comedy before drifting permanently into the kind of heavier message mode that would have made for the ideal after-school special.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 21, 2002
It has the wide, winsome, don't-hurt-me eyes of a Walter Keane painting. Unfortunately, though, it isn't very good.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
March 21, 2002
Well-meaning but inert.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 21, 2002
Taken on its own, Jones' first feature is a small thing, and no indicator of what he might do in the future with the TV lights turned off.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 19, 2002
Stolen Summer isn't a home run, but it's a solid line drive up the middle.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 14, 2002
Stolen Summer would hardly be worth comment were it not for the story of how the film got made.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 30, 2002
Stolen Summer is no disaster, though. It's merely one more misfire fortunate enough to attract actors like Bonnie Hunt and Aidan Quinn, who almost make it work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4