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Be Kind Rewind

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United Kingdom, France, United States · 2008
Rated PG-13 · 1h 42m
Director Michel Gondry
Starring Jack Black, Yasiin Bey, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow
Genre Comedy, Drama

In 2003, Mike is tasked to take care of a declining, condemned VHS shop while its owner vacations. However, his friend Jerry magnetizes himself in an electrical accident and wipes every tape in the store when he comes in. To cover up the mistake, Mike and Jerry attempt to recreate each movie someone requests.

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What are critics saying?


The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

A comedy without one foot on the ground is no more than a flight of fancy, as directionless as a balloon; the master clowns of silent cinema knew that, and so does Mr. Fletcher, the gravid elder statesman of this film. As he says to Mike and Jerry, “I appreciate your creativity, but let’s be realistic for a second.” Be kind. Erase.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

The funniest things in Be Kind Rewind are not the many moments in which Mike and Jerry look like Ed Wood’s worst nightmare, but when the pair finds expedient ways to do for pennies what would take Brett Ratner millions and be less expressive to boot.


Premiere by Glenn Kenny

Gondry might have been better off keeping his movie on theoretical/slapstick grounds, because, quite frankly, his attempts at sincerity just don't make it.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Although frequently funny, Be Kind doesn't have the same pathos as "The Science of Sleep." (Nothing approaches the loneliness projected by Gael García Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg.)


Empire by Kim Newman

The remake/parody sequences - trailers for which are on the official site - are outstanding, but Black’s all-over-the-place mania and Mos Def’s slightly too bland orphan hero don’t quite tie the rest of the picture together. Still, it has heart. And you’d rather see this version of "Rush Hour 2" than the original.


The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

It's an exuberant, fanciful fable set amid the scruffy outskirts of American society, where people's need for escapism coincides with their desire to participate in its creation.


Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

There's nothing not to like about the movie, a teensy, hand-crocheted trifle, fitted with embroidered pockets of guest stardom, including Mia Farrow as the nice local lady who wants to see what "Ghostbusters" is all about and "Ghostbusters'" own Sigourney Weaver as a movie-studio corporate meanie, ha-ha.


Dallas Observer by Robert Wilonsky

A muddle—not amiably ambling, not affably shaggy, just a mess that gets messier till, at times, the whole thing looks improvised by amateurs more concerned with being clever than something resembling affectionate.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

It's a quick trip from whimsy to silliness in Be Kind Rewind, a notably ephemeral work by Michel Gondry, whose flights of fancy can't overcome the egregious illogic of the premise.

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