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I try to get my son to watch quality movies all the time and he won't. One night, I said, "Do you want to watch Napoleon Dynamite?" without even looking up from youtube, he said "No, you made me watch Bill and Ted's and I hated it." There is no accounting for taste in most instances. But, I started the film, he heard it playing (which was amazing as he never hears "Take out the garbage" even when he isn't watching youtube and is looking directly at me), and came out to join me. He loved it. My payback for this moment of bonding was to have the lines repeated back to me for weeks on the way to school, the way home from school, at dinner, through the bathroom door, and get responses in the Napoleon style whenever I asked him to do anything. Who said 15 year olds aren't fun?
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2018
Some people will not like this film. Those people MAY not be any fun. I would say though that I cannot imagine this film translates well to foreign languages. You'll never see a film quite like this one, ever. If you don't like it, look deep in to yourself and seek out why.
The first time I watched it, I was like "When is something going to happen?" There was no plot, no story line, nothing. When it was over, I was like "I can't believe I wasted 2 hours of my life on that" And, about 2 days later, I caught myself saying the catch phrases and laughing out loud. Are you drinking 2% milk because you think you are fat? Because you could drink whole milk- if you wanted to" All the gangs in my school want me to join, because I'm pretty good with a bow staff" Your mom goes to college Like anyone can even know that Napoleon. Anyway, love the movie - it's worth watching again and again
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2013
I live in Preston, Idaho and I am a neighbor to Jared Hess. I watched the filming of this movie during the month of July the summer it was filmed in Preston. My grandson attended most of the filming hoping to be seen in the movie. He is in quite a few scenes. A couple of days before the last day of filming I was invited to be the secretary in the high school scene. (a job I held for 17 years). It has been a fun experience especially when we travel and people find out we were in the movie. If they like the movie, we tell them we were in it. If they didn't like it we just move on. Their loss! When I say "we", my husband was with me in the wedding scene and the other person I travel a lot with is the teacher who tells Napoleon on the stage that he needs a skit. Anyway it has been a great adventure. I live across the street from the Llama, Tina and we have had a lot of people stop in to talk about the movie. Lyle, the man who killed the cow lives less that a mile away and I still take family and friends to meet him. Most of the pranks and etc. were actual experiences that took place in Jared's family with his five brothers.
This was spectacularly stupid. Ended up renting and watching it because my daughter's boyfriend wanted to watch it. I had the intention of getting up and finding something better to do after 15 minutes in (like going to bed), but it was sort of like watching a train wreck and I was tired enough that the good judgement portion of my brain apparently had already checked out for the evening. Overall, the movie was just really kind of sad and depressing. Napoleon seemed like he had just experienced a lobotomy throughout most of the movie. All of the major characters suffered some sort of significant dysfunction. If you insist on watching it, save yourself some time and just skip towards the end when he does his dance routine after Pedro's speech, as that's pretty much the best part. Oh, and might as well watch the wedding at the end. You'll see how things turned out and get to experience the overall cringe factor that the movie exudes all at once!
All the schools I attended had somebody like Napoleon: nerdy for certain, often weirdly hostile, but pretty nice if you managed to get to know them. If you ever wondered what it'd be like to be that guy (or girl), Napoleon Dynamite will show you. It will also make you wince, laugh, clap, and maybe even dance for happiness.
Napoleon's home life is odd: he and his 32-year-old brother Kip live in the Middle of Nowhere, Idaho, with their grandmother and her llama, Tina. Kip stays home "chatting online with babes all day" while Napoleon starts another grueling school year, teased by jocks and bullies, and bossed around by Grandma. But this time he makes two new friends, glamor shot photographer Deb and Mexican transplant Pedro Sanchez. At last, his life starts to change for the better--even after Grandma gets in an accident and creepy Uncle Rico comes to stay while she recovers.
Most people will either love or hate this movie. The dialogue is stilted (for effect, it seems), the humor is subtle, and Napoleon's actions are often puzzling. As with his real-life counterparts, he can be hard to figure out. Yet he's always true to himself, sometimes with bad results. But more often they're good, and by the end of the movie, you understand what he's all about.
The best part of the storytelling, for me anyway, was how the events of the movie just unfold, without judgment or explanation. The director, in other words, doesn't try to tell us what to think--and that's what makes Napoleon Dynamite refreshingly, wonderfully different from pretty much any other teen movie you've ever seen. The neutral perspective may be what caused many critics, including the late Roger Ebert, to pan the film. I guess that's understandable for people who are more used to codified teen films like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where Ferris's perspective dominates so much that he even tells the audience when to go home.
But if you have even a little weirdo in your personality--and unless you're Summer Wheatley, you do--you might like Napoleon. I sure did. Here's hoping that this style of storytelling will continue to grow in popularity and produce more classic movies.
This was such a great film. I put it on as it was free to watch on Amazon prime.
I would say it really appeals to people that have the type of sense of humour that enjoy Will Ferrell films. I would describe it as a very cleaver, silly, subtle comedy. Subtle in the sense lots of the humour is hidden within the silliness of the film. I personally loved Pedros Mexican protection gang. That moment made me laugh.
The film has a happy ending and a consistent story line which makes for a great film.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
I don't know what else to write about this apart from AMAZING.
It's a classic now and for very good reasons. The acting is fantastic and there's some stand out scenes such as the Canned Heat dance sequence which have gone viral on the internet. You'll want to watch this and get yourself a Liger once it's finished, along with learning some awesome fighting moves like Napoleon does, especially with nunchucks!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2016
I absolutely adore this film! I could watch it over and over again! It just goes to show you don't need a huge budget for a film such as this to be amazing. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has not seen it :)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2018
It was funny. Like the funny that makes that bit at the back of your knees go itchy funny. Not belly belly baloo. But knee back itchy twitchy. Highly recommended if this is the type of laughs you enjoy.