80

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
More than a deadpan comedy about oddball losers. This dork has his day, and this story has its touching subtext -- growing pains relieved by unlikely hope.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
An inspired dead-end stunt that keeps delivering snarky laughs far longer than it has any right to.
Full Review
75

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
May not make you laugh out loud - it's too sly and subtle for that - but it will have you smiling every minute, and often grinning widely at its weirded-out charm. Nerdiness will never seem the same.
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Hess and his terrific cast -- Heder is geek perfection -- make their own kind of deadpan hilarity. You'll laugh till it hurts. Sweet.
Full Review
63

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
With the exception of one truly glorious dance solo, the movie treats its hero - and his equally uncool family - with undisguised disdain.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Mike Clark
There isn't much Napoleonic grandeur in this Idaho-set high school comedy, which in spite of its most condescending instincts, does have its moments.
Full Review
50

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
So deadpan a film is Napoleon Dynamite, the story and the name of a gangly high school misfit in Preston, Idaho, that I can't say whether it was intended as a character study or a comedy.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Carla Meyer
Has to be enjoyed in spurts. There's no cohesive story, just a series of opportunities for the title character (Jon Heder) to strut his gawky stuff.
Full Review
50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
A one-note, lightweight, condescending comedy about the rubes of Idaho.
Full Review
42

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Filmmaker Jared Hess (who cowrote the script with his wife, Jerusha Hess) installs Napoleon front and center as a punchline in and of himself -- and as that dispiriting product of narrative defeat, a symbol.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.