Box art for Be Kind Rewind

Be Kind Rewind


Jack Black and Mos Def star in Be Kind Rewind, a unique comedy from Academy Award-winning writer/director Michel Gondry.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 12
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5

Quirky Jack Black comedy is sweet and silly.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the stars of this comedy -- Jack Black and Mos Def -- are both extremely popular with teens and even tweens. Happily, the movie is age-appropriate for both groups (particularly teens). There's some language (including "s--t"), but not as much as in most PG-13 films, and virtually no sexual activity, save for a few "on camera" kisses while the characters re-shoot movies. There's also one discussion about "getting action." The main product tie-ins are West Coast Video and the re-filmed movies themselves.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what the film is saying about Hollywood movies. Can a redone, amateurish 20-minute version of a movie be just as good as -- or better than -- the original? Or is the point that, in re-shooting the films with other movie fans, everyone becomes part of the films and the community? Kids: Does a movie have to be believable to be good?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 30
    see all Be Kind Rewind reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It's inviting, undemanding and altogether wonderful. You'll want to see it again, or at least Swede it yourself.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, February 22, 2008

Fresh: Once the movie starts finding its focus it becomes a very unique experience

- Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Eminently likable. And there's something about Gondry's persistent nostalgia that feels contemporary, or opportune, at least.

- Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times, Friday, February 22, 2008

Audience Reviews

4 stars

img]] Be Kind Rewind has a decent enough storyline but it's ultimate strength is in the sweet subtext, it's heartfelt quirkiness and surrealist indie stylings. But in equal measure the belly laughs along the way. A lot of people dislike this film but what Michel Gondry is trying to express through it is one simple message, movie's are better when you do them yourself. That little meaningful movies recorded on a camcorder by anyone can be equally as important as commercialist big budget blockbusters.

- aquateen2, Sunday, June 24, 2012

4 stars

This is Michel Gondry's delightful ode to handmade DIY craftsmanship at it's finest. The story concerns a bumbling goofball named Jerry who, after becoming magnetized in an unlikely way accidentally erases all the VHS tapes at a declining video store where his friend Mike works. To fix the situation, the two decide to make remakes of all the movies, using themselves and makeshift special effects in a fashion they call "Sweding". Surprisingly, their no-budget remakes become a hit and actually start to help bring the store out of decline. There are some other issues being dealt with in the film though, and that's both positive and negative. This film tries to do a lot of things, perhaps too many. Not only is it about Sweding, but it also tackles the economic decline of Passaic, New Jersey, and its multicultural population. It also deals with an original film about Fats Waller that Mike and Jerry and the neighborhood residents are forced to make due to legal issues. You can't fault Gondry for trying to be ambitious, but I think the film is a little overstuffed and a bit undercooked in places as a result. The remake scenes actually aren't really the focus, despite what the marketing campaign would have you believe. Those sequences are some of the best in the film though, especially the single take montage wherein a half dozen films get Sweded. The film does have his usual, whimsical, quirky touches, and you can really tell this is a film that was designed to strike a chord with anyone who ever tried to make a film regardless of talent, money, or various other factors. This is all about making do with what you have, and that's really why this film works so well. It's just too damn charming not to enjoy. Jack Black gets manic, but his performance here is closer to High Fidelity than his usual shtick. Def, despite being somewhat unintelligible at times, is also pretty good, and I really like seeing him work as an actor, even though his music career is his real strength. Danny Glover and Mia Farrow give some really fun supporting roles, as does Melonie Diaz. Of course, a little Sigourney Weaver cameo doesn't hurt either. All in all, a good, but choppy little piece of work. Despite its shortcomings, I really do dig this, and definitely give it a solid recommendation.

- cosmo313, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3 stars

Original and full of inventive ideas. Michel Gondry proves again that he truly has vision as a director. Those sweded films are just genius and has many laugh out loud moments. Specially the version of Driving Miss Daisy is just pure brilliance. As a whole this film ends up being messy and a bit chaotic, but the end result is so entertaining that you forgive the shortcomings of it. Not at the same level with Science of the Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, but definetly worth to see.

- emilkakko, Saturday, January 7, 2012