In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in an accident, his life is made even worse when his strangely nostalgic uncle, Rico (Jon Gries), shows up to keep an eye on him. With no safe haven at home or at school, Napoleon befriends the new kid, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), a morose Hispanic boy who speaks little English. Together the two launch a campaign to run for class president.
Release Date: January 17, 2004
Writer: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Director: Jared Hess
Producer: Jeremy Coon, Jory Weitz, Chris Wyatt, Sean Covel
Cast: Diedrich Bader, Tina Majorino, Haylie Duff, Jon Gries, Shondrella Avery, Efren Ramirez, Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Trevor Snarr
Welcome to the ok.com Rating Widget
Share what age you think this movie is appropriate for by clicking one of the bars on our age-rating chart below.
Then, tell us if you think the movie was worth your time by clicking either the thumbs up or thumbs down button.
After you leave at least one rating (either age or worth your time), you can optionally leave a review for others to read.
What Do Your Friends Think?
Login to see what your friends think.
Um... worth your time? Yes and no. You can finally see what all the quotable quotes are from. But if you're like me, you'll be laughing one minute and thinking, "This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen" the next.August 9th, 2013 · Details
Funny funny funny. Relay dumb but funny.April 26th, 2013 · Details
There isn't much in this film that wouldn't be appropriate for all ages. It is a quirky comedy that will leave you wondering what the story is, but laughing out loud at several parts. It is a highly quotable movie that while silly definitely had my sides aching with laughter.April 19th, 2013 · Details
This is a movie you have to go into expecting nothing. Especially since there isn't really a point. (At least not one that I could see.) It was clean and I found parts of this movie absolutely hilarious and there are lines you will be quoting for years.
Ultimately this movie isn't anything overly spectacular, but it's worth a watch once.March 18th, 2013 · Details
I saw this in the theaters and was thoroughly unimpressed... When I was 13, 1985, my family moved to Rexburg, Idaho for a year, and I was "weird" and was an outsider, so I could relate better to Napoleon and the whole setting better than a lot of people, but it was really hard to find any of this endearing. The final scene where he did his dance made me crack up uncontrollably! Most of the people in the theater might have been enjoying this, might have even been repeat viewers, but I think I enjoyed this part more than anyone there!! A few days later my GF was telling people that I liked it a lot, but I really didn't I had to say. I thought it was boring and didn't go anywhere, and if it wasn't for that final scene, I would have said I hated it. It is really made for a certain slice of people and you will either love it or hate it, I can't really say there are going to be many people sitting on the fence for this one...December 8th, 2012 · Details
This show is ridiculous and that is why it's funny and worth your time.
Depending on your personality, you may think it is pointless and a waste of time. I think it appeals to general audiences younger than the Baby Boomers.
Whether you want to or not, you'll quote it frequently and hear other people doing the same.June 8th, 2012 · Details
Um... worth your time? Yes and no. You can finally see what all the quotable quotes are from. But if you're like me, you'll be laughing one minute and thinking, "This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen" the next.August 18th, 2011 · Details
I had a hard time watching this the first time through... some of the characters hit too close to home... but my kids and I have seen it several times, and laugh every time. A low-budget classic.April 28th, 2011 · Details
One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I was a nerd in School. Not exactly like Napoleon. But the whole social awkwardness and having equally awkward friends are totally relate to me, in this movie. Definitely worth seeing once.March 26th, 2011 · Details
This movie is a winner, despite its obviously low budget, inexperienced actors, and occasional story lapse. The title character is unforgettable and iconic, but the supporting Uncle Rico and Pedro are hilarious.March 7th, 2011 · Details
Quite positively an entertaining waste of timeMarch 2nd, 2011 · Details
I couldn't force myself to sit through the entirety of this movie. It was ridiculously pointless and boring. The characters in the movie are such over-the-top losers that 'suspension of disbelief' is thrown right out the window. I honestly do not understand why this movie got any positive play at all. I have it listed in the 5 worst movies I've ever seen.February 24th, 2011 · Details
This movie is a masterpiece. The film reflects Jared Hess' genious. The acting fantastic. According to the NY Times review the movie is "undeniably refreshing" (unless you are too sophisticated or perhaps serious to enjoy it.) All the positives above are why it was so successful.February 18th, 2011 · Details
Quirkiness and goofiness can carry "Napoleon Dynamite" only so far. Once you get past that, there's not a whole lot more to the film.
This is basically a collection of hit-and-miss skits that are stumbling around in search of a story line. Not that you really expect more than that from a comedy, but this one needs something.
Still, there's no denying "Dynamite's" unique voice. To simply write it off as simply a Generation-Y "Revenge of the Nerds" would be unfair. And when it's funny, it's genuinely funny.
Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is a gawky high schooler in Preston, Idaho. He's not popular at school, and his home life isn't much better, as he's constantly feuding with his older and possibly even more pathetic brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell).
Things gets worse when their grandmother and caretaker (Sandy Martin) is injured in an ATV accident. While she's hospitalized, their creepy Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to stay with them. He also involves Kip in one get-rich scheme after another (including trying to sell an herbal breast-enhancement formula).
In the meantime, Napoleon befriends a pair of fellow outcast students: Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and would-be fashion photographer Deb (Tina Majorino).
As they worry about the big dance, Napoleon encourages Pedro to run for school president, which pits him against the most popular student in school (Haylie Duff, older sister of Hilary).
All of which probably makes the plot sound more coherent than it is.
This is an amiable but rambling film, which owes quite a bit both in style and deadpan humor to Wes Anderson and the Coen brothers.
"Dynamite" isn't as strong or as emotionally resonant as those films, and there a lot of slow stretches and jokes that fall flat. Co-screenwriter/director Jared Hess probably needed an editor to help him weed out some of the ideas and to help shape the story a little bit better.
To his credit, he does make good use of his cast, which is made up mostly of newcomers and no-names. And though Heder's lead performance is a little self-aware at times, he does get the biggest laughs (especially his dance routine).
The more veteran performers are the ones who don't fare as well here. The usually amusing Diedrich Bader is painfully unfunny in a glorified cameo as a martial-arts instructor.
"Napoleon Dynamite" is rated PG for violence (rough-housing, bullying and some slapstick), some crude humor (including a flatulence gag) and scattered use of some creative profanity. Running time: 86 minutes.
June 28th, 2004 · Details