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Me & Orson Welles Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Him + Welles = Welles Read full review

2.0

Jen Yamato Profile

Tamer than a high school musical. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    73

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The impersonation of Welles by Christian McKay in Me and Orson Welles is the centerpiece of the film, and from it, all else flows. We can almost accept that this is the Great Man.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. McKay is in his mid-30s, and doesn't conceal it, so what's the point? By taking the KIND out of WUNERKIND, the movie also removes the WUNDER.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    McKay's performance is a revelation. He nails Welles' imperiousness, charm and vocal cadences, and even bears a strong resemblance to the iconic actor/director. He is thoroughly convincing as Welles and electrifies the screen when he's on it.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Has so little fire that Welles himself would have wondered out loud what he was doing stuck in the middle of it.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Christian McKay's impersonation of young Orson Welles is sensational in this enjoyable, though slight, historical fiction about a teen who spends a memorable week with the legendary wonder.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Me & Orson Welles reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Breezy period film not meant for tween Zac Efron fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 1937-set Zac Efron showbiz dramedy from Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater is a world away from High School Musical (though Efron does sing). It tackles mature themes -- including infidelity and opportunism -- that aren't age-appropriate for Efron’s tween fan base, and the movie's initially slowish pace may turn off even some older fans. But when things get going, the movie is breezy fun for those who appreciate showbiz history. Expect some strong language (including "s--t"), a bit of drinking and smoking, and references to sex (though nothing graphic is shown).

  • Families can talk about how the movie compares to other coming-of-age stories. What does Richard learn from Orson Welles -- and about himself?
  • Who do you think the movie is intended to appeal to? Does it succeed?
  • Why doesn't Richard feel like high school is big enough to contain him? Is he being fanciful, or is he right?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The underlying message is that fame and stardom don't measure up to love and learning. But it takes a while for the main character to discover this, and others don’t at all.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: A mixed bag. Main character Richard has a can-do attitude that’s hard not to like, though his bravado borders on arrogance. He also skips school and dismisses his mother's concerns. Welles is an egomaniac, but his outsized talent clearly helps others forgive his flaws. And Sonja is so hungry for success that she’s willing to break hearts if it means that she'll make her way into a bigger and better world.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Men argue over a girl; a stage carpenter grows irate with a director, and they nearly come to blows.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A man and a woman spend the night together together; later, she beds another guy, which angers the other (no nudity is shown). Men discuss ways to seduce women and make a bet on which one of them will manage to sleep with a specific woman first. A married actor cheats on his pregnant wife.

  • language false3

    Language: A fair amount of swearing, including “sons of bitches,” “bastard” and “s--t.”

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Mention of Wheaties.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking; a high school senior downs a glass of wine and smokes a Cuban cigar.

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