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The Namesake Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… more than decent. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight in the textures, sights and sounds of life--all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    It is hard to imagine a better cast or production values so the film should find audiences among sophisticated urban adults.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This immensely pleasurable film is anything but dry. It's a saga of the immigrant experience that captures the snap, crackle and pop of American life, along with the pounding pulse, emotional reticence, volcanic colors and cherished rituals of Indian culture.

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    An engaging and moving film with a universal story about the bonds of family as told through two generations of a Bengali family.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Moving and marvelous new cross-cultural family saga.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Namesake reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Fabulous immigrant-family saga to see with teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this mature drama about two generations of a Bengali family living in New York is a great movie to watch with your teens. Like most immigrant narratives, the story includes deaths, births, marriages, break-ups, and other important milestones that mark a family's history. A son's disinterest in his Indian culture -- and his unusual name, Gogol -- is the central theme of the film. Like most immigrant children, he and his sister sometimes ridicule and resent their parents' traditions. The mature subject matter includes arranged marriage, adultery, discrimination, cultural differences, parental deaths, and -- most important -- self-identity. A brief scene shows the victims of a train crash, and there are a few passionate love scenes.

  • Families can talk about the movie's themes of immigration and identity. If your family is from another country, discuss what makes your cultural heritage distinct.
  • Kids: Do you feel like Gogol and Sonia when it comes to your customs?And if you aren't from another country, what parts of the relationshipbetween parents and kids are universal?
  • Families can also discuss how the media treat other cultures -- andimmigrants -- in general. Do some groups get treated differently thanothers? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A Bengali man born in the United States learns that the meaning of his name is a path to understanding his parents and his heritage.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: One episode of discrimination angers Gogol, but his father reminds himto look past the incident. Indian parents praise the United States forproviding better opportunities for their children.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: It's not "violence" per se, but a scene depicting the aftermath of a deadly train accident includes bloody dead bodies. A character shrieks in grief on two separate occasions.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Partial nudity -- Gogol and his girlfriend undress in front of each other (his bare chest and her entire backside are visible). In another love scene, Gogol and his girlfriend fool around and are shown in bed, but there's no nudity. Gogol and his wife, both robed, dance Bollywood-style and then tumble onto their bed. Ashoke and Ashima make love semi-clothed. A character discusses her many lovers.

  • language false3

    Language: "S--t," "ass," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Gogol smokes a joint at his high-school graduation and drinks socially on several occasions. A few characters smoke cigarettes.