Napoleon Dynamite | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Napoleon Dynamite

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

With its horribly geeky and painfully needy characters, this black comedy by Jared Hess bears a certain resemblance to Todd Solondz's Welcome to the Dollhouse, but steers clear of Solondz's punishing nihilism, allowing its hopeless misfits some genuine comfort in one another's friendship. Jon Heder plays the title character, a furious spaz who trudges the halls of his Idaho high school wearing moon boots and wildlife T-shirts; his home life is dominated by his nerdy older brother (Aaron Ruell), who's carrying on an Internet romance with a Detroit ghetto girl, and his frustrated uncle (Jon Gries), who's constantly reliving his high school gridiron career. Toward the end the freak-show humor begins to yield diminishing returns, but for most of its length this delivers a steady stream of uncomfortable gut laughs. PG-13, 86 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Landmark's Century Centre.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment