A model of purposefulness; a movie rich, but not lost, in background detail and fair-minded in its account of Thatcherite woes to the working class. full review
A surprisingly wise and funny meditation on the nature of what it truly means to be a man. full review
[Bell] makes Billy the angelic urchin joyous in a streetwise, unphony way, and his dancing, which fuses classical ballet rigor with a loose jointed pop showmanship, is electric. full review
This movie does have a certain undeniable charm.
Billy Elliot is a feel-good movie that you don't have to feel bad about feeling good about.
The unvarnished, non-enhanced spectacle of a human being executing a display of physical prowess will always have the power to astonish, and the young Mr. Bell proves this very nicely.
One of those rare movies that earns its feel-good ending without turning a blind eye to the compromises and little sorrows of everyday life. full review
Neither revolutionary in its approach or subject matter nor seamless in its storytelling, Billy Elliot nevertheless manages to sketch the lives of characters we come to care about. full review
The best dance film in ages.
One of those movies where it's impossible not to find yourself cheering for the scruffy underdog hero.
A bit of working-class malarkey so unrelentingly sweet, so determinedly dotty, it makes the teeth ache.
The movie brims with visual wit.
By setting this intimate conflict against a wider social drama, Daldry makes his portrait of a dancer all the more compelling. full review
It may be that the most fierce performance of the year comes from Jamie Bell.
Julie Walters ... is spirited and colorful as the ballet teacher, and Gary Lewis is somehow convincing as the dad even when the screenplay requires him to make big offscreen swings of position. full review