2004 Certificate: pg


Deadpan cult comedy about a high school geek (Jon Heder) who, blessed with a ginger afro, unfortunate dress sense and adrift in his own little universe, decides to upset the school's status quo by running for class presidency. Slightly twisted and refreshingly different, it's the teenage underdog flick against which all others are measured.


  • Jared Hess


  • Jon Heder

  • Efren Ramirez

  • Jon Gries

  • Aaron Ruell

  • Tina Majorino


Napoleon Dynamite has a few disadvantages in his life - a ginger afro, unfortunate dress-sense and the misfortune of living in small-town Idaho.

Asked about his day at school he replies "Worst day of my life, what do you think?"

Napoleon spends his time drawing fantasy animals such as the 'liger', practising his 'sweet' dance moves, arguing with his layabout brother and dodgy, steak-guzzling uncle and trying to pick up 'chicks'.

But the arrival of two similarly ostracised friends at school - shy neighbour Deb and new boy Pedro - motivates Napoleon to challenge the jocks and their stuck-up girlfriends by helping Pedro run for class president and score a victory for the school underdogs by hatching a sweet plan.

Napoleon Dynamite was a surprise hit in the States and a major cult thanks to clever internet marketing and a gradual release.

Type the phrase 'vote for Pedro' into a search engine to see exactly how popular this movie is.

This is a refreshing comedy, slightly twisted and skewed, without ever being cruel, that celebrates the underdog.

This film is reminiscent of Wes Anderson's work - stylised and smart but brilliantly entertaining.

The fantastic opening credits are similar in style to those of The Royal Tenenbaums and in the same way that films such as Anderson's Rushmore and John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off struck a chord, so Napoleon Dynamite sees a new hero born.

And expect people to start dropping words like 'dang', 'sweet' and an exasperated 'idiot!' into conversations very soon...

Highly recommended!