Napoleon Dynamite


Top 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2004 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez, Aaron Ruell, Tina Majorino, Haylie Duff

Non-Cast Credits

Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess, Jory Weitz, Jeremy Coon, Sean Covel, Chris Wyatt, Munn Powell, Cory Lorenzen


Napoleon Dynamite's his name ... don't wear it out. From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes one of the most memorable screen characters in recent memory. With a tight red �fro, some sweet moon boots, and illegal government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. His family consists of fragile brother Kip, who�s seeking his soulmate in online chat rooms; Uncle Rico, who is stuck in his �glory� days of high school football; and Grandma, who enjoys going out to the dunes on her quad-runner.

Napoleon spends his days drawing magical beasts, working on his computer hacking skills to impress thee chicks, and begrudgingly feeding his grandma�s pet llama, �Tina.� When his friend Pedro decides to run for class president, they must rely on their knowledge of cows, pinatas, and a surprise special talent if they are to defeat the stuck-up Summer Wheatley.

Napoleon Dynamite is a modest film made with a ton of heart, and, like all great comedies, the genius is in the details. Jon Heder gives a truly awe-inspiring performance as the titular character. Writer/director Jared Hess and cowriter brotherJerusha Hess flesh out the world and the characters so brilliantly that it takes multiple viewings to truly savor the magnificence that is Napoleon Dynamite.


Trevor Groth (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.