Driving Lessons

Rupert Grint’s Rave Reviews for Driving Lessons


“Two-time past Oscar nominee Julie Walters (“Billy Elliot,” “Educating Rita”) is a flamboyant, booze-swilling, over-the-hill actress who plays a theatrically outsize Maude (without any icky stuff with the kid) to Rupert Grint’s awestruck Harold (he plays Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” flicks).”

Will Harvey take ‘Driving Lessons’ at Tribeca?


“17. The age of terrific young actor Rupert Grint, the redheaded sidekick who finally steps out of Harry Potter’s shadow and shambles his way into a breakout performance in Driving Lessons.”

Tribeca By The Numbers


“Driving Lessons [...] marks the first post-Potter venture for Rupert Grint, the redhead who plays Ron Weasley. Here, he plays Ben, a shy teenager who begins to work with an elderly actress (Julie Walters) to get money and get away from his philandering, evangelist momma (Laura Linney, of all people). The acting is good…”

FilmCritic.com


“Rupert has found his niche with Comedy/Drama movies. This is it, this is what he was meant to do. Harry Potter was a fantastic starting point for him, but this movie is his rocket ship to stardom.”

Rotten Tomatoes: The Vine


“This story centered on the friendship of a seventeen-year-old boy played by Rupert Grint (the red-haired best friend of Harry Potter movie fame) and an elderly retired actress. I loved the chemistry of the young and old as she became his best-friend and a relief from his religious household and overbearing mother (played by actress Laura Linney). ”

Oh My News: Tribeca


“Rupert Grint is best known as Ron, the hapless sidekick in the Harry Potter films. So moviegoers might be excused for relegating him to supporting-actor status. But “Driving Lessons,” a comedy-drama in which he co-stars with Julie Walters and Laura Linney, proves that he has what it takes to be a leading man.”

STL Today


“The greatest amount of buzz is about “Driving Lessons,” starring Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies.”

Tribeca Takes Over NYC


“Grint, too, is coming into the potential he showed in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not just a goggle-eyed cutup, he has a subdued humor and a riotous sense of comic timing.”

Premiere Magazine – Tribeca Up Close


“Grint is quite impressive. Adorably dubious at first. Decidely weird and confused. It’s a layered and convincing portrait of what forced Evengelical life can do to a child and how the perfect bad influence can help point out it’s incongruities. Grint has fantastic screen chemistry with the dazzling Ms. Walters.”

New York Cool: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival Review


“Pic relies on chemistry that fairly crackles between the principals to successfully deliver its teen hero from familial repression and rescue its pubescent lead from child-star roles.”

“Grint, maintaining puppy-dog altruism, holds his own in the matriarchal maelstrom, redheadedly adorable to the end.”

Variety.com Review


“Driving Lessons has the added commercial boost of Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint as the film’s lead!”

Time For Reflection


“Linney and Walters stand out, Walters especially, having great fun with her over-the-top role. But Grint does well for himself opposite the two excellent actresses.”

Child Stars Have Something To Prove


“Rupert Grint is breaking free from Ron Weasley…”

The Dish


“And Grint is a terrific foil for her. He maintains the character beautifully, letting us travel from inexperience to the first whiff of self-discovery and independence. It’s a remarkably subtle coming-of-age story, and nothing we’ve seen Grint do before quite prepares us for the delicacy of this performance. Their strong chemistry intriguingly suggests Harold & Maude (without the sex).”

Shadows On The Wall


“Many have noted that Grint is actually a better actor than the titular fellow he is a sidekick to, and he proves that here in a performance that evokes Gordon John Sinclair in Gregory’s Girl.”

Scotts Movies


  • “The film follows the story of Ben, ably played by Rupert Grint”
  • “As Ben, Grint does just enough to suggest he’s capable of shaking off the character of Ron Weasly from the Harry Potter films, for which he is best known.”
  • “There are a few moments when the shy, awkward teenager resembles the shy, awkward teenage wizard, but they are few and far between, and on the whole it is an excellent performance.”

The Scotsman


  • “Sweet, silly British comedy that works as a star vehicle for Harry Potter’s sidekick Rupert Grint”
  • “this is a fairly pedestrian affair that fails to make proper use of its talented cast

The Herald


“It allows a freedom for Grint to embark on some outrageous adventures with Julie Walters, displaying a talent for deadpan comedy that counterpoints perfectly with Walter’s terrifically eccentric performance. ”

Driven To Distraction – EIFF Review


“Meanwhile Rupert Grint (who works with Walters in the Harry Potter movies), holds his own as the eternally put-upon Ben in a part well suited to him, proving that a career awaits him after he graduates from Hogwarts.”

Digital Spy


“Rupert Grint gets to play a lead that will serve him well for later.”

IO Film


“It succeeds because of the chemistry between Walters and her Grint… Grint is believable as a stoical, decent lad longing to break free and let his life begin. His sullen expressions and stilted body language eloquently embody the internal dilemmas of his character.”

The Scottsman


“Grint, clearly exhibiting his abilities as an actor through the Potter films and now Driving Lessons…”

Film Focus Interview


“Grint (Ron from the Harry Potter movies) plays the bemused straight man to Walters’ dotty old bird with aplomb and proves that he should have a career after graduating from a certain wizards’ school.”

Hornsey Journal


“Grint has a nice line in pained forbearance and looks a good young character actor;”

TimeOut


“It’s a brave move for Grint, who takes his first steps into grown-up cinema with Driving Lessons and displays talent that seems certain of guaranteeing him a long career as an actor. There’s a distinction to be made between performance and acting and the big-budget effects-driven world of the Potter films certainly play to the former category. Here he’s acting and while the part may not be entirely removed from who Grint is as a person, his off-screen persona never once intrudes.”

Film Focus Review


“Grint plays Ben’s initial reticence well, and as his character flourishes during the course of his friendship with Evie, as an actor Grint grows. Casting off the shackles of Harry Potter, his charm lay in his ability to say very little whilst his earnest expressions manage to encapsulate awkwardness, passion and general teenage angst all at once.”

Film Exposed


“Grint, in a demanding lead role, does well to go beyond the morose passivity in which weaker actors might have been happy to bathe. He has an expressive face, one whose ginger freckles and pale doughiness lend themselves to comic parts; here though, he takes all the itching and restless kvetching that he has been doing in the recent Harry Potter pictures and paints a sympathetic portrait of a young man trapped between family and friends, teenagerdom and adulthood, innocence and experience.”

The Telegraph


“Rupert Grint, best known for his role as Ron in the Harry Potter films, stretches his acting abilities in Driving Lessons.”

In The News


“Grint does well to keep up but his character is essentially passive for most of the film…”

View London


“Rupert Grint, too, is excellent as the shy, awkward Ben and hints that he could have a future in film beyond his role as Ron in the Harry Potter films.”

Orange.co.uk


“Grint is fine as the youngster and his eye contact-avoiding stoicism as he comes up against Walters’ unfettered irreverence is big plus.”

SkyMovies


“Rupert Grint gives a game performance, but this is less his coming-of-age film than perhaps he’d hoped. His gift for comedy has already been well established in the Harry Potter films, but he may need to cast his net wider to really make that transition to adult roles.”

Future Movies


“Grint is very good at conveying the awkwardness of his character…”

Hi Arts


“Thunderpants, Rupert Grint’s first attempt to step out of Harry Potter’s shadow wasn’t what you’d call an unqualified success. Thankfully his latest effort is shows a marked improvement. … Rupert Grint sounds less like he’s in Grange Hill like he did in the early Potter days and puts in a decent performance…”

AOL.co.uk


“First time director, Jeremy Brock, awarded Rupert Grint the lead role due to his being criminally underused as ‘Ron Weasley’ in the last two Harry Potter instalments. It proves a wise choice as Grint shines as Ben… Grint plays Ben’s initial reticence well, and as his character flourishes during the course of his friendship with Evie, as an actor Grint grows. Casting off the shackles of Harry Potter, his charm lay in his ability to say very little whilst his earnest expressions manage to encapsulate awkwardness, passion and general teenage angst all at once.”

Film Exposed


“Redheaded Rupert Grint steps out of Harry Potter’s shadow in this Harold and Maude-ish romp about a shy teen and a grande dame.”

Look At Fall Movies


“Rupert Grint (Harry Potter’s red-haired sidekick) gives a wonderful physical display of glum adolescent maladroitness…”

FT.com


“Writer Jeremy Brock’s first film as director scores strongly thanks to his charming script, Walter’s superbly theatrical, all-too-accurate portrait of a luvvie and Grint’s vastly pleasing performance as a turning worm who happily grows up.”

Daily Star (via Allocine)


“Honing in on Ben’s wide eyed innocence and naivete (here Grint is excellent), Evie shrewdly manipulates him into driving her to Scotland, where she is to give a poetry recital at the Edinburgh festival.”

The Epoch Times


“…while Grint demonstrates he can do more than be Harry Potter’s chum. It’s a bit of a coming of age role for him as an actor.”

Close-Up Film Reviews


“The movie’s primary sticky wicket then, is that Walters eclipses her watery, inconsequential co-characters, though Grint proves the exception who, (having noticeably beefed-n-buffed up for his right-of-passage role), holds his own against Walters’ tidal wave of talent.”

Blue Yonder


“Driving Lessons (Oct. 13) There appears to be life after Harry Potter, at least for Rupert Grint, who headlines what looks like a supercute dramedy about a teenager who gets a job assisting a difficult British actress of a certain age.”

Popwatch: Entertainment Weekly (first thoughts via the trailer)


“But the endurance tests young Ben (Rupert Grint, in a sufficient stretch from his Ron Weasley character) must endure at their hands make for better cinematic entertainment than your average driver’s ed class.”

E!Online


“Rupert Grint has been famously under-used in the Harry Potter films as Ron Weasley, Harry’s red-headed mate.” … “but it’s nice to see Rupert Grint coming out from under that colorful thatch, and coming, not a moment too soon, into an appealing pre-maturity.”

WSJ.com


“The first of the young Harry Potter stars to land a leading role outside of the blockbuster franchise, Rupert Grint shows he has what it takes to enjoy an acting career post-Hogwarts in Driving Lessons.”

“Grint’s understated performance, something which his work in Harry Potter has hinted at, reveals a wise beyond his years maturity and soulfulness that should allow the actor to escape from being forever seen in casting director’s eyes as Harry Potter’s funny sidekick. By the end of the film, both Grint and Ben have grown into young men.”

IGN


“Rupert Grint finally strikes out from his Harry Potter series to see if he has the chops to be anyone but Ron Weasley. Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons offers him a more dramatic role compared to the comic-relief label that his character in the Potter films often is stamped with. It’s a shame that the screenplay and filmmaking doesn’t pursue the movie with the same integrity Grint attempts to instill into his character.”

“The actors, especially Grint and Walters, work hard to turn the characters into something more than caricatures. In Edinburgh, when Ben meets up with a girl and finds himself entangled in her sheets, Grint handles the nervousness of the situation with stellar provocation.”

“Grint might have talent in him, but with this film, he might as well be casting spells.”

FilmCritic


“If you loved Little Miss Sunshine, than you’ll probably like Driving Lessons… In Lessons, Grint steps out from behind the shadows and finally proves that he is the best actor from the young Harry Potter crew.”

SlashFilm


“Rupert Grint proves himself worthy of his own spotlight in Jeremy Brock’s modest directorial debut… Linney hits a single note for her uptight character, while Walters travels the scale indiscriminately… Only Grint is just right, as the boy they, and the film, can’t do without.”

NY Daily News


“Rupert Grint, capably different here from his Harry Potter persona…”

Village Voice


Grint, on the other hand, is a revelation. A supporting player in the highly popular Harry Potter series (in which Walters plays his mother), the young actor displays an innate naturalness mixed with personal charisma that turn a potentially pathetic Christian freak into a humorous, thoroughly likable — if more than a little awkward — young man caught between the dogmatic brainwashing perpetrated by his well-intentioned but psychopathic mother and his need to grow into his own person. Even when Brock’s words are inadequate — the final confrontation between Ben and his mother comes to mind — Grint delivers his lines with such honesty that he makes them ring true. Only a veritably accomplished actor can manage such a feat.”

Alternative Film Guide


“And while Driving Lessons’ writer-director, Jeremy Brock, sticks to the all-too-familiar template of such tales, he’s given Walters her best role since Educating Rita. Hamming it up with the precision of a master, she makes this somewhat plodding film — a pleasure, as does young Grint, the red-haired charmer better known as Harry Potter’s pal Ron Weasley…”

LA Weekly


“And while the two titans chew the scenery with wild abandon, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter’s Ron Weasley) manages to actually hold his own, proving that he can do something besides being a magician’s sidekick.”

EI Reviews


“This British coming-of-age tale appears to be primarily a showcase for Rupert Grint to demonstrate his abilities beyond the perpetually befuddled Ron Weasley. But in his second film outside of the popular series, the ginger-haired young actor delivers a surprisingly solid performance supported by a well-established, talented cast. … Grint gives a subtle performance”

In LA Mag


“Of all the HARRY POTTER kids, I’ve always felt Grint was the one most likely to succeed in the long run — he has a depth & on-screen comfort the other kids can’t seem to find. If Cat’s review is any indication, Grint will have to choose…more wisely…if his soon-to-be-post-Potter career is to survive.”

“The only watchable aspect is actually Grint, who does a likable take on Dustin Hoffman’s role in THE GRADUATE (also named Ben…good one, Brock…) and whose always faintly humorous face acting keeps the surrounding movie from falling completely into oblivion.”

Ain’t It Cool


“As the young man suffering from an acute case of ‘social autism’ – Grint is both poignant and unsentimental.”

Boston Herald


“…hit or miss, Grint remains hugely likable.”

San Diego Union-Tribune


“Walters’ familiarity with Grint — she plays his mother, the witch, in the “Harry Potter” series — brings out the best in the young actor, whose strongest scenes are with her.”

San Francisco Chronicle


“It’s Grint who grounds in reality, as best he can, Brock’s directing debut. Banishing thoughts of antic Ron Weasley, Grint turns quiet, reactive, and introspective in the presence of uniformly weird, offputting adults.”

Groucho Reviews


“Grint is genuinely deserving to be a lead actor in his own right. (There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be seeing him long after the Harry Potter franchise is over.)”

Film Forward


“Grint-showing he’s not just a sidekick-shines in his first starring role.”

Teen Vogue Mag


“Meanwhile, Rupert Grint (Harry’s red-headed sidekick from the “Harry Potter” series), captivatingly balances sympathy and rebellion.”

Daily Bruin


“Rupert Grint, who plays Harry’s red-headed best friend in the “Harry Potter” series and now tackles a rich role in “Driving Lessons” that makes you forget all his goofy, if endearing, second banana-ness… Yes, this is one teen who doesn’t need a wand to find magic after (or, with the fifth one on the way, should we say in between) “Harry Potter” films.”

Sun Herald


“Grint is quietly likable as the sad-sack teen”

Star Telegram


“And Grint, with his alternating baleful glare (as he endures his mother’s bossiness) and sudden, beaming smile (when Evie rides to his rescue), exudes more range than you’d have thought from the Harry Potter films. Ben’s transformation, and the film, are pleasant reminders of the goodness of just being yourself..”

Miami Herald


“Rupert Grint’s cute, frumpy charm now finds its teen version, the best thing in this silly contraption.”

San Diego Union-Tribune


“Rupert Grint goes from sidekick to spotlight in Driving Lessons… Grint matures agreeably as a contemporary real-world teenager… Still, give Grint credit for the finest performance among an ensemble that includes Oscar nominees Julie Walters and Laura Linney…”

Denton Record-Chronicle


“Grint is actually perfect as the awkward, gawky outsider, with his weird-looking face and blotchy redhead’s complexion.”

Portland Mercury (Contains strong language!)


“There is but one reason to sign up for “Driving Lessons” : to watch Rupert Grint … Sure, Grint’s acting may consist of only two modes — looking flustered or about to be flustered — but his air of perpetual innocence, so endearing in the “Potter” films, conveys nicely. And he makes a disarming foil for Walters.”

The Washington Post


“Here, the chemistry between Miss Walters… and one of acting’s newest finds, Mr. Grint, is a delight… Mr. Grint proves he can do a lot more than play second fiddle to a boy wizard. His Ben starts the film with a palpable sense of awkwardness that slowly dissolves as the story progresses.”

Washington Times


“Rupert Grint must have a good agent and common sense.”

Ashbury Park Press


“Rupert Grint… does a quiet job of making Ben’s passivity aggravating but also understandable. His soft face embodies Ben’s cowed submissiveness, but his eyes insist there’s a mind at work figuring things out.”

Denver Post


“Grint and Walters do their best with writer-director Jeremy Brock’s uneven material, carving out a good scene here and there.”

Philly.com


“Rupert Grint has his first grown-up leading man role in ‘Driving Lessons’… such a likeable kid it is fun to see him being manly and getting the girl. Grint is not just a flaky, red-haired sidekick to Harry Potter; he is an actor of growing assurance who looks to enjoy a long, fruitful career.”

Boca Raton News


“Brock’s alter ego is played by Rupert Grint, who convincingly puts some distance between this role and his Ron Weasley part in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies.”

Star Tribune


“..Grint, who’s perfected the art of the adolescent glower and holds his own even with his more experienced co-stars.”

Now Toronto


“Without Grint playing Ben low-key, ‘Driving Lessons’ would be completely lost. His scenes with either Linney or (Walton) are the best in the movie.”

OnMilwaukee-Movies


“Harry Potter sidekick Rupert Grint — also putting in a memorable performance — stars as Ben…”

Toronto Sun


“..the central rebel is almost-18 Ben Marshall, a painfully shy vicar’s son played wonderfully by Rupert Grint…”

Straight Vancouver


“The hero of ‘Driving Lessons’ is a gawky, artistic Christian teen… Choosing red-headed Rupert Grint.. to play the ultimate outcast proves a shrewd casting choice… with eyes downcast under dusty-white eyelashes, (that) Grint doesn’t beg your sympathy, he demands it.”

JS Online


“I suppose this film has been done before and I suppose it has been done better but I love Rupert Grint and I must say I was very moved and impressed by his performance in ‘Driving Lessons…’ Yes, Grint is so adorable that looking at him waiting for a bus for 90 minutes would be wonderful viewing but seeing him in such a sweet and tender role and having him play it pitch perfect is simply a joy… His chemistry with Walters is quite wonderful as well… seeing her with Grint is always amazing and the two seem to bond naturally and perfectly.”

File Thirteen


“All the acting as one would expect from such a distinguished cast is of the highest quality, with young Grint really shining and showing real comic time. He has the most brilliant face for Ben, and has really nailed the wide-eyed baffled look of astonishment.”

Barry & District News


“..Grint and Linney are effective…”

NC Times


“Grint is simply edible in the role of the shy and earnest Ben… (his) bumbling gift for understated comedy isn’t all that well utilized because he’s given very little dialogue, and forced to rely mostly on his physical presence to keep the nuttiness going.”

Vancouver Sun


“..Grint can do more acting with only his eyes than most actors can do with their whole bodies…”

Tom’s Mini Movie Reviews


“But Grint’s quietness at the center of things – and his character’s palpable adolescent pain – holds it all together, even when Walters starts going overboard.”

Bradenton Herald


“One for the road trip: Teen star holds it all together in coming-of-age film”

Lexington Herald-Leader


“Driving Lessons gives us an excuse to spend some time with teenager Rupert Grint, red-headed Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, and that’s an enjoyable prospect.”

“He has a mug made for the movies, and it’s up to the task. He has some wonderful hangdog scenes as Ben…”

“Grint is much more solid, more grounded and more interesting, even as his Ben gets more glum.”

Who’s it for? Fans of whimsical British stuff will like this the most, though it’s not up to the usual standards. But it is nice to see Rupert Grint in Muggle mode.”

Florida Times Union


“The fact that Grint, who has grown up making fantasy films about wizards, gives the most believable performance in the film says a good deal about the exaggerations of his costars Linney and Walters, who are gifted and normally reliable actors.”

Detroit Free Press


“Rupert Grint, capably different here from his Harry Potter persona…”

Seattle Weekly


“And let’s give young Grint his due for “Driving Lessons,” in which he delivers a knowing and honest portrait of a young writer… “Driving Lessons” is a poignant miniature that offers Walters a chance to be typically wonderful.. and Grint to stretch quite commendably.”

The Seattle Times-Movies


“Walters is alternately zany and poignant, with Grint the perfect foil, a bemused, confused innocent who only wants to do good.”

SeattlePI


“Driving Lessons will be remembered as the movie in which we got to see Ron Weasley utter the s-word and the f-word (numerous times), drink wine, and hook up with a Scottish hottie who introduces him to Nick Drake and sex (in that order).”

Memphis Commercial Appeal


“Rupert Grint has a very good deadpan, which he uses to comic effect whether playing a tree in a church play or listening to his father’s bird calls. He will surely have a career beyond the “Harry Potter” movies.”

HeraldNet


“Harry Potter sidekick Rupert Grint — also putting in a memorable performance — stars as Ben, a nerdy young man at his mother’s beck and call.”

Ottawa Sun


“Rupert Grint is nicely understated as Ben..”

TV Times


“Grint makes his dazed and confused character hugely appealing.”

TV Times


“Some have criticized Rupert’s performance as being lifeless, but Ben is only supposed to be animated when he is around Evie, and to some extent with Bryony (the slightly older Scottish woman who seduces him), and even they have to keep plying him with liquor.”

USA Voice


“As for Grint, he’s perfect as a young man who still has some growing up to do but who suspects that it’s not going to be easy.”

STLtoday Entertainment


“Rupert Grint – best known as Harry Potter’s red-headed running mate, Ron, in the popular fantasy-film series – gets a lot of things right in the otherwise twee and predictable English comedy…”

Tallahassee Democrat


“Grint, who is best known for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, is perfectly acceptable as Ben.”

Times Dispatch


“You’ll know flame-haired Rupert from his supporting role as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter blockbusters. In all these movies, Rupert has been the only adolescent actor a required to act, as opposed to merely looking sweet (wimpy goodies Harry and Hermione) or a bit scowly as one of the school bullies. Driving Lessons was an ITV-funded rites-of-passage Brit-flick in which Rupert did a good job of looking crushed, conflicted, slightly lost, straitjacketed by middle-class convention, baffled in love and good-hearted, often all at once.

So well did Rupert perform that he managed not to have every scene stolen from him by Julie Walters. Sadly, Driving Lessons sold itself short with a cosily weird denouement – one elderly transvestite, some Girl Guides, a gospel choir, multiple hallelujahs, a car crash – that was followed by a twee, feel-good finale. But barmy Julie and the boy Grint done great.”

The Herald


“Any fan of the Harry Potter series knows that Rupert Grint is a star rarely celebrated for his acting prowess. He pulls off his role in Driving Lessons without having to fall back on his awkward, innocent mannerisms from the popular series. His performance as Ben is often endearing, yet painfully awkward and morose. It would be impossible to leave the theatre without seeing Grint in a new light.

The Ubyssey Online


“Driving Lessons was written by director Jeremy Brock as a vehicle for Grint and Walters, who appeared together in the Harry Potter movies. They make a terrific screen couple. Walters is alternately zany and poignant, with Grint the perfect foil, a bemused, confused innocent who only wants to do good.

Winston-Salem Journal


“Large parts of the film are somewhat saved by Grint (of the Harry Potter films), who appears by turns geeky and then eerily beautiful, and has an authentic sweetness amid all the trials he’s put through. At one point, he performs Shakespearean scenes with Walters, and his reading of lines as Oberon and Othello-so preferable to those of the screenplay-have a real distinction.”

Film Journal


“To be honest there isn’t a bad actor in the whole of this movie, nor a wasted second of screen time. The movie almost seems to be written for Grint and Walters – you really can’t imagine anyone else having the same chemistry on screen.”

Sci-Fi Online


“Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the ‘Harry Potter’ films) teams up with his on-film mother Julie Walters (Mrs Weasley), in his first film outside the blockbuster franchise. No longer Harry’s sidekick, Grint comes into his own in this bumbling, gawky role. … Grint captures Ben’s transformation from an awkward hen-pecked adolescent to a young man of substance brilliantly – you share his pain, his discomfort and his eventual liberation.”

Iafrica


“Grint is adequate in his role as Ben…”

Tonight


“Walters and Grint work together in the Harry Potter films as mother and son, and in this film they develop and deepen their professional relationship and their chemistry bubbles onto the screen. … Grint shows just how talented he is as Ben, a mummy’s boy desperately trying to break free from a mother he increasingly has little respect for.”

News24.com


“Flung far from the realm of Harry Potter, Rupert Grint (Ben Marshall) delivers an appealing performance with his engaging portrayal of an only son emerging from an oppressed upbringing in a London vicarage.”

NSW Nurses Association


“And who better to play the role of Ben than Grint? The character’s awkwardness and gradual emergence into adulthood parallels those of the actor’s, and you hardly need to tell him to act the role at all.”

Gwea


“Rupert Grint, the carrot-topped, adorably cute actor who plays Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” movies, can be carrot-topped and adorably cute when he’s playing a different character.”

Access Atlanta


“Grint is forced to carry most of the film and holds his won well against the veteran cast.”

FulvueDrive


“The gentle British comedy “Driving Lessons” putters along cutely enough with “Harry Potter” sideman Rupert Grint behind the wheel.”

“Reciting bad poetry and delivering a master class in cringing, the Grint character learns to loosen up as the two of them hit the road like Harold and Maude.”

New York Post


“Driving Lessons is a number of things. It is proof that Rupert Grint will have a good career as an actor long after the Harry Potter series comes to a close.”

“Above everything, this is a film that hinges on the performances of Rupert Grint and Julie Walters. If their relationship didn’t work, or came across as something it wasn’t, the whole film would fall apart. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen. For the first part of the film, it’s almost painful to watch Grint in this role. This is the awkwardness of Ron multiplied by about ten, and it’s absolutely remarkable. Watching the character develop and make his own decisions is even better.”

DVD Verdict


“In the role of Ben, Grint – best known as the freckled sidekick in the Harry Potter series – is somewhat limited in his performance, but his awkwardness is endearing. When Ben finally stands up to his smothering mother (a miscast Linney, who never masters her accent), you’re bound to root for him…”

Austin Chronicle


“But in this case familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, because the cast is so winning.”

“In Grint’s hands, Ben can seem a bit neurotic, but he remains an endearingly klutzy fellow.”

One Guy’s Opinion


“Driving Lessons deserves to be considered outside of Harry Potter’s shadow, as Grint steps into the spotlight playing a meatier character than Ron, making it easy to forget any baggage the actor may bring to the part.”

“It is framed as a coming-of-age tale, in which case Grint’s character feels like a younger, British version of a different Ben, The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock. At a crossroads in life, he is easy for audiences to relate with, and though a couple of scenes feel out-of-character, Grint typically does an excellent job of making this shy, poetry-writing teen feel identifiable, alive, and real.”

Ultimate Disney


“Grint proves he may yet have a career when Harry folds…”

Total Film


“Her companion on the road, Ben (Rupert Grint, the talented young actor who has played Harry Potter’s sidekick in four films), is a shy, carrot-topped youth from a strict Christian household who takes a job as Evie’s assistant.”

New York Times


“”Driving Lessons” is held together as well as it is by Grint’s enjoyably subtle performance. In a movie where he’s between two rather cartoonish, over-the-top efforts (Linney’s character is barely developed and, given how little depth or detail the character has, it results in the character turning into a shrill, one-note villain), he keeps the movie at least somewhat grounded.”

“Overall, “Driving Lessons” isn’t Grint’s best performance, but he impresses simply by doing a very good job holding the film together, despite a script that deserves to be ticketed.”

Current Film


“Ill-conceived and absurdly scripted, “Driving Lessons” gets much better acting than it deserves from Linney, Walters and Grint. One can only hope the lad gets back to the rational world of Hogwarts soon.”

San Diego Metro


“For many, the appeal of Driving Lessons will no doubt be to see Rupert Grint and Julie Walters outside of their familiar roles as Ron and Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise. Luckily, the two leads shine in their many scenes together, and it is a joy to see the elder Walters push the talented Grint as an actor.”

Pop Matters


“Rupert Grint is a gormless looking young man, encouraged here to take gormlessness to extremes as Ben bounces from oh-so Christian but oh-so fakely happy home to Evie’s garden of life abundant, where she struggles to prune her wild bushes. Grint retains a quiet desperation throughout, only liberated after a dramatic incident with his family.”

Urban Cinefile


“The Good: This film provides viewers a different look at Rupert Grint from his Harry Potter character.”

Movie Web


“Young Grint (best known as Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise) really steps up to the bar in a mature performance that shows his talent and ability.”

Cinephilia


“With his orange-colored bowl haircut and freckled cheeks, actor Rupert Grint (known by millions of pre-teens as Harry Potter’s cinematic sidekick) is perfectly cast as Ben, an awkward teenage boy whose reticence almost trespasses into total muteness.”

Rotten Tomatoes


“On paper Driving Lessons is the text-book coming-of-age movie (complete with embarrassing deflowerings & road-trips to self discovery) But thankfully the execution is killer. Grint does a stunning job of conveying Ben’s palpable boredom.”

Australian Broadcasting Company


“… Grint demonstrates he can do more than be Harry Potter’s chum. It’s a bit of a coming of age role for him as an actor.”

Close-Up Film


“The interpretation of the young protagonist, Rupert Grint, whom we remember in the role of Harry Potter’s loyal friend, is also optimal. In “Driving Lessons” his talent stands out, and while he remains confined to a slighly monotonous delivery, this is however suitable to the type of character he interprets.”

Cinefile (in Italian – transl. by Ivana)


“The cast is definitely very strong in “Driving Lessons”. The relationship between Rupert Grint and Julie Walters is amazing, and the fact that this is the fourth movie they do together (the others being HP 1 to 3), helps too. This relationship, together with their huge charisma, makes the viewer easily fall in love with the duo, wishing their friendship to survive his mother’s resistance. Individually, both of them stand out. Rupert Grint delivers a great performance as Ben, one of the best characters I’ve ever seen in a dramatic comedy. Rupert proves that director Jeremy Brock was right stating he chose him for the main role because he thought the young redhead was being underused in the Harry Potter series (truth be said, Rupert is a much better actor than his co-star Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter). Ben’s constant changes as he gets to discover new things in life are only noticeable because Rupert is the one in charge of that task, which, by the way, is far from easy.”

Criticas de Cinema (in Portuguese – transl. by Wicked Jo)


“The many events in the movie are played with innocence, with a fantastic performance by Walters and the undeniable talent of Grint.”

“It’s a relief to see him swear and blush in this movie. To Grint, this first step into the world of adult cinema brings him lots of confidence: here, the actor has a genuine presence on the screen, inspiring true emotions in those who watch him.”

Critica Artistica (in Portuguese – transl. by Wicked Jo)


“Finally, while you’ll be seeing Rupert Grint – better known as Ron Weasley – on the big screen next week, it’s nice to find out he can do more than play Harry Potter’s sidekick. “Driving Lessons” (PG-13, $24.96) is not a great movie, but Grint’s memorable turn as a British teen bouncing between his overbearing mother (Laura Linney) and melodramatic mentor (Julie Walters) shows he deserves a long career once J.K. Rowling wraps up Ron’s story.”

New York Daily News


“In what amounts to a major change of pace, Rupert Grint departs from the Harry Potter series in which he plays the irrepressible Ron Weasley. Driving Lessons gives Grint an opportunity to play an unhappy adolescent, a young man struggling to grow up in a repressive environment.”

“Grint handles miserable adolescence with the requisite skill.”

Rocky Mountain News


“Rupert Grint has been famously under-used in the Harry Potter films as Ron Weasley, Harry’s red-headed mate. In “Driving Lessons,” a debut feature by Jeremy Brock, he’s used judiciously as Ben, the shy 17-year-old son of a passive English vicar and a religious, relentlessly jubilant mother bent on teaching him how to drive.”

“This coming-of-age movie, unlike Evie’s sleek old Citroen wagon, is a clumsy contraption, but it’s nice to see Rupert Grint coming out from under that colorful thatch, and coming, not a moment too soon, into an appealing pre-maturity.”

The Wall Street Journal


“It’s a charming and thoroughly enjoyable film with Grint capably shaking off his Harry Potter sidekick image.”

Urban Cinefile


“Driving Lessons doesn’t represent a zenith in the subgenre, and it trades on some feeble character ploys, but it’s a kick to watch Julie Walters do a barmy-charmer bit on Rupert Grint. As J.K. Rowling disciples know, the pair play mother and son in the Harry Potter films, and overtones of filial exasperation inform their relationship here. There’s a prickly ease between them that braces the comedy and warms the drama.”

Houston Chronicle


“Rupert Grint deftly sidesteps Hogwarts’ Ravenclaws and Slytherins in this sweet coming of age drama vaguely reminiscent of Hal Ashby’s 1971 classic “Harold and Maude”.”

“Walters and Grint play off one another with ease, both taking something precious away from their burgeoning friendship.”

Aufmuth


“Grint is often reduced to playing straight man, but his reactions are priceless and the fact that he and Walters have previously worked together as mother and son in the Harry Potter films bolsters their chemistry.”

Tribeca – Murphy’s Movie Reviews


“Grint, meanwhile, turns up wearing that over-familiar queasy-Weasley look, but does enough to steer our sympathies in the right direction.”

BBC Movies


“This understated comedy-drama allows Walters and Grint a great opportunity to step out of their familiar roles as mother and son Molly and Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” films.”

The Christian Science Monitor


“Grint is believable as Ben, the religiously browbeaten son of an overbearing mother portrayed with abandon by Laura Linney (who’s a bit out of place here).”

My San Antonio


“Jeremy Brock’s directorial debut is most notable for featuring Rupert Grint, the first of Harry Potter’s three young stars to film outside the series. [...] Grint gives it a respectable go; it’s Brock’s material—he’s also the writer, an area in which he’s more experienced—that falls short.”

Washington City Paper


“The chap can handle a close-up. We see him register the obvious disconnect as his teary-eyed mom utters the mantra of the minister’s wife: ‘We’re God’s ambassadors – we show the world a smiling face.’ Or the quiet disappointment as his father buries himself in bird books. Shorup-ship-see, shorup-ship-see – he tries to teach Ben the skylark’s call. Ben stands there, quiet, pained, aching to break free.”

Chicago Tribune


“Now, everyone, hand over your movie Must Sees list so I can scratch out whatever you have written in the number one slot, and scrawl this title across the top instead: It’s my new Harold and Maude sans the underlying, peculiar suicidal ideation. You’ve got to see it: Ron Weasley and his mum making with the magic, again! Rupert Grint and Julie Walters play off each other so incredibly well in this rites-of-passage comedy…”

Sparkle Soup


“… Driving Lessons starring Rupert Grint and Julie Walters received great reviews at the film festival in 2006. The film is based on a story about Rupert Grint who plays the character of Ben Marshall, a young teenager, who is extremely shy and loves writing poetry. [...] The movie is very much enjoyable to watch with a lot of emotion, especially on both Ben and Evie’s side.”

Movie Quotes Blog


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