Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby movie poster
MPAA rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Weekend's Desson Howe says this Charles Dickens adaptation is "watchable, certainly. It should have been so much more." Style's Ann Hornaday agrees, noting that "whether the entire production comes off as classy or cloying depends entirely on the viewer's mood."
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent
Director: Douglas McGrath
Running time: 01:48
Release: Opened Dec 27, 2002
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Editorial Review

Principal cast: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall and Anne Hathaway.

Behind the camera: Director Douglas McGrath did "Company Man" and "Emma."

The skinny: When the death of his father leaves the family in poverty, Nicholas (Hunnam), his mother and sister appeal to his uncle Ralph (Plummer). But the uncle merely exploits them, sending Nicholas to a school where he's forced to endure the cruelty of a school headmaster (Jim Broadbent) named Wackford Squeers.

Points of interest: The movie's no grim adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. The word is, McGrath (who after all wrote "Bullets Over Broadway" with Woody Allen), milks the comedic potential all the way. This could be a sleeper hit -- and not just for the PBS subscribers.

-- Desson Howe, Weekend