That's What I Am
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Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, That's What I Am is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical school project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Since a large portion of the film is taken up with the theme of school bullying, it may have some contemporary relevance, but good intentions do not always a good movie make."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Mr. Harris's depiction of a saintly, soft-spoken, bow-tie-wearing middle-school teacher lends the movie a moral weight it probably couldn't have summoned had another actor played the role."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The only half-decent picture to come out of World Wrestling Entertainment's years-long experiment with making movies"
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"It means to be an earnest, uplifting family film, but the movie evinces a fitful attention span, and director Mike Pavone never comes up with a way to successfully stitch together all its disparate, capital-I issues."
‑ Brent Simon,
"WWE Films went really highbrow with their latest movie... This is WWE's take on Gandhi!... Truly touching, which is not something I could say about 12 Rounds or The Condemned."
‑ Fred Topel, Screen Junkies
"An entertaining, well-made plea for tolerance..."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"A placard preceding the film's title card assures that it's "inspired by true events," but the note is unnecessary, given the limpness of the narrative arcs. Who would make up such an anticlimactic story?"
‑ Alison Willmore, AV Club
"Message movie about tolerance has a few mature themes."
‑ Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
"The latest (and by far most sneaky) attempt to slip one of its wrestlers into multiplexes, WWE Films' That's What I Am is surprisingly low on testosterone."
‑ Jesse Cataldo, Slant Magazine
"[VIDEO] awkwardly plotted drama that doesn't satisfactorily resolve the prickly social conditions it professes to explore."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A forgettable title and a barely there theatrical release don't do justice to the captivating and nostalgic coming-of-age dramedy "That's What I Am"..."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Lessons are learned, bullies get their comeuppance, and every Wonder Years plot device is trotted out for maximum and-I-was-never-the-same-again nostalgia."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York
"That's What I Am isn't a movie, sadly, it's an unreconstructed piece of television and one that's suffused with the values of the US networked shows of yesteryear."
‑ Ed Whitfield, What Culture
"Charming but conventionally plotted, it's a gentle ride that's lit up by compelling turns from Harris and Ellison."
‑ Ian Freer, Empire Magazine
"A charming, inspirational indie (with a terrific performance by Ed Harris)...upholding such time-honored principles as tolerance, human dignity and compassion."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
More reviews for That's What I Am on Rotten Tomatoes