The Debut
The Debut (2000)

Ben Mercado is a talented high school senior who enrolls in a prestigious art school in order to realize his dreams of becoming an animator. However, his plans come into conflict with those of his immigrant father Roland, a postal worker… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 18, 2000
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Also Available On

Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly

Director Gene Cajayon, with co-writer John Manal Castro and a charming cast, continually subverts expectations.

Full review…
Lawrence Van Gelder
New York Times

A neat blend of well-drawn major characters and drama, music, dance, romance and humor that generates considerable charm and achieves a heartwarming resolution of its generational conflict.

Full review…
Christopher Null

The Joy Luck Club did the "white people are ignorant" story with less obviousness

Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

Mostly the situations, albeit compressed, ring true; the characters are admirably multi-dimensional, and there are welcome doses of humor that compensate for any contrivances.

Laura Sinagra
Village Voice

The film has a sweet low-budget quality that sometimes slips into TV-movie schmaltz.

Full review…
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

That it feels so predictable is, ironically, a tribute to the universality of the experience it explores.

Full review…
Lou Lumenick
New York Post

An earnest and predictable little indie.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

Celebrates community and family, and does so in such a warm-hearted way that its formulaic nature is easily forgiven.

Harvey S. Karten

Predictable but heartfelt, and valuable in that it is one of the first Filipino-American productions.

Full review…
More reviews for The Debut