Film Review: Starter For Ten [dir. Tom Vaughan; 2006]

No matter how simplistic or forgettable a film may be, it’s hard to be scathing about it if its heart is in the right place. So yes, this story of a working class whiz kid trying to place his feet on the correct rung of the social ladder at Bristol Uni circa 1985 has more than its fair share of campus-drama clichés, but with its central conceit of a team’s preparation for University Challenge, it manages to keep itself afloat and offer just the right number of wry observations about attitudes to class and education. The performances are appealing (Benedict Cumberbatch is especially watchable as the maniacally ambitious team captain) and the plot moves along at an enjoyable pace. Top marks for effort.



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