Slumdog Millionaire
Directed by Danny Boyle

A rags-to-riches story set in Mumbai.

Slumdog Millionaire is a “buoyant hymn to life, and a movie to celebrate,” said Richard Corliss in Time. In this “social epic set in modern India,” Dev Patel plays Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old orphan who is one question away from winning 20 million rupees on the Hindi ­version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Because no one believes a lowly slumdog could have the knowledge necessary to win, Jamal is suspected of cheating and undergoes a brutal police interrogation. Through vivid, almost surrealistic flashbacks, we learn that each question connects to one of Jamal’s hard-knock life lessons, said Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. Though the premise seems too serendipitous, British director Danny Boyle “makes magic realism part of the film’s fabric, the essential part that lets in hope without compromising authority.” Slumdog Millionaire “has an enchanting power,” but also a whole lot of heart, said Claudia Puig in USA Today. Although a quintessentially Indian film, its Dickensian arc makes this a universal tale that “celebrates resilience, the power of knowledge, and the vitality of the human experience.”