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The Baxter (2005)


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 24
Rotten: 50

Critics Consensus: The Baxter is good-natured, but there are simply not enough laughs to fuel this comedy.

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 6
Rotten: 20

Critics Consensus: The Baxter is good-natured, but there are simply not enough laughs to fuel this comedy.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 7,382


Movie Info

A man with a "doormat" personality tries standing up for himself for a change in this comedy. Mild mannered tax accountant Elliot Sherman (Michael Showalter) is what he calls a "Baxter": the kind of calm, unexciting fellow who "wears sock garters" and "enjoys raking leaves." Loved by bosses and parents, Elliot is a perfectly nice guy. And that's his problem -- he's safe and pleasant, but not very interesting, so as a consequence he hasn't had much luck with long-term relationships, and more than … More

PG-13 (adult situations/language, sex)
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Michael Showalter
In Theaters:
Dec 13, 2005
IFC Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Baxter

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (50) | DVD (6)

The performers are fresh and offbeat, with the diminutive Peter Dinklage (Elf, The Station Agent) especially funny as a gay wedding planner named Benson Hedges.

Full Review… | April 6, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Showalter tackles his mission with energy and an upbeat attitude that makes him a winner as a lovable loser.

Full Review… | September 29, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Only when Williams is around does the movie seem human, true, and funny: Even in her slapstick there's pain. She's almost too good: It's not until she's left a scene that you realize the movie isn't working.

Full Review… | September 24, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

There are enough laughs that those who enjoyed The 40-Year-Old Virgin might want to take The Baxter for a whirl.

Full Review… | September 22, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A droll romantic comedy that relies on a self-deprecating brand of humor which must be a bit of an acquired taste. The film's utter predictably sinks this exercise in obviousms, making its few funny moments not worth waiting for.

Full Review… | July 19, 2007
Upstage Magazine

Showalter cria um filme exatamente como seu protagonista: desajeitadamente simpático e divertido.

March 15, 2006
Cinema em Cena

What comes to mind are TV sitcom pilots full of strain, and the forlornly perky mechanisms of old Day & Hudson comedies.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
San Diego Union-Tribune

Clearly the filmmakers are trying to make The Baxter look old-fashioned. But there's a modern smugness and superiority that undermines that attempt.

Full Review… | September 30, 2005
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It doesn't take much imagination to guess who will end up with whom, but The Baxter is agreeably silly and has lots of simple charm.

Full Review… | September 30, 2005
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Every romantic-comedy cliché gets played out, but merely re-enacting those clichés in an arch tone isn't funny enough.

September 30, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

The structure is a miscalculation by Showalter, who inexplicably drives his audience through the exact type of sappy material he had started off satirizing.

Full Review… | September 29, 2005
Arizona Daily Star

Perhaps it's only just that a movie about a loser should be a loser itself.

Full Review… | September 25, 2005
One Guy's Opinion

Unlike Woody Allen's nebbishes, who are always the smartest and funniest people on the screen, Elliot is a bore.

Full Review… | September 24, 2005
Boston Herald

Anyone who's seen a few romantic comedies, the older the better, will find something to like about The Baxter.

Full Review… | September 24, 2005
Las Vegas Weekly

Is this enough on which to hang a full-fledged movie that people will pay to see? Probably not ...

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The biggest failing of The Baxter is that the humor is often just too obscure.

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
IGN Movies

Think of "The Baxter" as "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dumped."

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The movie is like an extremely faithful cover version of a song you like -- it adds nothing new, so what's the point?

Full Review… | September 22, 2005
St. Paul Pioneer Press

With seemingly thousands of romantic comedies to slay, Showalter wound up joining the party instead of peeing in the punch.

Full Review… | September 20, 2005

Conceptually...The Baxter is hobbled, and all Showalter has is his concept.

September 18, 2005
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Baxter


CUTE! Peter Dinklage completely stole the movie, as he always does. Michelle Williams is adorable, as she always is. Very cute and offbeat.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

this low-key comedy invents a culture of upscale WASP nerddom that Showalter gets to act out with the maximum mannerisms; Rudd and Banks are unfortunately diminished, mostly by mediocre dialogue; a major step forward in portraying the ultra-cool romantic rival as shallow and tiresome, showing how a person can still look pretty lame even after they fulfill a hip-suave-sensitive checklist--more realistic than Bradley Cooper in Wedding Crashers, the long-delayed post-PC-evolution of the Omega Theta Pi psychopaths in Animal House

Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

A really great and innovative way of doing a romantic comedy.

James Alvarez

Super Reviewer


One of the most underrated movies ever. If you liked The State you'll definitely like this.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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