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Black Sheep (1996)


Average Rating: 3.6/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 23

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 125,118



Movie Info

Handsome, smooth-talking Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson) has everything going for him. A politician, he is engaged in a heated gubernatorial race with the feisty Governor Tracy (Christine Ebersole), a tough old bird who doesn't hesitate to play hardball with opponents. Unfortunately for her, things are looking good for Donnelly. Fortunately she finds his Achilles' heel with his young brother Mike Donnelly (Saturday Night Live alumnus Chris Farley), a fat slob gym teacher and hopeless imbecile who … More

PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Fred Wolf
In Theaters:
Jul 16, 2002
Paramount Home Video


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Critic Reviews for Black Sheep

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (23) | DVD (9)

A little comedy that succeeds in its modest aim to provide 87 minutes of harmless diversion.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Works as well as it does because the anarchic, high-energy spirits of Farley and Spheeris lock into each other perfectly.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Yeah, I giggled a couple of times. But I suspect you will giggle more if you are male, age 15-27ish.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Black Sheep is bleatingly awful as it reteams Chris Farley and David Spade, the poor idiot's Abbott and Costello, in a comedy so desperately inept it makes their previous effort, Tommy Boy, look like a minefield of high wit.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

They're certainly no Aykroyd and Belushi, or even Myers and Carvey, but Farley and Spade manage to wring humor from a series of juvenile setups and predictable pratfalls.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

may not be remembered as a masterful comedy classic, but for the college humor crowd with a relatively safe PG-13 rating, it's a fun diversion

Full Review… | November 23, 2009
7M Pictures

It's nice to see the two together, practicing their easy screen rapport--and no doubt more so given Farley's untimely passing--but Black Sheep is still a clunker. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 19, 2009
Groucho Reviews

painfully unfunny

Full Review… | May 3, 2009

Though not always in good taste, this tongue-in-cheek parody of the horror genre is sophisticated and clever enough to earn the appreciation of the egghead cult crowd.

Full Review… | June 22, 2007

The goofy "Tommy Boy" chemistry seems forced a second time around.

January 12, 2006
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

the most charming of Farley's screen efforts, but it's too bad he wasn't around long enough to make anyting better

October 1, 2005

Exactly what you expect

February 2, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A transcendent comedy starring one of the top - but most tragically fated - comedy teams of all time.

December 24, 2002
Arizona Daily Star

Makes "Tommy Boy" look like A-grade material

September 18, 2002

Imagine "Tommy Boy" without all the rapier wit and genius filmmaking technique. I counted one sincere laugh in the full 90 minutes.

August 8, 2002

The movie itself succeeds in setting up situations ready for yucks; the movie's key problem is its intended humor fails to register on the audience's yucks ballot.

June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

I've never wanted to run from a theater so much in my life.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Spade plays the straight man, Farley plays the dufus, physical stunts abound and there isn't one shred of slightly intellectual wit.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Examiner

Black Sheep is an appropriately titled misfire, a des-perate slapstick comedy that falls flat at nearly every turn.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It is one long, drawn out exercise in pain.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Utter, unforgivable bilge.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Black Sheep

Made simply because 'Tommy Boy' was an unexpected success, clearly somewhat rushed and not fully thought through. I have read that 'Paramount' just wanted to team Spade and Farley together again asap, so we have this blunt comedy.

The idea isn't too bad, its all about a political campaign battle between the brother of Farley's character and the wholesome all American 'Evelyn Tracy' played by Christine Ebersole. As you can guess Farley's character is a clumsy embarrassment to his brother (played by Tim Matheson) and inadvertently causes all manner of horrendous goofs whilst in the public eye. This of course puts his brothers campaign in jeopardy of which his rival tries to take full advantage of.

Same old Farley I'm afraid which isn't too bad if you like the guy. I have said before and I'll say again I do like his antics, he is a funny fella and his films are nice feel good films where you can forget about any troubles you have. I also like how he tends to play the everyday man, regular Joe's, makes you connect with him that bit more.

Despite liking Farley this film does feel very forced with very little to show. The laughs are few and far between and what we do get is light at best. There are whole segments in the film where nothing really happens, the sequence where the pair find a bat in their wood cabin and spend almost ten minutes of the film dealing with it. There is a lot of lame filler which really has nothing to do with the plot, its just there to try and gain a laugh whilst padding out the film, or so it seems.

Even as a Farley fan I found it hard to enjoy this, there really doesn't seem to be any point to Farley and Spade being together here and half of what happens is irrelevant. I can't complain too much because this is obviously a dumb comedy, its not suppose to be anything else, but even so it feels very cheap and half hearted. In the end it really does feel like the two leads were simply thrown together for a fast money spinner off the back of a much better earlier comedy.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


"I liked it better the first time when it was called Tommy Boy!" was the general response to this film when it came out. Yes, it does look like a replica of Spade and Farley's previous film on the surface, but the plot and theme are somewhat different. I would recommend that only fans of this comedy duo watch this movie. It's not as good as Tommy Boy, but if you just want more of this duo, you'll enjoy it anyway.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer


This is the type of film that if you watch it, it becomes less and less funnier with every viewing. This is essential a rehash of ideas previously written in Farley's other comedy, Tommy Boy. Tommy was a superior film to this, but not by much. Still despite all the flaws, Chris Farley is a better comedian than Will Ferrell. But this is not Farley best work. Tommy Boy is his funniest. Unfortunately, Farley did have a chance to really make a laugh out loud comedy, his career was tragically cut short. But for what it's worth this was his lowest point as an actor. He make me laugh more than Will Ferrell. Black Sheep, is an average comedy with a few laughs, but nothing great or memorable to be found here.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This is bloody average and definitely not funny as it's not educational etc. It tries to rely on Chris Farley's endless pratfalls and stupidity. David Spade, on the other hand, provides sarcasm that isn't funny at all. Overall, pretty dumb and desperate attempt at comedy.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Black Sheep Quotes

Mike Donnelly:
[after he and Steve narrowly escape Drake's minefield front yard] This guy's got a hell of a security system! [upon seeing the inside of Drake's camper] Ready to start filming, Mr. Stone.
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
Mike Donnelly:
[after driving over a bump in the road] What the hell was that?!
Steve Dodds:
A chunk in the road or something.
Mike Donnelly:
I just chunked in my pants.
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
Governor Tracy:
[annoyed] Neuschwander, are you finished stirring that drink or is this some kind of fucking science experiment?
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
Mike Donnelly:
[dressed as security guard, talking to a troublemaker] Please move away from this vector and get into another coordinate pronto. There's no access for you in this quadrant.
Tough Kid:
Man, why don't you goose-step on down to the women and children over there and give them your little power trip, because they may be impressed by it, asshole!
Mike Donnelly:
Young man, I'm gonna twist off your head and spike it onto the floors of a nightmare you can't even imagine! I will dance with you inside the six-sided ring of fire, unless you move from this area, far and fast! NOW! [steam comes from his ears]
Tough Kid:
[stunned] Wow. [he leaves]
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
Mike Donnelly:
[after seeing Steve's porn stash] Oh, that's sad.
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
Mike Donnelly:
HELLO WASHINGTON! [swings and dives into a lake]
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)

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