Kingpin (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kingpin (1996)



Critic Consensus: Kingpin has its moments, but they're often offset by an eagerness to descend into vulgar mean-spiritedness.

Movie Info

Before losing his hand to some angry bowlers he scammed, Roy was a bowling phenomenon. Twenty years later, Roy takes a gifted Amish bowler under his wing, and -- in a comic series of raunchy adventures -- they go on a mission to beat Roy's old rival Big Ern.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Barry Fanaro, Mort Nathan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 1998
MGM Home Entertainment


Woody Harrelson
as Roy Munson
Randy Quaid
as Ishmael
Bill Murray
as Ernie McCracken
Chris Elliott
as The Gambler
William Jordan
as Mr. Boorg
Richard Tyson
as Owner Of Stiffy's
Lin Shaye
as Landlady
Zen Gesner
as Thomas
Rob Moran
as Stanley Osmanski
Daniel Greene
as Calvert Munson
Danny Green
as Calvert Munson
Will Rothhaar
as Young Roy
Mark Charpentier
as 1979 Bowling Buddy
Brad Faxon
as 1979 Bowling Buddy
Billy Andrade
as 1979 Bowling Buddy
Lorri Bagley
as Beautiful Dancer
Paul DeWolf
as 1979 Bowling Buddy
Jill Lytle
as Odor Eater Babe
Willie Beauchene
as Bunion Boy
Chris Berman
as Himself
Linda Carola
as 1979 Waitress
Monica Shay
as 1979 Diner Floozy
Dan Murphy
as Beaver Valley Bowl M...
David Shackelford
as Red Neck Stutterer
Mike Cerone
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Mike Cavallo
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Rick Barker
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Paul Pelletier
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Tom Leasca
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Tom Lupo
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Jimmy Shay
as Invisible Hustler
Hank Brandt
as Bowling Priest
Suzan Hughes
as Cocktail Waitress
George Christy
as Stiffy's Announcer
Michael Corrente
as Scranton Wino
Herbie Flynn
as Scranton Wino
Googy Gress
as Lancaster Bowl Manag...
Hillary Matthews
as Mother With Carriage
Ryan Heggs
as Baby in Carriage
William Heggs
as Baby in Carriage
Willie Garson
as Purse Snatcher
Nancy Frey-Jarecki
as Sarah Boorg
Robby Thibeau
as Lucas Boorg
Helen Manfull
as Grandma Boorg
Terry Mullany
as Amish Saw Guy
Brian Stube
as Amish Saw Guy
Chris Spain
as Amish Saw Guy
Scott Gasbarro
as Amish Dancing Dude
Pucky Lippincott
as Amish Bellringer
Gretchen Treser
as Make-Out Queen
Patrick Healy
as Urinal Boy
Sean Gildea
as McKnight Bowl Barten...
Sean P. Gildea
as McKnight Bowl Barten...
Jackie Flynn
as Dog Boy
Jonathan Richman
as Tavern Band Member
Tommy Larkins
as Tavern Band Member
Bob Weeks
as Waiter
Roger Clemens
as Skidmark
Libby Langdon
as Skidmark's Squirrel
as Tavern Drunk
Sarah Hughes
as Cocktail Waitress
Wallace Lester
as Tavern Drunk
Mark Pauperas
as Tavern Drunk
Sid Greenbud
as Tavern Drunk
Kipp Stroden
as Tavern Drunk
Joe "Smokey" Krawlic...
as Pennsylvania Hall O'...
Andre Rosey Brown
as Skidmark's Friend
John Jordan
as Skidmark's Friend
Mark Miosky
as Skidmark's Friend
John Woodin
as Bowling Steelworker
Gordie Merrick
as Bowling Steelworker
Steven R. Gehrke
as Bowling Steelworker
Clem "Mandingo" Fran...
as Bowling Steelworker
Mark "Chief" Wasler
as Make-Out King
Kathy Farrelly
as Bowling Biker Babe
Stacy Lundin
as Bowling Biker Babe
John Stroehman
as Stiffy's Goon
Alex Stohn
as Bowling Farmer
Lori Bagley
as Beautiful Dancer
Jo Marcus
as Sexy Senior Bowler
Cecile Krevoy
as Sexy Senior Bowler
Steven Stabler
as TV Cameraman
Mary Stohn
as Sexy Senior Bowler
Joanne Wolfe
as Silver Legacy Waitre...
Danielle Parsons
as Silver Legacy Waitre...
Jane Pratt
as TV Interviewer
Steve Stabler
as TV Cameraman
Elizabeth Jordan
as Silver Legacy Maid
Cynthia Farrelly Ges...
as Silver Legacy Maid
Brian Mone
as Psycho Guy
Taryn Chilivis
as Cute Mother
Lisa Stothard
as Unified Fund Mom
Melinda Kocsis
as Unified Fund Mom
Rachel Wagner
as Unified Fund Mom
as Herself
Joshua Nelson
as Unified Fund Kid
Victoria Scott
as Unified Fund Mom
Kevin O'Brien
as Pizza Guy
Nancy Farrelly
as Nouchi's Gal
Mariann Farrelly
as Tournament Sign-Up L...
Aggie Byers
as Tournament Sign-Up L...
John Popper
as Bowling Tournament A...
Don Julio
as Pro Bowler
Kevin Civale
as Pro Bowler
Brian Voss
as Pro Bowler
Mark Roth
as Pro Bowler
Justin Hromek
as Pro Bowler
Ron Palumbi Jr.
as Pro Bowler
Parker Bohn III
as Pro Bowler
Randy Pederson
as Pro Bowler
John Cioffoletti
as Philips Head Bowler
Jon Dennis
as Himself
Clint Allen
as Store Clerk
Jessica Byers
as Big Ern's Valet
Julie Byers
as Big Ern's Valet
Preston Thomas
as Tournament Liaison
Jeff Thomas
as Tournament Liaison
Jim Ahern
as Sport
John Neary
as Mission Priest
Joe Lewis
as Barfly
Andy Taylor
as Custodian
Brad Norton
as MIA Guy
Elliott Morris
as Mr. Harrelson's Bowl...
Jim Blake
as Amish Saw Guy
Mike Cerrone
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Thomas Lupo
as Beaver Bowl Hustler
Jeffrey Thomas
as Tournament Liaison
Joe David Marcus
as Sexy Senior Bowler
Warren Tashjian
as Courtesy Call Guy
Steve Tyler
as Gas Station Attendan...
Blues Traveler
as Amish Band
E. Danny Murphy
as Beaver Valley Bowl M...
Urge Overkill
as National Anthem Band
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Kingpin

Critic Reviews for Kingpin

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (11)

With maybe 25 belly laughs, the brazenly crude Kingpin is often uproarious, but be forewarned that its creators apparently conceived it underneath a limbo bar. How looow can a funny guilty pleasure go?

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

...a pervasively uneven comedy that just isn't able to overcome its various deficiencies...

Full Review… | November 18, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

It's Bill Murray who easily swipes the picture -- he's at his unctuous best as Ernie McCracken, an oily bowler with an ego as enormous as his libido.

Full Review… | November 9, 2014
Creative Loafing

Kingpin makes inspired comedy by channeling the Weber spirit-and the humble reality of the circuit-through the frame of an inspirational sports movie.

Full Review… | October 22, 2014
The Dissolve

The combination of the overkill factor and a basic mean-spiritedness finally sinks it for me.

Full Review… | October 10, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Kingpin

The Farrelly Brothers have made some very memorable comedies. Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene to name a few. Kingpin though is one of their best. Kingpin is the story of a once great bowler who due to a con gone awry got his bowling hand cut off, thus ending his career. Twenty years later, Roy Munson is a down on his luck sales who one day discovers at a bowling alley, a talented Amish bowler. Roy proceeds to take the Amish Boy, Ishmael under his wiong and proceed to make him a bowling champion. Kingpin is a hilarious comedy with some of the funniest gags I've seen in a comedy. Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid are terrific on screen, and Bill Murray also delivers some laughs in the role of Ernie McCracken. The Farrelly Brothers continue to build on the comedy after their film Dumb & Dumber, but this time, their comedy a lot more confident here than it was with Dumb & Dumber. Dumb & Dumber felt it had to prove something to be a great comedy, but Kaingpin feels more confident about the subject and its actually at times more funny. Dumb & Dumber is a classic, but Kingpin feels like the Farrelly Brothers didn't have to prove themselves as good comedy writers. The comedy here is original , fun, and hilarious. Kingpin is an overlooked Farrelly Brothers film that shouldn't be passed up, Dumb & Dumber was great, but Kingpin is just as worthy a follow up to their classic than anything. Kingpin is an unforgettable comedy with lots of laughs.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

how this film can be rated any less than a ten is beyond me. the tragic character of Roy Munson is genius in itself but the true golden star of this film is Ernie McCracken played by bill Murray. an egotistical, vindictive bowling champ who's only ambitions are to bowl and fondle! the film is chock full with gags and more importantly original ones. the film takes us through the effervescence of young Roy Munson and his god given gift (bowling) and hammers us down with his sad demise. he find solace in booze and ...well more booze until he hits the jackpot with the sound of one strike. through Roy's struggle to climb out of the gutter his tormented past comes back to haunt him and the story evolves into one of courage,friendship and extreme stupidity. the best selling point i can give to people who have yet to indulge is simply this, i very rarely laugh out loud at a film but my sides were in agony after watching this and i think i may of ruptured something.

MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

I've never been a huge fan of this movie, but it's not terrible. I just wasn't crazy about the plot and I think the Farrelly Brothers just went way too overboard with the kooky characters. Bill Murray was hilarious as a villainous bowler and made the movie worthwhile.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Kingpin Quotes

– Submitted by Damian B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by James B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by topher h (3 years ago)
– Submitted by topher h (3 years ago)

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