Step Brothers Reviews

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Brian Lowry
Variety
February 23, 2012
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 18, 2008
Unremittingly juvenile and irredeemably funny.
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
On its own terms, Step Brothers is hilarious. But it's a shame that the filmmakers didn't have more faith in the audience. Why resort to gross-out tactics when your premise is strong enough to allow for a more sophisticated approach?
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
August 29, 2008
Despite some obvious flaws, 'Step Brothers' remains a hugely enjoyable, well-constructed slice of lowbrow Saturday night entertainment, leaving Ferrell's position as the reigning king of US comedy secure for a while longer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 28, 2008
Don't watch it on an airplane, don't check it out on cable, don't walk past the bargain basement bin where it's been sold.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 25, 2008
Brideshead Revisited, it turns out, deserves a revisit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 25, 2008
There's a good subject for satire here, the extended adolescence of American kids. But satire presupposes maturity, or at least some perspective.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 25, 2008
The concept is inherently funny, but the plot grows thin and the laughs grow fewer once the premise is established.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
July 25, 2008
A movie of unrelenting idiocy featuring boorish behaviour, unrealistic character development and ludicrous plotting.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 25, 2008
Ferrell, the Hollywood star most notorious for going naked in his movies, shows off only his belly, and that for a teasing second. For most of the rest of the time, you'll be reveling in, or enduring, one more exhibition of grown men playing children.
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
July 25, 2008
It doesn't rank high in the lowbrow-comedy genre that has produced legitimately smart entries such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin or Knocked Up, but it does succeed as a token contender by delivering real laughs at the expense of intelligence and decency.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 25, 2008
Stupid, crude and hilarious, Step Brothers works by sneaking past our better judgment.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 25, 2008
It's not subtle, not the cleverest thing Apatow has put his name on. But for lowdown, cheap and dirty laughs, it's pretty hard to beat Reilly and Ferrell, riffing, trashing and trash-talking each other for 94 mostly mean, sometimes manic minutes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 25, 2008
Although the comedy is a little messed-up and childish itself, it still delivers a few good laughs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 25, 2008
I thought I knew funny, but I was mistaken. Before the blessed light of Step Brothers entered my life, I knew not the sweet comedic splendors of live burial, bunk-bed catastrophe or a minivan family singing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' in four-part harmony.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 25, 2008
Watching people act like kids is annoying. Now everyone can join in the un-fun with Step Brothers, Will Ferrell's latest summed-up-in-one-line concept comedy that tests our patience so much more than his previous movies did.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 25, 2008
There is no plot, no sense, symmetry or structure to this train wreck.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 25, 2008
This is ultimately Ferrell and Reilly's show, and although the two actors have played plenty of stooges in the past, they've never done it with quite the same abandon they do here.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
July 25, 2008
If you put the collected works of Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Judd Apatow in a pot, boiled off the excess and let the remainder cool, you'd have something very much like Step Brothers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 25, 2008
Do not go to Step Brothers looking for anything remotely meaningful, sincere or spiritually enhancing. Go for a laugh. It's got plenty of them.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 25, 2008
The unraveling isn't as smartly written as the setup. And because the characters beyond the parents and boys aren't as finely tuned, the film starts to lag.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
July 25, 2008
The engine that drives this flick is the chemistry between Mr. Reilly and Mr. Ferrell. The two obviously delight in each other's company, and it feels good and is funny to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 25, 2008
Director Adam McKay is a veteran of the Judd Apatow school of R-rated gross-out gooniness, but this latest installment in the canon is decidedly underpowered.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 25, 2008
Has one joke that it beats into the ground: 40-year-old men acting like petulant 9-year-olds. Luckily, Ferrell and Reilly were born with no shame or sense of personal dignity, and they give good tantrum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2008
Exhausted is how many audiences members will feel after squirming through such a repetitive, one-joke comedy.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 25, 2008
Noisy, fitfully amusing, ultimately tiresome havoc.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
July 25, 2008
A meagre, occasionally funny affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 24, 2008
Few films are worse to sit through than comedies that don't work. Step Brothers is one of those.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
July 24, 2008
It's hard to believe that two people could reach middle age acting like grade-schoolers, and not in a funny way, either.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 24, 2008
Thank god that when he became a man, Will Ferrell never put away childish things. His Step Brothers is so childish it seems to arrive in diapers, and that's not bad; it's good.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 24, 2008
Starting at infantile and regressing hysterically from there, Step Brothers flies on the comic chemistry of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Ansen
Newsweek
July 24, 2008
Though McKay and his cast make the most of the material, Step Brothers is constrained by its one-joke concept.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 24, 2008
Full of riffy, improvised moments and a couple of jaw-droppingly raunchy sight gags, the comedy follows a typical buddy-movie arc -- conflict and loathing giving way to bonding and brotherhood, or step-brotherhood in this case.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Variety
July 24, 2008
Seesawing from the gleefully stupid to the desperately stupid, Step Brothers is an indicator that the Judd Apatow juggernaut has made one too many trips to the well.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 24, 2008
The trick to the Men II Boyz comic genre -- where grown men are simply older, pudgier versions of their teen selves, struggling to find their place in the world -- is to find the surprises and payoffs within the Peter Pan syndrome.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 24, 2008
Nudie magazines, dog poop, words like 'mangina' -- if these are a few of your favorite things, Step Brothers is the comedy for you.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 24, 2008
Ferrell and Reilly get more mileage out of juvenile pouting and bickering than any other performers I can imagine, but that's about as far as this goes.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 24, 2008
When did comedies get so mean? Step Brothers has a premise that might have produced a good time at the movies, but when I left, I felt a little unclean.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 24, 2008
Ticking away just beneath Step Brothers' freely associative surface is a fairly astute commentary on how we define such abstract concepts as 'growing up' and 'making something of yourself.'
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 24, 2008
Step Brothers is hit-and-miss, but it made me wish that the usual American comedy of 'how stupid can we get?' had this much rage.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Reyhan Harmanci
San Francisco Chronicle
July 23, 2008
Reilly jumps into his role with the zeal of a Method actor -- no fear about sporting tiny underroos for the bulk of his screen time -- but he sometimes comes off as more scary than funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 23, 2008
Step Brothers is stupid. Childish. Moronic. Simple. Juvenile. Silly. Just ridiculous. Man, is it funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 23, 2008
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are essentially playing the same person, which is the movie's fundamental, irreparable flaw.