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Mystery Team (2009)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 4,987

My Rating

Movie Info

Three would-be Encyclopedia Browns step into the world of grown-up crime in this independent comedy. When they were seven years old, "the Mystery Team" were three kids living in the same neighborhood in Oakdale who played at being precocious preteen detectives. With Jason (Donald Glover) as "the Master of Disguise," Duncan (D.C. Pierson) as "the Boy Genius," and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes) as "the Strongest Kid in Town," they would spend their afternoons getting to the bottom of such crimes as


Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson, Dominic Dierkes

May 25, 2010

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (8) | DVD (2)

A pleasant, charming knockabout with a playfully imaginative sense of wit and a pleasingly assured visual style.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just because you're a hit on YouTube doesn't mean you should be making movies.

March 11, 2010 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly | Comments (2)
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smutty, silly, groan-worthy in many places, inexplicably hilarious in others, Mystery Team is a guilty pleasure -- a deeply dumb movie made by pretty smart people.

January 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not surprisingly, especially for a movie heavy on college humor, the results are hit-and-miss. Some bits fall thuddingly flat, and the characters are rarely more than stick figures.

December 4, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does the thought of watching grown men act like socially awkward boy wonders, while everyone tries not to look confused at their golly-gee shenanigans, crack you up?

December 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comments (3)
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Genuinely funny but amateurishly constructed.

August 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enjoyably crude and occasionally sharply observed dork comedy by Derrick Comedy, a troupe of young unknowns who have gained a YouTube following.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comments (2)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Derrick Comedy would rather be gross and infantile, staging a routine of crass and witless sequences that reduce the film to tiresome cult comedy mechanics, clumsily scripted by the three stars.

May 20, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Spectacularly funny and refreshingly free of irony ... Way funnier than The Hangover, more clever than Sherlock Holmes.

February 2, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comments (4)

This ensemble-written movie is a weak effort, despite its appealing premise.

January 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

A promising premise ... stricken lame by a complete lack of pacing. But then, every once in a while, a discussion about proper hobo bean-slicing etiquette, or a stripper's hilariously blasť scar story comes through and just kills.

January 20, 2010 Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

The intersection of child-detective literature and a harsh grown-up world is an irresistible concept

December 14, 2009 Full Review Source:

An outrageous, offbeat comedy that's often preposterous and silly, but nonetheless quite funny and delightfully bizarre.

December 12, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

If this is the future of comedy in Hollywood, then there's little to fear -- as long as everyone remembers that brevity is the soul of wit.

December 9, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

The twentysomething talents behind Mystery Team are still in the comedy minors, but this nerdy, nutty, perfectly pitched first swing suggests there are major things to come.

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Mystery Team

Donald Glover carries the entire film and does a considerably funny job doing so, but it's not enough to keep the plot on track without any help from his costars.
November 23, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

"One big case. Zero clue."

A group of former Encyclopedia Brown-style child-detectives struggle to solve an adult mystery.

Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson and Dominic Dierkes play three 18 year-old boys who peaked when they were seven years old. A master of disguise, a boy genius and a tough kid, together they formed the Mystery Team, who would solve petty, childish mysteries around town for a dime a pop. They were beloved at the time, but when they're still at it 11 years later, it's kind of sad. One day a little girl brings them a grown-up mystery: her parents were murdered. It's out of their jurisdiction (they're usually occupied with finding out who stuck their finger in an old lady's boysenberry pie), but, pressured to grow up, they take the case.

Mystery Team is a parody of a phenomenon that was never itself a film: The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and especially Encyclopedia Brown. They manage to walk the line -- like the first Austin Powers film -- so that it's neither too wacky so you can't believe it and don't care about the characters, but not too boring that it's not full of subtle interplay. The main gag is the innocence of the boys, who are thrust into adult situations continually. It's all about the acting in this film, and kudos especially to Donald Glover. Dressing like an outrageous hobo, for example, could come across as really stupid in a film with Jim Carrey or Rob Schneider, who play up their roles too much. Donald manages to do it consistently. On top of that, there are a several delightful plot twists that you won't see coming. The film tries to balance the boys basically being incompetent with allowing them to succeed in a way that isn't too corny. It's laugh-out-loud funny throughout, a genuine must-see if you like intelligent edgy comedies. Note, it's not really meant to be a kids film. There's a lot of raunchy humor.
April 23, 2012
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Not at all the most well-made or interesting film, but much of the film is laugh-out-loud hilarious thanks to the trio's rather random script. No, this film wouldn't have been funny five years ago, but thanks to the advent of the Internet and YouTube, much of the humor in this film is well-taken.
July 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Duncan: Everything is in the toilet!
    – Submitted by Adam L (9 months ago)
    1. Jim: Frank! Sometimes I wish you didn't beat that cancer. I really do.
    – Submitted by Chloe G (2 years ago)
    1. Jason: Paper plates? Are you expecting the pope?
    – Submitted by Nicole M (2 years ago)
    1. Duncan: Goodnight sweet hobo. May your bindle be heavy with treasures, but your heart be light with song.
    – Submitted by Robert A (3 years ago)
    1. Jason: The floor is wet and smells like cold cuts!
    – Submitted by Dave P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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