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World's Greatest Dad (2009)



Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 117
Fresh: 104 | Rotten: 13

World's Greatest Dad is a risky, deadpan, dark comedy that effectively explores the nature of posthumous cults of celebrity.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 1

World's Greatest Dad is a risky, deadpan, dark comedy that effectively explores the nature of posthumous cults of celebrity.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 50,654

My Rating

Movie Info

"World's Greatest Dad" is a story about a man that learns the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone. Lance Clayton is a man who has learned to settle. He dreamed of being a rich and famous writer, but has only managed to make it as a high school poetry teacher. His only son Kyle is an insufferable jackass who won't give his father the time of day. He is dating Claire, the school's adorable art teacher, but


Drama, Comedy

Dec 8, 2009


Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (104) | Rotten (13) | DVD (3)

The bravest, smartest comedy of the year.

September 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Goldthwait's script turns into a surprisingly restrained, focused sendup of the blind adulation often bestowed on flawed personalities once they croak too soon.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Offering Robin Williams his richest role in memory while serving up a nice cold bowl of shock soup for the audience, World's Greatest Dad is a surprisingly smart and severely twisted dark comedy from comic Bobcat Goldthwait.

September 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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Making Kyle godawful may seem edgy, even authentic. But it's pure setup.

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (2)
Denver Post
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With his delicate mix of sick humor and compassion, Goldthwait is that rare comic writer who can legitimately be compared to Lenny Bruce.

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's more going on here than the age-old struggle between maturity and its surly teen antithesis.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a bitterly dark comedy whose aim is uncomfortably true.

August 20, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Here, Williams has a chance to do some of the most integral, gentle and praiseworthy acting of his career.

August 11, 2014 Full Review Source: MetroActive

... This voyage through the moral maze is more entertaining and whisper it quietly, more profound, than most.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

Goldthwait has given it a title that will make some shy away. But don't. It's a comedy about the particularly American capacity to create legends out of the dead, and it's sharper than most.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Beware that poster, with its jolly red writing and Mork from Ork's face thereon. This is not the Robin Williams of Old Dogs and License To Wed.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World | Comment (1)
News of the World

A comedy of quite astonishing blackness.

September 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait can't quite manage to bring things to a satisfying conclusion, but he's good enough at weaving the freakishly perverse into the everyday without the results seeming too forced.

September 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Goldthwait's pacing is uncertain, and his humour is frequently "off", but the sense of risky provocation is compelling.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Independent

We can't wait to see what Goldthwait does next.

September 24, 2010
Little White Lies

It's good to see Williams trying something darker than usual, but it's a pity the whimsy is laid on so thick.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Sadly, the ending seems unsatisfying but the journey there is a funny one.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Williams keeps his head above water, and a giddy climax recuperates some of the original energy -- enough, at least, to make this director's next project one worth rooting for anew.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

This film is bold and provocative, but it's weak at the core. It is the weakness of an old dog trying desperately to learn new tricks.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian

It's the most daring black comedy of the year, and I admire its willingness to be not only vicious, but downright un-American.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

What threatens to be the World's Greatest Dud proves anything but.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The cinematography and some of the performances are not stellar, but Goldthwait's script is extraordinary, examining the choices we make between surviving and really living.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Odd, confident, challenging, and featuring a brilliant turn by Williams. If only there was just a little more to it.

September 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A startlingly excellent dark comedy about the power of positive posthumous PR. One of 2010's must-see movies.

September 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4

If creating cutting-edge comedy is about pushing boundaries then World's Greatest Dad comfortably fits the bill.

September 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Audience Reviews for World's Greatest Dad

Wonderful is word often misused and certainly rarely used in describing a black comedy but I think it's quite apt here. Bobcat Goldthwait, of all people, has produced something beautiful out of something absolutely horrid, although I think it's lack of success might have something to do with people's misinterpretation. Audiences have been so dumbed down over the years they no longer see something truly wonderful and selfless as this is. Finding beauty in something so tragically ugly is a gift. I'm gushing. I'm so impressed though, as a fan of original cinema and the odd black comedy. It made my wife cry. If you knew my wife I wouldn't have to write a review, you'd just know it was brilliant because she wept.
September 9, 2014

Super Reviewer

Bobcat Goldthwaite writes and directs visionary projects, often dealing with the insipid vulgarity of youth, and the stupidity of the small minded. Here he challenges our protagonist (Williams) to let that culture, that persistence in ignorance, thrive, rather than be untrue to you and others. Williams gives one of the most heart breaking performances of his career, and definitely the hardest to watch. He expresses more grief and deep mourning in a two minute interval than I've seen in any film about loss. He is the glue that holds the entire film together, amidst the adventurous script and the great supporting characters. The premise is great, the execution is impressive, and there simply needs to be more independent films like this. Realism aside, this film speaks through the veil of this generation, though it says something timeless.
September 8, 2014

Super Reviewer

A touching dramatic comedy with a hilarious sense of humor that fits incredibly well into the sort of thought-provoking character study it wants to be, and it is all the more heartbreaking when you see that Williams couldn't take to heart his film's own reflections on suicide.
August 18, 2014

Super Reviewer

Dark, weird, and almost impossible to watch at times, "World's Greatest Dad" goes through comedy, heartbreak, and overcoming loss and it does it so fast you have to be ready to switch your mood off and on as the movie goes along. I was not a huge fan of how they used all of these themes throughout the film. I was taken out of this film in many scenes, mainly due to the fact that I had no idea any of these things were explored in this movie. It is very hard not to spoil this film by talking about the plot, so I will keep this review very simple. "World's Greatest Dad" is a very well-made picture with some brutally honest moments and a fantastic performance by Robin Williams, but you may or may not like some of the filmmaking choices present here. Overall, it is a very good film that I have many issues with.
August 14, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Dana: [reading a line from the book in the film] Is it more important for me to be a good person, or to be thought of as a good person? I'm so sick of living a life in fear of being found out for the phony I am. A life where I don't trust anyones intentions including my own.
    – Submitted by Joshua P (20 months ago)
    1. Lance Clayton: You guys didn't like Kyle. That's okay. I didn't either. I loved him. He was my son. But he was also a douchebag.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Lance Clayton: I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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