21 Jump Street Reviews

Richard Brody
New Yorker
Top Critic
March 26, 2012

The late-eighties TV series is rebooted with jolts of sentiment, personal discovery, and wild comedy.

William Goss
Film.com
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

The whole crew makes clear its affections for action cinema, trashy television and the YouTube generation alike while having fun at the expense of all three.

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

A raucous, raunchy comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

This bracing new take on 21 Jump Street has a playful spark all its own. It's a blast.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

"21" makes clear from the beginning it is gobbling up some pop culture refuse in the name of nothing more than making fun of it and having fun with it.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

This is the funniest movie I've seen in more than a year.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
March 16, 2012

"21 Jump Street" might be yet another product of Hollywood's recycling program, but it deserves to be noticed.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

I didn't think we needed a '21 Jump Street,' but it's actually kind of funny.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/5
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Miller and Lord clearly understand the push-and-pull and hyper-competitiveness that make guy friendships both complex and stupid.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

It's that rare comedy that's funny throughout, with a hilarious story that hinges on the unlikely pairing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

The basic premise -- that these two are supposed to be high school age and siblings -- is funny, but the joke, as is true of many others in this movie, is replayed way too often.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

21 Jump Street makes a virtue of low expectations, like an underachieving high school burnout coasting on his modest reserves of charm.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

This cheerfully chaotic, gleefully vulgar action-comedy retread of the old television series has box-office success written all over it, and where's the harm? It's irresistibly funny until it isn't.

Andrew Lapin
NPR
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

It was inevitable that one of Hollywood's many recent reboots would eventually attain sentience. Hence the arrival of 21 Jump Street, a film that not only knows it's a remake, but knows how absurd it has to be to succeed as a remake.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

"21 Jump Street" thrilled me to itsy-bitsy elated pieces.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Neither man has had a better foil. They are literally and figuratively trying to bring something out of each other, and they do.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

This film is even better if you come in with no spoilers and low expectations, so we will build it up no more.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

This potty-mouthed and drug-laced reimagining of the 1980s TV show has one of the highest laughs-per-minute ratios since the Naked Gun films.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Tatum and Hill steamroller any misgivings right from the start. They take a comedy connection that seemed doomed to fail - pairing Tatum's hunky command with Hill's nerdy neediness - and make it look like the most natural thing in the world.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Much of the humor involves trotting out cliches from cop movies and teen movies, then commenting on how dumb they are.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

21 Jump Street earns my genial nod because of its limber, 120-IQ take on the whole notion of movie revivals.

Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

The makers of 21 Jump Street clearly understood that almost nobody really wanted a 21 Jump Street movie, and they've cleverly used a familiar property as a way to get a wildly entertaining new comedy made.

Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Big surprise: The sometimes chaotic "Jump Street" is a lot of ridic fun, as the kids say, turning predictability on its head.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

The saving grace of "21 Jump Street," co-written and produced by Hill, is its obvious affection for teen genres, and for teenagers.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Even if you think you've graduated from genital jokes and violent slapstick, the laughing gas around "21 Jump Street" may get you hooked.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Completely abandoning earnest teenagers-in-crisis melodrama in favor of crude, aggressive comedy, this "21 Jump Street" is an example of how formula-driven entertainment can succeed.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

It's mostly another raunchy buddy comedy - albeit one with welcome comic discipline, more focused on maintaining pitch than continually lowering the bar on gross-out jokes.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Less an adaptation than an "adaptation" that delights in highlighting the ridiculous clichés and tropes it lampoons.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
March 15, 2012

Here's the last movie I was expecting with this title. In other words, "21 Jump Street" is pretty good.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
March 14, 2012

What makes 21 Jump Street so funny and exciting and lovable is all the stuff you don't see coming.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
March 14, 2012

What was the last stupid Hollywood comedy -- good-stupid, not stupid-stupid -- to offer actual, audible, verifiable big laughs?

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
March 14, 2012

It's part homage and part wink at the past. It jokes about high school but is also a sensitive sociological study of those crucial years. It bridges slapstick and action. It's quick-witted with its pop references.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
March 14, 2012

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller get nearly everything -- the tone, the self-referential nods to the show and the dead-solid-perfect surprises -- just right.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
March 14, 2012

Yes, there are laughs to be had here, but I wonder whether it might be more amusing to watch episodes of the old TV show.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Anna Smith
Time Out
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

Thanks to charming leads and a smattering of laughs, this is still worth a punt for fans of light buddy comedies.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

Rather than treat the late-'80s source material as holy kitsch, the filmmakers have reconceived this tale of illegal narcotics and arrested adolescence as a viciously satirical, unapologetically crude buddy comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Germain
Associated Press
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

This is not a property requiring respect and devotion to the source material to satisfy longtime fans, so the filmmakers wisely make a "21 Jump Street" all their own.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

Though these mismatched cops bounce well off each other, Tatum, in his first comedic lead role, is the better performer, both more riotous and affecting.

Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

Not everything... works, and if you're actually looking for a consequential night at the movies you might want to stay away, but for a goofy fun Friday night this gets the job done.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
March 5, 2012

The helmers make slick use of their new live-action collaborators. Considering that hardly anyone was asking for a 21 Jump Street reboot, they've put their own playful stamp on it.

Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
March 5, 2012

Co-directors Lord and Miller keep the comic pace humming along agreeably with the same sort of animated energy they provided for those raining meatballs.

David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
March 5, 2012

It has a bad, slapstick first act but by midpoint becomes strangely compelling, tapping into the fantasy of reliving one's high-school years (which did a number on us all) and getting it right.