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The Aristocrats (2005)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 149
Fresh: 118 | Rotten: 31

Can a joke stand up to repeated tellings? Hilarious and revealing of the way comedy works, The Aristocrats demonstrates that it's possible.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 7

Can a joke stand up to repeated tellings? Hilarious and revealing of the way comedy works, The Aristocrats demonstrates that it's possible.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 86,614

My Rating

Movie Info

"A family walks into a talent agent's office..." So begins "The Aristocrats," a joke kept mostly secret by stand-up comedians for decades. An intentionally "bad" joke, the laughs in The Aristocrats aren't in the punch-line (one of the only elements that's the same every time), but in the set-up, made unique by each comedian who tells it in an attempt to fashion the world's dirtiest joke. The cat was finally let out of the bag by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, the seasoned funnymen who gathered


Documentary, Comedy, Special Interest

Jan 24, 2006


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All Critics (152) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (118) | Rotten (31) | DVD (28)

The first feel-good movie made out of fecal matter.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This all-star open-mike night loses its luster before its own loud laughter dies down.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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... The Aristocrats proves that sometimes you don't have to be a great filmmaker to make a great documentary.

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comment (1)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What the film really reveals is the role of the comedian in society and the craftsmanship of joke-writing and joke delivery.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let me reiterate. This movie is really, really dirty.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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See it if you aren't too jaded to appreciate a few laughs in these mostly mirthless times.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A joyful film, full of men and women alight with the pleasure that comes from negating every compliment civilization has ever paid itself.

June 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)

A very funny and entertaining simple documentary

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A plethora of comedians discuss and tell their own inspired rendition of "the dirtiest joke in the world" in a contagiously funny documentary that symptomatically gives context to the lasting influence of vaudeville humor.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

Each take on the gag reveals a different facet of comic technique.

June 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)

Its very about-itself unimportance is what makes it a liberating experience for its own sake.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

A tedious dud that sparks once or twice with big laughs

August 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer | Comment (1)
Cinema Writer

...the brilliant Sarah Silverman transcends the mean-spirited nature of the joke...

August 5, 2006 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

In its simplest form, the joke isn't funny; it's all in the telling, and Provenza proves once again that some people can tell a joke, and some people can't.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Comment (1)
Sacramento News & Review

With a showman's respect for the power of the build-up, Provenza touts his product thoroughly before unveiling it.

January 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Vile, vulgar and occasionally funny, The Aristocrats is literally a one joke movie%u2026 I was bored...

January 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A stunning comedy masterclass. For those with strong stomachs, obviously...

January 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

A brilliant solution to the eternal problem of how to discuss the creative process behind comedy without becoming boring.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Mesmo que repetitivo ao procurar analisar o significado social da graça da piada e contendo algumas performances terrivelmente medíocres, o filme ganha um fôlego invejável sempre que algum comediante inspirado surge em cena.

November 25, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Laughs of discomfort or of the 'ewwww gross' variety are not really the same as good hearty laughs. You'll need a shower afterwards.

November 22, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It's not just a joke for the john, it's a joke for an entire sewage system.

October 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)

There's an unevenness to the film, and, frankly, I rarely found it funny, but I never found it less than fascinating and invariably entertaining.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

For those of us who can handle a heaping helping of shock talk, the reward of The Aristocrats lie in our ability to focus a critical spotlight on ourselves.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for The Aristocrats

Unspeakably foul. But oh-so-hilarious.
August 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

Really funny. A story about a old joke with black humor.
May 7, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

No Nudity No Violence Unspeakable Obscenity, 100 Comedians but one Very Dirty Joke
December 19, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

A million Comedians. One joke. No laughs.
September 23, 2009

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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