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The Blues Brothers (1980)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 7

Too over the top for its own good, but ultimately rescued by the cast's charm, director John Landis' grace, and several soul-stirring musical numbers.

50

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

Too over the top for its own good, but ultimately rescued by the cast's charm, director John Landis' grace, and several soul-stirring musical numbers.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 253,670

My Rating

Movie Info

Expanding on their Saturday Night Live characters, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues, two white boys with black soul. Sporting cool shades and look-alike suits, Jake and Elwood are dispatched on a "mission from God" by their former teacher, Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). Said mission is to raise $5000 to save an orphanage. In the course of their zany adventures, the Blues Brothers run afoul of neo-Nazi Henry Gibson, perform the theme from Rawhide before the

R,

Action & Adventure, Comedy

Dan Aykroyd, John Landis

Aug 30, 2005

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (52) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (7) | DVD (32)

The film retains a huge nostalgic kick, thanks in large part to Aykroyd and Belushi's easy rapport, a smattering of daft, shaggy humour and some truly iconic musical sequences.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A demolition symphony that works with the cold efficiency of a Moog synthesizer gone sadistic.

August 20, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (2)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Given all the chaos, director and, with Aykroyd, cowriter, John Landis manages to keep things reasonably controlled and in a straight line.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humor is predicated on underplaying in overscaled situations, which is sporadically funny in a Keaton-esque way but soon sputters out through sheer, uninspired repetition.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (6)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's even room, in the midst of the carnage and mayhem, for a surprising amount of grace, humor, and whimsy.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This essentially modest movie is reported to have cost about $30 million, and what did all that money buy? Scores of car crashes. Too many extras. Overstaged dance numbers. And a hollowness that certainly didn't come cheap.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (6)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

lightning in a bottle created more than 30 years ago

September 5, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A dazzlingly enjoyable, memorable road trip of comedy and music from two of SNL's best.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

...an epic musically charged comedy, the likes of which has never been seen before or since.

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

A cult classic for adults and older teens.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This long, expensive 1980 cult movie has an energy and individuality lacking in similar films nowadays.

July 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

An undisciplined, overlong tale that substitutes spectacle and star cameos (Twiggy, Steven Spielberg, etc) for a coherent narrative.

July 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

I have never been quite sure why this $30 million comedy made by John Landis in 1980 became such a cult.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Formless, chaotic and lazy, and quite brilliant because of it.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

The mere spectacle of Elwood and Jake in their shades isn't quite as giggle-inducing as it presumably was back in 1980, but the stunts are still awe-inspiring, and there's plenty of laughs. They really were thinking big.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Full of belly-laughs as well as toe-tappingly great tunes, the sharp suits and cool shades of the Blues brothers will have you rocking with joy.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Call me sacrilegious, but I don't think The Blues Brothers is all that great.

July 24, 2009
Daily Record [UK]

An inspired combination of wild comedy, a demented car chase, a double act that dovetails beautifully and terrific music, The Blues Brothers comfortably survives the test of time.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mail [UK]
Sunday Mail [UK]

A cult musical comedy film with a still-growing reputation.

April 1, 2008

A monument to waste, noise and misplaced cool, but it does have its engagingly nutty moments.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comments (5)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Still sounds great, and looks as good as ever through Ray-Bans.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A damn fine mess of a movie.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers is an iconic film and I had wanted to see it for a very long time, but never got around to it, and I am glad I finally did. This is an excellent comedy that is brilliantly acted and directed and it has many memorable moments that standout. The pairing of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi is terrific, and they have great chemistry. The film blends well thought out comedy with an entertaining musical numbers that are far better than any other musical film that I have seen. I must confess I never was the biggest fan of musicals, I found them to be average at best, entertaining depending on what was written in the script, but never anything memorable either. With the Blues Brothers, it's quite different, there are enough moments of dialogue here to compliment the musical numbers, and it makes for a truly engaging film that is entertaining from start to finish. I really enjoyed the film, it was a finely executed blend of comedy and music and it has to rank among one of the finest genre films ever made. The script is solid, and thoroughly entertaining, and the viewer is sucked into its humorous and memorable plot that is elevated by Aykroyd's and Belushi screen chemistry. Something simple goes a long way, and in the case of this film, it proves exactly right. The Blues Brothers in terms of story is nothing elaborate, but where it stands out, are the performances by its leads. The chemistry between the two lead actors is what elevates the simple plot to greatness and it's a fun; entertaining picture that in the long run is a memorable piece of comedy. The Blues Brothers is a must see film, a terrific performance by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi , of which Belushi delivers a highly memorable performance, one that defined his sadly too short career.
May 23, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

This cult classic is both funny and full of quirky charm, despite it's unnecessary length, and a few of it's comedy sketches going to desperately over the top, which consequently misfires some of the gags. However, it's the comedic chemistry and energy shared between Dan Aykroyd and the hilarious late John Belushi that makes it work, along with of course, the catchy soundtrack. It's not a solid movie, in fact it's one of the messiest comedies i've ever watched, but I dont care, it's your rare stupid comedy that ends up being lot of fun to watch.
June 2, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as the titular characters in this very first SNL spin-off...and they're "on a mission from God"? Okay, really. That line is uttered as early as fifteen minutes into the film, and with all the recklessness, drugs, profanity (quite infamously toward a nun!), and crime we have a chance to laugh at in just that amount of time; there's no way that statement is true in any way. That statement has to be one of the most snappy, most unbelievable quotes in movie history; and it's just part of what made THE BLUES BROTHERS a cult classic.

Like SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE itself, this film has the tendency to create the most bizarre satire imaginable. From the scene in which the two are crashing a car through the mall, to when Aretha Franklin gets up and starts singing out of the blue, every moment defines the essence of ridiculousness.

If you have not yet seen this film, it is an absolute must-see. Aykroyd and Belushi make the most implausible, most sarcastic screen couple of the entire 1980s--and this was just made at the very start of the decade. Rent this for a night or two. You will not regret it.
October 9, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

This movie shoots for the moon, more committed in its humor than any other comedy. Terrible acting normally contradicts this feeling of quality, but here it makes the script's surreal, off-the-wall sense of humor even better.
September 10, 2011
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

    1. Elwood: Illinois Nazis
    2. Joliet Jake: I hate Illinois Nazis!
    – Submitted by gage l (16 months ago)
    1. Elwood: Wasn't lies, it was just... bullshit.
    – Submitted by Michael B (21 months ago)
    1. Joliet Jake: We need $5000 bucks fast!
    2. Maury Sline: 5 grand? Who do you think you are, the Beatles?
    – Submitted by Robbie N (23 months ago)
    1. Elwood: There's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark out, and we're wearing sunglasses.
    2. Joliet Jake: Hit it!
    – Submitted by Andrew D (2 years ago)
    1. Elwood: That's just great Elwood, the day I get out of prison, my own brother picks me up in a police car.
    – Submitted by Oliver T (2 years ago)
    1. Joliet Jake: How often does the train run by here?
    2. Elwood: So often, you won't even notice.
    – Submitted by Richard F (2 years ago)
View all quotes (17)

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