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Bringing Down The House

Bringing Down The House (2003)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 148
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 98

Though the cast shines, they can't save this comedy, which is overly contrived and filled with outdated and offensive racial jokes.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 22

Though the cast shines, they can't save this comedy, which is overly contrived and filled with outdated and offensive racial jokes.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 378,752

My Rating

Movie Info

A man looking for a woman just like himself ends up with someone quite different in this farcical comedy. Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a lawyer who is having trouble getting his life back on track after his wife, Kate (Jean Smart), divorces him; he's also adjusting to his new status as a single father. Looking for companionship, Peter tries an internet dating site and virtually meets "lawyer-girl," an attractive and single fellow attorney. Peter makes a date with her, but the woman who



Jason Filardi

Aug 5, 2003


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All Critics (167) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (98) | DVD (32)

A comedy that successfully plays with stereotypes, both racial and personal.

April 22, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You have somebody as smart as Steve Martin, and as smart and appealing as Queen Latifah in a movie like this. To have such an awful, offensive story is a real disappointment.

March 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A comedy constructed from tapped-out ideas.

March 14, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Film in Which Steve Martin Will Appear in Full Hip-Hop Drag With Appropriate Slang for Not Less Than Six Minutes.

March 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The material is thin and pandering and almost criminally negligent in bypassing opportunities for humor.

March 9, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a sorry situation when actors as talented and funny as Queen Latifah and Steve Martin waste their efforts in an offensive exercise that feels like a bad sitcom.

March 7, 2003 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a wheezing, rusted machine of cheap jokes, cartoon performances, and crummy plotting, using shock value and insensitivity to make its painfully unfunny points.

July 26, 2012 Full Review Source:

Everything about this film is painfully familiar, except, perhaps, for the vicious-but-comic catfight between Latifah and Missi Pyle, who plays a high-society gold digger.

May 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Martin and Latifah rule in boundary-pushing PG-13.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

You're better off ignoring this junk and saving your time.

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

If you've seen the commercials for Bringing Down the House, you already know the movie's best moments and most memorable lines...

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Irreverent but perhaps not funny enough, "Bringing Down the House" gives Queen Latifah the chance to shine opposite Steve Martin.

October 7, 2003 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, and Eugene Levy manage to squeeze laughs out of a totally generic, manufactured script that's drowning in odd couple formula.

September 9, 2003
Radio Free Entertainment

It's completely forgettable and unoriginal, but it might make a good rental on a slow family movie night.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

...manages to remain entertaining in spite of the lackluster script.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Steve Martin used to be a wild and crazy guy. Now he's as bland as his hair.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Qualquer filme que tente provocar risos através de animais vestidos com 'roupas engraçadas' está claramente ciente de suas deficiências.

July 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Kudos to Steve Martin for choosing this script. He's laughing all the way to the bank. The audience isn't as lucky.

June 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

I think it was after Betty White told Steve Martin's son not to "wear his hair like a ***" that I thought about walking out.

May 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

If the idea of actress Betty White using the term 'Negro' sounds hilarious to you then maybe this is a your kind of shallow humor.

May 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The friction between [Martin's] button-down lawyer, Peter Sanderson, and ghetto-fabulous fugitive Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah) produces dazzling comic sparks in an otherwise stale set-up.

April 15, 2003 Full Review Source:

At some point during Bringing Down the House, I covered my face ... I haven't had that kind of reaction to a movie in a while.

April 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Are old white guys trying to act like young black girls still funny? Whoever keeps writing these kinds of scripts really needs to be hurt (or at least forced to stand naked holding up a sign in NYC with their script scrawled on the front).

April 6, 2003 Full Review Source:

Just because Larry King called this "One of the funniest movies ever" doesn't mean the rest of us have to similarly lose control of our mental faculties. Still, this isn't nearly as awful as its reputation, thanks mainly to its three central performances.

March 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Charlene establishes herself early on as manipulative and untrustworthy, which could lead to wicked fun if the film stayed true to this side of her character. Instead, like Hollywood clockwork, Charlene morphs into a good influence.

March 25, 2003 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Audience Reviews for Bringing Down The House

Though it's slightly emphatic from the amount of racial humor, Bringing Down the House is a charming comedy. Steve Martin is slick and humorous as only he can do. Combine that with the stylish and pizzazz of one Queen Latifah, along with a sleek amount of supporting actors, you've got yourself quite the cast. 4/5
August 1, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2011

Super Reviewer

A great feel good comedy!
June 24, 2011
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Howie Rosenthal: I'd like to dip you in Cheez Whiz and spread you over a Ritz cracker...if I'm not being too subtle.
    2. Charlene Morton: Boy, you are some kind of freaky!
    3. Howie Rosenthal: Oh, you have no idea. You got me straight trippin', Boo!
    – Submitted by Margaret H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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