The Darwin Awards (2006)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
When a San Francisco homicide detective with a keen eye for criminal profiling is fired for botching the arrest of a notorious serial killer, his subsequent effort to reinvent himself as an insurance claims case-investigator leads him to study a series of perplexing wrongful deaths in this comedy starring Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, Tim Blake Nelson, and Wilmer Valderrama. Michael Burrows (Fiennes) isn't your typical detective. Though Detective Burrows is a paranoid obsessive-compulsive who faints at the sight of blood, his remarkable insight into the criminal mindset has nevertheless made him a valuable asset to the San Francisco Police Department. When Detective Burrows' idiosyncrasies allow the feared "North Beach Killer" to elude capture, however, he is fired by his superiors. Upon offering his unique skills to a doubting insurance company, Burrows is given 30 days in which to prove he can sort out the legitimate claims from the false ones. Now, as Burrows makes for the Midwest in the company of hard-nosed field agent Siri Tyler (Ryder), the film student (Valderrama) who has been following the former detective for his thesis follows the pair as they investigate a series of forehead-slapping deaths, including that of a powerful executive who attempts to prove that his high-rise window is unbreakable and a pair of English tourists who fatally misinterpret the "cruise control" function on their rented RV. … More
as Michael Burrows
as Siri Taylor
as Film Student
as Insurance Exec
as Mrs. Pearlman
Related News & Features
SUNDANCE: Capsule Reviews of "Sunshine," "Science," "Proposition," And More
– Rotten Tomatoes
SUNDANCE: "Darwin Awards," Bobcat's "Stay" Makes Sale
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Darwin Awards
A delightful, winning tribute to those annual kudos given to people who died from sheer stupidity, thereby improving the gene pool.
If writer/director Finn Taylor could have made up his mind about the movie he was making, it would have held together better.
Writer/ director Finn Taylor's problem is that he wrote a painfully weak script, mostly wasting both acting talent and funny stories in the process.
Will probably deserve a Darwin Award itself after dying quietly at the box office and thus strengthening the art of filmmaking in general.
While the film has some funky flaws, it's a terrific satire and is downright hilarious.
Taylor and his friends seem to be having a great time but could have let the audience in on the joke.
It's not the diversion from source material that bothers me; it's the way in which the diversions are bland, listless, annoyingly familiar, and patently unengaging.
Sports too many formulaic weaknesses of mainstream laffers while straining for an indie cred that hitherto came naturally to writer-director Finn Taylor.
Audience Reviews for The Darwin Awards
Pretty good comedy based on the popular series of books. I loved the books, and I thought this film captured the feel of the series very well. Of course the film is nothing compared to the series, but it still is a very funny film that has plenty of good laughs throughout the film. The film succeeds at adapting the most popular stories from the book, but it is far from perfect. The film has a good cast of actors who deliver fine performances. However the film does fall flat a few times, not many but a few. In any case, this is simply put a mindless film that is a pleasant viewing on a Friday night when there's nothing else better on. This is an enjoyable film, and as a reader of the series, I felt that they had key elements of the stories well in hand, and I thought it was creative how they tied everything together. Even with that said this is a film that is far from perfect, but is also an underrated comedy isn't as bad as the initial reviews. The performances and good comedy make this film good and worth watching and if you're in the mood for something good and enjoyable, this is a good film to watch. Director Finn Taylor has done a great job with bringing the books to the screen, and it works most of the time very well. I really liked the film, and thought it very entertaining but flawed. Still this is a film that is worth checking out.More
Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, David Arquette, Chris Penn, Max Perlich, Brad Hunt, Tim Blake Nelson, Julianna Margulies, Tom Hollander, Juliette Lewis, Nora Dunn, Lukas Haas, Ty Burrell, Judah Friedlander, Wilmer Valderrama, Alessandro Nivola, D.B. Sweeney, Mickey Breitenstein, Josh Kornbluth
Director: Finn Taylor
Summary: When his tendency to faint at the sight of blood becomes a liability, detective Michael Burrows (Joseph Fiennes) finds himself out of a job. Fortunately, the perceptive profiler has no trouble peddling his skills to an insurance company. Teaming up with field agent Siri Taylor (Winona Ryder), Michael attempts to identify people who might accidentally kill themselves out of sheer stupidity.
My Thoughts: "It''s a very funny quirky film. It's full of odd character's, especially the lead played hilariously by Joseph Fiennes. Winona Ryder is great in this as well. I miss her in films. The movie actually has a very big cast with a variety of actor's. You are shown how doing some pretty dumb thing's can so easily end your life. Though I think the shower scene is the funniest part in the film for me. The film is much better then what the summary describes it to be. It was a great surprise at how much I enjoyed the film and how much I laughed. Great movie for a slow day or night."
The Darwin Awards is a flawed but oftentimes fun movie. Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder are great even if their chemistry is iffy at times. This movie is more of a series of funny parts but as a continuous narrative its really lacking. The casting, cameos or whatever were all across the board and I spent a lot of time watching The Darwin Awards distracted wondering what the hell was going to happen next. Then Metallica showed up. Seriously, Metallica is in this movie. The documentary aspect of this movie was its worst part. I understand that it was trying to hold the story together but mostly it was just annoying.More
Based on the website devoted to people who have removed themselves from the gene pool in variously absurd ways, this cash-in of the idea features Joseph Fiennes doing his best Adrian Monk impersonation as an insurance investigator looking into the claims of those involved. On paper, this sounds like a great idea but what you get is a half arsed episode of the X-Files, except it's "funny". Except it isn't. They just recreate some of the more ridiculous unintentional suicides while Fiennes and Winona Ryder go through the motions of a completely unconvincing romance and pretend to be insightful by spouting Sunday supplement pop psychology. Oh, and there's also a serial killer investigation that couldn't be more tacked on if it was written on a post-it stuck on the front of the DVD box. The whole thing just feels like a pilot episode of a TV series that never got made because it only has one idea that doesn't even stretch to the 80 minutes on display here.More
Discuss The Darwin Awards on our Movie forum!