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Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 47 | Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 724,692




Movie Info

Teenaged Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a legend in his own time thanks to his uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last grand duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, "borrows" a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day bacchanal through the streets of Chicago. Dogging Ferris' trail at every turn is high-school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), determined to catch Bueller in the act of class-cutting. Writer/director John Hughes once again … More

PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Directed By:
Written By:
John Hughes
In Theaters:
Oct 19, 1999
Paramount Pictures



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Critic Reviews for Ferris Bueller's Day Off

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (12) | DVD (44)

What should've been a joyful romp turns into a stale, sour-edged celebration of the New Conformist, an affluent, technology-addled cherub without a rebellious whim in his brain.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It is most curious that Hughes, who is obviously clever and talented, has failed to develop the intriguing situation he has set in motion.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

[While Risky Business] suggested that money isn't everything, Ferris Bueller insists just the opposite.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A film that doesn't seem to know what it's about until the end.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Here is a dream as old as adolescence, and it is fun to be reminded of its ageless potency, especially in a movie as good-hearted as this one.

Full Review… | August 8, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Ferris Bueller exhibits John Hughes on an off day. Paucity of invention here lays bare the total absence of plot or involving situations.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Top Critic

Broderick's smooth, ever-confident patter gives Ferris Bueller's Day Off just the right air of breezy insouciance.

Full Review… | July 19, 2014
The Moving Picture Show

This is a lark that I think you'll respond to and cheer on, a lark about one young man who goes to exaggerated lengths, fighting massive odds and disapproving, fearful people, to take a day off.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Philadelphia Daily News

Broderick is remarkably likeable as the arrogant, spoilt brat, Ruck is excellent as his melancholy friend and Jones almost steals the show.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Radio Times

Ferris Bueller`s Day Off goes through the motions of enjoyable experiences without communicating much joy.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A minor summertime diversion that could have been much more.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Christian Science Monitor

Proof, the best in the filmmaker's career, that a movie doesn't need to bend over backwards for Meaning to be absolutely great.

Full Review… | October 25, 2011
Antagony & Ecstasy

its willingness to break convention and throw us into the fantastical, but strangely believable world of its characters makes Ferris Bueller not only Hughes's best teen films, but one of the best teen films ever made

Full Review… | August 5, 2011
Q Network Film Desk

Hilarious comedy classic; language makes it PG-13.

Full Review… | December 14, 2010
Common Sense Media

The quintessential teen comedy, this is a movie that could and should serve as a model for movies of this sort in the future.

Full Review… | May 7, 2009
Apollo Guide

One has to marvel at just how perfectly Hughes nails his frustratingly entitled mise-en-scène, which he unquestionably does in the film's mesmerizing detour inside an art museum.

Full Review… | May 6, 2009
Slant Magazine

It's an airhead teen film that nevertheless caught the public's fancy and still remains a popular cult favorite.

Full Review… | February 11, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There is a degree of rebellion in Ferris and a dash of teenage angst in Cameron, but basically Hughes is handing us a joyful bit of fluff.

Full Review… | July 24, 2008
Movie Metropolis

Sporadically hilarious, with roots that run far deeper than expected.

Full Review… | May 5, 2008
Empire Magazine

There are some great comic set pieces with a seize-the-day vibe for teens.

Full Review… | May 5, 2008

Broderick brings some real charm and chutzpah to the part.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Ferris Bueller's Day Off

It's an outrageous, clever and charming comedy of youth in revolt that John Hughes is accustomed to. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a classical coming-of-age film filled with countless humor, a slick and sleek performance from Matthew Broderick and smart script, making this a recognizable film of the decade. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


John Hughes would go on to write bigger hits (Home Alone). But of everything he directed, this was his biggest box office success. It's easy to see why. Part of what makes this comedy so winning is the utter innocence of it all. Ferris' indulgences comprise of nothing more than trips to a fancy restaurant, the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Ferris famously crashes a parade celebrating German-American culture. His lip-synch to the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" is a highlight. Indeed the spectacle was enough to push the hit back onto the Billboard Top 40 charts back in 1986. Music figures prominently in inspired bits elsewhere. An instrumental version of The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" at the museum is fittingly poetic. And nothing underscores a teen's desire to drive a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder convertible more perfectly than "Oh Yeah" by Swiss electronic band Yello. The song has become a symbol of want.

For anyone who was in high school when this came out, the production will resonate even more as pure nostalgia. Much of the teen movie is well crafted lightweight fun. But as the film's final coda unfolds, Ferris' altruistic motives become apparent. His objective to help his best friend achieve a deeper sense of self-worth resonates long after the movies fades.

Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer


Though it sinks to teen-film cliches at times, the film is undeniably iconic and memorable, and, at times, strangely brilliant and haunting (the museum scene being the best example of this).

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


John Hughes struck gold once again with this sharp romp about the ultimate day of school skipping.

Ferris Bueller is a high school legend. You know the cliche: every guy wants to be his pal, and every girl wants to be his gal. He has a knack for doing whatever he wants and getting away with it. He's cut class several times before, but, with graduation getting near, he decides to skip one final time, making it the most epic adventure yet.

Feigning sickness, he ropes his best friend Cameron (down and out worry wort) and girlfriend Sloan into the mix as they set off for the Chicago streets in Cameron's dad's prized vintage Ferrari. Hot on Bueller's trail is his principal Ed Rooney who is dead set on bringing Ferris down. Then there's Jeanie- Ferris's bitter tattletale sister who is sick of his crap and also aims to bring her little brother to justice.

The basic set up is pretty simple, but the end results are so much more. This film delivers tons of slapstick, satire, social commentary, and all kinds of wacky hi-jinks. It doesn't seem like all these separate things could gel that well, but that's the genius of Hughes's writing.

This film made Matthew Broderick's career, and, unfortunately its also basically the peak of it. He's done other stuff, but never has he been better. You just really root for this guy, even though he's so friggin' entitled. That's just how likeable he is. The real heart of the film though, probably belongs to Alan Ruck as Cameron. He's a sad sack, but being with Ferris is pretty much life affirming for him. Sloan isn't as interesting of a character, but Mia Sara is a real cutie and hard not to like. Jeffrey Jones is slimy, smarmy, and brilliant as Rooney, and this is some of his best work. As Jeanie, Jennifer Grey is also quite strong, and she's a character you really come to side with too.

Again, that's the genius of Hughes. Some of the characters are pretty thin, but then he gives you a few that are really developed, and you come to care about them greatly, even if some are "protagonists" or "antagonists". I use quotes because there's a gray area with everyone, and none of the characters (that are highly developed) are purely good or bad.

There's tons of great quotes, all kinds of memorable moments, and a nice mix of light and darker material. So, given that combination, you should definitely see this if you haven't gotten around to it yet.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Quotes

Cameron Frye: Pardon my french, but you're an asshole!
– Submitted by Ankur B (4 months ago)
Ferris Bueller: The question isn't what are we going to do. The question is what aren't we going to do.
– Submitted by Andrea M (13 months ago)
Ferris Bueller: Do you have a kiss for daddy? Sloane Peterson: Are you kidding? Ed Rooney: Hmmm, so that's how it is in their family.
– Submitted by Joe N (17 months ago)
Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
– Submitted by Toni W (18 months ago)
Chez Quis Maitre 'd: I weep for the future.
– Submitted by Zach W (20 months ago)
Ferris Bueller: Speak any English? Garage Attendant: What country do you think this is?
– Submitted by Tim N (20 months ago)

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