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Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 8

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

29

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 5

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

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 723,583

My Rating

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

PG-13,

Comedy

John Hughes

Oct 19, 1999

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (8) | DVD (44)

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

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop 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.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comment (1)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (5)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The overriding impression is one of utter nihilism, of a world divided into bored, crassly materialistic teenagers and doltish, unfeeling adults.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (17)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ferris is an admittedly entertaining, at times delightful fellow. How unfortunate that no one got to wring the little bastard's neck.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (12)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In this film [Hughes] has created a character who is every teen-ager's fantasy, but in the process he has lost some of the authenticity of his other films.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
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

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Hilarious comedy classic; language makes it PG-13.

December 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
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.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
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.

May 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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

February 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (8)
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.

July 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

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

May 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

There are some great comic set pieces with a seize-the-day vibe for teens. Broderick is amiably charismatic and high school dean Jones almost matches him in comic skill.

May 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Broderick brings some real charm and chutzpah to the part.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A comedy classic.

October 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

Not only captures what being a teenager and a high schooler felt like, but also embodies what life ought to be like.

February 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

...removed from the moment, the high capitalism of the mid-1980s, the movie seems mild and pleasantly whimsical.

January 24, 2006 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A next generation Eddie Haskell, Ferris Bueller redefined "cool" misbehavior for Generation X....Hughes has a knack for memorable set pieces. [new DVD review]

January 2, 2006
Groucho Reviews

Who among Generation X doesn't like-love-Ferris Bueller?

June 9, 2005
Reel.com

Audience Reviews for Ferris Bueller's Day Off

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.

fastfilmreviews.com
January 31, 2014
hobster1

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).
July 31, 2013
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.
June 13, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Don't we wish we could all be Ferris Bueller? It doesn't matter if we're adult or teen (though a lot of it works well for the latter demographic), whether at school or work, we all need a "day off" of some sorts. I put that phrase in quotation marks because when Ferris first employs it in the beginning of the film, the only way anyone could ever be able to know where he is about to take his day is by having seen this timeless film before. A bored Chicago teenager, Ferris (Matthew Broderick) fakes an illness, skips school, and hits the city with his equally fun-loving girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and his worrisome best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck). He even gets his own charity-"Save Ferris", one of the most prominent yet most unforgettable jokes the film has to offer-for credibility's sake. Unbeknownst to him, his irate principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is on the hunt for him, as he has missed nine days during the semester.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF is an absolute must for teenagers. It's an absolute must for adults, too. It's odd how this film is about getting away, yet it seems to promote getting away with itself. I've seen this film several times. I liked it quite a lot the first time, but it just seems to improve bit by bit every time I see it. Plus, there are a few scenes that guarantee laughs as if they're brand-new. FERRIS BUELLER isn't a feel-good film. It's a feel-like-you're-there film. I wish I could share the experience with Ferris, but after watching it, for whatever reason, I'm under the impression that I just did for an hour and forty-three minutes.

read the full writeup at themoviefreakblog.com
June 16, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

    1. 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 (8 months ago)
    1. Ferris Bueller: Do you have a kiss for daddy?
    2. Sloane Peterson: Are you kidding?
    3. Ed Rooney: Hmmm, so that's how it is in their family.
    – Submitted by Joe N (11 months ago)
    1. 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 (12 months ago)
    1. Chez Quis Maitre 'd: I weep for the future.
    – Submitted by Zach W (14 months ago)
    1. Ferris Bueller: Speak any English?
    2. Garage Attendant: What country do you think this is?
    – Submitted by Tim N (15 months ago)
    1. Ferris Bueller: I do have a test today, that wasn't bullshit. It's on European Socialism. I'm not European, nor do I plan on being European, so who gives a crap if they're socialists? It still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car!
    – Submitted by Tim N (15 months ago)
View all quotes (27)

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Foreign Titles

  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (DE)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (UK)
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