Funny People Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
May 6, 2011
Funny People is funny, moving, dramatic, and alternately hilarious. It's a bit like a stand-up dramedy.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
August 29, 2009
This is a generous, goodhearted, enjoyable movie, loaded with memorable characters and genuine wit. But there's such a thing as giving a little too much.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
August 25, 2009
The good parts of this movie are often wonderful, but Apatow never finds the rhythm to keep it going. It lurches from inspiration to inspiration, but always manages to muddy its feet in mediocrity in between, as it drags on toward the two-and-a-half-hour
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Cliff Doerksen
Chicago Reader
August 20, 2009
Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) takes some interesting chances in this messy but engaging comedy, which suggests he may yet mature (no, seriously) into a filmmaker of substance.
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
August 3, 2009
It walks a perfectly fine line between being funny and tragic.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
August 3, 2009
Apatow has always found a balance of heart and humor in his best films, and Funny People is no exception.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 31, 2009
The film comes dangerously close to stalling, however, once George and Ira visit George's ex, stuck in an untrustworthy marriage. By the time Ira implores 'Can we just go?' you feel the same way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 31, 2009
It's great that Apatow aimed for something more substantial than a disposable chucklefest. Too bad the film falls so short of the mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 31, 2009
In going for a rethink of All That Jazz with comedy instead of Broadway, Judd Apatow's Funny People turns out to be one of the most absorbing films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2009
Sandler and Rogen and the rest are left to wander aimlessly, with tedious comedy gigs, an even more tedious faux sitcom and relatively vapid relationships masquerading as a plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 31, 2009
The funny thing is, though, that Funny People is, well, funny. It's also richly layered with complicated people and a mad collection of celebrity cameos from Eminem to Andy Dick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 31, 2009
Funny People is an ambitious, misshapen picture that feels like two, maybe even three, separate movies uncomfortably jammed into one.
Top Critic
Michael Posner
Globe and Mail
July 31, 2009
It's at once dark and sentimental, and (at 146 minutes) hugely indulgent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 31, 2009
hat this movie manages to be hilarious while honing in on the particulars that go into hilarity is a rare achievement. But then few films would dare look death right in the face and laugh aloud.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 31, 2009
Funny People is a true brass ring effort, a reach for excellence that takes big risks.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 31, 2009
Apatow continues to celebrate comedy's traditions, raunchy and otherwise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 31, 2009
It's as if, halfway through, you went out for popcorn and mistakenly returned to an auditorium showing a different picture. And that second movie ends immolating itself.
Top Critic
Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
July 31, 2009
It all feels so insular and elitist, it's hard to connect.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 31, 2009
Presented with an opportunity to make an honest dramatic statement about loneliness, fate and life choices, [Apatow] turns to penis jokes, stunt casting and white-picket platitudes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 31, 2009
It's a testament to Sandler's performance that he not once milks George's life-at-the-top malaise for easy sentimentality.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 31, 2009
Funny People nimbly intersperses humor and reflection. It is a rumination on mortality, fame and life choices, punctuated with Apatow's trademark raunchy humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
July 31, 2009
Funny People isn't exactly a chore to sit through, but it's awfully slack and self-indulgent.
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
July 30, 2009
The movie...feels like the work of an artist in transition, an attempt by Apatow to see how far he can push his foul-mouthed bromances toward earnest drama before finally having to let go of the dick jokes.
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
July 30, 2009
""Funny People," may not be Apatow's funniest movie; however, and more interestingly, it is his best film, deep and rich and unexpectedly honest while still being remarkably funny."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 30, 2009
There's something irritatingly self-satisfied about Funny People, which explains why, though it glances on the perils of fame, it mostly affirms its pleasures.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 30, 2009
The denizens of Judd Apatow's Funny People have been pulled every which way to fit a misshapen concept, yet they remain painfully unfunny, and consistently off-putting.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 30, 2009
It's that rare mainstream Hollywood movie that feels genuinely spontaneous, unafraid to keep the audience just a little bit confounded and off-balance.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 30, 2009
Apatow scores by crafting the film equivalent of a stand-up routine that encompasses the joy, pain, anger, loneliness and aching doubt that go into making an audience laugh.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 30, 2009
Funny People turns out to be fairly predictable, and not so rough. In a thoroughly satisfying way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
July 30, 2009
Considering all the funny people who contributed to the creative mix of Funny People, it's a crying shame this good-hearted comedy doesn't deliver more genuine laughs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 30, 2009
The problem is that Apatow is stuck between gears. (That, and there's probably no one around him to say no at this point.)
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
July 30, 2009
It's refreshingly unformulaic, but a rambling mess. It's also tremendously funny.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 30, 2009
The funny business is lame in Funny People, and the people feel phony. So what's left in this dramedy about a comic's near-tragedy? Well, how do bad standup and schmaltzy emotions sound?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
July 30, 2009
Judd Apatow may be the first filmmaker to jeopardize his career through excessive niceness.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 30, 2009
This is Apatow's emotionally darkest, least-genial film, and an exceptionally good and subtle Sandler embraces the duality of his character, a man beloved by the world who secretly hates everyone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
July 30, 2009
Nearly as long as the theatrical cut of "Apocalypse Now," but definitely funnier.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 30, 2009
The collaborative effort is overlong and wrongheaded in some of its sympathies, but it's one of the shrewdest show-business comedies in years.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 30, 2009
Funny People veers wildly in tone and style, with jarring cameos (Ray Romano, Eminem) and a third act that mimics one of John Cassavetes' improvised experiments. Apatow may deserve to be taken seriously, but for now he's still kidding around.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 30, 2009
It's refreshing to see Apatow branching out and trying something off the beaten path but, in this case, his sense of ambition may have caused him to lose his way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
July 30, 2009
There's so much that's so disarmingly good and sharp about Funny People that you wish the whole movie weren't so much of a shambles.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 30, 2009
The last hour or so meanders interminably, its tone wavering all over the place, leading to a quickie conclusion that feels pat. And that is such a letdown when you consider the strength and ambition of the material that preceded it.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 30, 2009
It could have easily been a formula film, and the trailer shamelessly tries to misrepresent it as one, but George Simmons learns and changes during his ordeal, and we empathize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 29, 2009
In his long, sobering story without a punchline, Judd Apatow confounds three crowds: traditional Sandler fans expecting goofy sweetness, Virgin/Knocked Up boosters hoping for raunchy fun, and connoisseurs of movies that know how to kill.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 29, 2009
What's good about Funny People is really good, and that starts with Sandler, who's outstanding.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 29, 2009
Funny People isn't a bad movie, it's an indifferent one. No funny person wants to hear that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 29, 2009
If you object to public offenses of decency, smut that reduces the oxygen in the brain or just plain lousy, amateurish filmmaking, it's easy enough to avoid Funny People like the swine flu.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 27, 2009
Funny People feels insular, as if Apatow's whole world consists of nerdy jokesters who were angry, lonely kids who got rich beyond their dreams... but are deep down still angry.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
July 27, 2009
Funny People is leisurely, with many extended sequences, but the performers' natural command of rhythm holds it in tension.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 25, 2009
Amusing and engaging yet lacking in snap and cohesion.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2009
A more mature but still funny Judd Apatow comedy whose move into serious human relation issues nearly scuttles the third act.