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Meatballs (1979)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 28,325

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Movie Info

Set at a low-end summer camp and aimed squarely at a teen audience, Meatballs is a light screwball comedy that turned its low-budget Canadian roots into a very profitable box-office run. The biggest reason for the film's success is Bill Murray who stars as Tripper, the head counselor who runs things at Camp Northstar with the help of his love interest Roxanne (Kate Lynch) and the camp's director Morty (Harvey Atkins), who is affectionately known as Mickey. Camp opens with Tripper and Morty



Janis Allen, Len Blum

Nov 23, 1999

LionsGate Entertainment

Watch It Now

Latest News on Meatballs

June 12, 2012:
Ivan Reitman Talks Meatballs
As the Bill Murray classic reaches Blu-ray, Reitman looks back.
May 28, 2010:
Ten Favorite Summer Camp Movies
Are you ready for the summer? The folks at Moviefone are, and they've made a list of the best summer...


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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (8) | DVD (13)

Through it all, Murray smiles and forges ahead, but his big riffs have been edited down to frantic bursts of mugging.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's difficult to come up with a more cliche situation for a summer pic than a summer camp, where all the characters and plot turns are readily imaginable. That makes director Ivan Reitman's accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Camp counsellor Tripper (Murray) is a John Belushi clone whose 'charisma' dominates the film's standard wackiness and sentimental story (of a kid who doesn't fit).

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A cheerful, if not particularly deft, summer-camp comedy.

July 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For those of you that are big fans of the cult comedy hit Wet Hot American Summer, Meatballs is the summer camp movie it parodied the most, even though Meatballs had a bigger heart and was strictly PG.

September 4, 2012 Full Review Source:

It's Murray's spontaneity that gives the movie its lifeblood. But Murray also shows an early, rare example of onscreen tenderness.

July 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The scenes between Murray and Makepeace are nicely handled, and the lack of mean-spiritedness is refreshing.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A bit slow and meandering, and unfunny when Bill Murray is not on screen, but Meatballs is worth it for the camp atmosphere and Murray's comic genius.

June 11, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

It doesn't get any funnier than Meatballs!

April 19, 2008

As easy to handle as drinking lemonade under a shady tree.

July 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Bill Murray is the only reason to see this film. His high energy and sensitive acting abilities take this cliche film out of the ordinary and give it the style that did not appear in the script or the direction.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comments (2)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

...ultimately just not able to live up to its inexplicable reputation as a minor cult classic.

June 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Murray has been funnier and far more authoritative during his career, but he was never this joyfully floppy again. Meatballs is the crowning of his doofus glory and a great testament to his once improvisational appeal.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source:

you don't mind the lack of structure, especially since it's delivered by a good-natured and good-humored young cast

May 14, 2007 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It's a classic, but not as good as you might remember.

March 25, 2005
7M Pictures

Early Murray/Reitman collaboration. "Rudy the Rabbit."

January 1, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Murray in fine form, but dated flick

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Has its moments. Murray is funny, as always.

October 21, 2004
Juicy Cerebellum

Meatballs works because Bill Murray's talents as an actor and comedian.

January 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Turning in a fine, controlled performance, Murray firmly establishes his 'goofy man who cares' typecasting, subsequently developed in numerous 80s movies.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

... because all the GOOD looking girls are on THEIR side of the camp!

April 6, 2003

Audience Reviews for Meatballs

The first of a long line of collaborations between Harold Ramis and Bill Murray, this is the original film that started the camp genre that jettisoned through the eighties. Murray plays a goofy authoritarian figure who understands the kids, but works against the administration. The camp counselors are over-sexed teenagers, and their charges are big eyed sweethearts like newcomer Chris Makepeace. The film is a very watered down kind of comedy that relies on the goofball antics of Murray and the charisma of bikini babes. The film is very sweet when dealing with the relationship between Murray and Makepeace, but otherwise the counselors seem to see their charges as annoyances. There are also relationships between the teenagers, which is where the teenage sexual fantasy aspect comes from. It's a pretty harmless, sweet comedy that has lingered in the collective consciousness for the pure reason that it's Murray at his peak goofiness.
June 9, 2014

Super Reviewer


Meatballs is by no means, an Ivan Reitman/Bill Murray classic. However, it has got quite a few funny moments and an energetic Murray leading the camp. The best thing about it though, was that I had a smile on my face that never faded away when I was watching it.
March 31, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

One of the first of many summer camp movies for teens. It's pretty funny for the most part, especially because of Bill Murray, but other than that it's not that good.
January 6, 2011

Super Reviewer

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