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Mystery Men (1999)


Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 103
Fresh: 62 | Rotten: 41

Critics Consensus: Absurd characters and quirky gags are brought to life by a talented cast, providing this superhero spoof with lots of laughs.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Absurd characters and quirky gags are brought to life by a talented cast, providing this superhero spoof with lots of laughs.


Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 132,519



Movie Info

Based on the Dark Horse comic, Mystery Men. Seven lame superhero wannabes, who are called upon to use their dubious "powers" to save a bustling metropolis when Champion City's beloved real superhero-protector, Captain Amazing, is kidnapped. The wannabe heroes square off against the vile villain, Casanova Frankenstein, and his beautiful sidekick, Dr. Anabel Leek, as they try to stop Casanova's dastardly plot to take over the city.

PG-13 (for comic action violence and crude humor)
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Neil Cuthbert
In Theaters:
Jan 11, 2000
Universal Pictures - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Mystery Men

All Critics (104) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (41) | DVD (22)

The characters have been designed to make fun of themselves, disguising the craft of writer Neil Cuthbert and director Kinka Usher in getting us to laugh at them.

Full Review… | July 15, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Usher's amiable spoof of superhero movies takes a brave stab at rewriting the mythology from the inside out, with lots of witty, mildly subversive stuff.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mystery Men is like its hapless heroes. It's a wannabe that has the best intentions -- including a pronounced anti-gun stance -- but none of the knack it takes to save the day, or itself.

Full Review… | February 21, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

This bunch achieves peaks of sublime nuttiness.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Surprisingly, this spoof's heart is genuinely warm.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A long, shapeless, undisciplined mess!

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Even with its super cast, the slow-moving 'Mystery Men' falters in its attempt to spoof comic book heroes.

Full Review… | September 29, 2012
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

It is good that the film has charm, for after a certain point it doesn't necessarily have anything else.

Full Review… | May 7, 2012
Antagony & Ecstasy

Witty comic-book story is edgy, with lots of potty humor.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

Hugely entertaining -- especially for those with a thing for superheroes.

Full Review… | July 15, 2010

Fails to come up with worthy gags and one-liners for the able cast.

Full Review… | November 16, 2009

An instant cult comedy that doesn't walk or talk like anything else out there.

Full Review… | August 25, 2008

How many laughs can you get out of a handful of one-joke characters? Well, if your ensemble contains the talents of Janeane Garofalo, William H. Macy, Hank Azaria and Ben Stiller, the answer is: a lot.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Big Picture Big Sound

The Just-Us League of America

Full Review… | July 6, 2006

So much time is spent in getting to know everyone, the jokes are few and far between when they should be fast and furious.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

If as a kid you ever put on a costume and imagined you were a superhero, you should have a perfectly good time with this movie.

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Director Usher should have spent a little more time in the editing room.

Full Review… | February 4, 2003
Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews

...better than sitting at home on a hot summer night watching the sitcoms. Or maybe it's exactly like sitting at home on a hot summer night watching the sitcoms

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Stiller, Macy, and Garofalo are a joy to watch.

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Film Threat

A desperately hit-and-miss affair.

Full Review… | December 2, 2002
Sight and Sound

As hip as this dud thinks it is, it's not fooling me.

Full Review… | September 10, 2002
Montreal Film Journal

The movie is so slow and so obsessed with its own jokes that it is ultimately disappointing.

Full Review… | August 21, 2002
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Mystery Men

A wacky, silly occasionally hilarious tale of a group of unlikely superheroes who struggle to stay together after their leader, Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) is taken, and a new villain (Geoffrey Rush) emerges as a legitimate threat to overrun their city with evil. The set designs perfectly match the acting, overdone and colorful, and even when the film veers all over the place, it still remains largely entertaining. However, the running time is much too long, there is no reason for a movie like this to surpass two hours. With that said, it is funny in spurts, and Ben Stiller's energetic performance is often enough to keep the movie watchable. Far from perfect, far from terrible, just an average little weird film.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Not the worst superhero movie ive ever watched however i wouldnt say its that great either! Its amusing in places but not enough for it to be honestly called a comedy! I don't like Ben Stiller as an actor and so he was the one i disliked most in this movie which isnt a surprise! Good cast in my opinion but not a great movie, watchable on a wet sunday afternoon whilst doing the ironing and catching glimpses of the actual movie!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

A guild pleasure.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Mystery Men Quotes

Spleen: [talks about his curse] I blamed it on an old gypsy woman who happened to be passing by. BIG! MISTAKE!
– Submitted by Zach W (24 months ago)
Mr. Furious: I don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines.
– Submitted by Austin B (2 years ago)
Shoveler: Don't start that again. Lance Hunt wears glasses, Captain amazing doesn't wear glasses. Mr. Furious: He takes them off when he transforms. Shoveler: That doesn't make any sense. he wouldn't be able to see.
– Submitted by Racer L (2 years ago)
Mr. Furious: [talking about Carmine the Bowler] Seems there was a little controversy there regarding your father's death. The Bowler: Yes, the police said he fell down an elevator shaft. Onto some bullets. Blue Raja: You know, I've always suspected a bit of foul play there. The Bowler: As have I.
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
Mr. Furious: Frack you later, Frankenpuss!
– Submitted by Owen T (2 years ago)
Shoveler: We've got a blind date with destiny, and it looks like she's ordered the lobster.
– Submitted by Bryon S (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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