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Observe and Report (2009)

tomatometer

51

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 201
Fresh: 102 | Rotten: 99

Though it has a mean streak, and does not cater to all tastes, Observe and Report has gut-busting laughs and a fully committed Seth Rogen in irresistible form.

49

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 23

Though it has a mean streak, and does not cater to all tastes, Observe and Report has gut-busting laughs and a fully committed Seth Rogen in irresistible form.

audience

37

liked it
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 640,750

My Rating

Movie Info

The Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill takes the helm for this Seth Rogen comedy concerning an ambitious mall cop who competes with a seasoned detective to bust an elusive flasher. Make a wrong move at Forest Ridge Mall, and you'll have to answer to no-nonsense security head Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen). Ronnie sees skateboarders as the blight of society, and any shoplifter unfortunate enough to summon his wrath will be promptly busted and booked. Sure, Ronnie may suffer delusions of grandeur when it

R,

Comedy

Jody Hill

Sep 22, 2009

$24.0M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (202) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (99) | DVD (17)

Bracing, bleak and berserk, this is a film which laughs in the face of American intolerance, and comes up punch-drunk and grinning.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I don't think it's much of a comedy. The darkness overpowers everything.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You don't relate or enjoy watching Seth Rogen's character on screen.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It falls short of brilliant but it's a lot more daring than what passes for 'dark comedy' these days, and it reminds us that 'feel bad' comedies may not always be as funny as 'feel good' ones but, when they work, they can ultimately be more satisfying.

April 10, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comment (1)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Observe and Report is a lot better when it's being funny than when it's rummaging in the shadows.

April 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I don't want to oversell it, but Observe and Report is the sort of offbeat studio movie that should be encouraged.

April 10, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (4)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie has a clever idea - what if a mall cop truly believed he was society's last protector? - and then wraps it up in stylish sight gags and muffles the message by making Ronnie just a garden-variety, everyday bipolar depressive.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

This is one of the best comedies of the decade, and I suggest you check it out immediately - just don't take your grandmother.

September 29, 2012 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

For those who appreciate laughs spiked with venom.

June 4, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

It's a full-scale, contemptuous attack on the mall mentality.

August 18, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

A seriously bizarre little movie...

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

If you enjoy this film, it might just be time to examine the stability of your own psychological wellbeing. I loved Observe and Report, and that's a terrifying reality I have to deal with.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

Seth Rogen hardens his Hanna-Barbera face to become what he's never been before: Damn scary. Fiendishly misanthropic, unnervingly funny and dangerously subversive, Jody Hill hybridizes "Taxi Driver" into a satire of major laughs and grim subtext.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

That playlist proves that Observe and Report was shaped by a hip sensibility. Shame that sensibility didn't have more effect on the script.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: NPR.org
NPR.org

Rogen and writer-director Jody Hill wring out of it a scary-funny character study about a warped man and his twisted sense of what it means to be a hero.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Here's an observation--Jody Hill's bum comedy fails to live up to the potential of its two talented stars, Seth Rogen and Anna Farris. As for the story, here's the report. It's stupid.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine) | Comments (4)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

If this were an audition reel and I was the head of a studio I'd call security to make sure this guy Seth Rogen and his writer-director Jody Hill never got near enough to my office to cast a shadow on it.

September 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals | Comments (5)
Cinema Signals

...gets increasingly bleak and ludicrous as it goes along, until it ends on a sentimental yet still rude and vulgar note. The movie is relentless.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

As raunchy and as nihilistic as a two-minute punk song. It has its envelope-pushing rewards, at times .. but it tends to make its single-minded point over and over. After a short while, you begin to wonder: Is there anything on its mind? There isn't.

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

Observe and reject

August 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comments (2)
CinePassion

You can cheer on "Paul Blart," something impossible in "Observe and Report," which is much darker. It does have some occasional funny moments, but they don't feel fresh

May 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Sean the Movie Guy

A downright dumb film

May 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile | Comments (8)
Urban Cinefile

The latest in a long line of mean spirited, snark filled, low down comedies that while it lasts gives stereotyping a good name.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

Much of the movie is just plain vicious. At best, it's sad and grotesque, rather than hilarious.

May 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The hideous thing is that the film is modelling behaviour for young men who might still think it's all hilarious.

May 14, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National | Comments (9)
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Ronnie's corruption is not an easy journey to absorb, but Observe and Report is committed to the hellish descent all the way.

May 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Audience Reviews for Observe and Report

At first glance an inevitable comparison to the Kevin James vehicle 'Paul Blart' springs to mind. To be fair you wouldn't be all that far off either, the whole basis for this film is very similar lets be honest. Both characters are working as security men in a mall and are wannabe cops. Both characters are portrayed as taking their job way too seriously when in reality they are merely shop attendants in a blue uniform. And both characters try to change their lives by applying for a job on the police force despite everyone thinking they haven't got a chance.

So yeah its pretty similar, the only major difference is the fact Rogen's character in this film is more unhinged and eerily prone to violent anger outbursts. This of course can be hilarious at times with Rogen's great comic personality and chubby features, but at the same time its also a bit disturbing and uncomfortable too.

There are plenty of scenes in this which made me laugh out loud, the way 'Ronnie' (Rogen) organises his small team of security men with the up most importance, as if they were special ops. His awkwardness around sexy perfume saleswoman 'Brandi' (Farris perfectly cast as your typical airhead blonde...again), the way he acts with jealousy around real cop 'Harrison' (Liotta), his ongoing feud with Arab shopkeeper 'Saddamn' and the way he exposes himself as slightly deranged, depressive and possibly dangerous to various people, especially in the police psychological examination.

On the flip side there are times when the film feels ugly, vicious, a bit sad and over the top with the violence, profanity and blood. The sequence where Rogen's character takes 'Brandi' out for a meal, she gets drunk and then they end up having sex, is rather dubious. Why? because 'Brandi' is completely out of it and vomiting whilst 'Ronnie' is banging her. It does seem a tad like rape, but at the same time the sight of Farris' head lurching to one side with puke on the pillow whilst 'Ronnie' goes at it is amusing I can't deny, a nervous laugh there.

There are other moments throughout which seem to go a bit too far also, showing 'Ronnie's' anger, the fight with the cops and Liotta's character, and the finale for the flasher. Its all kinda funny but kinda edgy too, at times you're thinking 'is it OK to laugh at this?'.

Saying this is a dark comedy is an understatement, its darkly dark alright and Rogen's cynical, sinister, in your face performance will either leave you laughing, cogitating or hating. I think I prefer this over the Kev James film simply because Rogen's performance is appealing to me here plus this film is more grounded ('Blart' goes goes down that 'Die Hard' route...). The ending is a bit simple and anti climatic but its a totally fun and rather controversial ride to get there.
May 8, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

It's my job to observe and report. Bottom line is, it's a very mean film but a very funny one with a committed and energetic Seth Rogen who plays his part in his trademark style with a dark batshit twist.
January 31, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Foot Fist way wasn't particularly funny but i thought Jody Hill was onto a good idea but after watching the dreadful Observe and Report I can clearly see now that he is a great pretender, although not that great. Observe and Report is one of the most misjudged films I have ever seen. It is a dark/black comedy for people who don't understand what a dark/black comedy is and have no concept of satire. It fails to parody Taxi Driver which was part of its intention, mainly due to the fact it's not funny (first rule of parody) and secondly because it completely misses the point of what Taxi Driver is (and just for the record, Taxi Driver isn't overrated in my, and many others opinions). Just by claiming the main character is bi-polar does not excuse said character's bad behaviour, I'll bet money that Jody Hill knows very little about the condition. The script is a mess, the story is a mess. This is not the clever black comedy 'with an independent movie feel' that I suspect was the intention, instead, it is one of the most offencive and awful films I have ever seen. Call me a party pooper but I just don't find rape and racism funny. Welcome to my top 10 'Worst films of all time'.
January 3, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Saddamn: This man accused me of blowing up the Chik-fil-a. Why would I want to blow up the Chik-fil-a? It's fucking delicious!
    – Submitted by Logan A (2 years ago)
    1. Girl Employee: Help my moms sexy ass puss mobile dance with light. I love oiled vagina lips against my titties.
    – Submitted by Kmastah B (2 years ago)
    1. Ronnie Barnhardt: I love tango after midnight.
    – Submitted by Kmastah B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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