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Project X (2012)

tomatometer

28

Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 129
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 93

Unoriginal, unfunny, and all-around unattractive, Project X mines the depths of the teen movie and found-footage genres for 87 minutes of predictably mean-spirited debauchery.

27

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 19

Unoriginal, unfunny, and all-around unattractive, Project X mines the depths of the teen movie and found-footage genres for 87 minutes of predictably mean-spirited debauchery.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 92,066

My Rating

Movie Info

The Hangover's Todd Phillips produces this top-secret comedy from writers Matt Drake and Michael Bacall, with helming duties handled by commercial director Nima Nourizadeh. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Jun 19, 2012

$54.7M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (130) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (93) | DVD (3)

This is a film desperately in need of a McLovin. Also, jokes would help. And comedic chemistry between the actors. And an ending that isn't a bolted-on cop-out. Save yourselves. It's too late for me.

March 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comments (14)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has all the heft of a tweet, but Philips has made it look pimp and, until the police end the party, Project X really is a riot.

March 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Comments (15)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, Project X is an example of why gimmicks rarely work, especially once the new shine has worn off.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (14)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Project X" bears a cravenly piggish attitude toward rewarding socially unacceptable behavior that feels unseemly rather than exciting, so-what rather than so-funny and obvious instead of new.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comments (9)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"There's a midget in the oven!" is about as inspired as the dialogue and set pieces get in this queasy-making entertainment about a 17-year-old dude's birthday bacchanalia.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The parent and homeowner in me were appalled by the debauchery and incredible property damage. The teenage boy in me couldn't help but smirk anyway.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (4)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A politically-incorrect and surprisingly uneven teen comedy that 20-somethings will likely enjoy.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: John Hanlon Reviews
John Hanlon Reviews

PROJECT X is the male gaze substantiated and concentrated into ninety sweaty minutes.

April 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Badass Digest

Project X misses the mark some of the time, but makes up for it by hosting the party of the decade.

October 12, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Unlike prior 'house party' movies, Project X says nothing meaningful about its subject matter and, instead, paints teens as unlikeable and reckless automatons.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

Project X misses the mark some of the time, but makes up for it by hosting the party of the decade.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

There'll be many middle-aged, middle class haters declaring it morally bankrupt, but most will be able to file it under 'Guilty Pleasures' alongside Jackass, Bachelor Party and...er...forcing your pet to dance on its hind legs.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

It wants to be the ultimate party movie, but its mean-spirited nastiness, dedication to shock-value humor, and lack of any kind of base-level humanity proves that it's really the ultimate teensploitation film.

September 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

An enjoyable, if very sloppy, jaunt into total anarchy, Project X isn't a film about morals, but what happens when all rules are thrown out the window.

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comment (1)
IGN DVD

It's kind of like reality TV. You get what you pay for.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Laughs? Just one or two chuckles. Acting? Pretty flat. X stands for Xcuse to shrug off empty-spectacle moviemaking as awesome partying for Hollywood's coveted teen demographic. X marks that Xtremely cynical profiteering spot atop the box office.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Except for bits concerning the dog, I didn't hear myself laughing.

April 30, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

None of these people resembles any teen anybody really knows. And thank god for that.

April 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Gawker
Gawker

If you don't mind the adolescent male point-of view (read: constant objectifying of the opposite sex) there's plenty to enjoy here.

April 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Screenwize | Comment (1)
Screenwize

The party won't stop, even though you want it to.

April 1, 2012 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

Overloaded with foul language, gratuitous nudity, obnoxious characters, and the sub-standard cinematography of the "found footage" style.... But damn if it's not entertaining.

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

"Project X" is that beau who sets off warning bells when he's there to date your little girl. You won't want to let her out the door with this creep.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A bad-taste comedy with energy and anarchy to spare -- maybe too much of both

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

An unhealthy strain of misogyny runs through the dialogue, and the film- makers' unquestioning acceptance of high-school one-upmanship fairly turns the stomach.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

Although much of this obvious yet ingenious film is filler, it may be a game-changer in its genre, and its fiery, almost apocalyptic final act recalls the liberating anarchy of the great 'Rock 'n' Roll High School.'

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

... a lame, laughless, pathetic little comedy.

March 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Comments (10)
Sacramento News & Review

Audience Reviews for Project X

This was mental although slightly interesting, it doesnt offer much entertainment wise!
December 17, 2013
FiLmCrAzY
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Project X is a horrible excuse for a comedy film. The film is crude, obscene and void of genuine laughs or good entertainment value. Right off the bat, you don't sympathize with the characters and you don't care about them either. A few lines made me smile, but overall this is one weak comedy and it doesn't stand out whatsoever. There's no thought in what went in to making this film and it seems as if the film's idea was drawn up on a napkin and studio executives were like "oh let's make a film with teens partying and drinking their asses off!" This is a dreadful movie that relies on teen party clichés for its plot. The film could have been much better, and it just ends up being a pointless mess from start to finish. To me this is just the bottom of the barrel of entertainment. I advise you if you consider watching something else if you come across this piece of crap. This is one film that never should have been made. I despised this one like the plague, and if you want a better party oriented film, watch Superbad, at least that one had great jokes, a good cast and plenty of terrific chaos that actually was hilarious. The only comical bits here are the parts where the Mercedes gets driven into the pool and the guy crashing the party with the flamethrower. Project X is a mess pure and simple, and it is definitely not a smart comedy. This is one of the worst films of 2012 and it is a film to definitely avoid.
January 1, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This movie sucks; big time. Some of the chaos that occurs in the film's final forth was pretty entertaining, but that isn't saying much. "Project X" is the most unlikable movie I've seen in ages. The characters, the endless montages, and the (failed) humor; all trite.
October 26, 2012
YLOWBSTARDreturns

Super Reviewer

We've all had the fantasy of throwing an awesome party, a revelry of youthful exuberance, and cutting loose. The house party is a teenaged rite of passage. Project X is produced by Todd Phillips, the director behind The Hangover as the advertising would like to burn into your associative memory. You'd expect some wacky comedy and boorish behavior from boys living out their wildest fantasies. I felt a deep sadness watching the events of Project X. I won't bemoan it as evidence of the decline of Western civilization but it's certainly not helping matters.

Thomas (Thomas Mann) is a gawky, awkward, nice kid who's celebrating his 17th birthday. His upper middle-class parents are going away for the weekend and trusting their only child with care of the home. Naturally, Thomas' best friends, Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), take this opportunity to stage a party. They invite all the popular girls at school, spread word via radio and Craiglist, and hundreds descend on Thomas's family grounds with the intent of partying harder than Andrew W.K. Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton), long a friend of Thomas, is crushing on the guy and he doesn't realize it. His attentions are on Alexis (Alexis Knapp), the school's unattainable Hot Girl. As Costa clarifies, this party is meant to be a game-changer for their social lives. They're supposed to reach for the stars tonight, which means groping strangers and puking in the bushes. Aim high, boys.

This did not have to be a found footage movie, and Project X would have been better if stripped of this tedious gimmick. By making this a found footage movie, it roots the quickly escalating madness in a reality that cannot contain it. The film's credibility goes out the window without a thought. A wild party that rages out of control is a believable setup, but when you toss in so many out-of-nowhere outlandish elements, including an angry midget, a crazed drug dealer armed with a flame thrower, and a high-story zipline (who put that there?), and the groundswell of a consequences-free riot, you strain all sense of believability. I also found it unrealistic how blasé people reacted to the presence of a camera in certain situations. I think people at a school might not want to be recorded for who knows what purpose. But easily the scene that stands out is a locker room with a bunch of guys in various states of undress. Seriously, not one character, not even a minor character, raises any issue with someone casually recording a place where men are undressing. I'll grant the exhibitionist antics of the party (the courts of our land have ruled that flashing is not considered an "invasion of privacy"). Then there are also the lighting changes at Thomas' house. All of a sudden certain rooms have very distinct, stylish blues and greens for lighting. Where did that come from? Did someone find a colorful bulb? These are the dumb questions that arise under the belabored pretenses of a found footage movie. There's no reason this movie shouldn't have ditched the found footage gimmick and simply played it straight.

Congratulations Project X, for it was you who cemented the death knell of my youth. I don't have anything against party movies (Superbad is great, Can't Hardly Wait ain't bad either) and I don't shrink from the presence of ribald, juvenile, inappropriate and/or illegal underage activity. Dazed and Confused is one of my favorite films of all time and that movie is nothing but kids getting drunk and stoned. But lo, Project X was the first party movie I've watched where my sympathies lay not with the party animals but with the annoyed neighbors and parents. Maybe it's a sign of getting older; maybe it's just the culmination of my upstairs neighbors playing heavy-bass electronica music at all hours of the night when I have to work in the morning. Or maybe it's just a clear indication that this movie fails on any level to make me care about these moronic, annoying, unbearable characters. So when these twits are off celebrating the wanton hedonism unleashed in their backyards, I thought of the neighbor with a baby who just wants his kid to sleep. Is that an unreasonable request? The man isn't presented as some incensed, dangerous madman, and what does he get for daring to question the noise level of this party? The man gets tazed. That's what you get for expecting anyone to possibly be moderately considerate about their action affecting others (I sense a God Bless America-style rant approaching). I just found this whole thoughtless, empty exercise to be exploitative, mean-spirited, and exhausting. Am I that old or is this movie simply that bad?

You want to know how flimsy the plot is for this monstrosity? You could have written the entire thing on a napkin. Why bother with characters or story? This movie is seriously like someone took the Smashing Pumpkins music video for "1979" (possibly the best cruising song, I would argue) and expanded it to feature length. Even at barely 80 minutes, this is one creaky movie that struggles to pad out its running time. The party mostly consists of two-second shots of people jumping around, girls shaking their asses, people smashing things, people vomiting, and the occasional boob flash to remind you how similar in tone the film is to the sleazy Girls Gone Wild series. That's at least half the movie, if I'm being generous. What did I just describe? A music video! A music video is composed of, often, nonsensical images that serve little purpose other than to stimulate. There are plenty of segments that are nothing but pounding music and people dancing. If you buy the soundtrack (and why wouldn't you since it'll be ringing in your ears for days) and do some pseudo-inebriated dance movies, you've basically recreated the plot in your own living room. Project X is a music video writ large, not just in its style or in its single-minded execution to do nothing but string a series of rapid imagery. Good Lord, if this stuff made the final film what was left on the cutting room floor?

Project X also has the ignoble distinction of making me loathe a character not just in his very introduction but also in the very opening SECOND of the film. The first second I got of Costa told me everything I needed to know. His smarmy, irritating, faux "gangsta" machismo persona was enough. I knew this guy was going to be a douchebag. One second in, Project X, and you've already dug yourself a pretty significant hole. The Costa character is unfunny from beginning to end. There is not a single joke, a single one-liner, a single reaction of his that made me laugh. He is an insufferable character and a transparent combination of Superbad's McLovin' and Jonah Hill's character. I hated every wretched second his face was onscreen. The other two friends didn't make me want to punch my TV, which was the only positive thing I could say about either of them. Thomas is your typical mild-mannered, awkward teen (read: the Michael Cera role) who gets to cut loose and grow a spine of sorts. He has no personality and I couldn't work up the effort to root for him. I can't really say anything about JB because he adds absolutely nothing to the movie. He has no personality as well, other than his girth and desire to bed some ladies. It's like the movie forgets he even exists. I know I did.

I know that making a feminist diatribe against this movie is a waste of time but indulge me for a moment, dear reader. I understand that this entire enterprise is untamed male fantasy and wish fulfillment. I don't have a problem with this notion, on the surface. But why do all the women of this fantasy have to be reduced to, in Costa's words, "drunk bitches" and "hos"? The women of this universe, which is supposed to be our own remember, are merely walking toys ready to be exploited for male entertainment. We don't get characters; we get attractive women in great states of exhibitionism. It's ridiculous the amount of older, attractive women who would be enticed by... a high school party? Don't these people have college parties they'd rather be attending? At one point JB identifies one of the girls at the party as a woman who posed for Playboy, because that's all women are good for in this movie. Why would Alexis agree to bed Thomas just because it's his birthday? We see no connection, and he's certainly not a wealth of charisma. It doesn't matter. Women are to be ogled. They are decorative.

Then there's the aggravating romance between Thomas and his best girl friend, Kirby. First off, if this is the quality you get with girl-next-door types then I am moving to that neighborhood. This woman is a bonafide hottie, so when the guys make dismissive comments that Kiby is just one of the guys, I question what criteria these men have for female beauty. Any of these guys would be lucky to ever interest a woman of this stature. And then there's the fact that she so easily forgives of Thomas after he makes an ass of himself and tries to hook up with another girl hours after sleeping with Kirby. It's like the movie advertising that you, American teenage males, can have it all and with a minimum of humility and empathy.

I guess the real question is whether any of this gratuitous debauchery is fun. The whole movie runs on the caffeinated, fist-pumping highs of unchecked male ego and fantasy, but it's trying so hard to be the most epic party ever, and that's the only ambition the film has. This is one sleazy and off-putting movie. Even some of its egregious faults could be partially forgiven if the movie was any funny. It just isn't. It's loud and profane and anarchic but without interesting, relatable, or even defined characters, and the plot is so feeble I could sum it up thusly: Nerds throw party. Crap happens. They get to be cool. In between those momentous plot points is a lot of incoherent imagery of people dancing, women being objectified (by the camera, the filmmakers, the audience), and pounding music. The plot is so simplistic, so plainly an afterthought, that the entire hedonistic festivity reeks of lazy exploitation. Congratulations, Project X, you've turned me into my parents. Now get the hell off my lawn and get a job and make better movies!

Nate's Grade: D
October 11, 2012
boxman
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Project X

    1. Freshman Party Crasher: Come on Costa, there's like 200 people here!
    – Submitted by Facebook U (15 months ago)
    1. Costa: The only thing your working on is diabetes you fat fuck. [talking to JB]
    – Submitted by Facebook U (15 months ago)
    1. Thomas: This place is ghetto as fuck. [talking about T-Rick's house]
    – Submitted by Maggie G (19 months ago)
    1. Costa: The guy isn't going to do shit. He punched a 12-year old in the face.
    – Submitted by Samantha D (20 months ago)
    1. T-Rick: Costa! Give me back my fucking gnome!
    – Submitted by Samantha D (20 months ago)
    1. Costa: Mr. Kub, how cool is it that Thomas was born on your anniversary, yeah? What a great anniversary gift. A baby.
    – Submitted by Paulo B (21 months ago)
View all quotes (22)

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