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Rat Race (2001)


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 126
Fresh: 55
Rotten: 71

Critics Consensus: Rat Race moves from one sight gag to another, but only a handful of them are genuinely funny.

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 20

Critics Consensus: Rat Race moves from one sight gag to another, but only a handful of them are genuinely funny.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 402,897


Movie Info

A very loose remake of the classic multi-star comedy It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), this madcap comedy is directed by Jerry Zucker, one third of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy team and director of Ghost (1990). John Cleese stars as an eccentric casino owner who devises a contest pitting six teams against each other in a race to claim two million dollars from a locker in New Mexico. The competitors are Owen (Cuba Gooding Jr., who ends up driving a bus full of Lucille Ball imitators, a … More

PG-13 (for sexual references, crude humor, partial nudity and language)
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jan 29, 2002
Box Office:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Rat Race

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (71) | DVD (27)

Fitfully amusing farce.

January 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

An overheated, underdone farce.

August 27, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A few decent running gags ... and an ocean of bad ones.

Full Review… | August 21, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

Race, which delights in bashing all manner of transportation, hits its silly stride early and never shifts into a higher gear.

Full Review… | August 17, 2001
USA Today
Top Critic

It's a mad mad mad mad world, all right, and Rat Race makes it seem all the zanier.

Full Review… | August 17, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Rat Race is much funnier than most comedies currently in release -- compared with American Pie 2 ... But ultimately it falls just short of the finish line.

Full Review… | August 17, 2001
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Vulgar and lowbrow, but very funny.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Ruthlessly dumb people--but funny, too.

Full Review… | September 12, 2007
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Manic, messy, and for the most part silly, this road comedy marks Zucker's bumpy return to the genre after a number of equally bumpy dramas such as First Knight.

Full Review… | November 1, 2006

... the only real surprise is how genuinely dreadful a movie that aims only for pleasant, profitable mediocrity can be.

Full Review… | January 29, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Oh, you dirty rat!

Full Review… | January 4, 2005

Some great moments, but with the talent on offer, this film should have broken ribs.

Full Review… | April 8, 2003

It's a big, dumb, loud, long, (and sometimes quite) funny movie

Full Review… | March 19, 2003

A fantastic road trip in the vein of films like Scavenger Hunt

January 29, 2003
Cinema Sight

It goes on, and on, and on for 113 minutes, which is way past any reasonable person's limit for this sort of thing.

Full Review… | October 21, 2002
San Diego Metropolitan

It made me laugh, and that's my definition of funny.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

Zucker instinctively knows how far to push the crude and uncouth, and when to retreat into the merely goofy.

Full Review… | September 3, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Unfortunately this flick will sell tickets, and more crap like this will be made in the future.

Full Review… | June 28, 2002

Uma produção de extremos: quando falha, chega a ser embaraçosamente ruim - mas quando funciona, provoca fortes gargalhadas.

Full Review… | May 30, 2002
Cinema em Cena

...this film earns its laughs. Sure, there are some jokes that involve bodily functions, but at no point does anyone get a penis stabbed into the side of their head.

Full Review… | April 22, 2002

it's a sad day when a man capable of such perfectly insane comic timing cannot properly pace a simple It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World rehash.

Full Review… | February 26, 2002
Mark Reviews Movies old-fashioned, non-offensive physical comedy that huffs and puffs and ultimately blows itself down.

February 6, 2002
Movie Metropolis

You have to wonder about the mentality of anyone who would want to use the "Cannonball Run" pictures as inspiration.

January 20, 2002

A genuinely hilarious belly-acher.

Full Review… | January 8, 2002

A test of patience that throws enough inspiration into the mix to keep you from heading for the exit.

Full Review… | December 13, 2001

Audience Reviews for Rat Race


Lungs hurting? Try laughing till you can't feel your lungs.

Full review coming to on 6/16

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer


I love this movie and i always have!
It has a star studded cast and maybe not the most complicated or even much to the storyline, but still very much enjoyable!
Its funny, really funny with some really funny characters that you cant help but fall in love with!
Some of the best comedic scenes i have to say were from Jon Lovitz and his family they were great!
Funny and worth the watch!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Rat Race is a good enough that has enough effective comedic moments to make this a film worth watching. For a remake, this film wasn't too bad, but it wasn't great either. The film has good comedy and a good cast to support the film. The film is very funny, but could have been better as well. The jokes are good, but don't hold up after multiple viewings. Watching this film again, I didn't think it was as funny as the first time I saw it, however it still is good fun and funny, but this is the type of which the jokes lose their vigor. They're still good, but lack at times. If you're looking for an entertaining, fun comedy, this is one worth watching. There's plenty to enjoy, and with a cast like this, they make an ordinary film pretty memorable. The film is enjoyable for what it is, and it has a lot of funny moments here and there. The most memorable performances are Seth Green and Jon Lovitz. Those two actors stole the show. Rat Race is lots of fun from start to finish. There's lots to enjoy about this and if you want a mindless comedic romp, then this is a great film to watch. I very much enjoyed the film, and thought for the most part it was a wonderfully funny comedy with minor flaws. For a remake, this is a pretty good one, better than most and is worth your time. Not a comedy classic by all means, this film still has enough good elements to create an effective film that is entertaining.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

I think because Jerry Zucker's other films Airpane and The Naked Gun didn't really have any genuinely good actors and just got straight to the gags "formula" was the reason people were dissapointed with Rat Race. It didn't stick to it and instead used real actors. I however see this as an advantage. Because they were funny. The whole movie is similar to Airplane! because it seems to be like a series of sketches. Most of them being very, very funny. Even though there was one or two jokes I didnt laugh at, the performances of the great ensemble cast made me grin. Rat Race is ambitious to make you laugh without resorting to mean humour like The Naked Gun or Airplane. It suceeds in doing this, as it's in my opinion: possibly one of the best sight comedy films of all time.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Rat Race Quotes

Donald Sinclair:
Currently you have been racing for about 15 seconds and right now Mr Shafer is winning because he is closest to the door.
– Submitted by Kenneth V (16 months ago)
Owen Templeton:
I get that a lot.
Yeah ya do.
– Submitted by Douglas H (2 years ago)
Tracy Faucet:
Did I come at a bad time, *sshole?!
– Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
We have to find that heart!
Mr. Pollini:
Don't worry, I have lost my heart many times.
Mr. Pollini:
I made a joke to distract you from how screwed you are.
– Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
Mr. Pollini:
It's a race! I'm winning! I'm winning!
– Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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