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Stealing Harvard (2002)



Average Rating: 3.3/10
Reviews Counted: 103
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 94

There are laughs Stealing Harvard, but they are few and far between. Tom Green's antics grow old fast.


Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 26

There are laughs Stealing Harvard, but they are few and far between. Tom Green's antics grow old fast.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 20,281

My Rating

Movie Info

Two buddies find themselves doing some very wrong things for perfectly right reasons in this broad comedy. John (Jason Lee) is a nice guy who is responsible and hardworking; his best friend Duff (Tom Green), however, is his polar opposite, a layabout who is constantly getting in some sort of trouble. John is very much in love with his longtime girlfriend Elaine (Leslie Mann), and wants to marry her, but true to form, he has pledged not to make the walk down the aisle until he has saved up to



Peter Tolan

Feb 18, 2003


Columbia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (94) | DVD (13)

Among the squandered supporting cast are Dennis Farina, Chris Penn, Megan Mullally, and Seymour Cassel.

February 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Weird, then, how the cast play as if holding their breath for the pay cheque.

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

Whenever Green shows up to do his semi-improvised, non-acting shtick ... this otherwise sprightly and intermittently amusing movie suddenly feels like a ship dragging its anchor.

September 19, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The timing in nearly every scene seems a half beat off.

September 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Depressingly thin and exhaustingly contrived. Only masochistic moviegoers need apply.

September 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's bland and that's the worst thing a comedy can be.

September 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With only an occasional laugh here and there, this is just another of the many stinky comedies to come around in years.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Director Bruce McCulloch tries to minimize the damage Green does, but even one frame of him would be too much.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

McCulloch stages his action as if he were still working on the two-walled sets he knew from Canadian television.

September 11, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

There is no real reason to see this unless you are related to someone involved in the project, and even then you might think pretty hard before you spend $9 and 90 minutes here.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Stealing Harvard is a limp and lazy affair, and a flick that positively reeks of contractual obligation.

April 26, 2003 Full Review Source:

This is just lazy.

April 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Nothing can survive the toxic unfunniness of Green.

March 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Guardian

You'll just have your head in your hands wondering why Lee's character didn't just go to a bank manager and save everyone the misery.

March 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

The result is a corps of good actors stuck with feeble, unfunny material that could easily pass as a crime against the moviegoing public.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It's no-win stuff. It's not offensive enough to appeal to Green's (ever-decreasing) fan-base, nor witty enough to convince anyone else.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source:

This film tries so hard to be both charming and disgusting that it's almost painful to watch.

February 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

I suppose as long as there are teenage boys to shell out money for movie tickets, there will be movies like this to suck it up.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

There's a funny movie trapped somewhere inside Stealing Harvard, but the finished product offers only fleeting glimpses of it.

January 8, 2003
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

The film is like a series of beginnings and middles that never take off.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)
Film Threat

There's just enough to Stealing Harvard to prevent it from being the worst movie of the year. But the few things that this movie has going for it have nothing to do with Tom Green.

November 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Harvard and neices have nothing to do with this movie, it's just an excuse for 90 minutes of jokes

October 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Seemingly a vehicle to showcase the Canadian's inane ramblings, Stealing Harvard is a smorgasbord of soliloquies about nothing delivered by the former Mr. Drew Barrymore.

October 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Local Planet Weekly (Spokane, WA)

"Stealing Harvard," from a one-joke premise by Peter Tolan, is about as fun as the current working climate at Tyco.

October 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Audience Reviews for Stealing Harvard

Stealing Harvard is one of those comedies that could have been very funny and memorable and simply a good time all around. However due to a poor cast, a bad story and minimal jokes, this film fails at delivering what you want from a good comedy. Add to the mix, Tom Green, and you're bound to have a comedy that is sure to fail. Aside from a few funny moments, this is a failure of a comedy that really doesn't have anything good going for it. In the end, I didn't enjoy the film, and I thought it had wasted potential to actually being funny. If the cast was better, it might have been good, and if the plot was better as well, then maybe the film would have succeeded. In the end, there's nothing really interesting going on here, and most of the time the jokes fail to bring on genuine laughter. I think that's pretty bad because, this could have been a good little comedy, instead it falls flat, and the gags are strained, unfunny and overall pointless. This film is one of those comedies that fail because of poor writing, and directing. To me, it all seemed that the filmmakers didn't care about the end result of the film, and this is a film that is not worth your time, and should be avoided if you're looking for something funny. Richard Jenkins was funny in his part, but that wasn't enough to save this film from being a total dud. Ultimately this film is a train wreck, and is just unfunny and it lacks effective jokes to really make it stand out.
July 4, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A crazy movie! Jason Lee was good as the poor husband who promised to pay for his niece's education, whilst his wacky gift-basket-making wife wants him to invest the same money in a new home. Jason Lee's character must turn to his half-insane old friend Duff (Tom Green - who wasn't too gross this time) - for ideas for finding cash quickly. They get involved in a liquor store robbery with a toy gun and other schemes. Jason Lee works for his father-in-law (Dennis Farina) at a health care supermarket, which also lead to some crazy jokes. Humour was a bit hit-or-miss - I laughed at the housecat in the cupboards, the gift-baskets, the housebreaking at the lonely widower's mansion and Tom Green being assaulted by the puppy. The story is very cartoonish; I didn't realize Bruce McCulloch (of Kids in the Hall fame) directed this movie; his lawyer character was funny in it. This comedy should've done better, but was probably not gross enough for the likes of the Van Wilder and American Pie-eating crowd.
July 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

Gets points for Jason Lee, but otherwise not much to speak of.
January 5, 2007
Steve B.

Super Reviewer

Tom Green and Jason Lee team up for the incredibly stupid goofball comedy Stealing Harvard. When John Plummer's niece gets into Harvard he's reminded of a promise that he made to her to pay for her college tuition, which leads him to seek the help of his friend Duff, who devices a series of schemes to get the money. Co-starring Leslie Mann, Dennis Farina, and Chris Penn, the film has some impressive comedic talent. But the script is awful, and the actors are unable to make the material work (despite their best efforts). A buddy comedy gone horribly awry, Stealing Harvard is a mass of stupidity.
April 29, 2014
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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