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Stripes (1981)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 51,974

My Rating

Movie Info

Bill Murray decides to be all that he can be -- and it ain't pretty -- in this hit comedy. John Winger (Murray) is a quick-witted but unambitious loser who comes home after getting fired to discover that his car has been repossessed and his girlfriend is leaving him. With no idea of what to do next, John and his best friend Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis) impulsively join the Army, more as a practical joke than a career goal. John and Russell find themselves in basic training under the hard-nosed



Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, Harold Ramis

Jun 19, 2001

Columbia Pictures

Watch It Now


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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (4) | DVD (17)

Stripes will keep potential felons off the streets for two hours. Few people seem to be asking, these days, that movies do more.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (3)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The balance of the film consists of time-tested commercial material, most of which is still working fine.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Reitmam] manages a reasonable success rate at pulling off the numerous verbal and sight gags with which the script is peppered.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An anarchic slob movie, a celebration of all that is irreverent, reckless, foolhardy, undisciplined, and occasionally scatological. It's a lot of fun.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Murray hasn't yet reached the point at which his routines can be sustained for more than 10 minutes at a time. But he has achieved a sardonically exaggerated calm that can be very entertaining.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Murray's insouciant Sixties clowning survives being parachuted into the Eighties

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

An often hilarious film that provided Bill Murray with a perfect opportunity in which to display his comedic skills.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

With a cast that consists largely of Saturday Night Live veterans, laughs are guaranteed, not least from a hilarious Murray.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The first hour of Stripes is side-splittingly hilarious. Unfortunately, it fizzles a bit once Warren Oates' Sgt. "The Big Toe" Hulka disappears.

October 21, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Murray's initial transition from the small screen is a classic.

August 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

My personal fave military movie.

August 12, 2005

One major difference between the slob comedies of yesteryear and the ones of today is that of simple craftsmanship. As in, Stripes has some.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source:

Murray at his laugh-a-minute best....if there's a comedy classic, this is it

March 31, 2005

Murray's insouciant performance carries the movie and has inspired countless imitators, from the young Tom Hanks to Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source:

Who called Ivan Reitman "the king of comedy" and what drugs were they taking?

August 24, 2003 | Comments (2)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Am I the only person alive that realizes this movie blows? Bill Murray is a standout, nonetheless.

April 11, 2003 | Comments (2)
Juicy Cerebellum

Basic training hadn't been this much fun since Laurel and Hardy joined up.

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

Another classic of the 80s that has wound up in pop culture history. Especially notable because it's still funny even twenty-plus years later.

October 29, 2002

Trust me, it was a whole lot funnier when you were ten.

September 6, 2002 | Comment (1)
Flipside Movie Emporium

Audience Reviews for Stripes

Three years prior to Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman made this half-forgotten little comedy gem. While not as perfectly timed as said classic in its humor, it's still an enjoyable watch with just as great of a cast. Especially as it features two of the busters: namely Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. Another name worth mentioning is the late great John Candy, who earns credit for some of the film's funniest moments. The plot reminds me of an American version of the Swedish comedy Repmånad, which came out two years before it in 1979. In comparison, I was just about equally entertained, but if I could only have one of them in my shelf, I would have to go with the one starring Murray. Because when all is said and done, there's nothing or at least very little in the world that can top that man's comedic genius.
April 19, 2013
Mike S

Super Reviewer

Funny and entertaining, Ivan Reitman's picture have great comedians on the screen, in hilarious situations, but present a kind of boring ending for a terrific 80's comedy classic.
August 2, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Murray's best early film performance is still a very entertaining watch.
November 20, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

This is vintage Bill Murray, vintage Ivan Reitman, and a true ocmedy classic. This irreverent and hilarious satirical farce tells the story of John Winger- an unambitious loser who, after losing his job, apartment, car, and girlfriend, decides to see if his life will improve if he joins the army. So he does, along with his best friend Russell Ziskey (whom he forces to go with him)- a guy who'd be more comfortable reading a book or just hanging out than do the things that military men do.They get put into a platoon of other lovable misfits, and, through some sort of way, actually managed to make something of themselves.

This is a fun, entertaining and high quality slob comedy. It's low brow, but smart. It als ohas a hell of a cast. Murray takes the kead, and joinging him are Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, John Candy, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold, and, P.J. Soles and Sean Young as two foxy MPs who turn a blind eye to the antics of the misfits.

Honestly, I'm actually very shocked that it wasn't until today (8/28/11) that I finally watched this movie. Somehow I managed to go this long without actually having seen it. I can't believe what I was missing, and it's amazing how many films have taken some influence from this one. It's all very lighthearted, and the real army unfortunately isn't really like the way they portray it to be, but damn, this is still a goofy, wonderful, and terrific film.
August 28, 2011
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Soldier: Any one of you homos putcha hands on me...and I kill ya...
    – Submitted by Melanie D (18 months ago)
    1. John Winger: We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh. You know what that mean? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of ever decent county in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Russell Ziskey: My father always told me never hit another person in anger unless you were absolutely sure you could get away with it.
    – Submitted by topher h (2 years ago)
    1. Sgt. Hulka: Son, there ain't no draft anymore.
    – Submitted by topher h (2 years ago)
    1. Russell Ziskey: If we die, my blood is on your hands.
    2. John Winger: Just dont get it on my shoes.
    – Submitted by topher h (2 years ago)
    1. John Winger: Or maybe one of us won't.
    – Submitted by topher h (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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