Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Reviews

Top Critic
Steven Snyder
TIME Magazine
July 31, 2008
A comedy with horsepower to spare.
Top Critic

Time Out
September 23, 2006
Broad but not crude, dumb but not witless, clever but still snot-spittingly funny. Stupidly brilliant, in other words.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 7, 2006
One of the stupidest and one of the funniest movies in Will Ferrell's career.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
August 5, 2006
When the crazy comes, it's pretty good crazy.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 4, 2006
Essentially a string of gags loosely looped together, a set of absurd situations for the actors to clown their way through, Talladega Nights is an affable entertainment, both a celebration and a satire of lowbrow pleasures.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 4, 2006
Talladega Nights may be brash, unbridled, even unhinged, but its cornpone humor is rich in parody, and its craftsmanship is superb.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 4, 2006
Though the movie about a moronic NASCAR racer overall is uneven and Ricky Bobby's saga lacks focus, the stupid-comical banter and the lampooning of this particular brand of car racing proves entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 4, 2006
Ferrell and his writing partner Adam McKay (who also directs, as he did Anchorman) are utterly without shame in their eagerness to recycle old ideas. This pair could make a blue box jealous.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
August 4, 2006
The hilarious everyman riffs and contagious fun are reason enough to fuel up on such a wonderfully throwaway gag-fest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
August 4, 2006
Talladega Nights is very funny at times, even if the Ballad part mostly boils down to a series of comedy sketches connected by a recurring character.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 4, 2006
The picture gets a bit long near the finish. But comedies live and die on the basis of their laugh quotient, and Talladega Nights gets its share.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 4, 2006
The laughs come and go, but Ferrell makes NASCAR his bitch funny. Funnier. And more fun. And then the fun skids to a stop.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 4, 2006
[Director] McKay has made another wildly uneven, PG-13-that-could-be-R comedy that veers from explosively funny, overlong improvs (a Southern-fried dinner prayer to 'Dear Baby Jesus') to black holes from which no laugh can escape.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 4, 2006
Ferrell reteams with director Adam McKay (Anchorman) for another gleefully trashy comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 4, 2006
Whoo, mama: Will Ferrell and NASCAR do make a purty pair. They go together like peanut butter and fried bananas in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
August 4, 2006
Like a 30-car pileup on the high banks at Daytona, you can't take your eyes off this mess, and it is a rambunctious entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 4, 2006
'What does diablo mean?' 'It's like Spanish for fighting chicken.' If you cracked so much as a shell of a smile reading that, then run, don't walk, to see Talladega Nights, where you will get an entire year's worth of equally irresistible nonsense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 4, 2006
If you can delight in the delight of others, you just may delight in this. Otherwise, prepare to be awfully jealous, because it's the sort of picture where the actors are having a lot more fun than the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
August 4, 2006
Talladega is the first comedy this year to make me laugh so hard I snorted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 4, 2006
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is perfectly stupid chuckleheaded bliss, an achievement of the lowest and highest order. Every week should hold a movie like this.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
August 4, 2006
NASCAR fans will likely love Talladega Nights, which may be a glowing endorsement or a warning sign, depending on the viewer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 4, 2006
Talladega Nights contains some funny high points, as well as some comedy crashes, but still manages to reach the checkered flag without creating too much ill will.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 4, 2006
This mildly crude yet oddly tame tale about a NASCAR hotshot who burns rubber to the top of the pole before having a speedway blowout runs on underinflated tires.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 4, 2006
Like the sport it spoofs, the movie has its thrilling moments but mostly feels repetitive -- it's constantly moving but never really goes anywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 4, 2006
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is the sort of cheerfully asinine comedy that twists your arm until you submit. So, to Will Ferrell -- clown, freak, bully -- I scream, 'Uncle!'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 3, 2006
Whether the engine on Talladega Nights is humming or sputtering, Ferrell stays gamely behind the wheel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 3, 2006
As a cultural artifact, Talladega Nights is both completely phony and, therefore, utterly authentic. Or, to put it differently: this movie is the real thing.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
August 3, 2006
Talladega Nights is an unapologetic goof fest, light as aluminum and seemingly edited with Scotch tape. But it's smart enough to buy gags in bulk and puts them in the hands of three guys who can improvise until the cars come home.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 3, 2006
The laugh quotient lags well behind Ferrell and McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but unlike many other purveyors of hip comedy, they're consistently clever without being contemptuous of their audience.
Top Critic
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post
August 3, 2006
Talladega Nights doesn't do much more than go for the quick guffaw, and frequently the guffaw comes from stereotypical slights along the redneck vein.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
August 3, 2006
Talladega Nights is as good as a summer comedy about NASCAR has any right to be, with fine actors tucked into every nook and cranny.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 3, 2006
We're left ho-humming our way through one obligatory scene after another and wincing through a sting of failed gags until the next bit comes along that tickles our funny bone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 3, 2006
The absurdly funny Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is at once a glorious send-up of NASCAR culture and a goofy celebration of the redneck, red state, red-blooded American culture that spawned it.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
August 3, 2006
A whole bunch of great racing footage would've ratcheted up Nights a notch or two -- see Cars for inspiration -- but even the track scenes are ... well, pedestrian.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 3, 2006
While the film spins out from time to time in subplots highlighting the world-class supporting cast, it has enough momentum to finish in the winner's circle.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 3, 2006
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a bit of a mess, but it is a genial mess, and one that will make you laugh. Which is the whole idea.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
August 3, 2006
At its best, Talladega Nights scales the heights of cinematic Dadaism and affirms that Ferrell and McKay are among the few trying to breathe new life into the atrophied American screen comedy.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 3, 2006
When [Sascha Baron] Cohen and [Will] Ferrell are eyeing each other, you never saw a loopier pair. They compensate for the film's hit-and-miss shenanigans, which more often miss than hit.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 3, 2006
Now and then, the movie allows you to relax into its brand of stupid-smart comedy. The rest of the time your shoulders scrunch up and ask the eternal question: Why is this routine not quite working?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 3, 2006
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby puts Will Ferrell back on the comedy fast track with style and a load of belly laughs.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 2, 2006
This one scores laughs right down to its gloriously gaga climactic smooch.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
August 2, 2006
There's no difference between the movie and the end-credit outtakes.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
August 1, 2006
Simultaneously teasing and loving a subject doesn't make for easy comedy, but writer-star Will Ferrell and director/co-writer Adam McKay pull it off with good-ol'-boy good nature in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
July 31, 2006
From its pitch-perfect title through just about every detail, this sendup of sports-triumph movies maintains the right parodic pitch, if not always the highest mph on the laugh speedometer.