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Terri (2011)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 6,995

My Rating

Movie Info

A hit at the Sundance 2011 Film Festival, Terri is a moving and often funny film about the relationship between Terri, an oversized teen misfit, and the garrulous but well-meaning vice principal (John C. Reilly) who takes an interest in him. Terri is produced by the team behind Blue Valentine and Half Nelson, and directed by Azazel Jacobs (Momma's Man). -- (C) ATO Pictures



Patrick DeWitt, Azazel Jacobs

Oct 11, 2011


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All Critics (89) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (12) | DVD (4)

Lest you think that you've already seen every possible variation on the outsider-nerd story, Terri keeps plenty of surprises up its pit-stained sleeves.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: The Wrap
The Wrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jacob Wysocki infuses his performance in the title role with precisely that same duality, turning Terri into an oversized portrait of adolescence -- so naive yet so wise, strangely believable and believably strange.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Its charms feel somewhat calculated, but this reflective tale of outsider solitude has enough humor and poignancy to win admirers.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sweet and subtle comedy about the awkwardness of adolescence.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terri may be strange, but it's a good, heartfelt strange that resonates long after the film ends.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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[An] emotionally acute indie comedy by Azazel Jacobs.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terri is a very funny film with strong performances and equally strong direction.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Whereas Jacobs père has been most concerned for the past four decades with using cinema as an instrument for exploring the mechanics and boundaries of visual perception, Jacobs fils is less a mad scientist than a misfit bard.

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

...An enjoyable coming-of-age film but a few of the darker sequences and the general feeling that you've seen this story before might keep it from being a larger success.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

"Terri" has one leaving the theater thinking "And?"

January 12, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Like its eponymous protagonist, Terri sits awkwardly outside mainstream expectations, but is all the more appealing for it.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Terri is at least an interesting movie, though it lacks any sort of direct overcoming of the conflict, and things piddle out in the end.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comments (2)
7M Pictures

Funny and perky but unlike most Fox Searchlight films, never saccharine.

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Ultra Culture
Ultra Culture

A winningly understated performance from John C. Reilly and a potentially star-making turn from lead Jacob Wysocki help place Terri's firm finger on the pulse of the often senselessly cruel high school experience.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Terri was shot in just a couple locations on a tiny budget, but it sense of heightened reality and terrific performances make it a strangely touching story.

October 19, 2011 Full Review Source:

The film's less-than-engrossing atmosphere is compounded by Wysocki's competent yet charmless performance...

October 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Crafted with care and imagined with empathy, but the nicely realized scenes don't add up to a satisfying whole.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Against pretty tall odds, Azazel Jacobs' Terri turns out to be a very good movie with a great deal of charm.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

John C. Reilly does what he always seems to do: He energizes, and thus steals, nearly every scene he's in.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Jacobs deftly mixes dark humor with moments of profundity that often take you by surprise.

August 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

Jacobs' pic might not be the most profound, but it's enjoyable, humorous, thoughtful, earnest and it has a feel for what it's like to be an adolescent geek.

August 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A story that quietly captures both the general horror and the faint possibility of hope that distinguish teenage life.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Director Azazel Jacobs delivers a naturalistic and entirely absorbing drama about a boy on the verge of self-awareness, capturing the awkward horrors and unexpected surprises that make up everyone's adolescence.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

Audience Reviews for Terri

Terri is a solid proof that you don't need a complicated plot or tons of CGI effects to come up with a movie worth remembering. It's so simple and real, and loving the protagonist is ultimately inescapable.

Jacob Wysocki is a real talent and is perfect for the lead role. I think the movie wouldn't have been as endearing as it is if it wasn't for John C. Reilly playing Mr. Fitzgerald. Yes, not a lot of things happened in the movie, but that's actually the beauty of it.

You just want to feel pity for Terri the first time you see him going to school in his pajamas. But as the film goes on, pity becomes the last thing you want to feel for him. There's a movie I saw a few years back (let's pretend I have forgotten title) and it's something about a fat teenage girl. Although the performances were undeniably praiseworthy, for me the whole movie thrived on hatred and a truckload more of negative stuff. Terri, on the other hand, is all about some raw human being goodness. If only all the people out there had a bit of Terri in them, then there'd be hope for humanity.
3 1/2 Stars 1-27-14
January 28, 2014
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

If you don't like the sound of a film being a 'Sundance hit' then look away now. If however you like a good American Indie then come right in. It's simple, slow-paced, amusing and touching. The writing is suitably subtle and the performances are very good, newcomer Jacob Wysocki plays the title role exceptionally and John C. Reilly exercises his acting chops - I really wish he'd stop doing crappy comedies with Will Ferrell, he's a much better actor than that. Bridger Zadina is another young actor to look out for, here he is a pure mix of a number of John Hughes characters and a bad Edward Furlong. It's a good film.
August 15, 2013

Super Reviewer

Mr. Fitzgerald: I screw up all the time. Because that's what people do.

"We've all been there."

Terri is a fresh little indie dramedy that features two outstanding performances from Jacob Wysocki and John C. Reilly.  Jacob Wysocki plays the title role and it's his first feature performance ever. He's really good, but I don't think he's ever going to break the typecasting. I see he's already lined up for a film called Fat Kid Rules the World. John C. Reilly is at his best in movies like this. It seems like he's getting back to doing more and more indie stuff, and I love it. 2010 had Cyrus, this year he starred in Cedar Rapids and Terri. 

It should come as no surprise that this movie isn't very plot heavy. It is a character study and a pretty damn good one at that. Terri is an overweight teen, who lives with his uncle. He doesn't know where his mom is and he doesn't know where his dad is. Being as overweight as he is; he's obviously going to get made fun of. The fact that he only wears pajamas just makes matters worse. He is able to forge a friendship with the vice principal of his high school though. The two help each other out.

Terri is one of those movies that is classified as a comedy, even though it is never laugh out loud hilarious. It has some funny moments, but it never creates laughs just because. It worries more about the characters, most notably Terri. In another movie Terri may have been exploited for laughs, which would have been easy. A three hundred pound teen wearing pajamas could be funny. But in this movie we don't laugh because we get to know him and we feel for him. Even though I have very little in common with Terri, I found myself trying to relate to his situations. 

Terri isn't going to excite you. It is slow paced and nothing much happens. Many people just can't handle movies like this and I don't particularly blame them. I can see how movies of this type could come of as pointless and just a waste of time, but I love these types of movies. I love Terri not only because it's different, but because it's realistic and easy to relate to. 

Fans of coming of age movies, indie movies, and patient storytelling should rejoice in Terri. But if you're looking for a comedy that will make you laugh endlessly, you may want to look elsewhere. 
February 4, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

It starts off following the same old coming-of-age / mentor movie formula, but Terri eventually transcends those tropes, mostly because just about every moment is so sincere and filled with such humanity and truth. This is helped along by the eye-opening performance by Jacob Wysocki (Terri), yet another actor this year who won't get nearly the amount of attention he deserves. A long and surprisingly tense and emotional scene that serves as the climax really sums up the confusion that sometimes comes with being a teenager, and the script as whole is filled with poignant lines that simplify the film's main themes and put that whole 'growing up' thing into a clear perspective. Fascinating character study.
December 17, 2011
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

    1. Mr. Fitzgerald: Cool Breeze Club, members only.
    – Submitted by Brady B (22 months ago)
    1. Mr. Fitzgerald: What is wrong with you Chad? Honestly?
    – Submitted by Amy B (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Fitzgerald: That's not to say that it's not wrong, or weird. Because, believe me, it is!
    – Submitted by Amy B (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Fitzgerald: Who's ready to mourn!
    – Submitted by Amy B (2 years ago)
    1. Dirty Jack: Watch the finger.
    – Submitted by Amy B (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Fitzgerald: Beans on toast? What, do you guys live in a hobo village? Do you guys go off on your donkeys after that?
    – Submitted by Amber P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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