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The Best and the Brightest (2011)



Average Rating: 3.4/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 10

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 1,043

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in the world of New York City's elite private kindergartens, The Best and the Brightest centers on a fresh-faced young couple from Delaware, Jeff and Samantha, who have only recently moved into town, and the extreme lengths they must go to in order to get their five-yearold daughter into school. Every private school in the city informs Sam that she's simply too late to apply for a kindergarten spot this fall. But Sam will not be denied. The only way Sue is able to arrange it is by telling



Josh Shelov, Michael Jaeger

Aug 16, 2011

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (14) | DVD (1)

Absurd premise and weak script doom this comedy about haute-preschool angst.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Josh Shelov's smug and smutty farce employs an estimable cast in an only sporadically funny story...

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Far too many sitcom shenanigans crop up like clockwork...

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A repellent comedy that's less fun than a parasite infection...

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Flies off its comic rails after an engaging start, never to land back on solid ground.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Best and the Brightest is amusing at times but never more than a modest diversion, lacking the cleverness and imagination required to turn it into more than a one-joke movie.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic's finally impossible to label The Best and the Brightest as anything more than a sporadically amusing misfire.

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

A slim pan. While there's a certain novelty of setting and a lot of its dialogue pops, the movie's chief problem is the fact that it doesn't seem to wholly embrace the arguably detestable nature of its characters.

June 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

A politically incorrect farce that's increasingly preposterous and inane yet nonetheless hilarious, zany and bold. Amy Sedaris has never been funnier.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

A farce that can't quite find its comic register.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Movieline

This is a positive review for a mediocre movie with outstanding performances. The Best and the Brightest doesn't describe this movie - only its cast.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

Dimly plays out like a waking daymare Alexander Payne thought up while sitting disinterestedly through last fall's disinteresting Waiting for Superman.

June 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Strictly bush league, save for a few bravura performances.

June 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It may dawn on you that the film really only has one, big joke up its sleeve, but like The Aristocrats it finds so many great ways to tell it that the punchline rarely matters.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Best and the Brightest

Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Bonnie Somerville, Amy Sedaris, Peter Serafinowicz, Christopher McDonald, Kate Mulgrew, Kelly Coffield, Steve Park, Jenna Stern, Bridget Regan, John Hodgman

Director: Josh Shelov

Summary: New arrivals Jeff and Samantha are determined to get their 5-year-old daughter into New York City's most elite private kindergarten. But there's only one opening left, and the couple is about to find out just how cutthroat the competition is.

My Thoughts: "A funny, raunchy, dark comedy. Peter Serafinowicz was probably the raunchiest and funniest one for me. I just think that kind of vulgar behavior is funny. Maybe there is something horribly wrong with me, but then again maybe not. Neil Patrick is always great in these types of roles. Bonnie Somerville held her own as well. It was a great cast for what the film is. The whole story is quite unimaginable which makes it that much better. The fact that these people actually see beauty or pure talent in these explicit writings is unfathomable to me. But it's a lot of fun watching it. Great little comedy that I'm glad I didn't pass on."
November 19, 2011

Super Reviewer

At this point in Neil Patrick Harris' career, he could sell just about any film. The problem with The Best and The Brightest is that it under-utilized him. The situation that Jeff and Samantha endure while attempting to get their child into school after a big move is so far-fetched that it becomes impossible to enjoy. Though I believe people can be duped, this film comes off like one of those poorly produced National Lampoon or American Pie spin-offs. However, the dead-pan performances from NPH and new-comer Peter Serafinowicz make the film much more than it is.
December 2, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Jeff: We have a five year old daughter, and we are looking to get her in kindergarden, this fall.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. The Player: Improv it for me, all like Ginsberg style.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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