What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)



Critic Consensus: Talented cast is squandered by an uninvolving script filled with unfunny gags.

What's the Worst That Could Happen? Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The novel of the same name by crime author Donald E. Westlake becomes this MGM comedy starring Martin Lawrence as Kevin Caffery, a thief who breaks into the supposedly unoccupied beachfront mansion of billionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny De Vito). Max unexpectedly catches the burglar red-handed and summons the police, but before the criminal can be carted off, Max impulsively claims that Kevin's lucky ring is his own. Enraged, Kevin vows revenge on the tycoon, and so begins a game of one-upmanship from which neither party will cease and desist, even when the result becomes public scandal, financial ruin, divorce, and criminal proceedings. What's the Worst That Could Happen?co-stars John Leguizamo, Glenne Headley, Larry Miller, Ana Gasteyer, Richard Schiff, William Fichtner, Bernie Mac, and Nora Dunn.more
Rating: PG-13 (for language and sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Matthew Chapman, Donald E. Westlake
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 1, 2002
Box Office: $31.1M


Martin Lawrence
as Kevin Caffrey
Danny DeVito
as Max Fairbanks
Carmen Ejogo
as Amber Belhaven
Bernie Mac
as Uncle Jack
Larry Miller
as Earl Radburn
Nora Dunn
as Lutetia Fairbanks
Richard Schiff
as Walter Greenbaum
William Fichtner
as Det. Alex Tardio
Ana Gasteyer
as Ann Marie
Sascha Knopf
as Tracey Kimberley
Lenny Clarke
as Windham
as Shelly Nix
Robin Brown
as Auctioneer
Mike G. Moyer
as Large Man at Auction
Darra Herman
as Auction Bidder
Julie Jirousek
as Auction Bidder
Kevin Chapman
as Bartender
Devon Jencks
as Officer Keeble
Paul O'Brien
as Officer Overkraut
James Baldwin
as Older Tennis Player
Jay Carney
as Gentleman at Club
Matt Seigel
as Banquet Host
Michael Mulheren
as Judge Callahan
Michael Jessel
as Windham Boy
Ryan Hull
as Windham Boy
Eddie McCabe
as Windham Boy
Karen MacDonald
as Washington Real Esta...
Lonnie Farmer
as Washington Condo Doo...
Michelle Youell
as Pepper Spray Lady
Tim Gallin
as Washington Cop
Paul Marini
as Washington Cop
Tracy Oliverio
as Junior Detective
Cam Neely
as Jerry
Elliot Cuker
as Senator Richards
Richard McElvain
as Senator Schutt
Stephanie Clayman
as Sign Language Interp...
Dan Weisman
as Eagle One
Rick Calnan
as Cop at Auction
Jimmy Flynn
as Fire Captain
Russell Curry
as Reporter
Susie Spear
as Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Critic Reviews for What's the Worst That Could Happen?

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (35)

It's worse than the title suggests.

June 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A pinpoint study in what not to do with an adaptation, as well as in why altering a well-known fictional character to suit a poorly cast star is almost always a bad idea.

Full Review… | June 11, 2001
Top Critic

I'd rather watch a forgotten houseplant dehydrate and die.

Full Review… | June 6, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

This is the kind of do-nothing movie you eventually quit watching on an airplane. Unfortunately, theaters don't supply SkyMall catalogues to take up the slack.

Full Review… | June 4, 2001
Top Critic

Uncomfortably distasteful at times.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

Well...you could waste a few hours of your life. Does that answer the question?

Full Review… | September 23, 2006

Audience Reviews for What's the Worst That Could Happen?


Incredibly dumb, What's the Worst That Could Happen? is complete and utter garbage. Danny DeVito and Martin Lawrence star is a crooked businessman and a petty criminal who get into a no-holds-barred grudge match over a lucky ring. The performances are just awful and the plot makes no sense. Most of the jokes fall flat and the characters aren't that likable. What's the Worst That Could Happen? is a horrible film in which nothing works.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

The story focuses on a cat and mouse game between a clever thief Kevin (Martin Lawrence), and a crooked business tycoon Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito), who turn each other's lives upside down after the former is caught burglarizing the Max's house and instead he gets robbed of his most prized possession: his girlfriend's ring. Now, he will stop at nothing to get the ring that was stolen from him. To help him is the hilarious John Leguizamo and joining them is Bernie Mac as Kevin's uncle. William Fichtner is also unforgettable as the police detective who suspects De Vito of committing insurance fraud.

Deb S

Super Reviewer


I actually enjoyed it, although there was too many chacthers, the plot was loose, and it wasn't as funny as you'd expect, but I still liked it, Sort of.

Joseph Eastmond

Super Reviewer

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