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Who is Cletis Tout? (2002)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 56
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 43

Cliched and endlessly self-referential, Who Is Cletis Tout? doesn't add anything original to the crime genre.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 17

Cliched and endlessly self-referential, Who Is Cletis Tout? doesn't add anything original to the crime genre.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,368

My Rating

Movie Info

Standup comedian turned director Chris Ver Weil makes his debut with this wild and woolly romantic comedy cum noir crime thriller. The film centers on Trevor Finch (Christian Slater), a master counterfeiter and career con who learns that he has a price on his head from mob hitman Critical Jim (Tim Allen). The reason turns out to be a wacky case of mistaken identity -- Finch has assumed the name Cletis Tout, a sleazy, long-dead French muckraker with, it turns out, a criminal history himself.


Drama, Comedy

Chris Ver Wiel

Jan 7, 2003


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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (43) | DVD (5)

Quirky, often-fun film.

August 8, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's just a little too self-satisfied.

August 2, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Merely a diversion, but clever enough to divert.

August 2, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At best, Cletis Tout might inspire a trip to the video store -- in search of a better movie experience.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It won't hold up over the long haul, but in the moment, Finch's tale provides the forgettable pleasures of a Saturday matinee.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On the level of the dime-a-dozen Tarantino wannabes that clutter the bottom shelves at the video store.

January 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

There's a sweetness to it that's disarming and diverting -- mostly thanks to performances of Slater, Richard Dreyfuss as his partner in crime, and Portia Di Rossi as Dreyfuss' daughter.

August 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The whole mildly pleasant outing -- the R rating is for brief nudity and a grisly corpse -- remains aloft not on its own self-referential hot air, but on the inspired performance of Tim Allen.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

If you love movies, it's hard not to like Who Is Cletis Tout? or at least smile through it.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Overall, Cletis Tout is a winning comedy that excites the imagination and tickles the funny bone.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

A great idea becomes a not-great movie.

August 15, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The movie attempts to mine laughs from a genre -- the gangster/crime comedy -- that wore out its welcome with audiences several years ago, and its cutesy reliance on movie-specific cliches isn't exactly endearing.

August 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Why sit through a crummy, wannabe-hip crime comedy that refers incessantly to old movies, when you could just rent those movies instead, let alone seek out a respectable new one?

August 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Warmed-over Tarantino by way of wannabe Elmore Leonard.

August 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Whereas the extremely competent hitman films such as Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty resonate a sardonic verve to their caustic purpose for existing, Who Is Cletis Tout? is an inexpressible and drab wannabe looking for that exact niche.

August 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Eye
Movie Eye

No one should have to hear the named Cletis Tout said upwards of 50 times in one sitting.

August 2, 2002

Not quite as bad as when a black comedy swings and completely misses, the film thankfully isn't entirely awful or a complete embarrassment to all involved.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Audience Reviews for Who is Cletis Tout?

Mildly entertaining. Storyline was only ok, but presented in a unique narrative style. Ru Paul's character was unnecesary, and distracting. Doesn't work on every level, but not too bad. Passed away an afternoon for me...
May 5, 2011

Super Reviewer

Christian Slater stars as a crook who gets a new identity after breaking out of prison. He's given the name Cletis Tout, which turns out to be the name of someone the mob wants dead. While Slater is looking for a box of diamonds that his friend (Ricard Dreyfuss) in prison hid when he was younger, he gets help from Dreyfuss' daughter (Portia de Rossi).

The movie wants to be a smart Get Shorty type of mob comedy, but it never reaches that level. The only reason to watch this movie is for the performances. Believe it or not, but Tim Allen steals the show as a movie loving hit-man. Tim Allen shows here and Redbelt that he's wasted in the crappy family comedies that he usually makes. The guy can actually act and can handle more serious roles. Although, I wouldn't mind seeing him as "Tim the Tool Man Taylor" one more time lol.
May 8, 2010
Jim Woehr

Super Reviewer

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