Better Off Dead - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Better Off Dead Reviews

Page 1 of 170
October 4, 2016
A high school comedy that goes higher than some of its outdated effects. Very high school minded and jokes that high schoolers would think of. The story has a nice progression. Funny how the top girl at the beginning feels so cheap in the end. Great effects with the french girl that sounds like a real french girl, and an incredible charm. That spiked the film with extra octane. The film is overall pushing the absurd fun enough to keep interest.
½ July 31, 2016
This is such a crappy movie. No, because it's filmed in the 80s it doesn't excuse it. None of the gags are funny. It feels like it was written by a 6 year-old, but even then, I think 6 year olds I know seem to have better jokes that this film does, and they just joke about poo!
If you watch this and enjoy it ...
June 20, 2016
This film is not for everyone, but having stumbled upon it I have to say that it is a true masterpiece of oddity, and it has the perfect mix of great humor and good storytelling. For me, this film trumps Ferris Bueller.
May 27, 2016
I didn't think that I would enjoy this film like I did. John Cusack did quite a good job playing Lane Myer. I think the reason I liked his performance as much as I did was because I also saw Say Anything... this year and to see John play nearly an entirely different role inside of the same age group was interesting. Speaking of Say Anything..., Better Off Dead... also has three periods after the name. What's up with that, late 1980 films?
March 11, 2016
I swear Better Off Dead just gets better every time I watch it. It's definitely a comedy of its time, with all its 80's-isms that are tropes of its time and comedies of that time, but its way of playing off of surreal comedy, irony, and deadpan nature make it so enjoyable to watch, and especially unpredictable for first time viewers. Its also just filled with a lot of random ideas or ideas that far exaggerate reality. There's a few ideas and jokes that do work against themselves and come off cringe worthy (the claymation sequence, ugh, just too lame and silly), but what stands out is that this is a totally 80's comedy that isn't totally what it is just solely because of its time, the director plays on ideas that he could only get away with at the time. Better Off Dead is a comedy that's cleverly dumb and goofy with its randomness and groaners, but it works better than most other comedies that were similar of its time.
November 26, 2015
John Cusack would rather die than not be with Beth...but, he just can't seem to pull off suicide.

Tagline: Have you ever snorted snow on top of a mountain at a ski resort?
½ September 17, 2015
Weird movie. But it is a lot of fun. Not the biggest Cusack fan but this one just has a kind of draw to it... I can't explain it but I like it.
½ August 21, 2015
Love it. 2 dollars!!
½ August 14, 2015
A surreal, very original take on the 80s teen movie genre. With hilarious writing and some pretty decent drama. Be sure to check this one out its a definite watch
½ August 13, 2015
Here's a film I admire a whole lot more than I like. It's not your average teen comedy from this period. It has a strange, manic edge to it that really sets it apart as it's own animal. That said, I don't really find it to be very funny. To be sure, it has a few really good jokes in it, but a lot of the time I think it's trying too hard with material that really isn't very strong. It has a really great cast though and is genuinely entertaining in it's odd little way.
½ July 31, 2015
It's a little rough around the edges, but almost every gag and visual joke is so, so good.
July 19, 2015
Pretty nice and funny, it just missed out a few things, but was very fun to watch skiing and the kid who shouted "2 dollars"!
July 12, 2015
When it gets out of treating suicide like a running gag and going for the absurd, Better Off Dead excels. But only then.
½ June 16, 2015
try to not quote this funny film
May 22, 2015
97 minutes of goofs, gags and arbitrary animations, Savage Steve Holland's in-your-face comedy is solid teen silliness from start to finish.
The film takes place in a sort of surreal anti-sitcom world, where Mums cook mush, props fall apart and characters act and speak like cartoon ducks. It's a comedy of errors and exaggerations to the extreme, yet even when the jokes fall flat, the film's always upbeat, always unusual and always great fun. Plus it's pathos-free and has bags 80s charm to boot. Terrific stuff.
½ April 16, 2015
Repeated viewings over the course of the last 20 years has done little to diminish the consistently hysterical antics of Lane Meyer, Monique, Ricky, and Booger (okay, he's not Booger here, but he will always be Booger to the children of the 80's). Thank you for giving us a reason to giggle incessantly at such elegant simplicity: I want my two dollars! You like raisins. This is pure snow!
This may not be Hamlet, but it's sheer genius, nonetheless.
April 4, 2015
Some of the jokes just fall flat but, I did still manage to chuckle a fair amount regardless of it's faults.
March 24, 2015
Teenage Cusack's best movie
½ March 22, 2015
This is simply a mess. Quite honestly, the worst movie I think I've ever seen; or at least that I recall seeing. If anything positive can be said about it, perhaps it is that it is memorable: that is something. Alas, it is memorable for all of the wrong reasons. Incredibly unfocused, this film seems extremely unsure of its own genre and tone, and if that was meant to be some sophisticated artistic choice, then something clearly went very wrong, because that was not the impression I was left with whatsoever. The jokes are very immature and stale, the plot infinitely predictable, and the characters either unlikable, annoying, or very uninteresting -- or occasionally a truly mind-numbing combination of these undesirable qualities. At no point did the story persuade me to be interested, and after around the first fifteen minutes I found myself having to check the length: how much longer would I be forced to sit through this insipid nonsense? Besides the incredibly forced acting, uninventive plot, and hopelessly confused tone and atmosphere, I found myself developing an intense dislike for the main protagonist, and extreme irritation with the majority of major side characters and antagonists. Having heard that the film was meant to be some artistic surreal black comedy, I went into the film expecting something along the lines of Donnie Darko: and as the film progressed, I found myself wishing that the characters (bland and unfunny as they were) had suffered similar fates to those in Donnie Darko. A desperately unnecessary and bizarre animated sequence involving living hamburgers was really the point when I had to consign this to among the worst films I've ever seen; not only was it utterly pointless, with no purpose or payoff, but it only further confounded me and made me wish it was over. There was no message (which is not unforgivable), there were no interesting or likable characters (nor memorable ones, apart from a few so irritating that they left a permanent, negative impression), nor a meaningful or enthralling story, nor inventive or unusual ideas (apart from one or two that were so woefully out of place that they would have been more effective if they had been cut and made into mildly interesting short films). It's just a horrible, horrible movie. The best that can be said is that its camerawork isn't terrible, the acting isn't as bad as it could have been, and at its heart, there might have been potential for a decent film, or perhaps several films: but alas, this tried far to hard to meld wholly irreconcilable ideas and tones, and that's really what this movie boils down to -- a very forced attempt to blend a lot of ideas that simply had no justified reason to be together in the first place.
March 22, 2015
This is simply a mess. Quite honestly, the worst movie I think I've ever seen; or at least that I recall seeing. If anything positive can be said about it, perhaps it is that it is memorable: that is something. Alas, it is memorable for all of the wrong reasons. Incredibly unfocused, this film seems extremely unsure of its own genre and tone, and if that was meant to be some sophisticated artistic choice, then something clearly went very wrong, because that was not the impression I was left with whatsoever. The jokes are very immature and stale, the plot infinitely predictable, and the characters either unlikable, annoying, or very uninteresting -- or occasionally a truly mind-numbing combination of these undesirable qualities. At no point did the story persuade me to be interested, and after around the first fifteen minutes I found myself having to check the length: how much longer would I be forced to sit through this insipid nonsense? Besides the incredibly forced acting, uninventive plot, and hopelessly confused tone and atmosphere, I found myself developing an intense dislike for the main protagonist, and extreme irritation with the majority of major side characters and antagonists. Having heard that the film was meant to be some artistic surreal black comedy, I went into the film expecting something along the lines of Donnie Darko: and as the film progressed, I found myself wishing that the characters (bland and unfunny as they were) had suffered similar fates to those in Donnie Darko. A desperately unnecessary and bizarre animated sequence involving living hamburgers was really the point when I had to consign this to among the worst films I've ever seen; not only was it utterly pointless, with no purpose or payoff, but it only further confounded me and made me wish it was over. There was no message (which is not unforgivable), there were no interesting or likable characters (nor memorable ones, apart from a few so irritating that they left a permanent, negative impression), nor a meaningful or enthralling story, nor inventive or unusual ideas (apart from one or two that were so woefully out of place that they would have been more effective if they had been cut and made into mildly interesting short films). It's just a horrible, horrible movie. The best that can be said is that its camerawork isn't terrible, the acting isn't as bad as it could have been, and at its heart, there might have been potential for a decent film, or perhaps several films: but alas, this tried far to hard to meld wholly irreconcilable ideas and tones, and that's really what this movie boils down to -- a very forced attempt to blend a lot of ideas that simply had no justified reason to be together in the first place.
Page 1 of 170