Mystery Team

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 19


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,160
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Movie Info

Three would-be Encyclopedia Browns step into the world of grown-up crime in this independent comedy. When they were seven years old, "the Mystery Team" were three kids living in the same neighborhood in Oakdale who played at being precocious preteen detectives. With Jason (Donald Glover) as "the Master of Disguise," Duncan (D.C. Pierson) as "the Boy Genius," and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes) as "the Strongest Kid in Town," they would spend their afternoons getting to the bottom of such crimes as missing tricycles and stolen pies, charging ten cents (or some fruit roll-ups) for their services. However, while their peers have moved on to more mature pastimes now that they're 18 years old, Jason, Duncan, and Charlie are hopeless nerds stuck in preadolescence as they prepare to graduate from high school. Convinced that all they need to do is prove their crime-busting talents to regain the respect of their peers, the Mystery Team step into a new class of detective work when a little girl asks them to find out who killed her parents. The guys are up for the challenge, but it isn't long before dealing with real (and truly dangerous) criminals gets them in hot water. Created by members of the comedy troupe DERRICK, Mystery Team received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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Robbie Sublett
as Ricky Appleman
Kevin Brown
as Bouncer
Gregory Burke
as Football Player
Kay Cannon
as Destiny
Neil Casey
as Broken Man
Lillian Chandler
as Mrs. Kimmel
Dan Eckman
as Bread Squeezer
George Eckman
as Old Man McGinty
Cheryl Freeman
as Mrs. Rogers
Will Hines
as Mr. Stevens
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News & Interviews for Mystery Team

Critic Reviews for Mystery Team

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (8)

  • A pleasant, charming knockabout with a playfully imaginative sense of wit and a pleasingly assured visual style.

    Mar 12, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Just because you're a hit on YouTube doesn't mean you should be making movies.

    Mar 11, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Smutty, silly, groan-worthy in many places, inexplicably hilarious in others, Mystery Team is a guilty pleasure -- a deeply dumb movie made by pretty smart people.

    Jan 28, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Not surprisingly, especially for a movie heavy on college humor, the results are hit-and-miss. Some bits fall thuddingly flat, and the characters are rarely more than stick figures.

    Dec 4, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • Does the thought of watching grown men act like socially awkward boy wonders, while everyone tries not to look confused at their golly-gee shenanigans, crack you up?

    Dec 2, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Genuinely funny but amateurishly constructed.

    Aug 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Peter Debruge

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mystery Team

  • May 31, 2016
    I know this movie probably has a cult following thanks to Donald Glover finding success in the television series Community, which is a cult series in and of itself, but this movie just really isn't that good. I'm not gonna say that it isn't without its laughs or its inspired moments, but the concept of three 18-year-olds acting like they're ten years younger than their actual age and trying to solve trivial crimes like who stole this girl's diary, stupid shit like that. The concept is funny for, oh, about maybe five minutes. There's also something about this concept that seems more suited to a YouTube series with, as mentioned, five-minute episodes. I don't wanna say the movie struggles to find comedy in its concept, but once the joke about them being 18 and acting like little kids wears thin, the jokes that they do throw out there aren't really what I would call smart or interesting. There's no way this movie should've gone as long as it did and you can see them almost struggling to stretch the plot out to fill out an entire movie's worth of content. And that's really the biggest problem, there's nothing about this film, the story or its characters that really justifies it going slightly over 90 minutes and that's entirely on Donald Glover, who co-wrote the film with his co-stars DC Pierson, Dominic Dierkes and Dan Eckman (just the director of thefilm), they're all part of this sketch comedy group. Now I'm not saying that, collectively, they aren't a very funny sketch comedy group, but this isn't a sketch movie and perhaps they would've been better suited writing a sketch movie than a film with an actual narrative. I don't think those four, at that point in their careers, could have written a full-length film that actually was any good. And the proof is in the cut of this flick. It's just not a good movie. And they try to distract you from the fact that it's not a good movie by using gross-out gags that are meant to be 'comedic'. I'm not saying a movie can't be raunchy and be funny at the same time, Superbad is a perfect example. But raunchiness works better in tandem with great writing, where you don't completely rely on dick, sex and poop jokes to get your point across. And this movie completely relies on the raunch in order to carry it and it just doesn't work. I don't think I can stress it enough that the raunchiness just isn't enough to make this movie good. I will give them points, because, at the very least, the cast is energetic and they seemed to have a good time making this movie. But that can only get you so far before you have to put in an actual effort at writing actual jokes and not just relying on what's easiest to pull off. At best, this is a watchable movie. And it's barely just watchable. Even with that said, it's not like I would say that this is a good movie. It doesn't have enough comedy to make its concept work, its structure also leaves a lot to be desired and its reliance on raunchy comedy is just plain lazy. It misses the mark on, pretty much, every point. I can't really recommend this movie. I really can't. I'm sure it's gonna be someone else's cup of tea, but it just did absolutely nothing for me. It was a bad movie elevated by an energetic cast. Still kind of a bad movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2013
    Donald Glover carries the entire film and does a considerably funny job doing so, but it's not enough to keep the plot on track without any help from his costars.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    silly film but it is quite funny when it wants to be.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2011
    If you're a fan of the Derrick Comedy YouTube sketch group then this film will be a nostalgic and off-the-cuff hilarious comedy that you cannot risk missing. Donald Glover, Dominic Dierkes and D.C. Pierson are a sensational trio of well-played chemistry and phenomenal talent. Their timing and delivery should be the envy of all comedy groups. Even with their tremendous talent, Bobby Moinahan, Aubrey Plaza and Matt Walsh are outstanding complements. With a plot to die for, and quips to match, this film is non-stop laughs and gags. Overall, a must see comedy, if you're into tongue-in-cheek, sketch-comic comedy. (which face it, you should be!)
    Liz < Super Reviewer

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