Bringing Down the House Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 14, 2012
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 1, 2008
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 19, 2004
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
April 22, 2003
A comedy that successfully plays with stereotypes, both racial and personal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 18, 2003
You have somebody as smart as Steve Martin, and as smart and appealing as Queen Latifah in a movie like this. To have such an awful, offensive story is a real disappointment.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 14, 2003
A comedy constructed from tapped-out ideas.
| Original Score: C-
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Jane Dark
Village Voice
March 11, 2003
A Film in Which Steve Martin Will Appear in Full Hip-Hop Drag With Appropriate Slang for Not Less Than Six Minutes.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 9, 2003
The material is thin and pandering and almost criminally negligent in bypassing opportunities for humor.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 7, 2003
It's a sorry situation when actors as talented and funny as Queen Latifah and Steve Martin waste their efforts in an offensive exercise that feels like a bad sitcom.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 7, 2003
The laughs should roll like thunder, but instead they mew like kittens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 7, 2003
The rare film that manages to be simultaneously bland and offensive.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 7, 2003
This is strictly formula stuff, made worse by an utterly careless depiction of the characters, whose road to friendship is neither believable nor remotely accounted for.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 7, 2003
A gut-busting black-and-white culture clash comedy.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
March 7, 2003
Like one of those overbearing relatives who bursts into the living room, invited or not, and shatters your domestic tranquility with a barrage of soggy platitudes and moldy jokes, both of which he's sure you've never heard before.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 7, 2003
This House is built on a shaky foundation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 7, 2003
It's inspired comic casting with rare feel-good chemistry.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 7, 2003
While Bringing Down the House is far from perfect, it is still guaranteed to get you laughing.
| Original Score: B
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 7, 2003
It's depressingly tame stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
March 7, 2003
The kind of comedy whose best bits have already surfaced in the coming attractions trailer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 7, 2003
A comedy is not allowed to end with the couples incorrectly paired. It goes against the deeply traditional requirements of the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 7, 2003
There's no shortage of laughs, thanks to some sharp one-liners, two stars at the top of their game, and a solid supporting cast of veteran laugh-getters.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
March 7, 2003
An embarrassment for all concerned, this witless, odd-couple comedy slings separate but equal gibes at blacks and whites... and still manages to ridicule gays and Hispanics.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
March 7, 2003
The movie appears to have been made for an audience that considers the idea of black people terribly exotic.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 7, 2003
A movie where each scene seems to stand in a world of its own: funny; tasteless; stale; very funny; what on earth were they thinking?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 7, 2003
The sitcom shtick wears thin after a while.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 7, 2003
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
March 7, 2003
... Martin doesn't have his A-game here. Bringing Down the House is a passable little comedy, but the white-haired funnyman is neither wild nor crazy.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
March 6, 2003
High-school cafeteria soup has more flavor than this bland, tepid throwback.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2003
A movie that desperately wants [Latifah's] hip, her edge and mostly her blackness but doesn't know what to do with the human being who comes with the package.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 6, 2003
A gut-busting, stereotype-busting slapstick comedy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
March 6, 2003
This is one high-concept, please-the-masses comedy that works.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
March 6, 2003
Even the director's flat-footed moves can't quell Martin and Latifah, whose combined energy is fearsome and sometimes most amusing.
Top Critic
March 6, 2003
Diehard fans of any of these stars [Martin, Latifah, Levy, Plowright and White] may be amused -- the movie is, at times, an amusing diversion -- but most will probably find it wanting.
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
March 6, 2003
Viewers may be more likely to ride with Martin's and Latifah's good vibes than to analyze the lunkheaded racial politics, but very little is fresh here.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Sonia Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 6, 2003
[Latifah's] got sass and smarts aplenty, powering the most interesting character here.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 6, 2003
Coarse, poorly tuned comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 1, 2003
Bringing Down the House offers proof that there are times when superior performances can salvage a mediocre script.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
February 25, 2003
Questionably tasteful but often laugh-out-loud funny.