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The script is mediocre and fails to give Ferrell a proper comedic showcase. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

As a child, Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) was never able to live up to the demands of his overbearing father, Buck (Robert Duvall), who wanted Phil to be an athlete. Now a parent himself, Phil has inherited his father's competitive nature, while his son, Sam (Dylan McLaughlin), has inherited Phil's lack of athletic talent. Serving as Sam's soccer coach, Phil hopes to turn his last-place team of losers into champions, so they can beat the rival team coached by Buck.

Cast & Crew

Will Ferrell
Phil Weston
Robert Duvall
Buck Weston
Kate Walsh
Barbara Weston
Musetta Vander
Janice Weston
Josh Hutcherson
Bucky Weston
Elliot Cho
Byong Sun
Judd Apatow
Executive Producer
Mia Apatow
Associate Producer
Daniel Lupi
Executive Producer
Jim Miller
Producer
Mary Parent
Supervising Producer
Lata Ryan
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for Kicking & Screaming

All Critics (142) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (84)

Audience Reviews for Kicking & Screaming

  • Jul 08, 2018
    I've mentioned in a couple of reviews how I've never been a big sports guys, at least after Michael Jordan retired from the NBA for the second time in 1998. Prior to this I was actually into basketball and I played for the school's time and I was actually fairly good, at for my age and the group of people I played with I was also into baseball during this same time. Actually, 1998 was also the year that Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were both chasing Roger Maris' single season homerun record and I remember paying attention to that quite a bit. Of course, those records (as well as Barry Bond's eventual breaking of both the single season and all-time homerun records) have been tainted by the fact that these three men used performance enhancing drugs. That's neither here nor there. Soccer, however, I've never really been into. It's just not my thing. Most sports aren't my thing honestly and that's just the way it's been. Other interests have supplanted sports throughout the years. Who knows, maybe if I had stuck with sports, I could have been a decent bench player for an NBA team. That was a joke, did you laugh? Anyway, given that the FIFA World Cup ends next week, this is an apropos choice. I didn't even do it knowingly, cause I honestly couldn't care less about the World Cup, I've got other things on my mind right now that are of far more importance to me than a major sporting event. But, seriously, the only reason I really watched this was because, of course, of Will Ferrell. I'm a fan of the guy and, regardless of the role and movie he appears in, he always, at the very least, tries to make you laugh. His attempts might not always work, but at least he makes the effort. Say, if the lead was, say, Kevin James instead of Ferrell, I would not have even bothered. If anyone could make this movie work, it's Will Ferrell. Which is why it pains me to say that this movie is just not that funny in the slightest. I wasn't expecting it to be Talladega Nights, not even close, but it could have been a fairly entertaining family comedy. Will Ferrell could have pulled a 'Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein' type of performance out of his ass and, honestly, I don't think it would have made much difference. For those of you who are unaware, Gene Wilder's performance in Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite comedic performances of all time, like top 3 of all time. The problem is the fact that the script leaves a lot to be desired, they literally handicap Will Ferrell left and right. The movie is never truly bad, at least in my opinion, but it is the worst thing a movie like this can be. And that is unfunny. That's not always the case, I've seen comedies that aren't hilarious that are still highly enjoyable for other reasons, whether it be their narrative or its acting. What can I say about the narrative? It went pretty much exactly as I predicted it would go. Phil's original intentions in teaching his son's soccer team are honest. He wants to get his son playing time, after his grandfather (who made him a benchwarmer) traded him to the worst team in the league, and he wants the rest of the kids to enjoy themselves, even if they're losing. That, of course, gets perverted the longer the movie goes and the competition between Phil and his ultra-competitive father, Buck (Duvall), overtakes his original goals and Phil starts acting like a jerk. Also, when Gian Piero and Massimo, who are actually great at soccer, join the team, the Tigers' entire offense revolves around always passing to the Italians (as they are constantly referred to in the film, because apparently they do not have names) and letting them score. Phil, prior to turning into a dick, enlists the help of Mike Ditka (yes, that Mike Ditka) in order to make the kids better players. I'll be honest, Mike Ditka was actually pretty entertaining in his role. He's, pretty much, just playing himself. The only different being, I'm assuming, using far less curse words as I'm certain he had to have used when he was a coach of Da Bears. Outdated 90s SNL reference for you. Two 90s references in a row for me, since I did Bill Lumbergh from Office Space for Event Horizon. In all honesty, I think the movie would have been better if it had just been Mike Ditka being Mike Ditka while training these kids. I would have been wildly entertained by that. Though, to be fair, for this to work, they need to uncuff Mike Ditka and just let him berate these kids like Jason Bateman did the kids in Bad Words. And, to be honest, there aren't many movies out there that have the guts to do that. Go look at Bad Words and just look at Jason Bateman absolutely savaging these kids verbally. It's, obviously, all kinds of wrong, but it's hilarious. And I feel that this movie would have worked better as that. But, it was not to be. Like I already mentioned, though, I predicted the narrative path that this was gonna cross and, outside of not predicting the two Italian cousins coming into the team, it was exactly as I had predicted. And it's not that predictability is always a bad thing, because predictability could also mean that, say, if your film has a twist, then you go with what seems to make sense and not take the route that Shyamalan used to take, where the less sense it makes, the more appealing it was to him. I wouldn't have cared about this movie's predictability if it actually had a strong script with any attempt at consistent comedy. I know I wasn't getting a great story out of this to begin with, but at least make sure your comedy makes up for any other deficiencies your film may have. It is what it is and, as always, I have to review the movie we got and not what it should have been. Even with that, the movie we got was not particularly funny or effective. Out of every Will Ferrell sports movie, which includes this, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro, why would anyone (ie: me) pick this over all the others? I haven't seen Semi-Pro, but I have to assume that it's a better showcase for Ferrell than this movie. Talladega Nights is still pretty great to this day, I know, because I watched it a couple of years ago and it still held up surprisingly well. And, believe it or not, as purposely stupid as it was, I liked Blades of Glory. It seems to me that the choice will be easy to make for most people. This is certainly not bad, but it falls quite short of being good. Ferrell has gone on to do better things, so there's no real need to pay attention to this. Let's just let it go quietly into the night.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Im sorry if you didnt like this, but I just enjoyed it. Will Ferell is my favorite comedian, and man this movie would suck without him. The story and everything else is pretty weak, but Ferell makes it work. With a few cliche and dumb moments, this movie was just okay, but Ferell just naturally made this a funny movie.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2011
    Although Will Farrell is irritatingly loud in this one, it does not fail to become a soccer "Little Giants" possessing humor through the lives of child athletes.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2011
    will ferrel is hillarious at this role as a father who goes on to be a crazed caffine powered, hillariously aggrasive machine! A
    Juan C Super Reviewer

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