Observe and Report - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Observe and Report Reviews

Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
April 24, 2009
Bracing, bleak and berserk, this is a film which laughs in the face of American intolerance, and comes up punch-drunk and grinning.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
April 13, 2009
I don't think it's much of a comedy. The darkness overpowers everything.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
April 13, 2009
You don't relate or enjoy watching Seth Rogen's character on screen.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 10, 2009
It falls short of brilliant but it's a lot more daring than what passes for 'dark comedy' these days, and it reminds us that 'feel bad' comedies may not always be as funny as 'feel good' ones but, when they work, they can ultimately be more satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 10, 2009
Observe and Report is a lot better when it's being funny than when it's rummaging in the shadows.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 10, 2009
I don't want to oversell it, but Observe and Report is the sort of offbeat studio movie that should be encouraged.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 10, 2009
In the end, Observe and Report falls in the somewhat confusing middle -- guaranteed to annoy the mainstream while not quite delivering the final twist and bitter irony the true comic cultists crave.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
April 10, 2009
A few of the less repeatable lines hit their marks, but the whole affair has the pasty-faced desperation of shoppers trapped in fluorescent light.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 10, 2009
The tone of the film wavers queasily, though intentionally, between slapstick and shock.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 10, 2009
Writer-director Jody Hill is obviously trying to accomplish something here. But just what is none too clear.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
April 10, 2009
The whole thing is calibrated to wow us with its weirdness, even as it assumes an air of 'Who, me?' guilelessness. I've seen slick, glossy Hollywood thrillers made with less knowing calculation.
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 10, 2009
Meet mall cop Paul Blart's evil, unfunny twin.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Christopher Kelly
Dallas Morning News
April 10, 2009
Aggressively mean and even more aggressively stupid.
| Original Score: F
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 10, 2009
I've observed this Seth Rogen comedy, and I can report that it's not very good.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 10, 2009
Observe and Report strikes me as a comedy in perfect pace with this moment. It's funny and uncompromising, offering laughs without denial.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
April 10, 2009
[T]he upbeat ending--which comes on the heels of a genuinely shocking climax--is so incongruous that, as with The King of Comedy, it almost seems we're being dared to question whether it is real or delusion.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 10, 2009
[Director] Hill evidently intends his film to be satirical. But satire requires intelligence to succeed. Observe and Report has a moronic sense of humour, trading in racism, sexism, profanity and violence at every predictable turn.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 10, 2009
A potentially brilliant conceptual comedy that fizzles because its writer and director, Jody Hill, doesn't have the guts to go with his spleen.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
April 10, 2009
Observe and Report wants very desperately to be a dark comedy. But it doesn't quite get there, as it's not funny enough to hit the comedy dismount and not clever enough to go fully dark.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
John Anderson
Washington Post
April 9, 2009
Given that the ordinarily likable Seth Rogen is portraying a delusional, violent, sexist, racist, homophobic mall cop with a bipolar disorder, there's not really a lot to laugh at.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 9, 2009
When Observe and Report is funny, it's often shockingly so. The characters can be nasty or self-absorbed, yet they still have a whiff of sweetness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 9, 2009
Observe and Report is the evil twin of Paul Blart, which had a soft heart but no nerve. This flick is almost criminally cynical, but delinquents will think there's something arresting about a movie whose mission is disturbing the peace.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 9, 2009
There is no moral to this story, and there's not much comedy either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
April 9, 2009
Beyond the weirdness, if you can get there, is a quick portrait of trailer-park America pursuing its urges by any means necessary.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
April 9, 2009
Observe and Report tickets should come with a free breath mint, because however hard you've been laughing, that ending leaves a seriously bad taste in your mouth.
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
April 9, 2009
Here's hoping the talented Rogen, in the future, sifts out junk like this from the many opportunities before him.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 9, 2009
As funny as it is sick (and it's plenty of both).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
April 9, 2009
Something of a cross between the formalist whimsy of Wes Anderson and the God's-lonely-man psychosis of Taxi Driver, the film breaks all the rules, but the tonal schizophrenia that results isn't an accident.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 9, 2009
There won't be a more polarizing comedy released in 2009 than Observe and Report. This audacious, subversive action comedy turns two of our cuddliest performers, Seth Rogen and Anna Faris, into poster kids for atrocious misbehavior.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 9, 2009
[Director Jody] Hill can create only one sort of protagonist, and half the time he's stuck in a gray area between satirizing the firearms-obsessed, multidirectionally offensive Ronnie and embracing him.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
April 9, 2009
It's the strangest movie I expect to see from a Hollywood studio for the rest of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
April 9, 2009
Soon, Rogen will muscle up into the role he really wants: Rambo. That explains the shoot-em-up climax of Pineapple Express, an unfunny joke now stretched out into a full flick
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 9, 2009
Observe and Report revels in creeping you out and making you laugh -- hard.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
April 9, 2009
Observe and Report feels more like a series of not-quite-successful skits thrown together than a movie with a script.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 9, 2009
While it stops before sliding too far into the darkness, Observe and Report hits a lot of bull's-eyes by aiming for the gut, not easy belly laugh.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 9, 2009
For better or worse, the weirdest, wildest comedy of the year so far.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 8, 2009
In its own demented Pineapple-Foot Fist-Four Letter Word Way, Observe and Report delivers a cynical, angry and funny take on a life of loud, violent desperation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 8, 2009
A crazy mosaic of Americana with tiles scattered and missing. Need I observe and report that the view isn't for every taste? It sure is for mine.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
April 8, 2009
You have to respect Hill's willingness to continually go to any length without so much as a flinch to get a laugh. But that doesn't mean you'll continually enjoy it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 8, 2009
Ronnie the Mall Cop is as an iconic expression of irate proletarian populism and brainless role-playing as Joe the Plumber or Rush the Limbaugh -- identify or ignore at your peril.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 7, 2009
A series of hit-and-miss non sequiturs in which his characters mostly humiliate and injure themselves and others.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 6, 2009
Observe and Report is the rare 'action-comedy' (almost always a muddled hybrid) that earns its cathartic climax. The blood is real because the psychosis is real. But somehow -- the magic of comedy -- it's also uproarious.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
March 18, 2009
Partly but not completely thanks to Rogen's committed performance, Observe manages the funny-pathetic arc of its story line vastly better than Hill's debut film The Foot Fist Way.
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
March 18, 2009
With the invaluable aid of Rogen, who's never been better, Hill sustains an impressive degree of tension between seemingly contradictory elements.