Orange County


Orange County

Critics Consensus

Smarter than the average teen movie, but a little on the unmemorable side.



Reviews Counted: 121

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 174,354


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

Some cast and crew from NBC's highly acclaimed, little-seen series Freaks and Geeks reunite for this teen comedy that also marks the first starring role for Tom Hanks' son, Colin. The younger Hanks plays Shaun Brumder, a high schooler eager to propel himself out of the land of surf bums and ranch homes to which the film's title refers. He's had his sights set on Stanford ever since he read the works of professor Marcus Skinner (Kevin Kline), and his transcript is stellar enough to gain him admission. Shaun is understandably furious, then, when he receives a rejection letter in the mail; after some detective work on his part, he realizes that his flaky counselor (Lily Tomlin) mistakenly sent the university the wrong papers. It's up to him to get to Stanford within 24 hours to set the record straight -- literally -- and he enlists the help of his slacker brother Lance (Jack Black) to do so. Orange County co-stars Catharine O'Hara and John Lithgow as Shaun and Lance's slightly unhinged parents; the film was directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Mike White, both of whom contributed to several episodes of Freaks and Geeks. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

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Colin Hanks
as Shaun Brumder
Catherine O'Hara
as Cindy Buegler
John Lithgow
as Bud Brumder
Lily Tomlin
as Charlotte Cobb
Chevy Chase
as Principal Harbert
George Murdock
as Bob Beugler
Mike White
as Mr. Burke
Garry Marshall
as Arthur Gantner
Dana Ivey
as Vera Gantner
Harold Ramis
as Don Durkett
Manu Intiraymi
as Male Student
Fran Kranz
as Shane Brainard
Grace Bustos
as Cheerleader
Carolyn Wilson
as Butch Female Janitor
Brianna Shebby
as Stephanie Durkett
Leslie Appleyard
as Gina Durkett
Beth Gains
as Mrs. Durkett
David Doty
as Public Safety
Monica Keena
as Gretchen
Sarah Loew
as Party Girl
Lizzy Caplan
as Party Girl
Kevin Kline
as Marcus Skinner (uncredited)
Ben Stiller
as Firefighter (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Orange County

Critic Reviews for Orange County

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (33)

  • [Kasdan] and White aim very low here and fail to take advantage of the abundant opportunities for social satire that its upper class and academic settings provide.

    Aug 6, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • The urine-quaffing gags and hearty barfing asides are the lowbrow price extracted for...gestures towards semi-intelligence.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • This is mostly weak stuff, with a timid and reactionary final message about how it's better to stay in your home town, rather than go for a big-city college education.

    Nov 19, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The script, written by Mike White of Chuck & Buck fame, also has a subversive, satirical vein that sets it apart from the usual roster of dumb-and-dumber romps.

    Oct 15, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith
    Top Critic
  • [T]oo many of these gross out scenes...

    Jan 24, 2002
  • Strictly a vanity vehicle with a mess of star babies on board.

    Jan 22, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/5

Audience Reviews for Orange County


Just a fun movie with a giant heart, impossible to not love. The characters are outrageous and believable at the same time, it's really well shot and tells an important story and unique coming of age experience. It manages to cover all the distasteful parts of a family and capitalize on them, which has never quite been done in the same way before or since. Colin Hanks isn't just a wimpy and angsty teen with too many issues, his problems are real and relatable to most. Jack Black probably gives one of his best performances as Lance, he's never been funnier or more lovable. I think that it shows how terrible and happy life can be at the same time.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Not the best, but definitely wacky with a turn for Schuyler Fisk. Just ignore Jack Black and you'll enjoy it.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

When we're around the 18 - 23 range, don't we all want to get out of the county and same old house that we've known all our life? Shaun does. He's real smart and has a strong urge for becoming a writer one day. He wants to go to a certain university that's far away, just to escape Orange County, his drunken mom, wacky brother, etc. But he'll soon find out that getting what you want isn't always easy. "Orange County" manages to be hilarious (the mindless antics of Jack Black are what REALLY makes the movie) and meaningful (I don't know about you, but I know I can sure relate to wanting to get out of the same tainted place I've known all my life) at the same time. Not to mention that the cast (John Lithgow, Catherine O'hara, Jack Black, and some rising stars) is pretty much perfect for the roles that they play in the film. However, the special features, while decent, could've been better. It has a scene selection, four deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, interstitials, and commentary by the director and writer. That's good enough, but where are the interviews with the cast, the behind the scenes bloopers, and so on? Nonetheless, the bottom line is that "Orange County" is a great movie that will provide you entertainment for years to come if you add it to your collection. For that reason, it's definitely recommended that you add it to your collection ASAP. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2003.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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