Orange County

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 121


Audience Score

User Ratings: 174,347
User image

Orange County Photos

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

Watch it now


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)
View All

News & Interviews for Orange County

Critic Reviews for Orange County

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (65)

  • [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

  • Apr 22, 2019
    Great cast and soundtrack. The story is quite simplistic in design and robs the film from achieving some individual style. Black is very funny in a weird supporting role. I was shocked at the talent involved here, but they must been connected to land most them in little roles. This is an okay filmin doses, but the filmmakers don't have a clear understanding of the material and it's a bit messy. Okay in the end but not a great comedy. 19/04/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2012
    The big coming out of Colin Hanks, son of you know who, is underwhelming. Jack Black's talents are completely wasted here.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2010
    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 R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2010
    Not the best, but definitely wacky with a turn for Schuyler Fisk. Just ignore Jack Black and you'll enjoy it.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

Orange County Quotes

News & Features