The Happytime Murders

Critics Consensus

The Happytime Murders wastes its intriguingly transgressive premise on a witless comedy that blindly pushes buttons instead of attempting to tell an entertaining story.



Total Count: 237


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,493
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Movie Info

No Sesame. All Street. THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.

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Critic Reviews for The Happytime Murders

All Critics (237) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (181)

  • The connoisseur of filth within me is pleased to report how wonderfully nasty much of the felted proceedings here are to behold.

    Aug 31, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • With multiple scenes of drug-snorting and depraved puppet sex, including an admittedly hilariously drawn-out ejaculation's worth emphasising that this is definitely not one for the kiddies.

    Aug 30, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Fatally confuses crassness with subversion.

    Aug 28, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

    Oliver Jones

    Top Critic
  • "The Happytime Murders" is, basically, disgusting. But even when it's reprehensible, it's not always bad.

    Aug 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • This premise holds some promise, but The Happytime Murders is a joyless, soulless slog, wasting the efforts of co-stars Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Banks. (Only Maya Rudolph, playing Phil's ditzy but puppet-tolerant secretary Bubbles, escapes pity.)

    Aug 24, 2018 | Full Review…

    Inkoo Kang

    Top Critic
  • A few critics are calling it the worst movie of the year. Unfair! This R-rated look at a serial killer running wild in a puppet-populated L.A., has what it takes to be a contender for worst of the decade.

    Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Happytime Murders

  • Apr 29, 2019
    From Brian Henson comes the raunchy, hard-R comedy The Happytime Murders. Set in a world where humans and puppets live together, grizzled ex-cop turned private detective Phil Philips is forced to team-up with a human cop who used to be his partner when he investigates the murders of several puppets who starred in a family sitcom together. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, and Maya Rudolph, the cast isn't too bad. The problem is that the script is poorly written and beats to death its one-note joke: afterhours, puppets are dirty sex fiends. Some of the jokes work and the puppetry is incredibly good, but the plot is really thin and the vulgarity is just out of control. A crazy mess, The Happytime Murders goes way over the top, ruining whatever satire the film was going for.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2019
    Remember when puppets having sex was funny in Team America - World Police? Not a lot of mileage left on that joke, unfortunately. What could be funnier than puppets cursing and screwing? How about puppets being a constant stand-in for marginalized people? Brian Henson seems to not only have extreme contempt for his father and his legacy but for any possible audience members as well. Add in a Rick-roll for bad measure, and we have this year's Sausage Party. Aside from the stupid novelty of premise and offensive subtext, it's miserable too, so that's nice.
    K Nife C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    I liked Sausage Party. I feel like I should say that up front because I don't want to seem like I'm easily offended or that I can't take a dirty joke when I say that The Happytime Murders is a pile of shit. Also, while I haven't seen Peter Jackson's 1989 comedy/musical/parody Meet the Feebles which in and of itself seems to have been exactly what The Happytime Murders purports to be, I have seen Team America: World Police and after now having seen Brian Henson's (son of Jim and a director in his own right having made The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island) twist on what it might be like if the puppets he grew up with grew up with him I feel rather confident in saying that I don't need another example of how funny it can be when bedrocks of childhood suddenly come to possess the most adult of behaviors with the crudest of takes on those behaviors. I say this because 1) Team America accomplished as much in balancing tone, humor, substance, and conveying it all through these objects not typically intended to be taken seriously with the sly genius of it hidden in the fact it actually had something to say and 2) because The Happytime Murders is rarely if ever actually funny. And I mean that not in the way that there are a few chuckles to be had here and there throughout the slim ninety-minute runtime, but rather that I didn't laugh once the entire time. The most pleasure to come out of sitting through this one-note joke of a "movie" is the small, sporadic flourishes of creativity that comes in adapting these puppets who know they're puppets into the real world and the humorous ways in which Henson, his team, and screenwriter Todd Berger integrate them. That said, there are maybe two moments in which the creativity of such integrations are funny enough to garner a smirk, but beyond this The Happytime Murders functions as an uninteresting whodunit that doesn't attempt to add weight to its narrative or not-so-subtle metaphor dealing in prejudice and discrimination as it hangs its hat solely on the joke of kid toys being dirty-except as it's executed here-it isn't a funny joke. read the whole review at
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2018
    This is a massive disappointment, it won't garner cult status due to the target audience. Meet the Feebles is a cult gem due to the outlandish plot, compared to this film. This could have been a better film, but for some very odd reason they cast McCarthy in a dead scripted movie. The writers lack creativity and its only McCarthy who can bring any true humour, which is a giant shame. The concept was clever and this could have been a dark horse going into 2018, but sadly it is a giant dud. Poor filmmaking and storytelling. Thee are no risks taken by the filmmakers and it lacks characters who are worth watching. Not worth the time to watch. 03/12/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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