Without a Paddle

Critics Consensus

Without a Paddle has a few laughs, but not enough to sustain its running time.



Reviews Counted: 126

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 408,542


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


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

Just as the old saying goes, a trio of hapless city-dwelling friends (Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, and Dax Shepard) find themselves spiraling out of control up a very brown river in this raucous comedy from Little Nicky director Steven Brill. Heading out for a weekend canoe trip in search of an elusive 200,000-dollar treasure, the trio must contend with everything from raging rapids to backwoods mountain men if they're ever going to uncover the secret of the missing booty.

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Critic Reviews for Without a Paddle

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (32)

  • Without has all the freshness of moldering Playboys stashed under a mattress, but it evokes what few boys-will-be-boys larks can: chumminess.

    Aug 27, 2004 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • How do you siphon the laffs from a surefire gut-busting premise like city slickers stuck in the sticks? ... you assemble a cut-rate Three Stooges, inject tired '80s nostalgia and some moralistic goo about carpe-ing the diem.

    Aug 25, 2004 | Full Review…
  • Think Road Trip meets City Slickers. Then dial the humor down a few notches, and you're left Without a Paddle.

    Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • Forget being up a raging creek without a paddle, these poor losers are lost in a wilderness that permits no comedy.

    Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Without a Paddle wants to fascinate us with our own repulsion, and the wraparound, absurdly sentimental story is there to fill space between obvious and appalling sight gags.

    Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • The first half of the film is enjoyable but hit and miss. After that, it's just miss.

    Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Without a Paddle


Jerry Conlaine: I dont have to out-run the bear, I just have to out-run you. "The Call of the Wild. The Thrill of Adventure. The Mistake of a Lifetime." I'll always have a sort of soft spot in my heart for Without a Paddle. I've seen it many times and as a young 11 or 12 year old, I cane even admit I liked it. Now, I see it for what it is; just another bad, buddy adventure movie. Still there's a certain amount of enjoyment that I get from the film. Mostly because I love the nostalgia aspect of the movie, and how it orchestrates its plot around Deliverance. Matthew Lilliard, Seth Green, and a really cool soundtrack make the whole thing go down a lot easier as well. Three lifelong friends who are entering their thirties are called away to a funeral of one of their best friends. While there, they learn that Billy had gone back and completed a trip that the four of them had always wanted to go on. The trip is one that would take them on a treasure hunt through the backwoods of Oregon, looking for a criminal named D.B. Cooper's, loot. When they go on the trip, things quickly turn from fun and nostalgic to dangerous and life threatening. There's always a slapstick and lite feel to the film no matter where the plot developments take the characters. Overall, this movie takes a lot of shit that I'm just not willing to throw at it. Sure it's a bad movie, and that's worth noting, but it isn't so bad that it needs to be completely crucified. There's elements I like that make up for a lot of the really terrible stuff going on. It's worth a watch if you have absolutely nothing else going on at the time. Just don't expect anything good. It's a weird movie in that I like it more than I should, while simultaneously still disliking it. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Comedic version of Deliverance where three childhood friends set out into the woodlands of America to search for a lost briefcase filled with money. The film is actually light on humour and high on sentiment. The themes are hammered into us, and are actually just spoken out loud. "Life, that IS the treasure". Despite this, when it is funny it gets some big laughs. All the scenes are episodic, with the trio meeting a threatening bear, some hillbillies, a mountain man, and some hippies in a tree. The film relies too much on the men being uncomfortable with homosexuality. Burt Reynolds shows up to pay homage to Deliverance, but doesn't completely embarrass himself or shame the film. Perhaps the wig and make-up helped. I'm always going to laugh at stoned animals so it had that going for it. The locations were often stunning, which helped in the long pauses between jokes. Quick and enjoyable, it never really angered me and it kept me interested.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


Avoid this blarney ... unless some alien invasion or nuclear cataclysm leaves you helplessly trapped and stranded in a well stocked coffeeshop in Amsterdam. That's about the only way that it won't feel like a complete waste of time.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


This is one of those comedies that though not perfect, are still very entertaining and fun. Though it isn't a perfect film, Without a Paddle is a fun, comedy that has plenty of things to offer. This is overall a mindless comedy that anyone can enjoy. Not excellent by any means, but really fun, Without a Paddle is one of those films that you can watch with friends for a good, entertaining evening. If you're looking for a mindless amusing film, look no further than Without a Paddle. I find that this film is underrated, and though not perfect; it's a good buddy adventure comedy that does deliver good laughs and a fun viewing experience. Sure the film could have been better, but for the most part, Without a Paddle succeeds at being a decent comedy to watch, and it's not as bad as what you'd expect it would be. I laughed many times while watching this, and the cast are pretty good considering. Seth Green is always fun to watch, and he makes me laugh every time. I wouldn't recommend Without a Paddle to everyone, but those looking for a simple, mindless fun comedy; this is the perfect film to watch. The film is pure fun, and has plenty of gags to enjoy. I very much enjoyed the simplistic story, and the film overall has a good heart, and I think viewers can forgive its imperfections because in the end, Without a Paddle is a harmless whimsical comedy that can make you smile.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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