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Mystery Men Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It's a long, shapeless, undisciplined mess, and every once in awhile it generates a big laugh.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    This hip send-up of the superhero lifestyle has a bunch of great comic bits from a group of great, eccentric talents, but not enough bourgeois discipline to see the story through.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    At long last, someone has crafted a worthwhile superhero spoof.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    They're a ragtag assembly for sure, and the results aren't pretty. But on a simple mission of entertainment, they get the job done.

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  • See all Mystery Men reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Witty comic-book story is edgy, with lots of potty humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mystery Men is a silly superhero satire that's rife with potty humor. One character in particular, The Spleen, boasts the superpower of superhuman flatulence, and there are jokes galore about his powerful gas. There are several non-gory electrocutions, and three characters are incinerated and mutilated onscreen, including the surprise death of a main character. At one point, a group of superheroes drink together in a bar and get silly and tipsy; at another, a group of female villains is hit with a shrink ray that shrinks only their clothes while a male superhero makes an erection joke. Other characters put each other down and call each other "moron" or "idiot." Altogether, the movie is terrifically goofy, but a lot of fun for teens and parents who enjoy superhero movies or screwball satires.

  • Families can talk about individual abilities, and what superpowers each member of the family would most like to have. Also, what accessory would your action figure be sold with?
  • How do the superheroes in this movie differ from traditional superheroes?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Friendship and working together are valued highly in this otherwise quite silly movie; some of the bonds between the titular superheroes are actually quite touching.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Most of the characters are too satirical to take seriously, but William H. Macy's The Shoveler is a loyal and true family man, though he sometimes puts the needs of the average citizen over those of his family. Garafalo's Bowler is a rare example of a fantastic, strong female superhero.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Much comic-book violence, including the (not very gory) incineration/mutilation of several characters. Most of the superhero battles, however, involve characters being pushed over or punched rather than shot or killed.

  • sex false2

    Sex: There is some flirting between men and women, and mention of dates and some characters being attractive (or not). In one scene, female villains are hit with a shrinking ray that shrinks their clothes into tight, short dresses; one character makes an erection joke afterwards.

  • language false3

    Language: One curse: "Oh, s--t." There are tons of references to passing gas: "Pull my finger!" "Silent but deadly." Characters insult each other: "Moron!"

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: One character wears a uniform emblazoned with sponsor names: Rayovac, Pepsi.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink in a bar, one gets a bit tipsy and slurs.