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Observe and Report Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

Wrong to laugh. And yet... Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    54

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    Bobs and weaves between gross-out comedy and violent psychosexual drama, ultimately sliding into parody.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Barring a Terry Zwigoff return to "Bad Santa" territory, it's hard to imagine a filmmaker embracing this dubious hero to the extent writer-director Jody Hill does.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Where "Mall Cop" is broad, safe and sticks to a formula, Observe and Report is unabashedly crude, cynical, off-kilter and funnier.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The superb character actor Celia Weston (In the Bedroom) is truly breathtaking as Ronnie's boozer mom.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Observe and Report reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Dark, disturbing comedy is for adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this dark, disturbing comedy may be funny, it's very different from star Seth Rogen's other R-rated raunchfests. It has all of the language, strong sexual content (including full-frontal male nudity), drinking, and drug use of Judd Apatow-style comedies but doesn't have any of their underlying heart. Plus, it has some scenes of brutal violence and a sex scene in which the main female character is so drunk that the encounter could easily be seen as an assault. While mature teens and grown-ups will likely understand that the main character isn't being presented as a hero, it's still not appropriate for young people.

  • Families can talk about how the movie links violence and comedy. Why are some of the violent scenes funny? Do you think everyone would find them funny? What's the impact of seeing violent images in the media? Families can also discuss how the movie portrays the drunken sex scene. How did that scene make you feel? Do you think moments like that should be treated as comedy? How is this movie different from Seth Rogen's other films? Which do you like better?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Despite the slapstick and profanity, this is a disquieting, darkly complex story about a character that we're never sure we should be rooting for. Ronnie (who has bipolar disorder) may be the protagonist, but he's hardly a hero -- he commits violent, brutal acts and is rewarded for them. Characters are also stereotyped (Ronnie suspects an immigrant vendor of being a terrorist based solely on the color of his skin, for example), and there aren't really any positive messages for viewers of any age.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal, unapologetic violence. People are beaten (one by police) and Tasered; skateboarders are beaten with their own skateboards; characters have rough fistfights. A character uses a flashlight as a weapon. Guns are used -- in one case at point-blank range, with the bloody wound prominently shown.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Characters have sex while one of them is pass-out drunk; her consent is the "punchline," but it's still a deeply disquieting moment. There's also a long scene with full-frontal male nudity in which a flasher is pursued in slow-motion. Two characters have sex in the back of a car. Women are ogled.

  • language false5

    Language: Extensive, constant, and strong, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "p---y," "ass," "balls," "dick," "c--k," "piss," "goddamn," "oh my God," and much more.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The movie is set in a mall, so there's some contextual mention of real-life brands.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink to excess (sometimes until they vomit) and mix their alcohol with illicit prescription drugs; characters also smoke pot and use cocaine. One character is an alcoholic, and a supporting character shoots up heroin. One character's extreme inebriation precedes an uncomfortable sex scene in which the matter of her consent is unclear.

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