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Paul Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Alienated Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

More fun than hunting an Ewok. 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
    57

    out of 100

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

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Where Paul takes off is in its embrace and knowledge of sci-fi icons.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Affectionate, funny and action-packed sci-fi spoof.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Graeme and Clive, representatives of a nation of nonbelievers in UFOs and big dinner portions, come to the psychic capital of a country that wants to believe, and they're transformed. In Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do likewise, in celebration of what the Spielbergian cosmos is all about.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Paul reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Cheerfully dumb sci-fi comedy has sex, drug humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi comedy from the director of Superbad isn't quite as raunchy as the hit teen comedy, though characters swear constantly (including many uses of "f--k" and "s--t") and exchange incessant sexual innuendoes. The main characters are generally well-meaning people, but the movie celebrates iffy behavior -- from pot smoking to getting drunk to making fun of other people. There's also some mild violence, including a comical bar fight and a sci-fi shootout that's played for laughs. While younger teens might be drawn in by the movie's story and themes, its content isn't age appropriate for them.

  • Families can talk about the alien, Paul. It seems like he understands the secret of life, but he also smokes cigarettes and pot, drinks, swears, and behaves badly. What kind of a role model is he? Do you think we're meant to see him positively or negatively?
  • Do you consider this kind of comedy "over the top"? Why? What other movies and TV shows have a similar comedy style? Do you think there's danger here if a viewer doesn't understand the comedy on that level?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: On the surface, the movie seems to celebrate iffy behavior. But at the same time, several human heroes do learn empathy and tolerance toward the alien visitor. Ultimately, this is one of those stories in which a laid-back character attempts to loosen up an uptight, repressed character (or, in this case, two uptight repressed characters).

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main (human) characters are two well-meaning nerdy types with very little life experience. The alien loosens them up, and they engage in plenty of questionable behavior, but they also eventually work hard and risk their lives to solve the alien's problem. Some jokes are made at other groups' expense.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Fantasy violence includes some comic fighting (including a bar fight) and some shooting, with gunshot wounds. There are also some threatening characters, an image of the alien eating a bird, and the suggestion of a hurt dog.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A nearly constant stream of sexual innuendo, mostly for humorous effect. At a comic convention, the main characters check out several sexy "Princess Leias" (in costume). A drawing of an alien girl with three breasts is referenced several times. A shot of the alien's naked buttocks.

  • language false5

    Language: Near-constant use of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "p---y," "c--k," "c--ksucker," "ass," "son of a bitch," "hell," "t-ts," "pee," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "butt," "d--k," "prick," "damn," "crap," "goddamn," and an image of a raised middle finger.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A mention of Reese's Pieces in reference to E.T. Since the movie begins at a comic book convention, there's also a stream of various references to comic books and other sci-fi stuff.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The alien smokes both cigarettes and pot; he shares his pot with one character, but it proves too strong, and she passes out. The main characters also drink beer and get drunk.

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