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Step Brothers Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 0

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    There's a good subject for satire here, the extended adolescence of American kids. But satire presupposes maturity, or at least some perspective. The movie's calculation is that its subjects and audience share the same point of view. The results are truly ghastly.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The only thing that can explain middle-aged men acting like 6-year-olds is mental retardation, and there's nothing funny about that. The idea of middle-aged actors playing adolescents isn't much funnier. Put it this way: Such an idea does not make for an inexhaustible source of comedy.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    America loves dysfunctional families, but haven't we seen enough middle-aged losers who haven't grown up?

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Step Brothers is a Judd Apatow production and it's the closest that the Apatow factory has come to spitting out a dumb-and-dumber high-concept comedy.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Foul-mouthed Ferrell comedy isn't very funny. No kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a far raunchier comedy than the last collaboration between stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and director Adam McKay, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and much more explicit in how it stoops for laughs. It's loaded with crude, rude, sexual, and obscene language and situations, including visible male genitalia and glimpses of porn and a vocabulary that ranges from "p---y" to "f--k" and everywhere in between. There's also lots of product placement, and the film's half-hearted messages and morals -- about family, being who you are, and accepting people -- are drowned out by its loud, boisterous vulgarity.

  • Families can talk about Will Ferrell's appeal. What makes something a "Will Ferrell comedy"?
  • What age group do you think movies like this one are aimed at?
  • Familiescan also discuss the movie's essential question: When should childrenleave home?
  • When does parental protection become more a burden than ashield?
  • What challenges do real blended families face? What fuelssibling rivalry in real life? Also, is it ever worth sacrificing yourindividuality and passion in order to get ahead?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film attempts to convey some messages about the importance of family and being who you are, but they're definitely secondary to all of the crude jokes. Two characters dress in Nazi and Ku Klux Klan uniforms to scare prospective home buyers away from a property. A supporting character commits adultery. A rap song notes that when out of gas, one should "call the A-rabs."

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Dale and Brennan are completely the opposite of what anyone would refer to as role models. They are vulgar, foolish, inactive, and unmotivated-- and that is before they meet each other. Together they terrorize their parents, the neighborhood, and the job market. While there is a half-hearted message about being who you are this is drowned by the film's ridiculous antics. In short, Dale and Brennan are hilarious to watch, but awful to emulate.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Wrestling, scuffling, and tussling; a character knocks another character out; characters are hurled down stairs; a character strikes another in the head with a shovel; two adults fight a playground full of younger children. Children bully grown-up characters into licking dog droppings. Characters watch an action-packed movie.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Underwear-clad making out; kissing; upright, clothed comedic sex in a bathroom; implied masturbation; pornography is glimpsed and referenced; a character drapes his testicles (visible on-screen) on another character's property; constant sexual references.

  • language false5

    Language: Constant, crude, and rude language including (but not limited to) "f--k," "s--t," "balls," "nutsack," "horses--t," "motherf---er," "p---y," "wiener," "chest pubes," "ball 'fro," "big joint," "man-gina," "sucks ass," "bang," "retard," "whore," "gay," "butthole," "dogs--t," "vagina," "douche," "penis," "butt buddy," "fart," "hos," and "faggot."

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: Extensive mention and onscreen presence of lots of brands and TV shows and movies, including Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Heinz ketchup, Converse sneakers, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Belkin movers, Pet Smart, Outback Steak House, Hustler Magazine, The Cheesecake Factory, Hulk Hands toys, Sony Vaio, Doritos, Good Housekeeping, The Outsiders, Scarface, Good Will Hunting, Rock of Love, The Apprentice, Star Wars, Guitar Hero, "Shark Week," American Idol, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters refer to "smoking pot" and "smoking a jay" characters drink hard alcohol to excess; characters drink wine.