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The 40-Year-Old Virgin 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

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Sticking to one joke in an unconscionably long film makes for a very stale, witless and repetitive comedy.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    The jokes fly fast and sometimes very funny. They are, more often, crude and homophobic. Still, a genuine sweetness lurks.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Carell accomplishes the task of being sweet-natured without becoming cloying.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Surprisingly insightful, as buddy comedies go, and it has a good heart and a lovable hero.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Buoyantly clever and amusing.

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  • See all The 40-Year-Old Virgin reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

A one-joke sex comedy that is not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is focused on a man's effort to lose his virginity. To that end, it leans heavily on verbal jokes and sight gags related to sex: crude slang for sexual activity, genitals, erections, bodily fluids, breasts, and dildos. By way of example: the first joke has to do with a woman having sex with a horse, though the language is much coarser and repetitive. The virgin and his three male coworkers/friends spend most of their time talking about sex, showing off or complaining about their conquests. They make homophobic remarks, go to bars and parties, ogle women (at one point, they see two girls kiss), play violent video games and watch violent (Dawn of the Dead [1978]) and pornographic movies. Women wear revealing outfits (one shows a nipple during a speed-date conversation), drink, drive badly, and throw up. Characters drink repeatedly, smoke pot, and curse frequently; one smokes cigarettes when he's depressed and another spends long minutes trying to put on a condom. Soundtrack features songs about sex and sexual desire (for instance, Missy Elliot's "Get Ur Freak On").

  • Families can talk about virginity as a "choice."
  • How does the movie make the case that, despite his friends' ribbing and his own embarrassment, the virgin represents a kind of romantic ideal, an earnest, awkward, sensitive man in search of a life partner?
  • Why is it significant that all the different men at the store -- Jewish, black, Pakistani, Caucasian -- behave equally badly around women? How does the movie represent women as peripheral or comic objects in relation to the self-centered but also sympathetic male characters?
  • How does Andy's dilemma serve as a metaphor for other, more often acknowledged forms of insecurity?
  • How does Andy learn to appreciate his difference, even as he tries so hard to "fit in"?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The virgin means well, but he and his friends are crude, lusty, and childish.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Even though this comedy is raunchy, Andy is a stand-up guy who is looking for more than just sex. Something rare in a sex comedy.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Bloody violence on video and TV screens, as background; some antic mishaps (car crashes, bike accidents).

  • sex false5

    Sex: Relentless and slangy discussion of sex, some comedic activity, including the appearance of a "trannie prostitute." Non-sexual nudity and same-sex kiss.

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent cursing, vulgar references to genitalia and sex.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Generic electronics, coffee, and drinks; specific toys, action figures, and movie/tv references; t-shirts reference bands (Sonic Youth, Public Enemy).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, smoking, and pot-smoking.