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There's Something About Mary 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

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Farrellys may well be the new kingpins of adolescent slob comedy, but There's Something About Mary doesn't approach the witty anarchy of movies like "Animal House," "The Naked Gun," or "Hairspray."

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    [The film] occasionally had me convulsed with laughter.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    After months and months of comedies that did not make me laugh, here at last is one that did.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    A gut-busting blast of tasteless tomfoolery.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    The day after seeing it, you're less likely to fixate on the flaws than to find yourself experiencing chuckle aftershocks as you recall the most outrageous gags. In these days of mostly forgettable comedies, that sensation has become all too rare. [15 July 1998]

  • See all There's Something About Mary reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Farrelly bros' classic is full of gross-out laughs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that There's Something About Mary is a gross-out movie that features rampant unscrupulous, shocking, and inappropriate behavior to elicit laughs. It's funny stuff for the right crowd of adult comedy aficionados and a well-made movie for the often-maligned genre. Kids will want to see it because of the star power of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller and its notorious shock value as a Farrelly brothers film. But consider this while you listen to them beg: the film features lots of jokes about male sexual insecurity, including getting caught masturbating (falsely and then really, when Mary finds ejaculate on Ted's ear and mistakes it for hair gel), injuring their genitals, gay male sex, and rape. It also makes light of sociopathic behavior, as one character stalks Mary and all the other men in her life continually deceive her.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of this movie and the whole gross-out genre. Do you think these extremely flawed characters are funny? What do you think about angelic and idealized Mary in comparison?
  • Is this film equally funny to men and women? Why or why not?
  • Were there parts of the film you found more offensive than funny? Would you seek out other movies like this or stick to lighter comedy fare?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Unscrupulous behavior is rampant and played strictly for laughs. Everyone stalks Mary, violating her privacy, spying on her, and lying to her. Healy lies to Ted about what Mary looks like and Ted lies to Mary about why he's in Florida. Norman pretends to be a disabled architect to attract Mary, and sends Mary anonymous notes lying about her boyfriends to make her break up with them. Healy stalks her, listens to her phone calls and conversations in her home, and caps his teeth to attract Mary. Woogie lies to Ted about who he is and violates a restraining order. He also tries to steal her shoes.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Characters lie, cheat, and steal -- all in the name of humor.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Lots of comic violence, including Warren beating up Ted. Ted gets his penis stuck in his zipper, Healy drugs Magda's dog and then sets it on fire (luckily the dog very much looks like a stuffed replica). Policemen beat Ted's head against a table. Warren catches Ted's lip with a fish hook.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A part of the film's over-the-top comedy comes from crude sexuality behavior including: a shot of an old woman's saggy boobs, constant insinuation that Ted is gay and extensive talk about masturbation. Ted gets his genitals caught in a zipper and is rushed to the hospital. Dom's wife gives him oral sex as he watches TV. Ted is caught in a gay sex raid. Ted masturbates and famously gets his semen stuck on his ear, which Mary unknowingly puts in her hair. Healy and Norman go to a strip club. Healy has nudie calendars on his wall.

  • language false3

    Language: Lots of degrading language about women, including "cocktease," "whale," etc. There's also lots of salty language, such as "f--k," "ass," "bitch," "numbnuts," "s--t," "dick," "bulls--t," "bastard," "prick," and "dips--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mary and her friends drink beer. Magda drinks martinis. Healy smokes cigars and feeds Magda's dog tranquilizers. Norman gives Magda and her dog speed.