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The Three Stooges Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Success. Success. Success! Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

A direct hit to the funny bone. 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
    56

    out of 100

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

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I didn't laugh much. I don't think the Stooges are funny, although perhaps I might once have. Some of the sight gags were clever, but meh. The three leads did an admirable job of impersonation. I think this might be pretty much the movie Stooges fans were looking for.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Pop culture references intermingle with the loopy trio's iconic foolishness, and the result is a movie with some big laughs, plenty of heart and terrible coifs.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Stars Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso and Sean Hayes are on the money as Moe, Curly and Larry in a film containing more plot and sentiment than the boys' shorts ever had.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    All three of the leads get very close to the Stooges' old looks and personalities, but they do more than impersonate; they inhabit.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Three Stooges reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Stooge tribute amuses despite violence, some iffy stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Three Stooges is the Farrelly brothers' tribute to the famous 1930s/40s comedy team. Though the Stooges are generally good-hearted and have the best intentions, they're exceedingly violent, mainly to one another. This constant slapstick has no physical effect and no consequences for the Stooges themselves, though secondary characters do receive injuries. Also, the movie's plot has the Stooges accepting a job to murder a man for money, though they naively believe that he's dying and that the money will go to save an orphanage. Expect a few suggestive sexual situations and comical innuendo, as well as insulting language like "stupid," "moron," and "shut up." The reality show Jersey Shore is featured prominently. The Three Stooges is much tamer than the Farrellys' usual fare, and a semi-comical disclaimer at the end addresses the movie's violence and urges kids not to try it, but this is still the most juvenile brand of broad comedy.

  • Families can talk about the Stooges' comical hitting and violence. Is it funny? What makes it different from action-based violence? The sound effects? The lack of injuries and blood?
  • Are the Stooges role models? They're "pure of heart" and trying to save the orphanage where they were raised, but their methods are somewhat questionable. Can they be excused?
  • What is The Three Stooges trying to say? Are the Stooges rewarded for being good people? Do they learn any lessons from their actions or behavior?
  • Kids: Does watching the Stooges make you want to imitate them? 

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Violence (poking, hitting, etc.) is the Stooges' reaction in just about every situation, and there aren't any consequences for it -- they're never injured, and they never learn any lessons from their behavior. (A semi-comical disclaimer comes at the end of the movie, urging kids not to try these things at home.) The Stooges may be, as one character describes them, "pure of heart," but they sometimes do bad things without realizing their gravity. And their reward at the end of the movie is riches and fame, which may send the wrong message about their motivations.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Though the Stooges perform good deeds, and though the movie does include a disclaimer about kids not trying this stuff at home, the main characters' violent and (accidentally) destructive behavior isn't something that parents would want kids emulating. That said, Moe is dedicated to staying with his friends through thick and thin, the Stooges are committed to saving the orphanage where they were raised, and the children there genuinely love them.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Guns are pulled, but not by the Stooges themselves, and no characters die. The Stooges' violence mostly happens among themselves and includes fists, pulling, poking, jabbing, and bashing with hammers, mallets, chainsaws, and other implements -- none of which results in permanent damage (often, obvious dummies are used for the more dangerous stunts). The Stooges naively accept a job to kill a sick man, and they make (comical) attempts but don't succeed. Moe also inflicts beatings on the cast of Jersey Shore. A villainous character is the victim of many attacks and accidents, and he's shown hurt, with bandages, casts, and scratches. The Stooges have a "fight" with peeing babies in one scene.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Lydia is shown in a hotel room with a man who isn't her husband. Sex isn't discussed, but it's clear that they've been up to something (the hotel is called the Filander Inn). In another scene, Lydia hoists a man over a wall; he steps on her breast, and it makes a "honking" sound. She's dressed in sexy clothes throughout; a pretty "nun" also appears in a revealing bikini. There's a quick shot of a lion's testicles as they're being hit with a projectile. Also mild innuendo in one or two scenes.

  • language false1

    Language: Characters tell each other to "shut up" and call each other "stupid" and "moron." One "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The TV show Jersey Shore is shown and referenced at length after Moe becomes a cast member. There's a joke involving an Apple iPhone. 

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue, though a salmon is shown with an unlit cigar in its mouth.

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