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The Watch Review

Movies.com Critics

1.0

Dave White Profile

Please, don't. Read full review

1.5

Grae Drake Profile

Cover your eyes. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    36

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn play the guys they always play in this sci-fi comedy misfire.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    If this amateur justice league spent as much time analyzing clues as they did analyzing their junk, in every slang variation available in the Urban Dictionary, the murder mystery in The Watch could have been solved on the first night of surveillance.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film is one long Costco joke - but the punch line is never all that funny.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Watch reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Aliens vs. potty-mouthed, sex-obsessed humans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Watch is a raunchy sci-fi comedy about four suburban guys (including Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill) who end up taking on an alien invasion. There's some blood and gore, as well as sci-fi shootouts. Expect lots of sexual content, including nudity (toplessness), an orgy scene, implied mutual masturbation, and rampant sexual innuendo. Language is equally strong and constant, with "f--k" and "s--t" both used frequently. Characters drink a lot, and some take drugs. Consumerism is also a big issue, as the movie feels like a huge ad for Costco. The movie made the news in February 2012, when its marketing campaign coincided with a fatal shooting in Florida by a real-life neighborhood watch captain. The movie's marketing and title (formerly Neighborhood Watch) were quickly changed.

  • Families can talk about The Watch's violence. What's the effect of showing bloody carnage in a comedy? Does it make the movie funnier? Less funny? How does it compare to the impact of the violence in, for example, horror movies?
  • Why do you think sex is such a big subplot in this movie? In what ways does The Watch talk about sex in a realistic way? In what ways is it simply trying to be shocking?
  • Can these characters be described as "men-children"? Why are so many movies made about these types of characters? Are they believable?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Despite a lot of iffy behavior, the movie does have messages about teamwork and learning to communicate. Characters also show courage in the face of danger.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Evan is a responsible, brave member of his community, but he's also uptight and insecure. Happily, he learns to overcome some of these problems by trusting others.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: A few human characters are slaughtered in an alien attack. Viewers see huge blood spatters, body parts, and mutilated corpses. There's lots of shooting -- both guns and extraterrestrial laser cannons -- though aliens take most of the hits (they ooze green blood). Also some hand-to-hand fighting (with injuries) and lots of arguing.

  • sex false4

    Sex: One scene takes place at an orgy. At least one woman is shown topless, several characters engage in simulated sex, and three men engage in mutual masturbation (shown from the chest up). A teen girl is shown making out with a teen boy, and they engage in some foreplay; she wants to stop but he insists on continuing -- then they're interrupted. The teen boy buys some large-size condoms. Porn magazines are glimpsed. The main character and his wife are trying to have a baby, and there are a few scenes of kissing and seduction, as well as much discussion about sperm. Sexual innuendo is very strong and constant.

  • language false5

    Language: Language is strong and constant, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "c--t," "ass," "a--hole," "c--k," "d--k," "c--ksucker," "goddamn," "hell," "damn," "prick," "vagina," "jizz," "hymen," "balls," and "jackass," plus uses of "oh my God," "Jesus," and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations). There's some 1980s-era "gangster rap" on the soundtrack that also has strong language (including "motherf--ker").

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: The main character is a manager of Costco. Many scenes take place inside a Costco store, and the name is mentioned many times. Many other brands are mentioned and shown as well, often more than once, including Coca-Cola, Budweiser beer, Rayovac batteries, Magnum condoms, Bugles snacks, and Tide. Facebook is also shown and mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A minor character celebrates inside a Costco, drinking hard liquor, smoking pot, and popping pills from a pharmacy. The main characters are almost constantly drinking, either beer or Scotch, but are never shown drunk. One of the main characters mentions possessing pot, but this isn't shown.

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