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You Don't Mess With the Zohan 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.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Forget "Monty Python," You Don't Mess With the Zohan is a circus that never really flies.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The laughs are hit and miss and the movie is ho-hummus.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    The comedy star's legions of fans will welcome the cheerfully crude proceedings as a return to silliness after several earnest, lower-key character turns. The melange of Middle East diplomacy, action absurdity, sexual healing and, when in doubt, hummus, wavers between muscular and middling. It's a surefire hit.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    On screen it looks crazed, but the comic energy is huge, if indiscriminate, and Mr. Sandler's performance -- think Topol doing Charles Boyer -- can be as delicate as it is gleefully vulgar or grotesque.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Lots of lewd Sandler stuff, but also some laughs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that You Don't Mess with the Zohan is a classic Adam Sandler movie: Crude, impolitic, and riddled with sexual jokes, swearing, and offhand nudity (including a couple of shots of Sandler's bare butt). For exactly those reasons, it's very likely to attract his usual fan base, many of whom are teens. The film pokes fun at everything and everyone -- the elderly, political assassins, homosexuals, cabdrivers, racists, hairdressers, women with breast implants -- and often teeters on the line between funny and downright insulting. But, believe it or not, it's all in the name of the heartwarming (if cliched) message that love -- and, for that matter, personal goals -- triumphs over war and politics.

  • Families can talk about Sandler's brand of crude humor. Clearly, the film is using exaggeration for comic effect, but do they cross the line? If so, when, and who defines what "the line" is in the first place?
  • Do you think Sandler needs to rely on stereotypes to arrive at hismessage about transcending differences in the name of happiness?
  • Doesthe crude humor take away from the movie or help it succeed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: No group is spared from the movie's mockery, including the elderly, homosexuals, racists, and more. Despite this, you could argue that the movie actually promotes a message of peace and understanding among warring nations -- and there's even a secondary message of love crossing barriers.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Zohan is a killer by trade, and he's pretty good at it. He shows nocompunction about hurting other people (though he does profess later tobeing tired of it). He also lies to family and friends about hiswhereabouts and to his new American acquaintances about his identity.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lots, but it's quite cartoonish and generally played for laughs. For example, Zohan can jump from rooftops and land on enemies without getting hurt, he gets shot at without getting hit because he stops bullets with his bare hands, and he can successfully battle loads of gun-equipped assassins. Other characters brandish weapons and missiles, and there's a fair amount of kicking and tossing people around. In one scene, someone cuts off Zohan's hand, which he then uses to kill his tormentor.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Plentiful, and plenty crass. The film begins with lots of cleavage (and has plenty more throughout), punctuated immediately by a close-up of Sandler's naked backside (which viewers see again later). Incessant sexual jokes, suggestions of Zohan bedding all sorts of women as part of the "hairdressing experience." Sex scenes include some group activities. Lots of lewd references to body parts, sexual activity, etc. A woman's naked backside is visible in one scene in which intercourse is implied. Zohan gives his clients "happy endings."

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "goddamn," "s--t," "jackass," "screw," and more.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Signage everywhere, from Zohan's favorite fizzy soda to Phantom's fast food restaurants. Also, clear logos/signs for movers, stores, malls, and the venerable Paul Mitchell hair salon.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking, primarily at the beach parties Zohan hosts in the beginning of the movie.