Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 27
  2. Negative: 5 out of 27
  1. Though remaining sweet and tasty, Efron, in his first non-singing and dancing feature film proves he has an agreeable and kinetic screen presence, although his ability to convince us he's truly a 37-year-old encased in a 17-year-old's body is dramatically dubious.
  2. 17 Again errs not only by covering such well-trod ground, but also by doing so through a main character - played by a game but ill-served Zac Efron - who's about as dense as they come.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    The movie itself is petrified meatloaf. It's a body-transference comedy in the vein of "Big," "Freaky Friday," and other candidates for Turner Classics.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    63
    As a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Back to the Future," the movies it borrows from most heavily, the relive-your-senior-year comedy 17 Again falls a little short of the mark. But as a funny, sweet and smart star vehicle tailored for Zac "High School Musical" Efron, it's right on the money.
  5. The ancient body-switching premise is animated by a breezy script that briefly addresses some of its darker implications.
  6. 75
    Pleasant, harmless PG-13 entertainment, with a plot a little more surprising and acting a little better than I expected.
  7. The movie's heart, of course, is with poor addled Mike and his kids, but 17 Again works only fitfully to make the Efron/Perry character worth a story.
  8. The result is a slack do-over fantasy in which Zac Efron, as a basketball star, looks baffled as to why he hasn't been asked to sing and dance.
  9. 75
    Though there's nothing revolutionary about 17 Again, the movie is undeniably enjoyable.
  10. Though Mann and Perry are game, it's Efron who carries the movie.
  11. What I can't accept is that the stringy, insipidly earnest teen idol Zac Efron would grow up to be the defensively ironic, twisty-faced Matthew Perry.
  12. 50
    This laugh-starved twist on "Big" and the many lesser body-swapping comedies of the era is basically a lecture on sexual abstinence.
  13. While the movie feels shelf-worn, Efron's performance is fresh.
  14. Reviewed by: Krista Soriano
    63
    In the scenes where Efron isn't on screen, things tend to get boring. Plus, we could've lived without having watched so many scenes where Zac is showing off his basketball skills.
  15. 50
    The movie doesn't come close to the family-friendly comedic pseudo-incest flirted with in "Back to the Future." That, apparently, is deemed too unsettling for today's audiences. So 17 Again none-too-cleverly tap dances around these issues.
  16. 25
    Director Burr Steers, of the terrific "Igby Goes Down," is stuck polishing clichès.
  17. 50
    It's often breezily entertaining.
  18. Often silly but it's an honest, unselfconscious exploration of the conflict between a man's physical and psychological age.
  19. 75
    Director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) doesn't always have a firm handle on what is and isn't appropriate; the film makes a few sharp detours into misogyny, and the level of smuttiness is surprisingly high, which may be a function of Efron wanting to grow away from his core audience too fast.
  20. This mix of titillation and sentimentality can pass as family entertainment because 17 Again is so weightless, a succession of one-liners, sincere monologues and logical absurdities.
  21. Works better than you might imagine at times but stumbles awkwardly other times. The unevenness in the writing is matched by directorial overkill in certain comic sequences.
  22. The director, Burr Steers, whose other credits include “Igby Goes Down” and stints directing TV shows, keeps people and things moving fast enough so that you don’t have time to worry about the details, like the inanity of the story.
  23. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    25
    Never figures out what it wants to be, and ends up a jumbled mess that nobody wants.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    For a swoon-fest aimed at tweens, 17 Again has a lot going for it.
  25. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    50
    Zac Efron's squeaky-clean tweener-bait profile is unlikely to be threatened by 17 Again, an energetic but earthbound comic fantasy that borrows a few moves, if little inspiration, from "Big" and "It's a Wonderful Life."
  26. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    20
    If this is one small step for the actor (Efron) toward becoming a leading man, it is, for Hollywood movies, one more giant leap into infantilism.
  27. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    50
    Engaging but pedestrian comedy.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 137 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 8 out of 41
  1. Dec 19, 2010
    10
    A Zac Efron movie?! Now you know it's gonna suck!.....THAT's what you think when you hear about this movie, but if you actually see it, it's an absoloute friggin' MASTERPIECE! :D It's actually one of the best movies I've ever seen, and this portrays Zac Efron in a new light and shows us that he can actually act! :) Plus, Judd Apatow's wife Leslie Mann is in this, so that's an extra bonus! :D! Full Review »
  2. Mar 1, 2012
    7
    After seeing both HSM and Hairspray, I thought Efron was some pretty boy singer, I came into this movie with low expectations but I was plesently surprised with what I saw. I never knew Efron could do comedy like this.Thomas Lennon steals the show as his rich but nerdy best friend who pretends to be his father. Matthew Perry still shows the same attitude as his character Chandler friends and Leslie Mann is a Darling in this film showing that she is more than someone in a Judd Apatow comedy. while it's not up there with other great comedy films, it's not at the bottom of the barrel Rob Schnider type of comedy either.
    I'd rent it first before you consider it worthy of your movie collection though.
    Full Review »
  3. R.L
    Apr 19, 2009
    6
    Every teen generation needs a good body swap/turn the clock back type of story and 17 again is one of those stories, Mike O'Donnell had it all. He was the star of his high schools basket ball team. He had Scarlet the most beautiful girl in the school as his girlfriend. Right before the game that could make him into a star, Scarlet tells Mike she's pregnant, Mike makes a drastic and life altering decision and runs out of the game to be with her giving up his chances of becoming a basket ball star, now 20 years later Mike's regretting it all and wishes he could do it all over again, and by some miraculous way he does. 17 again is a cool and stylish what if movie, brings to light the question of what if you could change your life, if you could live it all over again.What would you do different? That's the question this movie propose and tells with a grand lush style that resonates with the teen population and even with the adults too, 17 again is not just some teen movie, it's a movie that even adults between the ages of 30-50 would enjoy it, my dad sure did. But this film has it's flaws and some very minor bad dialogue from Zack Efron but nothing that would hamper this films style or production, but in my honest opinion this film was very good, this movie is not oscar worthy but it's definitely worth the price of admission. Full Review »