Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    One of the pleasures of 21 Jump Street is that the screenplay by Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill is happy to point out all of its improbabilities; the premise is preposterous to begin with, and they run with that.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 14, 2012
    63
    Some of the funniest scenes belong to Ice Cube's "angry black captain" who goes on profane rants that would make Samuel L. Jackson proud.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Are we always still in high school in our heads? 21 Jump Street thinks so. And Hill and Tatum are just the crazy-ass comedy team to prove it.
  4. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 14, 2012
    91
    Underneath, 21 Jump Street is a riot of risks that pay off, the biggest of which might be handing Tatum funny business.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 15, 2012
    60
    This cheerfully chaotic, gleefully vulgar action-comedy retread of the old television series has box-office success written all over it, and where's the harm? It's irresistibly funny until it isn't.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The dialogue is fast-paced and full of pop-culture references. It all makes for an entertaining blend of buddy-cop action and irreverent teen-comedy satire.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 15, 2012
    88
    This is the rare breed of Hollywood studio production that has the brash spirit of an independent picture and the sharp wit of a stand-up comic.
  8. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 15, 2012
    88
    We have lots of terminology for what happens when two male stars appear to have the platonic hots for each other. The genre is called bromance. The feelings are bromantic. The orientation is bromosexuality. What Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have in 21 Jump Street scrambles, transcends, and explodes all of that.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 16, 2012
    50
    Look for a cameo by a movie star whose initials are J.D.
  10. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The movie has entertaining cameos, too, especially one by Holly Robinson Peete. At 23, she played Officer Judy Hoffs on the TV show. At 48, she plays … Officer Judy Hoffs, the oldest undercover cop on Jump Street. Absurd? Of course. But pretty funny, too.
  11. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 14, 2012
    50
    Not that anyone was asking for a reboot of the series that is perhaps best remembered as the launching pad for Johnny Depp's career, but here it comes anyway. The film will probably gain several points on the likability scale for its sheer unexpectedness and modest ambitions.
  12. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 15, 2012
    70
    It wants to be fun and, to a perhaps surprising extent, it is. Largely forsaking the sweet multiculturalism of the original for white-dude bromance, and completely abandoning earnest teenagers-in-crisis melodrama in favor of crude, aggressive comedy, this 21 Jump Street is an example of how formula-driven entertainment can succeed.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The drug humor in 21 Jump Street carries its own distinction, in that it's actually humor.
  14. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 15, 2012
    67
    It's a deeply uneven film that can't decide if it's a satire, a joke, a thriller or a heartstring-tugger, and in dithering in its tone and its aims it ultimately turns out to be none of the above.
  15. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Whatever you call 21 Jump Street, this potty-mouthed and drug-laced reimagining of the 1980s TV show has one of the highest laughs-per-minute ratios since the "Naked Gun" films.
  16. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 16, 2012
    50
    A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly.
  17. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 16, 2012
    88
    The funniest movie I've seen in more than a year.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 15, 2012
    60
    Through it all, Tatum and Hill are totally winning.
  19. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Like Marilyn Monroe and Judy Holliday before him, Tatum is sublime at playing dumb (as a dim pretty boy, he seems to be channeling Brad Pitt in "Burn After Reading"), just as Hill shrewdly deploys his body mass for maximum physical comedy (even slimmed down, with an Oscar nomination under that tightened belt, he carries himself with a fat man's comically elephantine grace).
  20. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 14, 2012
    67
    It's more consistently amusing and inspired than an adaptation of an '80s TV show has any right to be.
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 15, 2012
    70
    The project loses traction toward the end, as the picture strains to become a full-blooded action film - the very thing it spends the rest of its time mocking. And yet 21 Jump Street earns my genial nod because of its limber, 120-IQ take on the whole notion of movie revivals.
  22. 70
    It has a bad, slapstick first act but by midpoint becomes strangely compelling, tapping into the fantasy of reliving one's high-school years (which did a number on us all) and getting it right.
  23. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    He's not in Mark Wahlberg's league, and 21 Jump Street isn't quite as funny as "The Other Guys," but by lampooning himself here, Tatum has bought himself a grace period to grow in.
  24. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 14, 2012
    70
    Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller get nearly everything -- the tone, the self-referential nods to the shoe and the dead-solid-perfect surprises -- just right.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 16, 2012
    80
    Without a doubt, stupid, but it's willfully stupid, built in the comic style of "The Hangover" and "Due Date." Better yet, it also is genuinely funny, which is the point.
  26. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 13, 2012
    60
    The longer this "Abbott and Costello's Lethal Weapon" goes on, the more the fun dissipates - until a queasily violent climax, which, naturally, fully embraces genre stereotypes rather than dismantling them.
  27. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 16, 2012
    80
    Miller and Lord clearly understand the push-and-pull and hyper-competitiveness that make guy friendships both complex and stupid. That it comes to life so fully in 21 Jump Street is what gives the film an endearing, punch-you-in-the-arm-because-I-like-you-man charm.
  28. 80
    Not since Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg teamed up in "The Other Guys" has an onscreen pairing proved as comically rewarding as the inspired partnership of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
  29. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 14, 2012
    83
    This movie embraces everything that should make it lousy, calling out itself for aping the source's bad ideas then flipping the script with meta precision.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    This film is even better if you come in with no spoilers and low expectations.
  31. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 15, 2012
    70
    For now, 21 Jump Street is a small puff of fresh air simply because it's not, like umpteen other releases coming down the pike, based on a comic-book series.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 16, 2012
    80
    In its outrageous way, 21 Jump Street has real laughs.
  33. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Mar 13, 2012
    60
    Though these mismatched cops bounce well off each other, Tatum, in his first comedic lead role, is the better performer, both more riotous and affecting.
  34. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Mar 16, 2012
    70
    21 Jump Street isn't a wild, fresh reinvention of the movie-cliché-spoofing genre - this isn't "Airplane!" we're talking about - but it's also not a drearily overfamiliar retread of it.
  35. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Mar 10, 2012
    80
    21 Jump Street has that "Anchorman" experimental-chaos vibe, with all the hit-and-miss moments that implies. It's completely lunatic and sort of a mess. It's also the funniest high-school comedy to come out of Hollywood in ages.
  36. 90
    Jonah Hill is masterful at delivering an absurd story with so much sweetness, the nonsense ceases to get in the way.
  37. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Mar 16, 2012
    60
    With Hill on co-scripting duties with Scott Pilgrim scribe Michael Bacall, 21 Jump Street was always going to live or die by its gags. Fortunately, it boasts that sweet-yet-dirty comedy that Hill revels in.
  38. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Mar 12, 2012
    75
    Like many almost-great comedies, 21 Jump Street is frontloaded with the best go-for-broke gags and lines.
  39. Reviewed by: Andrew Lapin
    Mar 19, 2012
    70
    The devil-may-care attitude is what makes 21 Jump Street so entertaining.
  40. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Mar 18, 2012
    50
    Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) seem to be after the gentle irreverence of David Gordon Green's buddy flick "Pineapple Express," but without his sensitivity and attention to character the movie quickly grows monotonous.
  41. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 5, 2012
    70
    By casting Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as fish-out-of-water buffoons, the irreverent result feels fresher than most '80s-show reboots, effectively flipping the address Johnny Depp made famous.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 535 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 149
  1. Mar 16, 2012
    9
    Loved it. Ridiculous and over the top, silly fun. Channing and Jonah are a surprisingly entertaining comedic team. A bit heavy on the profanity and a couple of senseless gross out scenes but worth a trip to the movie theatre for this one. Audience during my midnight screening laughed throughout the movie. Full Review »
  2. Mar 17, 2012
    2
    Walking out on a movie is a rarity for me, but I left within about 30 minutes of the start of this one. I thought it was both abysmal and juvenile, though I admit that my age (72) probably made the latter reaction inevitable. I found the relentless shower of gratuitous obscenities both grating and wearisome, and lest someone cite my age as a reason, I was in the Navy for 20 years and am intimately familiar with every obscene word ever coined. But here the effect is just plain boring. It's as if the writers were trying to meet a quota for Carlinesque words. Finally, I am baffled by the number of sterling reviews of this dog, but I guess I must finally be outside what passes for humor in mainstream comedic cinema. Full Review »
  3. Jun 26, 2012
    0
    MORONS WILL LOVE THIS MOVIE!

    Just another flick trying to cash in on the remake trend. Nothing like the groundbreaking tv series it's based
    on, and has no connection to it other than the name.

    All the positive reviews come from worthless dumb@$$es who also love Jersey Shore and the Kardashians.
    Just another example of why society today is a fail.
    Full Review »