Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Mar 22, 2013
    75
    Admission is not especially funny. The trailer can’t seem to make up its mind. On the one hand, it looks like a satire of academia. On the other hand, it could be a gentle rom-com. In truth, it’s neither.
  2. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Mar 21, 2013
    75
    The result is a picture curiously yet intriguingly at odds with itself: One moment is edgy, the next is not; the cast is terrific, the direction is not; here it’s satirically sharp, there it’s sloppily sentimental; now we’re happily engaged, then we’re cruelly dumped. Some films are electric – Admission settles for alternating current.
  3. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 20, 2013
    75
    Admission ultimately can’t quite figure out what kind of a film it wants to be, so like a lot of promising but unfocused contenders, it never quite lives up to its potential. But there’s value to be found in its meandering.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 20, 2013
    75
    Admission, a likably breezy campus movie directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy), is blissfully non-insulting.
  5. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Mar 21, 2013
    65
    Where "About a Boy" was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 22, 2013
    63
    Largely because of its engaging cast, Admission is an amiable, but only slightly-above-average, comic romp.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    She’s (Fey) so good that — up to a point — you can ignore Paul Weitz’ erratic direction and a patchy script, both of which clumsily handle shifts between comedy and drama.
  8. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    My evaluation is to wait-list Admission and catch it when it reaches the less demanding platform of home video.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    Admission works in stops and starts.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    Cheerful, skittish entertainment that never takes its subject seriously enough.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    There's a good movie in this story. The one that got made is roughly half-good.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 19, 2013
    63
    Fey plays this inner-outer conflict well. But at her most wide-eyed and vulnerable, she still has trouble making a romance credible, even with Rudd, edgy comedy’s puppy dog of a leading man.
  13. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Mar 22, 2013
    60
    I found myself curiously willing to overlook Admission’s weaknesses, or even to reinterpret them as strengths — couldn’t those inconclusive endings be seen as a refreshingly un-rom-com-like embrace of life’s open-endedness and complexity?
  14. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 21, 2013
    58
    Lily Tomlin gives the movie a boost as Portia's radical feminist mother, who would hate this movie.
  15. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    Everybody in Admission is funny - Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn - but they're not funny in Admission.
  16. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    Admission is one film you may not want to get into.
  17. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    Admission is pleasant enough. Even when off a bit, the talent of the cast assures that. But it’s still a disappointment. You might say it, ahem, doesn’t make the grade.
  18. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    The movie’s just too boring and middlebrow.
  19. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    Mr. Weitz lines up a target placed at the explosive intersection of class, race, region and every other source of societal anguish, and then does not so much miss as aim in another direction — or several — letting fly a volley of darts that land as lightly as badminton birdies.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    I'd see Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in anything, but this is pushing it. Admission is so slight that a breeze could flatten it.
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Mar 20, 2013
    50
    Admission has some sublime moments, most of them involving Fey and Rudd dancing around their inevitable romance. The problem is in the foundation.
  22. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 20, 2013
    50
    Never finding its right tone, Admission uncomfortably founders between the story’s comic and dramatic aspects and leaves behind a lumpy residue that tars its likable leads.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 19, 2013
    50
    Weitz, an openhearted director if not always a precise one, can't bring himself to whet the knives. Only Fey drills to the center of what Admission might have been—her performance has more layers of emotion than the picture does.
  24. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 6, 2013
    50
    Deftly playing Tina Fey's feminist-icon mother, Lily Tomlin all but steals Admission, a knowing but uneven comedy about the neuroticism of the college-admission process on both sides of the equation.
  25. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Mar 6, 2013
    50
    Actions do have their consequences, though, and Weitz doesn’t try to end things too tidily for their own good. Were only that he had succeeded in committing to one of those films over the other, then Admission might have been this year’s “Liberal Arts” rather than this year’s “Smart People.”
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 6, 2013
    50
    The comedy feels forced as Fey works overtime to insert unnecessary zingers at the tail of every scene. If the cast weren’t so endearing, her actions could easily sour an audience on the whole experience, and Admission digs itself a hole only an ensemble this appealing can escape.
  27. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 27, 2013
    42
    Doris Day will be 89 in two weeks, which makes her exactly half a century too old to play the lead in Admission. That’s a pity, as perhaps only she could have done it justice – if it had been made in 1958.
  28. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 22, 2013
    42
    Granted, this is not automatic laugh-riot material, nor should it be, but didn’t Fey recognize how hackneyed it all is? Does being a movie star mean blanding out everything that makes you special?
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jun 15, 2013
    40
    The comic material really isn't there, and the plot transitions feel forced and uncomfortable.
  30. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 15, 2013
    40
    The movie subverts expectations, and not in a good way, by seeming in a dither about its own identity. The romance is by the by, the comedy as sparse as can be. We’re left with a curious non-film about the pitfalls of higher education assessment. Odd.
  31. Reviewed by: James White
    Jun 10, 2013
    40
    Occasionally charming but mostly bland fare from Weitz, despite the reliable cast. About A Boy remains the best showcase of his talents.
  32. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Jun 9, 2013
    40
    These truly are dark and terrible times if we are forced to accept the elitist problems of an Ivy League college admissions officer as shameless fodder for a romcom.
  33. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 21, 2013
    40
    While Admission remains the story of a woman who comes to question her past choices and jeopardize her career, the movie version is lighter, fluffier and dramatically inert.
  34. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 19, 2013
    40
    Admission’s comedy has walls built around it; director Paul Weitz (About a Boy), normally a softener of harsh edges, might have been stymied by Fey’s snappy persona.
  35. 40
    That first half of Admission is a lot for an actress to overcome. It’s not just very bad, it’s very fast, as if someone had overwound the metronome. Fairly naturalistic lines are delivered at the pace of screwball zingers — which stubbornly refuse to zing.
  36. Mar 11, 2013
    38
    The estrogenic elements prove widely ineffectual, but they're just pieces of this overlong, overloaded misfire whose double-entendre title ultimately just goads the jaded viewer to admit defeat.
  37. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Mar 19, 2013
    33
    It’s as if Weitz knows he’s got a corpse of a film on his hands -- never trust a movie when it feels as though you can see the director clasping the defibrillator.
  38. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 21, 2013
    30
    Nobody doesn't like Tina Fey, and anyone aware of her starring role in Admission will be wishing her well. But wishing won't make this dramedy any less dreary than it is.
  39. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 21, 2013
    20
    The bad news about Admission is that this thin envelope of a comedy checks all the boxes for being a phoned-in, phony, padded rom-com.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 23, 2013
    5
    I think the Metascore is about right on for this one. I like Paul Rudd and Tina Fey is solid, but the writing/editing of this story needed tightening up. The end is awkward, the crisis is mishandled, and the subject matter overall getting a kid into Princeton is just not quite interesting enough to form the backbone of a feature film at least the way it's written here. Lilly Tomlin does a nice job in a very small role. Full Review »
  2. Jun 21, 2013
    8
    While it could be totally phony the ending is not exactly what I expected so I would say not as bad as some are saying. I think this film is a very decent one to see with your girl when you ran out of credit for action movies. Full Review »
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    What can be said about a perfectly charming movie that the critics got so terribly wrong? It's a story with great heart and humor, one that hits all the right notes, including strong performances from Fey and Rudd and Tomlin as well as the rest of the supporting cast members. Finally a movie without explicit sex, bathroom humor, endless profanity, and graphic violence—a really good romantic comedy that deal with matters of the heart. Full Review »