Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38

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Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    The film is wickedly funny and a first-rate showcase for Ferrell.
  2. 60
    It has a pleasing, noodly elasticity about it -- the picture knows what its limits are and proceeds to boogie unself-consciously far outside them.
  3. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    If it were any more manic you’d have to put it on Ritalin.
  4. More amusing than annoying. It is not as maniacally uninhibited as "Old School" or as dementedly lovable as "Elf," but its cheerful dumbness is hard to resist.
  5. The movie is funny when it's nasty, as when Ron and Veronica trade insults at the anchor desk. Most of the time, though, it's not nasty enough.
  6. I can't help but feel that a funny movie was waiting to be unearthed amid all this self-congratulation and juvenile prankishness.
  7. 50
    Often so silly, it's surreal.
  8. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    The sweet spirit that made last year's "Elf" such a success has curdled considerably.
  9. Feels like an extended skit stretched and stretched, maybe not to the breaking point, but to the sagging point.
  10. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    As parody, it's toothless and often smug, but as random Ferrellspeak generator, it has its delights.
  11. 50
    A lazy, self-satisfied piece of work -- a comedy made by people who think so highly of themselves, they assume they'll get a laugh just by showing up in front of the camera.
  12. Ferrell, of course, has his moments. But he doesn't have an engaging "center" as a comedian.
  13. 40
    Anchorman has one amusing character, a dumb weatherman played by Steve Carell, and a nicely observed set piece about what newscasters really say to one another when they're shuffling papers between segments. Otherwise it's a long string of heavy-footed sight and sound gags.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 476 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 159
  1. boolooloo
    Mar 16, 2009
    Between my 3 friends at school and me we have seen this 43 times. Brilliance from Adam Mckay.
  2. Oct 28, 2012
    I really can't fathom why a movie like this is popular. It's just Will Ferrell saying stupid things in a tone he considers to be comedic. IfI really can't fathom why a movie like this is popular. It's just Will Ferrell saying stupid things in a tone he considers to be comedic. If you can shut off your brain for 90 minutes, this might be enjoyable, but if you prefer to laugh at movies that are written with wit and intelligence, you might want to stay away from this one. It is one of the most overrated comedies of the 21st century, as well as one of the worst. I think this sort of act from Will Ferrell was popular when this movie came out, but now I think people are starting to get sick of it, and I can't imagine the sequel getting good reviews. I could find the same level of intelligent humor on Nickelodeon or The Cartoon Network, just not as crude. I wouldn't mind the crudeness if it were actually funny or clever, but this movie was far from that. I didn't laugh one time. I'd like to sit down with someone who found this movie funny, and ask them to explain the humor in every joke. Thinking about the jokes in a great comedy causes those jokes to flourish, and the value of the humor increases. Try to dissect each moment of purported humor in this movie, and you will truly find nobody home. Full Review »
  3. Dec 30, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Anchorman is one of the funniest films I've seen. Will Ferrel, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrel are excellent, and the jokes are hilarious.

    It has innuendos, physical comedy and straight our random comedy, including the scene where Ron plays jazz flute and the scene where all the anchors have an all out war.

    Utter brilliance. Stay classy Will Ferrel, and thanks for stopping by!
    Full Review »