Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 37
  2. Negative: 12 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 7, 2011
    75
    A fairly close remake of the great 1981 Dudley Moore movie, with pleasures of its own.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 11, 2011
    67
    Easy on the eyes, intermittently amusing and never downright awful.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 7, 2011
    63
    Are the results funny? In the margins, yes.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 7, 2011
    63
    When remaking a popular film, you must remember this: First, do no harm to the original. Arthur accomplishes this, with Russell Brand slurring his way neatly through the title role.
  5. Reviewed by: James White
    Apr 21, 2011
    60
    Brand fan? You'll likely enjoy his antics. But Russellophobics would be better off seeking out the original.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 7, 2011
    60
    Brand ultimately can't make a watered-down Arthur as sweetly charming as the original, but he certainly makes it better than it would have been otherwise.
  7. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 7, 2011
    58
    The new Arthur is a feathery screwball satire, competent on its own terms, yet as the movie went on I found it increasingly hard to separate the character's self-indulgence from that of the actor playing him.
  8. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 11, 2011
    50
    It's amazing how a lifeless, pointless remake can provoke pangs of nostalgia about a mediocre movie.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 8, 2011
    50
    With such a thin excuse for a leading man, Arthur is a dud.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    Misfires on multiple levels but isn't all that terrible.
  11. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    That cast is precisely what makes the new Arthur so frustrating.
  12. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    The movie lacks joy. It has poignancy and intelligence, and it holds interest, but it never opens up into happiness and fantasy. Maybe it's the recession.
  13. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    The star does his patented shtick, supported by a handful of blue-chip supporting performers, as the story lurches through contrived, seminaughty comic set pieces toward a sentimental ending.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    Despite his cockney-accented verbosity, Brand does not convey the effortless conviviality that Dudley Moore did in the part.
  15. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    The new remake of Arthur is a thin copy of the 1981 original. But it has a few things going for it.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Apr 7, 2011
    50
    Russell Brand steps into the role of Arthur Bach for the 2011 remake, and while it's one of the more reined-in performances of his short, busy big-screen career, Brand's unvarying onscreen persona just doesn't do soulful.
  17. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Apr 6, 2011
    50
    This remake seems to exist only to zap the original of its minor pleasures.
  18. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 6, 2011
    50
    Brand is amusing, in a nutty "Get Him to the Greek" sort of way, while Moore delivered one of the funniest performances ever.
  19. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 8, 2011
    42
    It seems a bit cruel to cast Garner, who exudes charm, in such a charmless role.
  20. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 7, 2011
    40
    If you get caught between the moon and New York City--or even just between two movies at the multiplex--the best that you can do is skip this one.
  21. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 7, 2011
    40
    Step over to the liquor cabinet and mix yourself a good, stiff drink - if you plan on seeing this godforsaken thing, you'll need it.
  22. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Apr 7, 2011
    40
    Three decades of skyrocketing income inequality have soured the comedy of Arthur's astronomically expensive self-indulgences.
  23. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Apr 6, 2011
    40
    This Arthur feels flat and lifeless, especially when compared to its highly successful predecessor.
  24. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 6, 2011
    40
    The original film, for all its zaniness, existed in a recognizable Koch-era metropolis, one that paradoxically added to our hero's likable haze of denial. This time, the town is far shinier (what recession?).
  25. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 5, 2011
    40
    Even the Brit-wit chemistry of Russell Brand and Helen Mirren can't offset the self-conscious degree to which this tame, calculated effort sticks to its source.
  26. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 8, 2011
    38
    Attempting to fill Dudley Moore's top hat in Arthur, Russell Brand rapidly descends the rungs of the comedy ladder from "unfunny" to "irritating" to "vulgar" to the bottom one - "Andy Dick."
  27. 38
    Apparently, somebody thought it was time for a remake. Clearly, somebody was dead wrong.
  28. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Apr 7, 2011
    38
    This Arthur is on the rocks long before Last Call.
  29. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 7, 2011
    30
    Meanwhile, Mirren, that grande dame of cinema, just seems tired. And who could blame her? She's in the midst of this disaster, literally and figuratively dying right in front of us. Made me want to cry, just not for Arthur.
  30. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 7, 2011
    30
    This Arthur cravenly turns Susan into a monstrous status-seeker, making her less of a human being and thus much easier for Arthur to trample over in securing a meaningful adult relationship.
  31. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 7, 2011
    30
    Arthur overextends its welcome and relies too much on prop comedy.
  32. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 7, 2011
    25
    This Arthur is an exercise in time-travel tedium, a trip to the Land That Funny Forgot.
  33. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 7, 2011
    25
    Gordon, who died shortly after the first Arthur, never had to see the luckless 1988 sequel that made his beloved characters seem like strangers. The new Arthur, insipid when it should be infectious, leaves the same deadly impression.
  34. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 8, 2011
    20
    This Arthur is missing a soul.
  35. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Apr 5, 2011
    20
    In the end, it isn't so much that the New Arthur isn't the Old Arthur. Rather it's the anti-Arthur.
  36. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Apr 22, 2011
    10
    Has so many things wrong with it that one can only stare at the screen in disbelief. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
  37. 0
    In Arthur, the spectacularly grating remake of Steve Gordon's 1981 P. G. Wodehouse simulation (this time, Peter Baynham miswrote, Jason Winer misdirected), Russell Brand gives a career-killing performance.
User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 25
  2. Negative: 10 out of 25
  1. Apr 8, 2011
    4
    Arthur he does what he pleases - which, apparently, is to come up with nary a shred of original thought. It's an un-calculated, rushed and by-the-numbers remake with a little bit of heart and almost no soul...but it's not awful. It's meandering and hollow with glimmers of promise, faint touches of cute and a whole lot of harmless, reigned-in Russell Brand humor taking center stage. Let's say the filmmakers truly were caught between the moon and New York City in recreating an 80's gem...is this really the best that they could do?! Full Review »
  2. Apr 10, 2011
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. It has a few fun moments, but its true worth comes from its reminding you of how good the original is. Dudley & Liza are so incredibly good, and they tower over Brand & Gerwig. And what the hell happened to Nick Nolte? He looks like a sunburned Nick Nolte blow-up doll in this movie. The 3 points I give to this film all belong to Mirren (who is brilliant), but she's not nearly enough to put it into recommended territory. The scene from the original in which the grandmother decides that "No Bach will be Poor" and gives him the money was priceless - and it's completely lost in this version. And all the comedy from Liza Minelli's dad in the original - lost in this one as well. Oh well - they dumbed it down like everything else it seems. Full Review »
  3. Apr 10, 2011
    0
    This film??!! is like having to watch Tiny Tim on bad acid cut with speed in a room with no doors. There is bad and there is bad and there is BAD. This movie wins big on all three counts. Full Review »