Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 35
  2. Negative: 7 out of 35
  1. 80
    Bruce Nolan is one deeply disgruntled barrel of laughs--the emotional kin of Bill Murray's cynical weatherman in "Groundhog Day."
  2. Carrey is so gifted a physical comedian that even mediocre material shines in his talented hands, not to mention his talented feet, face, elbows, ears, hair and, ahem, derriere.
  3. 75
    Aniston, as a sweet kindergarten teacher and fiancee, shows again (after "The Good Girl") that she really will have a movie career.
  4. When Carrey is doing his thing as the Almighty, histrionically whipping up one miracle after another and relishing the power, "Bruce" has you spring-cleaning your lungs with laughter. But you are made to pay for it with a third-act sap-rising that's as thick as the final reels of "Patch Adams."
  5. A diverting comedy that in its last act becomes unusually sober. While the film both explicitly and implicitly pays tribute to Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," the upshift from irreverent slapstick to reverent sermonette is extremely abrupt.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Everyone is well cast and no one more perfectly than Freeman, who is far more God-like than George Burns ever was. Freeman's God is wise, humble, wry, patient and funny but never mean-spirited.
  7. Although the film's jabs at TV journalism are nothing new, Carrey brings to the material the sense of someone who's too smart for his work yet loves it -- the essence, perhaps, of being a ham.
  8. Carrey isn't afraid to go happily psycho, like Peter Sellers or Eminem on his funniest tracks, and that's his edge.
  9. 63
    Bruce Almighty would rather go runny and bland, mostly where Aniston's Grace is concerned.
  10. It would be nice to say that Bruce is hilarious, rather than merely (and fitfully) funny; certainly, the premise suggests laughs more consistent and outlandish than are present here.
  11. 60
    Carrey's schizophrenic new effort gives you both at once -- it drowns his hilarious physicality in an ocean of sap.
  12. Even more than Jerry Lewis, Robin Williams or Pee-wee Herman, Mr. Carrey, now 41 (pretty old for an overgrown kid), sustains a maniacal energy that explodes off the screen in blinding electrical zaps. Those jolts don't always feel pleasant.
  13. The movie is mainly an excuse to display special-effects gags in the form of the various miracles manifested -- some of which are highly imaginative, some of which aren't.
  14. 50
    Just a vehicle for Carrey to do his hyperactive shtick. He has some entertaining bits, such as his rain-drenched meltdown in which he victimizes some stunned innocents, but he’s working so strenuously that at times he’s hard to watch.
  15. The screenplay doesn't ultimately make much sense. Carrey is a unique comic talent, though, and Freeman and Aniston back him up with such sensitive supporting performances that the film almost works if you can suspend enough disbelief to swallow its fantastic premise.
  16. 50
    The actors don't seem to have been directed at all, and the movie is very sluggishly paced.
  17. Even apart from the fact that it's not nearly funny enough, Bruce Almighty is a peculiar film.
  18. From the script to the title character to the direction, the watchwords here are three: Play it safe. The whole thing reeks of the formulaic.
  19. Any story from the "Patch Adams" team of director Tom Shadyac and writer Steve Oedekerk is bound to end up floating in a soup of moral homilies, and "Bruce" does.
  20. 50
    Long before you buy your ticket to the new Jim Carrey film, you've already been doomed to disappointment. Several parties play a role in this. Interestingly, Jim Carrey isn't one of them.
  21. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    50
    A looking-glass cover version of "The Truman Show," the maudlin Jim Carrey vehicle Bruce Almighty lets the comedian ply his rubber-limbed shtick as well as indulge his pursuit of sappiness.
  22. While Bruce Almighty does end on a modest "Candide"-like note, the getting there is too strained to be much of a pleasure.
  23. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    I like my God, though, like I like my comedies: ruder, cruder, and able to show me things I haven't seen before. Bruce Almighty is sadly miracle-free.
  24. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    There's remarkably little done with a premise snatched from high-concept heaven, adding yet another file to the growing cabinet of under-realized comedies.
  25. As long as this deity remains childish, materialistic and narcissistic, Jim's in his heaven and all's right with the world. It's when the story reaches for maturity, spirituality and altruism that the divine spark of comedy sputters and nearly goes out.
  26. Bruce Almighty attempts to blend both sides of the actor – comedic and dramatic – and while Carrey achieved that balance quite wonderfully in "The Truman Show," Bruce Almighty doesn't so much straddle the fence as impale itself on it.
  27. 40
    Unless you like boob jokes and preachy sentimentalism, this comedy isn't funny at all.
  28. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    40
    Without a decent script, Carrey can't create much of a character, and the farce loses its edge the moment it starts trying to tell a coherent story.
  29. 38
    A woefully underwritten motion picture that starts out as a dumb comedy before taking an ill-advised detour into mawkish sentimentality. The last 30 minutes of Bruce Almighty is so godawful that it almost sent me screaming from the theater.
  30. 33
    Like his (Carrey) early work, it's not a particularly good film -- insipidly staged, inanely plotted, too weak to withstand the weight of any inquiries into logic or continuity -- but Carrey's energetic mugging, particularly early on, makes it relatively painless.
  31. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    30
    It's a classic fantasy scenario, overflowing with creative possibilities, but Carrey's Nolan isn't charmingly misguided or comically loathsome enough to deserve the lesson; he's just a big, inconsequential crybaby.
  32. 25
    It's all rote, sleep-inducing formula, but it might have still worked if the movie weren't so timid and unimaginative.
  33. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    25
    The potential for real offense is palpable, but Bruce Almighty never gets there; the script is too lazy and incoherent--truly effective blasphemy takes brains and rigor.
  34. Something between an indiscretion and an atrocity.
  35. 0
    Even the most narcissistic jerk, like the one played by Jim Carrey in the loathsome comedy Bruce Almighty, would be expected to dream up untold pleasures for himself, acting as a self-serving genie with infinite wishes.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 72
  2. Negative: 10 out of 72
  1. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This is one of the first Jim Carrey movies i watched! It will have a special place in my heart forever! One of the greatest movie experiences from my childhood! Full Review »
  2. Sep 7, 2014
    7
    A very amusing and original comedy that has great roles from Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman.
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    Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2014
    4
    The premise of Bruce Almighty is a notable one. There's plenty of potential here, especially with Jennifer Aniston at the top of her game. But the film would've succeeded much more with the loss of Jim Carrey entirely. Full Review »