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Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Bruce is a local news reporter who is discontented with nearly everything in his life, and rarely misses an opportunity to complain about it. Until one day God endows Bruce with all of his powers and challenges him to take on his job and see if he can do any better. (Universal Pictures)
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. 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.
  3. 63
    Bruce Almighty would rather go runny and bland, mostly where Aniston's Grace is concerned.
  4. While Bruce Almighty does end on a modest "Candide"-like note, the getting there is too strained to be much of a pleasure.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

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! Expand
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    9
    Finally someone remembered to do a movie that demonstrates what we all want when life does not go as we planned. It is a very successful film, both effects, histories and even comedy. I know there's a new movie, but I do not see as only the summary of the film could see how the film would be complete. But since now I'm talking about the Bruce Almighty, the story involves a little bit of everything, greed, anger, love, comedy, and it all mixed by a good director makes a beautiful piece like this. Expand
  3. Jun 7, 2013
    8
    I'm a big Jim Carrey fan and this is up there as one of his very good films, and while not his best its still certainly very funny! As long as not taken too seriously you can kick back and really enjoy it, and it will obviously help if you're a Carrey fan yourself. It's also quite a clever concept never really tried before and while it could offend some I'm sure most wouldn't look into it too much and will see the lighter side to it, so if you haven't seen it check it out Expand
  4. Oct 7, 2011
    7
    This was a very funny movie, I watched it again recently and it still had its fun in it. The best part in the movie was when he used his powers to influence the news anchor into saying the wrong things and doing dumb things. Expand
  5. Sep 8, 2013
    7
    With great power, comes great power, especially when God is involved, with various theological accuracies and religious beliefs aside, 'Bruce Almighty' explores the power and responsibility that a higher being may possess, but in a comic manner of course, because Jim Carrey is leading the show in this supernatural comedy, where he plays a news reporter longing after the coveted anchor job, a job that goes to Evan (Steve Carell). Bruce has a breakdown and decides to take his anger out on the skies, namely God, who answers Bruce in the most unorthodox of ways, giving him all his powers and telling him to use them how he pleases. While the powers of God throughout the film bring excellent comedy and impressive visual gags like the part of the soup, clearly a direct reference to Moses, and others like pulling the moon closer or even the voice change for his rival Evan, it sometimes feels over-bearing when you realise a film is being made about powers that are truly limitless, so where do you even start with that. The true spark of the film rests on the shoulders of Carrey and his energetic persona that he brings to most of his roles, it's difficult to imagine anyone else playing the role, and a deliberate pacing and subtle references to larger compromises in the film do make it a predictable in many parts, but strong performances from Carrey as the down on his luck news reporter, while is girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston) is forever trying to keep Bruce grounded. Then we have God himself, played by none other than Morgan Freeman, who has many a philosophical tale to tell us and inspire the hoard as we watch, it's entertaining but also hold sentimental value, especially when the elegant and almighty voice of Freeman is saying it. The theme of it all really tries to test the selfishness of selflessness of the human psyche, how much would one person do before trying to help others if they has unlimited capabilities? Sure we might indulge a little but when it comes down to it, what would you do. But this is of course coming from a comedy angle, many will simply treat this has a quirky idea for a film, while others will see it as blasphemy for treating the entity of God on such a comical way, but then again, laughter is the language of the soul, and while there are laughs to be had, it misses the mark when trying to be too serious and shifting its tone, while also focusing and relying to much on Jim Carrey's personality. But still an enjoyable and interesting idea all the same Expand
  6. Sep 2, 2012
    7
    Bruce Almighty is a very funny movie. Of course any movie with Jim Carey is going to be hilarious. It mixes seriousness and humor pretty well. Well done. Expand
  7. Jan 25, 2013
    4
    Bruce Almighty could very well be the one film where Jim Carrey gives everything he's got, making a character so over-the-top and goofy that it would go on to be one of his best performances. Not in my eyes. From the first few frames with Jim Carrey's character, I knew this endeavor may not go so well and, sure enough, I was correct. It has taken me a long time to warm to Carrey the same way I've warned to actors such as Jack Black, but his crazy personality is something that has left me quite annoyed in many of his films. Upon seeing it, I was a little disappointed by how bumbling and idiotic both him and Jeff Daniels were in Dumb and Dumber, yet the film now seems to be one of Carrey's stronger works when put under the same light as this film.

    To put it simply, this is a tired comedy exercise, unsuccessfully blending its religious premise with slapstick, and tacking on mawkish sentimentality making the last thirty minutes a gooey slog to watch. We follow Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey), a second-rate reporter for a news station in Buffalo, New York, who has just lost an open anchoring positioning to Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), the conniving, smarmy man who loves one-upping Bruce. Frustrated and angry, Bruce throws a fit while interviewing people at Niagara Falls, costing him his job, which causes him to yell at his wife (Jennifer Aniston) and focus all his blame on God for shifting focus on him.

    Bruce then receives persistent pager messages from an unknown number, which he begins to ignore, until caving in and realizing that it requests him to go to a deserted warehouse to meet the one and only God (Morgan Freeman), who tells Bruce that keeping up with several pray requests and helping out so many in need is a difficult job that is often taken advantage of or underappreciated on the grandscale. He then gives Bruce his position, equipping him with all the divine powers (IE: walking on water and possessing the ability to accurately imitate people), and the unprecedented, unearthly responsibility of keeping those in touch with their faith happy and joyous.

    But before we get into the sentiment, let's explore the infinite comic possibilities of Jim Carrey being God. In the relative beginning of the film, to end off of Bruce's bad day at work, he is beaten up by a group of local thugs when he attempts to protect a harmless bum. When Bruce now possesses powers, he intimidates the thugs and the one thug makes some sort of comment involving "monkeys flying out of his butt" and you can bet your bottom dollar Bruce makes it happen in a ridiculously unfunny scene that channels the worst comic tendencies of a PG-13 screenplay. It too doesn't help that Bruce's character is an ungrateful man of little charm and so much zaniness that he induces a headache every time his mouth opens.

    There's Carrey's hyperactive tendencies, and just the obligatory fact that this story practically extracts every laugh and every tear (there will be audiences, quite possibly those who are religious, but not enough to where they can't laugh at the form of satire) with a premise that basically concocts this very anemic, tired tale of redemption and "putting yourself in the shoes of the person you criticize."

    This is the third time director Tom Shadyac and Jim Carrey have collaborated on a film, with the first two being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Liar Liar. Both films expressed Carrey's style with the same rabble-rousing, uncontrolled behavior this one showcases, but with more of an emphasis on humor and spontaneous enjoyment rather than heavy-handed religious satire. I also learn it took three people to pen this story, Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, and Steve Oedekerk. One thing I could've guaranteed from the start, if I knew the writers, was a nice emotional third act, which Koren churned out to his advantage in Click but in a too little, too late fashion in A Thousand Words. Those films centered Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy, respectively, in their madness, where this one victimizes Jim Carrey showing that he can be funny, if taken in smaller doses.

    Yet I can see devoted fans of Carrey's anarchic comedy embracing this film with an open mind and a willingness to laugh. There's a larger audience for this film than I can estimate, yet in the small world of satirical comedies with religion in their crosshairs, I can assume why studios aren't cranking out more of them, and I don't believe controversy is the prime reason.

    Starring: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, and Philip Baker Hall. Directed by: Tom Shadyac.
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