Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 21
  2. Negative: 9 out of 21
  1. 80
    The bubble-kid moms can whine all they want, but Bubble Boy is a liberated movie --liberated from tastefulness, of course, but also from logic, suffering, consequence, and temperance.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Playfully quirky film takes equal-time potshots at its many easy targets -- fundamentalism, intolerance, ethnic stereotypes.
  3. It's a shame if the controversy surrounding Bubble Boy distracts people from what a smart, subversive, and genuinely good-hearted film it is.
  4. This movie has a sweetness at its core.
  5. Reviewed by: Jan Stuart
    Bubble Boy simply has the gall to make light of one of the last untouchable left in America: disease.
  6. 60
    When it clicks, the picture should shock you into laughter -- enough to make you wish it were better and applaud its efforts anyway.
  7. This is a semi-mean-spirited movie; had it remained that way, it could have redeemed itself.
  8. It's hardly original and rarely laugh-out-loud funny -- the filmmakers constantly fall back on the sight of bounding balloon Jimmy squeezing his way out of one situation after another.
  9. 50
    Belongs to that genre of movie that works hard to achieve a certain twisted and demented wit.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though there are some funny sequences, the frothy Bubble Boy evaporates without delivering enough belly laughs.
  11. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    There's always been room for rudeness in humor. In fact, it can be invigorating. But Bubble Boy goes through the motions of being outrageous when all it's really got is a rage to conform to formula.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Seems bent on creating equal-opportunity offense to many groups, but more often than not is appalling simply for its silliness and lack of comedic control.
  13. Fitfully funny at best, it's a sophomoric, facetious road comedy.
  14. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    It seems that in the movies, at least, there is a limit to how far low expectations can take you.
  15. 30
    Hard though this antic farce tries to be outrageous, its satirical jabs at American culture are obvious and juvenile, as is the use of Jimmy's plastic bubble as a goofy metaphor for fear of life.
  16. 30
    The coke-fried gibbons behind Bubble Boy came to a trailblazing conclusion: The ideal filmic oddity is white, male, and -- a mother's deception notwithstanding -- perfectly healthy.
  17. 30
    This Farrelly brothers "hommage" replicates the mechanics of their work without echoing its spirit or complex tone, and many of the deliberate offenses fail to transcend mere exploitation.
  18. The bubble-boy niche is thankfully small. John Travolta began his career playing one in a TV movie, but this movie will undoubtedly finish off the genre for good.
  19. 20
    Nearly every attempt at humor in this witless, completely reprehensible "movie" is mean-spirited and stupidly conceived at the expense of some group that deserves better.
  20. What a bummer! Certainly the meanest-spirited film ever associated with the Disney hallmark.
  21. Reviewed by: Bruce Fretts
    After enduring only a few minutes of this shrill debacle, you'll feel more trapped in the theater than Jimmy is by his bubble.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Aug 25, 2010
    The best soundtrack EVER! The best of the strangest comedies in history. I tried to find another movie by the author of Bubble Boy... nothing I could find works as well as this.
    Should be ranked as one of the best comedies (although I know it won't). Too many Napoleon Dynamite fans out there...
    Full Review »
  2. FelixQ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    I will defend this one unto the death. Well, maybe not *death*, but you get the point. I actually laughed out loud while watching it on my own, which doesn't happen often. I really am a sap for the puppy-dog eyes male leads, and this movie just scratches the itch in the hard to reach spot in he middle of my back. Metaphorically speaking, that it. Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2011
    One of the best Jake Gyllenhaal movies I ever seen, following Donnie Darko. Great comedy and great acting in the process.