Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. Howard has a wonderful touch with actors, and almost all of them here have their moments. [26 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
  2. The results are comical and unexpected -- and just a bit eerie.
  3. 75
    Artful it's not. But it's awfully affable. [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]
  4. EDtv is precisely the kind of brisk, straightforward, amiable and accessible material that shows Howard’s skills to advantage.
  5. With down-to-earth comic instincts, it simply invests its story with a loud ring of truth.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Ron Howard's version is--no surprise--a funny, audience-friendly entertainment that's ultimately less scathing satire than conventional Hollywood romantic comedy outfitted in trendy new clothes.
  7. The screenplay, by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, based on a French film, has enough sharp gags and plot twists to sustain it, with an ending that manages to be nice.
  8. The fact that Ed's life has been channeled into entertainment never achieves much tension or comic zest. That's because Howard thinks in cookie-cutter ''situations'' to begin with.
  9. 63
    I enjoyed a lot of the movie in a relaxed sort of fashion; it's not essential or original in the way "The Truman Show'' was, and it hasn't done any really hard thinking about the ways we interact with TV.
  10. 63
    No one will ever confuse Ron Howard with Robert Altman. So, instead of a potentially hilarious satire, we're left with, as one character in the film puts it, "a joyous celebration of boobery."
  11. Like the television medium it genially satirizes, EDtv is a grab bag that's both amusing and frustrating.
  12. 60
    Howard's film, like McConaughey's performance, is unassuming, ingratiating and a little rough around the edges.
  13. Its screenplay veers in highly questionable directions before reaching a mean-spirited climax that outweighs Ron Howard's workmanlike filmmaking and the contributions of a star-powered cast.
  14. The laserdisc of media movies - it plays fine, but it's clunky and cumbersome.
  15. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    Like its star, Howard's movie is affable, but has limited range.
  16. Reviewed by: Anthony Miele
    It's the outstanding performance from Martin Landau that really seems to hold your interest, as well as hold the film together.
  17. 50
    Neither a revelation nor a total wash, EDtv is instead solid comic filmmaking. I just can't help but think it could have been so much more.
  18. 50
    Bleach out the colors, backdate the wardrobes, insert Gary Cooper and Rosalind Russell and you've got one of Frank Capra's lesser films.
  19. 40
    It's a lot of plot but none of it is particularly funny or compelling. What keeps the film chugging along and also gives it a depressive aftertaste is a middle-aged male sexual anxiety subtext that intermittently sputters to the surface.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Howard and his writers are so in love with their own hip self-consciousness that it's a wonder they don't feature film critics discussing their movie.
  21. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A certain staleness hangs over the proceedings despite the best efforts of the cast and the fun-minded creative team.
  22. The movie's too slick and obvious about its intentions.
  23. 38
    Satire in a blanket of bland.
  24. I've never been sold on this anti-TV thesis. It's snooty. It assumes we in the audience have seen the light denied the lower orders. Invariably, the people in these movies who are rendered blotto by the tube are dingbat common folk. EDtv takes this notion to a new low.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    By the end the movie audience, like the electorate, is less satisfied than strung-out and exhausted.
  26. But it's also Howard's and his audience's misfortune that a good time can be had by all only if nothing of substance gets said.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jul 9, 2014
    Ed TV is an amusing comedy drama. Ed is a regular guy who gets his life televised 16 hours a day.
    Hijinks ensue and his family are featured
    Ed TV is an amusing comedy drama. Ed is a regular guy who gets his life televised 16 hours a day.
    Hijinks ensue and his family are featured on the show as well. An excellent cast and storyline make
    the movie hilarious. The movie is a clever social satire and shows how television affects society. The
    movie also shows how television plays a part in people's daily lives, A+.
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