Envy

Metascore
31

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 30
  2. Negative: 16 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. The movie works fairly well as a pitch-dark comedy, and very well as a dead-on satire of upward mobility and its discontents.
  2. 60
    It may not feature the funniest performances Stiller, Walken and Black have ever given but, these three guys giving performances just this funny is enough to make Envy a movie you'll end up kicking yourself for missing.
  3. The laughs tend to come in fits and starts, built around individual set pieces rather than being generated organically out of the storytelling.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Envy is in the unenviable position of saddling two of Hollywood's most talented comic actors with a script that doesn't do them justice.
  5. Envy is such an ugly emotion, perhaps it deserves an ugly movie. Barry Levinson's Envy fills the bill - a mean-spirited black comedy saturated with dog-poo jokes and only intermittent yowls of mirth.
  6. 50
    Black somehow feels reigned in; shaved and barbered, he's lost his anarchic passion and is merely playing a comic role instead of transforming it into a personal mission.
  7. [Walken's] every minute on screen is filled with that level of jittery invention, and, watching him at play, not even the flintiest temper could resist a wide grin. Envy can surely be a trial, but Saint Christopher is there to ease our troubled journey and see us smilingly home.
  8. 50
    One of those cinematic curiosities that almost always fade quickly, but that will usually find a devoted cult audience once it hits that peculiar Elysian Field known as the aftermarket.
  9. 40
    Even the relatively successful pairing of neckless maestro of anxiety Stiller with the indomitably effervescent Black gets bogged down by Steve Adams' aimless screenplay. Would the Barry Levinson who once made "Diner" please wake up and pull himself together?
  10. 40
    Levinson, who has directed enough films to know better, should recognize a stinker of a script when he smells one: Instead clever laughs he serves up sloppy schtick, dead spots filled with lame ad-libbing and Walken crooning "The Happy Wanderer."
  11. 40
    A woeful little comedy that runs out of steam shortly after its opening sequence.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    40
    Can't decide whether to be an eccentric black comedy or a middle-of-the-road diversion.
  13. 40
    Ultimately more amusing than hilarious, and sometimes less than that.
  14. 38
    Envy is a shaggy dog-poop story that'll make you wish you could spray something at the screen to make it disappear.
  15. Envy makes a pretty entertaining three-minute trailer. If only they'd left it at that.
  16. There are a few chuckles here and there, and there are odd wisps of cleverness in the script by Steve Adams, but for the most part, Envy is a film that doesn't know where it's going.
  17. 30
    With all the dog dung in Envy, it's almost too easy to generalize that it stinks. But it does, unfortunately, despite the big-name actors in its cast.
  18. Squandered in foolish horseplay and on a story that zigzags so far out of control that it feels as if the screenwriter, Steve Adams, pasted together a bunch of zany notions in a frantic search for confusion.
  19. With so many dubious elements at play, even the half-good ideas get lost in the shuffle.
  20. 30
    The most telling symptom of bad comedy is pretty easy to diagnose: no laughs.
  21. 25
    It's remarkably appropriate that Envy is about turds, because that's what the movie is.
  22. 25
    Environmentalists are up in arms. "Where did the shit go?" they want to know. The answer is painfully obvious: into the screenplay.
  23. The film is neither fish nor fowl nor some arresting new entity, but a lumpish coagulation of conflicting impulses and unrealized gestures.
  24. Leaves you with the dismaying sensation that Levinson, who should probably be off making his own version of ''The Player,'' has instead crafted a comedy of self-loathing, burying himself in a movie that deserves to be Vapoorized.
  25. 20
    Envy feels like a comedy in search of a drama in search of some sort of lugubrious existential meaning; it never quite seems to know where it's going to head next, and neither will the audience.
  26. Reviewed by: Jo Berry
    20
    You'd think it'd be hilarious. Think again.
  27. Stiller and Black have the chemistry of fingernails-on-blackboard and the movie is disastrously unfunny.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    12
    A weirdly airless disaster, a turkey so insistently DOA that the dialogue serves as its own epitaph.
  29. 10
    In short, every element suggests Envy ought to be amusing, but the only comparably disastrous movie in recent memory involves Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, and a rapping retarded man.
User Score
2.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 7 out of 18
  1. May 24, 2013
    3
    The plot of Envy revolves around the invention of a miracle spray that instantly makes dog poop disappear, not the most sophisticated ofThe plot of Envy revolves around the invention of a miracle spray that instantly makes dog poop disappear, not the most sophisticated of scenarios I grant you but some of the great comic movies of recent times have been conceived from less, just look at Wayne's World or Zoolander for examples of that.

    A look a cast list that includes comic talents such as Amy Poehler, Jack Black and Ben Stiller as well as the gorgeous Rachel Weisz would in fact suggest that it would be difficult to make an unfunny movie regardless of plot. Unfortunately, against all the odds, that is exactly what Oscar winning director Barry Levinson has managed to create. To be far to Levinson most of the blame lays solely with the script which is unfocused and uneven making it difficult, even for a cast as talented as that on show, to derive much humour from. Not even an appearance from the ever reliable Christopher Walken can save Envy from being close to a complete mess.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 26, 2011
    6
    Jack Balck and Stiller play well of each other in this comedy that deals with just what the title proclaims...Envy. It isn't either actorsJack Balck and Stiller play well of each other in this comedy that deals with just what the title proclaims...Envy. It isn't either actors finest work but it does have a few laughs and more than enough chuckles to make it a comedy that Stiller and Black fans will be able to appreciate. If you already know you don't like either actor avoid it, but if you are a fan than Envy will give you enough of what you are looking for to enjoy the show. Full Review »
  3. MatthewR.
    Jun 28, 2006
    8
    The people that rate these movies have nothing better to do! This movie is way better than all those idiotic "gangsta movies."