Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 22, 2011
    88
    The result isn't just the best new romantic comedy released so far this year, but one of the best comedies, period.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 20, 2011
    88
    Chemistry is king. It's one reason the rom-com has long seemed like the toughest code for Hollywood to crack. But never underestimate the power of snappy, rapid-fire banter, the paving stones of the Hollywood road to romance.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 20, 2011
    83
    It works because Timberlake and Kunis are totally in control of their damaged characters without winking at the audience, as if to say: "Aren't we cute, behaving so naughty?" Their sex is amusingly awkward, and their repressed longings more so. It's the kind of chemistry that comes along once in a generation.
  4. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jul 24, 2011
    80
    Friends with Benefits is fast, allusive, urban, glamorous - clearly the Zeitgeist winner of the summer.
  5. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jul 21, 2011
    80
    It's after the sex friends go back to being just friends that the film really hits its stride, and that's also when the excellent Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins enter the picture as loving but imperfect parents who help explain what's made both leads so gun-shy.
  6. 80
    Goes a long way in bringing sexy back to a soggy genre, benefiting greatly from the presence of its likable leads.
  7. Reviewed by: Anita Li
    Jul 23, 2011
    75
    It's a tired formula moviegoers know well, but in the case of Friends With Benefits, it works.
  8. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 22, 2011
    75
    Chemistry is the usually misfiring engine that drives romantic comedies, so it's a pleasure to report that Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are practically combustible together in Friends With Benefits.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    The takeaway on Friends With Benefits is that mores change, styles change, the rules change, and even humor changes. (There are two jokes involving apps, of all things, that are pretty funny.) But people's emotional needs remain the same from era to era.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    That it works like a charm - that it mostly keeps its manic energy in check, and that it plays to chick-flick formulas without ever groveling - is due almost entirely to the leads.
  11. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    Unchallenging but easy to like. There's not enough here to capture the interest of those indifferent to romantic comedies, but fans - even of the casual variety - will find this to be a pleasant mid-summer diversion.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    Romantic comedies - and this is one, in spite of its phony irreverence - turn largely on star power, and theirs is transcendent, whether they're casually trading one-liners on the streets or doing running commentary on their sexual escapades. They'd have been better off staying in bed.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    I enjoy both Timberlake and Kunis; just this side of manic, they seem right together.
  14. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 20, 2011
    75
    The news about this movie is that it makes it clear that both Timberlake and Kunis are the real thing when it comes to light comedy.
  15. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 23, 2011
    70
    A dumb, by-the-numbers romantic comedy. Yet I kept finding small things to enjoy in it, mainly because of the two hard-to-hate leads.
  16. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 23, 2011
    70
    On the whole, Friends With Benefits is a rewarding summer diversion, albeit one that's fatally torn between what it wants to be -- riotous, anarchic and anti-moralistic -- and the disappointing wet-blanket formula it reverts to in the end.
  17. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jul 23, 2011
    70
    The screenplay, with credits shared by Gluck, Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, is predictable, plotwise. But it is elevated by energetic dialogue, the sexual chemistry between the leads and the fact that the miscommunication that keeps bliss at bay - there's always one in a rom-com, and usually it is annoyingly unbelievable - is plausible.
  18. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Jul 21, 2011
    70
    The jokes don't all work and the topical references can be irritably hipper-than-thou, but at least director and cowriter Will Gluck (Easy A) aims high: this is patterned on the Tracy and Hepburn comedies, albeit with a lot more skin.
  19. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 21, 2011
    70
    The results are about as naughty as that sounds (not very), but it also makes for a fairly giggling good time.
  20. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jul 21, 2011
    67
    I'm not exactly sure this is a situation that a lot of people are going to identify with. More to the point, it gives the movie a faulty design. Dylan and Jamie sleep together and get along famously. Where's the dramatic motor?
  21. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jul 20, 2011
    67
    The middle of a movie is often where filmmakers lose their way, but Friends With Benefits nails this stretch, in which nothing very remarkable happens as two people talk, in bed and out of bed. There's a fine line between fun-dirty and ick-dirty – sometimes you can't identify the line until it's been crossed – and this film keeps its toes on the right side of raunch.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    When it's good, Friends With Benefits is quite good - especially as it skewers rom-com clichés.
  23. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    If Kunis gets the showier role in Friends With Benefits, Timberlake proves a quietly charming stalking horse, finally claiming and fully owning the spotlight with a hilarious homage to the 1990s rap duo Kriss Kross.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    A bait-and-switch comedy. It poses as a naughty "no-mance" about friends who use each other for casual sex, but at the moment of truth it goes limp.
  25. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    Instead of gleaning something from real life, the great minds behind Friends With Benefits slapped their ideas together based on screwball classics, "Sleepless in Seattle" bits, and a keen analysis of Hollywood hackery.
  26. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Sep 5, 2011
    60
    This coasts along just fine thanks to charm and comical interludes, but it fails to deliver the sassy story it promises. Fine for a romantic comedy, but an inferior follow up to director Gluck's edgier "Easy A."
  27. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 22, 2011
    60
    It's cute and funny and sweet, which - as any woman can attest - puts it way ahead of most Friday night options.
  28. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 21, 2011
    60
    Even with all their huffing and puffing, this very salty, often funny affair is never quite as satisfying as it should be.
  29. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jul 21, 2011
    60
    By poking fun at the cliches, director Gluck thinks he can turn an inevitability into an in-joke. Eh, it'll do.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jul 18, 2011
    60
    The raunchy premise here is just a smokescreen for the sort of squarely moralistic, altar-bound comedy of which even Jane Austen would approve.
  31. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jul 22, 2011
    55
    Watching these two actors move from being sweetly flirtatious to doing real emotional battle may not entirely compensate for the movie's other failings, but it goes a long way toward making amends.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 21, 2011
    50
    Their banter is fun at the start until it becomes relentless.
  33. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 20, 2011
    50
    The movie is pleasant overall and occasionally comes up with a big laugh. When the movie's over, though, it evaporates from memory, just like a one-night stand that didn't go nearly as well as you'd hoped.
  34. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 20, 2011
    50
    Patricia Clarkson is kind of funny as Jamie's mom, an unreformed hippie. And Timberlake and Kunis get in a few good laughs before it's over. But with such a well-worn story, you can't shake the idea you've seen this kind of thing before.
  35. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 21, 2011
    45
    Every actor in Friends with Benefits, including the nearly indestructible Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins, stalls out in the process of pedaling desperately to make this substandard material work.
  36. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jul 21, 2011
    38
    For a film that had once made some pretense toward exposing such dangerously submissive attitudes toward Hollywood romance, Friends with Benefits's conclusion can't help but seem more than a wee bit disingenuous.
  37. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Jul 21, 2011
    30
    What's most crushing is witnessing what should have been the dream pairing of Kunis and Timberlake - both foxy, loose, confident performers - here generating zero chemistry.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 68
  2. Negative: 6 out of 68
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    7
    This will inevitably draw comparisons to No Strings Attached (the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman pals-doing-the-nasty comedy from earlier this year), so let's just get one thing out of the way: FWB is actually kinda GOOD, unlike NSA. Here's what's good about it: Witty, sharp dialogue that's well delivered, great chemistry between the actors, good acting, engaging side characters and side plots. The actors and their characters are likable. The ride is enjoyable and has just enough seriousness to give the plot weight and make the characters not seem like vapid singletons living in a New York bubble. Also, the jokes are funny and often smart, without being snooty. The pacing is also good, although I'll be honest and say it loses some momentum towards the end. It's predictable enough, as all romantic comedies ultimately are (and isn't that why we see them?) so think of this movie as more about than the journey than the destination. Full Review »
  2. Jul 29, 2011
    0
    This movie sucks. Do not see it. From the commercials you think its gonna be a comedy/porn. NOPE ITS A DARN LOVE STORY! It never ends. I wanted to kill myself. Best part of the movie is Mila Kunis ass. Its deff worth to see just for that. Full Review »
  3. Jul 23, 2011
    10
    Justin Timberlake and Mia Kunis are so good together. I laughed soo hard throughout the movie, but it wasn't just a comedy, if you are a sucker for a good love story this ones for you. I thought it was great. I will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD! Full Review »