Kicking & Screaming

Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 33
  2. Negative: 10 out of 33
Watch On
  1. Ferrell's ideally suited to man-boy characters, and that's what Phil Weston is in "Kicking."
  2. Some scenes are just silly, others are dead-on uproarious. Ditka, a real-life football legend, is a real find as our hero's assistant.
  3. 75
    An entertaining family movie, and may serve a useful purpose if it inspires kids to overthrow their coaches and take over their own sports.
  4. Laughs-wise, it lacks the raucous edge of an "Old School" or "Anchorman" or the retro charm of an "Elf," but there's still plenty of Will-power to fuel this likable underdog trifle. It certainly is more enjoyable than a lot of what passes for family entertainment these days.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    An immensely likable, funny comedy that finds a novel approach to that familiar combo of kids and sports.
  6. This might be the most predictable movie of the year, but at least it delivers everything you expect it to.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    It's all kept light and funny, but underlying the broad sight gags is a movie that actually has something to say about competition, fathers and sons, machismo and caffeine.
  8. Kicking & Screaming may be a prefab cartoon out of the "Bad News Bears" cookie cutter, but Ferrell doesn't just save this junk -- he rules it.
  9. It's Ferrell who is the vehicle, a mow-you-down comic engine, and everyone else is just along for the ride in this marginally effective, starkly unoriginal family comedy.
  10. For soccer aficionados, Kicking & Screaming boasts some fairly cool play, courtesy of Alessandro Ruggiero and Francesco Liotti, two kids who play "the Italians."
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    63
    R0bert Duvall as a pee wee soccer coach? Great idea, but Kicking and Screaming should have had him roar, "I love the smell of juice boxes in the morning."
  12. 60
    There aren't any big laughs, but there's a steady supply of small ones, and with his overgrown-kid persona Ferrell seems more comfortable in a family comedy than, say, Eddie Murphy.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Singer
    50
    Even the intermittent laughs undermine Kicking and its winning-isn't-everything message.
  14. At best, this film is half-inflated.
  15. 50
    A threadbare comedy glomming onto the ample talent of its star, Will Ferrell.
  16. It's not brilliant by any means, but bright enough to light up an overly familiar feel-good story.
  17. Luckily for the viewer, Ferrell is an irresistible presence. His occasional moments of unwarranted weirdness are the only thing that makes this otherwise pedestrian movie bearable (let alone interesting) to watch.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    It would have been nice if someone had included a script, too.
  19. Reviewed by: Kevin Allison
    50
    Relatively harmless fun, although it does make you wish Ferrell would do more risky, rule-bending work like "Anchorman." Enough with the generic star vehicles man, write thee a screenplay again!
  20. 50
    A sweet, inoffensive, achingly laughless comedy.
  21. 40
    My own little critic-in-training laughed her head off. Lacks taste, must try harder.
  22. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    40
    This year's Dodgeball? Not a chance. Ferrell admirably tackles the so-so material, but it soon defeats him.
  23. Even a soccer-savvy audience has better things to do - like instilling unsportsmanlike behavior in their kids or sabotaging rival teams.
  24. This is little more than a big-budget sitcom, with a guest appearance by Mike Ditka, who plays an unfunny version of himself as Phil's assistant coach.
  25. 30
    Even understanding the audience for which Kicking & Screaming is aiming, it's hard not to notice the flaws.
  26. 30
    Roughly as entertaining as watching your neighbor's kid's soccer game, not because you want to, but because you have to.
  27. 30
    The heart of the problem may be that real life youth-sports insanity has far exceeded the bounds of family-friendly comedy.
  28. 25
    Crushingly inept family comedy.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    25
    A good script is the most essential ingredient for a good movie. Hiring a comedian isn't enough.
  30. Not only not funny, it's unfunny. It kills humor. Sit in a room by yourself, look at a blank screen for 90 minutes, and you'll have more of a chance of laughing at your own thoughts than you will at this movie.
  31. 25
    Too bad the director ties everyone's laces together and they all go down in a jumble.
  32. 20
    If its made-for-TV sensibility explains its chaotically blobby shooting style, it doesn't clarify a plot so painfully padded that it looks for laughs in strange digressive asides regarding bratwurst and coffee.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 207 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 55
  2. Negative: 9 out of 55
  1. Mar 13, 2015
    8
    This movie is unbelievably hilarious. I love the clashing between Duvall and Ditka and then Ferrel being smashed between. Mike Ditka is aThis movie is unbelievably hilarious. I love the clashing between Duvall and Ditka and then Ferrel being smashed between. Mike Ditka is a perfect choice for the Juice Box guy. Full Review »
  2. Mar 2, 2015
    1
    Enough of this.....introduce kids to coffee by getting them half-caf....and the movie has somehow accomplished what it set out to do.....if IEnough of this.....introduce kids to coffee by getting them half-caf....and the movie has somehow accomplished what it set out to do.....if I didn't already hate Will Farrell ...i'm there now...who I really hate is people who need to laugh at him together.....Might as well have an entire movie on Fat Bastard only now hes played by Will Farrell..... Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2014
    0
    Only a couple of laughs. (only chuckles though). I didn't go into the film with really high hopes, but I had no idea I would be thisOnly a couple of laughs. (only chuckles though). I didn't go into the film with really high hopes, but I had no idea I would be this disappointed. Don't see Full Review »