Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 33
  2. Negative: 10 out of 33
  1. 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.
  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. Ferrell's ideally suited to man-boy characters, and that's what Phil Weston is in "Kicking."
  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. This might be the most predictable movie of the year, but at least it delivers everything you expect it to.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    An immensely likable, funny comedy that finds a novel approach to that familiar combo of kids and sports.
  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. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    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."
  11. For soccer aficionados, Kicking & Screaming boasts some fairly cool play, courtesy of Alessandro Ruggiero and Francesco Liotti, two kids who play "the Italians."
  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: Ty Burr
    It would have been nice if someone had included a script, too.
  14. Reviewed by: Kevin Allison
    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!
  15. 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.
  16. 50
    A sweet, inoffensive, achingly laughless comedy.
  17. Reviewed by: Matt Singer
    Even the intermittent laughs undermine Kicking and its winning-isn't-everything message.
  18. 50
    A threadbare comedy glomming onto the ample talent of its star, Will Ferrell.
  19. At best, this film is half-inflated.
  20. It's not brilliant by any means, but bright enough to light up an overly familiar feel-good story.
  21. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    This year's Dodgeball? Not a chance. Ferrell admirably tackles the so-so material, but it soon defeats him.
  22. 40
    My own little critic-in-training laughed her head off. Lacks taste, must try harder.
  23. Even a soccer-savvy audience has better things to do - like instilling unsportsmanlike behavior in their kids or sabotaging rival teams.
  24. 30
    The heart of the problem may be that real life youth-sports insanity has far exceeded the bounds of family-friendly comedy.
  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. 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.
  28. 25
    Crushingly inept family comedy.
  29. 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.
  30. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A good script is the most essential ingredient for a good movie. Hiring a comedian isn't enough.
  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

Universal acclaim- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 53
  2. Negative: 8 out of 53
  1. Jun 19, 2014
    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 this disappointed. Don't see Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2014
    A perfectly entertaining and funny family movie. Kids are going to get the most laughs out of this, but Will Ferrell's crazier moments will crack up the adults too. The only real problem with it is it's familiarity. The morals it tries to teach have been taught in a thousand other movies, and you pretty much know how the overall plot is going to turn out. Still, if you're looking for some laugh's Ferrell delivers. In the end that's all that matters in a comedy, so it's worth a watch. Full Review »
  3. Jan 10, 2014
    One of the funniest movies ever, is the acting amazing? no. Is it deep?, oh heck no. This movie knows it is a goofy comedy and owns it. One of the funniest movies i have ever seen. Full Review »