User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 188 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 188
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  1. VinceH.
    Jun 3, 2005
    3
    How much you like/dislike this film will mainly depend on how much you can tolerate of Will Ferrell's mugging and scenery-chewing. Personally I think a movie of the guy doing his taxes would be entertaining, so as a Ferrell fan you will be satisfied. Sure the movie is harmless and you will walk away unbruised and with limbs intact, but in the end it fails. It fails as a How much you like/dislike this film will mainly depend on how much you can tolerate of Will Ferrell's mugging and scenery-chewing. Personally I think a movie of the guy doing his taxes would be entertaining, so as a Ferrell fan you will be satisfied. Sure the movie is harmless and you will walk away unbruised and with limbs intact, but in the end it fails. It fails as a children's/family movie, given that there is actually very little "children's-movie" material in it (unless having children appear onscreen and breathing and talking is considered a family film). At the screening I attended, the only people laughing were pre-teens and adolescents, with the majority of children looking bored and falling asleep. As a comedy, it has one genuinely funny episode (Ferrell in a coffee shop ordering his first decaf latte), and that's it. Everything else feels like scraps from The Bad News Bears and other loser-sport movies you've already seen a thousand-and-a-half times. Expand
  2. MarkT
    May 29, 2005
    0
    Lazily (unforgivably) written, poorly shot, an embarrassment from start to finish. I doubt whether Ferrell, Duvall, or even Ditka can bring themselves to watch five minutes of this. Save your money and watch the best of Will Ferrell on SNL instead.
  3. chrisN
    May 13, 2005
    3
    Just another half-baked Will Ferrell movie with a few stupid laughs stemming from Ferrell's boring and repetetive delivery.
  4. MarkB.
    May 26, 2005
    3
    We'll all find out in a few weeks whether the upcoming Billy Bob Thornton remake of Michael Ritchie's 1976 kiddie-sports classic The Bad News Bears turns out to be enjoyable but unnecessary or just plain unnecessary, but in the meantime there's always this cynically sloppy, lazy unofficial do-over to avoid. Ritchie's untimely early death a few years ago is the only We'll all find out in a few weeks whether the upcoming Billy Bob Thornton remake of Michael Ritchie's 1976 kiddie-sports classic The Bad News Bears turns out to be enjoyable but unnecessary or just plain unnecessary, but in the meantime there's always this cynically sloppy, lazy unofficial do-over to avoid. Ritchie's untimely early death a few years ago is the only factor preventing him from justifiably and understandably suing the perpetuators of this plagiarism, which steals everything from the terrific Walter Matthau/Tatum O'Neal original except what made it work: a witty script that perfectly blended big laughs and understated but effective sentiment, and gave each kid on the team a very distinct, mutidimensional personality. (Sorry, guys: the ability to eat worms whole does NOT count as a personality trait.) Will Ferrell, as a reluctant soccer dad who turns rabid, is game as always if somewhat constrained by the movie's PG restrictions, and as Melinda and Melinda and even Old School demonstrate, handles serious, dramatic moments with admirable sincerity...but honestly, even though I'm a fairly easy person to get a laugh out of at the movies, I smiled once and only once throughout Kicking's tortuously endless 95 minutes. (It was the bit in which Ferrell and his team rush straight to a game from a butcher shop.) In fact, I don't know which element of this movie depressed me more: 1.) Robert Duvall's willingness, in the role of Ferrell's hypercompetitive dad (and rival coach) to prostitute his memorable role in The Great Santini, which his character mirthlessly parodies here; I mean, if I want to watch actors spoof previous iconic performances, I'll rewatch Marlon Brando in The Freshman; 2.) the fact that Duvall turned down a third chance to play Tom Hagen in The Godfather Part III because his paycheck wasn't big enough, yet has no trouble accepting cash of any amount for junk like this; or 3.) the participation of Judd Apatow, a producer associated with quirky, quality TV shows such as Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared; maybe he got tired of quick cancellations and decided to sell his soul for the privilege of working a film guaranteed two moderately profitable weekends and, later, a gazillion DVDs flying out of stores. To be completely fair, I really liked two supporting performances: Chicago Bears coaching legend Mike Ditka as a neighbor who gets involved in the Ferrell/Duvall rivalry, who as anyone who watched him in the old Saturday Night Live "Superfans" sketches knows, has impeccable comic timing...and child actor Elliott Cho, who as the littlest member of Ferrell's team, performs with irresistable sweetness, enthusiasm and joy--no wonder director Jesse Dylan is always pointing his camera at him. Cho does for this film what a very, very young Macaulay Culkin did for Uncle Buck in 1987; what should be everyone's overwhelming wish to prevent this lovable, apparently unaffected kid from ending up as the NEXT Macaulay Culkin should be one more terrific reason to keep everybody running and screaming as far away from Kicking and Screaming as humanly possible. Expand
  5. richardb
    May 28, 2005
    3
    Inept script with most of jokes falling flat due to poor directing.
  6. KenH
    Jun 6, 2005
    2
    The only reason I gave it any stars was that my 9 and 4 year old boys loved it, otherwise this movie was awful Hollywood formula crap (and I love Will Ferrell).
  7. MxBiz
    Nov 27, 2005
    2
    Slightly better than horrendous.
  8. markc.
    May 15, 2005
    4
    Bad New Bears with a soccer ball, POOR EFFORT. I did like Mike Ditka playing himself, a few laughs there.
  9. ChadS.
    May 16, 2005
    4
    There's a bizarre inside joke to "Kicking & Screaming" and god only knows why it's there. This film, a sort of second generation, second-rate "The Bad News Bears", announces itself as such by using the same team nickname as "Here Comes the Tigers", a long-forgotten film about an incompetent little league baseball team that was directed by Sean S. Cunningham, the man who gave us There's a bizarre inside joke to "Kicking & Screaming" and god only knows why it's there. This film, a sort of second generation, second-rate "The Bad News Bears", announces itself as such by using the same team nickname as "Here Comes the Tigers", a long-forgotten film about an incompetent little league baseball team that was directed by Sean S. Cunningham, the man who gave us Jason. His next film, "Manny's Orphans", was about youth soccer. Then it occured to me that "Kicking and Screaming" premiered on Friday the 13th. Putting this information together was a lot more fun than watching this harmless, but largely unfunny comedy because the filmmakers are going for a PG-rating. "The Bad News Bears" wasn't made for children. Mike Ditka would've been more effective if he treated those kids like adults, like how he'd coach the Chicago Bears. The f-bomb is probably funnier than "Zip it!" "Kicking and Screaming" comes to life late in the film when Ferrell starts to behave a little badly. If the film tried to be more like "Bad Santa" than "Parenthood", they might've had something here. Even the great Robert Duvall could've reached deeper into his inner-Santini. Expand
  10. 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 this disappointed. Don't see
  11. 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 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.....
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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    An immensely likable, funny comedy that finds a novel approach to that familiar combo of kids and sports.