Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 23
  2. Negative: 7 out of 23

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Critic Reviews

  1. A movie that is not only achingly funny but also full of serious and philosophical truisms.
  2. 75
    If it proves nothing else, this movie establishes that it is impossible for a film to get the NC-17 rating from the MPAA for language alone. This takes the trophy for dirty talk, and I've seen the docs by Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Andrew Dice Clay.
  3. While the impulse for his concert may have been confession and atonement, the cumulative effect is one of a guy struggling mightily to reconcile his divided self.
  4. Lawrence makes you believe in the character you're watching. He does an amazing little piece of acting.
  5. Lawrence is a no-holds-barred stand-up comedian who gets away with the strongest, most graphic language because he is so funny and because he makes himself the object of so much of his humor.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    By turns defiant and apologetic, gleefully raunchy and anxiously defensive.
  7. 60
    He has a knack for creating vivid characters even in the briefest of vignettes in his live act, many of which are taken from his life, growing up poor in Greenbelt.
  8. Lawrence's material runs between mediocre and offensive, and then he rescues it with his physical humor. He's at his best when he lets his face or inflection do the talking.
  9. Lawrence uses the stand-up forum less as a weapon to blast us with his incisive, razor sharp insights into life, sex and ethnicity than as a pulpit or confessional to chronicle his rehabilitation and reformation.
  10. 50
    He doesn't just kill a good buzz. He bludgeons it.
  11. 50
    There are bits of this film that titillate, undeniably, but mainly you wait for the comic to bring out the big guns, and then he leaves you feeling more teased than tickled.
  12. While Lawrence doesn't come close to the fireworks wit and satire of Pryor in his postfreebase-accident film, "Live On The Sunset Strip," his riveting story saves Runteldat from becoming just a routine slapped on the big screen.
  13. He's endearing and affable when finding humor and even introspective life lessons after arrests, drug use and a near-death experience.
  14. 40
    Lawrence's public foibles haven't magically transformed him into a comic genius, but they have made his act surprisingly poignant, if never especially funny or profound.
  15. 40
    However stale the material, Lawrence's delivery remains perfect; his great gift is that he can actually trick you into thinking some of this worn-out, pandering palaver is actually funny.
  16. 40
    Failing to provide any insight into his plight as a rich African-American celebrity, he moves on to the hard stuff.
  17. 30
    This picture is mostly a lump of run-of-the-mill profanity sprinkled with a few remarks so geared toward engendering audience sympathy that you might think he was running for office -- or trying to win over a probation officer.
  18. Breaks down before it gets out of the driveway.
  19. In his new concert film, a train wreck of self-regard, self-pity and not-so-humble pie, Martin Lawrence doth protest too much.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The comedian's braggadocio here is more wearying than that of the most self-absorbed rapper. And worse, it comes at the expense of humor.
  21. 25
    It wouldn't matter so much that this arrogant Richard Pryor wannabe's routine is offensive, puerile and unimaginatively foul-mouthed if it was at least funny.
  22. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    It's Lawrence who throws Runteldat (as in "run and tell that") off key, repeating an admonition about "the trials and tribulations of life" that sounds suspiciously insincere coming, as it does, from a guy smothered in diamonds.
  23. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    Not strong enough to stomach this leather-clad jerk-off session, which Miramax dumped onto Paramount in a rare case of common sense.

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