Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 38
  2. Negative: 23 out of 38
  1. A generational spectacle that's fun to witness.
  2. 75
    It's a hoot to watch Fonda cut loose and mix it up with J. Lo, even when the laughs turn mean-spirited.
  3. 67
    Isn't a particularly good movie if what interests you is the art of film -- cinematography, editing, screenwriting, staging, little things like that. But if you're chiefly interested in turning off the upstairs lights and relaxing with a few laughs, you could do a lot worse.
  4. 63
    Fonda is a hoot and a half.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Imagine what someone like Danny DeVito might have done with the material, taking it in that darker "War of the Roses" direction instead of languishing in this sunny, not-nearly-sinister-enough "Legally Blonde" territory.
  6. 50
    By Hollywood standards, a movie carried with such gusto by a 67-year-old woman has to be considered a miracle. And I'm not sorry to say I enjoyed watching her do it.
  7. 50
    "Legally Blonde" director Robert Luketic bumbles along with typically clumsy blocking and framing, and the misogyny inherent in the three-ring spectacle of bitch slaps, barbiturate covert ops, and wedding plan hysteria does rankle.
  8. 50
    This is a gay men's movie whose primary function is to doll Fonda up like a drag queen and let her rip.
  9. It would take the dark wit of a Billy Wilder or a Coen brother--or at least a Neil Simon--to put across this kind of material.
  10. The movie briefly suggests Viola is an incestuous psychotic.
  11. As for Monster-in-Law, it's tripe on a plate.
  12. All I could think about while watching Jennifer Lopez prance through Monster-in-Law was how cool and poised she was in "Out of Sight."
  13. Ultimately one flat-footed beast.
  14. 40
    Fonda and Sykes are made for each other, and their incessant bickering and arguing are about the only things that give Monster-in-Law any life.
  15. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    A note to Fonda: even thin, fabulous 67-year-olds shouldn't wear strapless gowns. It's scary.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Doesn't make the movie worth watching -- even if you're monstrously bored.
  17. Add them up and the sum has a certain mathematical inevitability: Really annoying characters, really annoying movie.
  18. Fonda's performance is a perfect storm of histrionics, and she leaves nothing and no one standing.
  19. 38
    Monster-in-Law is appalling misfire of a comedy - a motion picture that takes a situation ripe for the blackest vein of satire and reduces it to a puerile and edgeless pile of goo
  20. 38
    A fairly tedious, stupid picture.
  21. Monster-in-Law, where Bridezilla meets Godzilla, is a comedy so anemic, so toxic, that even Dracula wouldn't bite.
  22. 30
    This vapid, mean-spirited comedy is Lopez's show, and though she is utterly unconvincing as a paragon of down-to-earth virtues, the last laugh was hers from the outset.
  23. To boost this movie's rating to "worth seeing" would make me feel like a publicist or simply a dope.
  24. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A depressing comeback for Jane Fonda, but it's still nice to see her in movies again, and in something that isn't dripping with self-actualizing virtue like her last projects.
  25. 30
    How much better this would have been had someone like Brian De Palma stepped behind the camera.
  26. So tame and limp, it may actually give mothers-in-law a good name.
  27. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Shrill, undermotivated, feature-length catfight.
  28. 30
    Billed as a comedy, this low-wattage sitcom is both ill-tempered and mean-spirited.
  29. 25
    Monster-in-Law fails the Gene Siskel Test: "Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?"
  30. 25
    Jane Fonda coming back to the screen after a decade-and-a-half absence in Monster-in-Law is like Brando returning from the dead to star in a Police Academy movie.
  31. The comedy is shamelessly stupid and flagrantly vulgar by turns.
  32. The movie itself is grotesque, and may drive you nuts as it makes you laugh, mostly at the stupidity of the thing.
  33. Fonda believed in acting. She doesn't seem to believe in it anymore. Her performance in this film is a collection of reactions, vocal whoops, and pouncings that we have seen often before in lesser actors.
  34. A deeply dispiriting movie, not just because it is grindingly bad but because Jane Fonda actually chose this for her comeback after a 15-year absence from the screen. But it's worse than that. Fonda, one of the best actors of her generation, is downright awful in a role she could have -- and probably should have -- sleepwalked through.
  35. 20
    The self-confident fatuity and condescension of the movie is offensive.
  36. A shrunken, cowardly movie in deep denial of its true nature, which is far uglier than it is ever willing to admit.
  37. 0
    It's not hard to imagine the militant Jane Fonda of 1972 angrily denouncing Monster-In-Law as insulting Hollywood claptrap trafficking in regressive, reactionary, blatantly sexist gender codes. And she'd be right.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 41
  2. Negative: 18 out of 41
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    An entertaining film but with some dull moments.
  2. Apr 3, 2012
    Jennifer Lopez is a total loser. Does she really think she can act???? Fonda was quite funny even with the stupid jokes she was given. MaybeJennifer Lopez is a total loser. Does she really think she can act???? Fonda was quite funny even with the stupid jokes she was given. Maybe if someone actually wrote the script with a little brain power it could have been better. Full Review »
  3. AngelicaG.
    Apr 2, 2008
    It couldn't have been any the real question there going to be a part 2 to this movie?