Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. 25
    The movie has been slapped together by director Todd Phillips, who careens from scene to scene without it occurring to him that humor benefits from characterization, context and continuity. Otherwise, all you have is a lot of people acting goofy.
  2. 63
    Old School is exactly what director Todd Phillips intends for it to be: low-brow, moronic to a fault, and occasionally side-splittingly funny.
  3. 50
    Only fitfully funny, except when Ferrell is onscreen -- then you won't stop laughing.
  4. The saving grace of Old School is that it has about a dozen funny moments. These moments aren't mildly funny or chuckle funny but really funny.
  5. Under Reitman's deanship, Ferrell lets his freak flag fly and Vaughn unlooses a notably funny, light-on-his-feet lunkheadedness.
  6. In terms of sheer belly-laugh count, this one's in the same plentiful company as "There's Something About Mary" and "Road Trip."
  7. 75
    It's also a message movie, about as weighty as Lara Flynn Boyle and twice as absurd. But I'd like to report that I had an excellent time.
  8. Starts out silly, gets sillier by the minute, and frequently had me and most of the people around me in stitches.
  9. 50
    Like a half-empty glass of Coke that's been sitting out for a couple of days; sure, it looks like cola, but one sip tells you exactly what's missing.
  10. Speaking of funny things, director Todd Phillips has been down this path before in "Road Trip." There, toiling in the same lame genre, he actually showed a hint of comic ingenuity. Here, the hint has dwindled to a hoarse whisper.
  11. 80
    It's blissfully, pants-wettingly funny from beginning to end.
  12. Old School has all the ingredients of an uproarious campus comedy, but it lacks a boisterous short-order cook who could whip up a food fight or three.
  13. A deliberately stupid movie whose crazy charm wins you over in the end.
  14. 40
    A comedy with a terrific premise and little else.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    In lieu of a toga party, one scene treats us to an octogenarian fraternity member wrestling two topless townie lookers slathered in KY Gel. Hey, there's no stopping progress.
  16. To call the haphazard string of gags a story is to give it far too much credit, but it is funny in a blunt, profane frat boy way, thanks to the bulldozing energy of Ferrell, the smarmy manipulations of Vaughn and the anything-for-a-laugh excess of Phillips.
  17. 25
    If you're going to be offensive, by all means be offensive. Be tasteless! Be "There's Something About Mary." But at least stick to your guns, and don't wuss out when it counts.
  18. Phillips and co-writer Scot Armstrong waste too much time on a silly love-interest subplot for Wilson; that time is much better served by the frat-boy idiocies, like Frank beer-bonging himself into streaking.
  19. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    This year's kinder, gentler "Animal House."
  20. 70
    It’s party time, and the movie is wild and crude without being mean--it’s a comedy of infantile regression, “Animal House” for grownups. [17 March 2003, p. 154]
  21. 40
    A dumb guy comedy about dumb guys by dumb guys and for dumb guys.
  22. 70
    The 1978 frat-house classic "Animal House," starring the late, great John Belushi, is the model for testosterone-mad comedies such as this, and while it hasn't that film's scope or finesse, Old School does have Ferrell, a man clearly in touch with his inner Belushi.
  23. 50
    With little cohesion and no respect for the editing process, Old School often feels like someone threw film clips on the floor and strung them together willy-nilly.
  24. 38
    The movie is never more than the sum of its scattershot jokes; it's sloppily put together, with scenes seemingly cut mid-dialogue.
  25. The disconnect between what men say and what they do makes Old School funnier than most of its gags and it also invests the movie with curious pathos.
  26. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    The frat brothers have some surprisingly touching moments, and their diverse but perfectly matched personalities generate a fairly steady stream of laugh-out-loud moments.
  27. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    A flatland of lowest-common-denominated retro-collegiate wackiness.
  28. 60
    A good laugh is almost never a bad thing and almost every frame of Old School is grade A goofball fun.
  29. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    The whole plot is a shambles. And yet none of this matters much when you're laughing as hard as this film makes you laugh.
  30. Reviewed by: Megan Lehmann
    Ultimately, the immensely personable and talented lead actors manage to push aside the disquieting notion that this group of men are so emotionally stunted that they're happy to abandon their wives and children for the sake of a party.
  31. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    Will Ferrell is a fearless comedian, and he commits completely to his insanity in the film, and that makes it work.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 52
  2. Negative: 6 out of 52
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    -"You my boy blue!"
    -"Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot"
    This movie has more than
    enough laughs to go around, Very very enjoyable movie. Full Review »
  2. Feb 8, 2013
    A CRIMINAL comedy It was awesome !!!
    It's not the story, it was common... It's how it's made... full of funny jokes, crazy situations :)))

    I'm sure that everyone of you know 3 guys exactly like the 3 main characters :D
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    "Hangover" Director Todd Phillips delivers a sort of "Animal House" throwback with "Old School". The film tells the story of Mitch, played by Luke Wilson, whose life basically falls apart before his eyes. He then decides to move in to a house on a college campus. Mitch's friends Frank and Beanie, played by Ferrell and Vaughn, convince him to start a fraternity within the college campus. Hilarity, of course, ensues. I found myself laughing a fair amount in this movie. There were a couple moments that were made me laugh hysterically, but overall the laughs came pretty moderately for me. Luke Wilson is great at playing. . .well the straight man - I feel that that's all he plays in movies unfortunately. And Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn are excellent as Wilson's flawed but fun friends. Overall I found the movie pretty darn hilarious. Even though some of the subplot stuff was rather annoyingly predictable, the movie still managed to make me laugh a bit. Full Review »