Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 28
  2. Negative: 6 out of 28
  1. Delivers an unexpected sweetness.
  2. Flat as a Moravian cookie, flat as a sailor's wallet after a month in port, flat as the average European's impression of the Earth in A.D. 800.
  3. For my money, what keeps it bearable is mainly the mugging of the older folks -- not just Jack Black, who steals the show in a part seemingly inspired by John Belushi, but Catherine O'Hara, John Lithgow, and cameos by Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin, and Kevin Kline.
  4. 75
    It's one of those movies like "Ghost World" and "Legally Blonde" where the description can't do justice to the experience.
  5. Black delivers the best line (“Do you want me to get naked and start the revolution?”), and Lithgow scores a giggle for calling his ex-wife “coyote ugly” to her face, but neither of them can disguise this lemon.
  6. Arriving amid the traditionally withered harvest of January releases, Orange County is peachy.
  7. 60
    Not only harmless, but actually quite funny and charming.
  8. 70
    This genial comedy is as unambitious and, at times, as funny as its high concept.
  9. Starts out deliriously funny but allows sentimentality to squeeze it to a pulp by the time it's over.
  10. 63
    Even if the whole of Orange County is less than the sum of its parts, Jack Black is not the only thing to like about this movie.
  11. Under different direction, Orange County might have drawn a savvy cult audience that would appreciate the black-comedy possibilities of Shaun's idolatry of a certain writing professor (Kline), the homoerotic overtones inherent in best-buddydom and pyromania as a sexual turn-on.
  12. In any case, the presence of O'Hara, Kline, Ramis, Black, Tomlin and John Lithgow (who plays Shaun's father) serve mainly to underline the feebleness of the screenplay and the slackness of the direction.
  13. The movie is hipper than its L.A. establishment credentials would suggest.
  14. 50
    Were it not for the high profile names of "Hanks" and "Kasdan", this would be a perfect candidate for a direct-to-video release.
  15. 80
    It's the new year's first happy surprise.
  16. 60
    A feebly pleasant surprise: It's not as cheap, loud and sleazy as it might have been, but it's also too eagerly well-meaning and indistinct to really stick. It's a piece of mildly entertaining, inoffensive fluff.
  17. It should have been a cut above the usual teen comedy. But it touches the same old bases in the same old dumb ways.
  18. 40
    Ultimately it lacks even the conviction of its own nastiness.
  19. This is a picture with a perfect sense of proportion: There's a mini-Hanks, a mini-Spacek and a mini-Kasdan in a mini-comedy that's minimally entertaining.
  20. The gags and subplots, rather than adding up to sustained hilarity, compete with each other.
  21. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    40
    This ORANGE is a lemon.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Every performer puts vigor into an otherwise limp exercise, as if word were out that this would be the last comedy ever made about late-adolescent concerns.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    A fine group of comic performers manages to keep the screen worth looking at despite the obsessively one-note nature of this curious matchup between MTV Films and producer Scott Rudin.
  24. Hardly the idiosyncratic Mickey Finn you'd expect from the men behind 1998's underrated "Zero Effect" and 2000's discomfort-splooge "Chuck & Buck."
  25. It's a movie at war with itself. The first half, more or less, is witty about California culture, or the lack of it, in a "Clueless" kind of way, which is a very good way.
  26. 30
    Strictly a vanity vehicle with a mess of star babies on board. That would be just fine if it didn't take us down the same old cul-de-sac. But it does, and with a vengeance.
  27. The movie is less than nothing special. The movie veers between pretentiousness (oh, the plight of the instant, start-up Artist) and vacuousness.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    If it wasn't fore Jack Black, I would of given this a 6. The story follows Sean Brumder, an aspiring writer living Orange County. After seeingIf it wasn't fore Jack Black, I would of given this a 6. The story follows Sean Brumder, an aspiring writer living Orange County. After seeing how much life his family and his friends are sucking out of him, He tries to aply to Stanford university but after a mix up with the transcript, He, His girlfriend and his junkie brother set off on a road trip to tell the Dean of Admissions (played by the Hilarious Harold Ramis) that it was a mix up. Support cast is hilarious even though the script falls flat a bit. Theres even a few great cameos from Chevy Chase and Kevin Kiline, Catherine O'Hara plays the best distrought mother and Jack Black steals the show. All and all an enjoyable if dated movie. Full Review »
  2. TomL
    Feb 17, 2008
    7
    Orange County is a movie about a kid trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. After the passing of one of his friends he Orange County is a movie about a kid trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. After the passing of one of his friends he abandons his old easy going surfer life style stereo typical of where he is from (orange county) and dedicates his life to writing. His goal was to go to Stanford and escape the dysfunctional home and town he grew up in. The movie starts out kind of stupid, but Jack Black was kind of funny in his same old roll as a fat crazy guy. The main character and his crazy day sort of reminded me of a mix of the catcher in the rye and Ferris Bueller's day off. For some reason I just enjoyed watching the movie and it seemed like a good length, with a good beginning, middle, and end. Full Review »
  3. JackH.
    Feb 14, 2006
    8
    Jack Black saved this movie! One of his best roles ever. So many classic quotes, such as "She said, I'm gonna burn this mother down! And Jack Black saved this movie! One of his best roles ever. So many classic quotes, such as "She said, I'm gonna burn this mother down! And I'm like, you better not, you, you better not!,". Full Review »