Paul

Paul Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 367 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America's UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. (Universal)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 18, 2011
    88
    The film -- lame of title but big on fun.
  2. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Mar 16, 2011
    80
    A celebration of sci-fi flicks, fanboys and good, old-fashioned bromance, Paul is a thoroughly enjoyable road trip.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 19, 2011
    75
    The movie, despite what you may have gathered from the goofy trailer, is more sweet than silly.
  4. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 17, 2011
    63
    Some of the later scenes capture the spirit of majestic sweetness of "Close Encouners of the Third Kind" and "E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial" period, but the elevated moments don't last. They're relentlessly undermined by the f-bombs, groin kicks, and anal-probing jokes.
  5. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 17, 2011
    58
    The crudeness with which Mottola made "Superbad" suited that film; here, a similarly rudimentary technique detracts and distracts.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The derriere-flashing, dope-smoking, potty-mouthed antics of this antisocial E.T. justify every bit of the rating that the MPAA has slapped on him.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 17, 2011
    25
    British satire loses something when it's handled by Americans: You miss the perspective that a foreign culture brings, so instead of wit and humor, you end up trafficking in self-congratulatory clich├ęs and sentiment.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 117
  2. Negative: 15 out of 117
  1. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    Absolutley brilliant, I have already watched it twice. Simon Pegg has created his funniest movie since Shawn of the Dead. Look out forAbsolutley brilliant, I have already watched it twice. Simon Pegg has created his funniest movie since Shawn of the Dead. Look out for references to famous Sci Fi films all through this movie. The music they play in the club and the radio comments from the FBI guys are clear tips towards the original Star Wars whilst the obvious pun at the end is hilarious.
    The sub plot where the Alien opens peoples mind about religion is really well done too. If you love Sci fi and have a sense of humour then you will love this film.
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  2. Apr 3, 2011
    10
    I loved this movie. It was both funny and entertaining. It had a great cast, and even though it was a comedy, it had good special effects.I loved this movie. It was both funny and entertaining. It had a great cast, and even though it was a comedy, it had good special effects. Paul looked real. As if he was really there. This movie shouldn't be frowned upon because of the similarities to other movies because it's creating a whole new fun-filled comical action ride. Expand
  3. Mar 3, 2013
    9
    It was hilarious. One of Seth Rogen's best movies yet. Seth Rogen was perfect as Paul. Nick Frost and Simon Peg were also perfect for theirIt was hilarious. One of Seth Rogen's best movies yet. Seth Rogen was perfect as Paul. Nick Frost and Simon Peg were also perfect for their roles. I really hope their will be a second one. Expand
  4. Apr 24, 2015
    7
    Paul is arguably the best science fiction comedy since Galaxy Quest. Despite being humorous in its outlook and providing numerous "EasterPaul is arguably the best science fiction comedy since Galaxy Quest. Despite being humorous in its outlook and providing numerous "Easter eggs" to fans of Star Wars, Aliens, Close Encounters, and E.T. (amongst others), this isn't a parody. Outside the occasional, affectionate jabs at science fiction fans and comic con attendees, Paul avoids taking the satirical approach. Instead, it's a road trip and a buddy movie, albeit one in which a participant happens to be an alien.

    There is little question that Pegg and Frost, who wrote the screenplay, are more than closet science fiction fans. Lines from Star Wars and Aliens show up in the script (with the Aliens one brilliantly incorporated). References to other science fiction staples abound, with The X-Files, Star Trek, and E.T. warranting mention and a very big nod being given to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In fact, Steven Spielberg was so tickled by the story that he leant his vocal talents to a scene. (That is actually Spielberg's voice, not an impersonator's.) It's a little surprising the Star Trek elements are on the light side, considering that Pegg is now playing Scotty.

    Despite taking place in the United States and being directed by an American, the humor is very British, as is fitting for a Pegg/Frost screenplay. There are amusing sequences, but few will result in uncontrolled bursts of laughter. It's not that kind of movie. Paul wants its viewers to experience an enjoyable two hours and laugh from time-to-time, but the film's goal isn't to pummel the audience with joke after joke. It has a story to tell.

    An argument can be made that Seth Rogan is overexposed, but he's a good choice for the voice of Paul. Heard, but not seen, he is effective. A digital creation inspired by the popular "Roswell alien" images (which were also the models for Spielberg's extraterrestrials in Close Encounters), Paul is realistically rendered and fits in so seamlessly that it's easy to forget he isn't flesh-and-blood. Pegg and Frost play the kind of characters they have become associated with: awkward, socially inept guys who are more intimidated by women than by aliens. SNL veterans Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader, who appeared in director Greg Mottola's previous venture, Adventureland, verge on going too far over the top for the tone established by the rest of the cast. Sigourney Weaver represents a casting coup, if only for two memorable moments.

    Despite the science fiction trappings, the odd appearance of the alien, and a few ridiculous action sequences, Paul is really little more than an old fashioned mismatched buddy film, complete with a sentimental conclusion. The narrative incorporates elements of a road trip movie and a romantic comedy but, more than anything, it flourishes because of the unconventional relationship among Graeme, Clive, and Paul.

    In the past, Pegg has done his best work when paired with Edgar Wright. Here, without Wright's participation but with the help of Frost and Mottola, he has crafted something every bit as good as either Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. It's not as funny but it has more heart and replaces caricatures with something a little more three-dimensional. Lovers of pop science fiction (as opposed to the hard-core stuff) will derive more from Paul than generic movie goers, but it's a pleasant enough diversion for everyone. Even the profanity isn't that bad - just salty enough to earn the "R" rating - otherwise the movie is comprised of strictly PG-13 content. The special effects budget is on the high side but those effects serve the story rather than the other way around, and Paul is all the better for it.
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  5. Mar 25, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Deep in the recesses of an Area 51 warehouse, a CIA-employed "little green man" has none other than Steven Spielberg on the line, discussing with the filmmaker, hot on the heels of his first Indiana Jones movie, what he should film next. Seated at his regulation government desk, Paul(Seth Rogen), the driving force behind all the important scientific and sociological achievements of the past fifty years, gives Spielberg the idea for "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial", the 1982 classic that turns out to be, not a work of fiction, but a biopic about Paul's first contact with earthlings upon his arrival from the skies beyond. Clive Gollings(Nick Frost), a British sci-fi writer on nerd holiday with his fellow Comic-Con conventioneer Graeme(Simon Pegg), had no doubt seen "E.T." as a tiny lad in some rundown London bijou, but it's the Spielberg knockoff "Mac & Me", the 1988 Stewart Raffill "commercial" that took the marketing practice of product placement to a whole other level, which inspired him down the road to write speculative fiction and sci-fi based comic books. Considering that Paul has such a prodigious grasp of the American popular culture(he takes credit for creating Fox Mulder), the savvy moviegoer would expect the hyper-urban alien to be outraged when Clive speaks of him in the same light as the "Mysterious Alien Creature", Mac for short, whose caretakers keep alive by supplying the co-opted alien with Coke after Coke after Coke. With his mouth fixed in a perpetual "O", Mac has the unintended look of a stroke victim. Hillariously, since Mac can't move his mouth, the furnished soda cans are always equipped with a straw for easy sipping, as a means to help offset the considerable limitations of the completely manual puppet. Unlike Mac who can't talk(you need facial gestures to do that), and most conspicuously, eat(ditto), Paul, on the other hand, yet another triumph of CGI technology, acts and sounds like your typical American male beset with arrested development, and in a wicked send-up of the titular character in John Carpenter's "Starman", eats what he regenerates. Paul may be a little on the crude side, but he never forgot his first love, Tara, whom the alien tried to make amends with over the intervening years through the cinematic arts. (In a bit of fun, fictive movie revisionism, Elliott was supposedly based on Tara.) Although Paul couldn't save the dog his ship landed on during that long ago crash landing, the alien brings the hound's memory back alive, so to speak, through the redemptive powers of film. In the final moments of "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial", Elliott's dog trots up the ramp to the departing spacecraft, then thinks better of it and turns around. When Tara(Blythe Danner), the little girl who nursed Paul back to health, traverses the same sort of steps(toward Paul's ship) as that celluloidal dog, the seemingly accidental movements of a restless animal in the Spielberg film now takes on a less spontaneous appearance. Turns out the whole damn thing was scripted, a personal aside, from Paul to Tara, as an apology for taking her cherished pet away with his reckless piloting, by foregrounding the dog for a brief moment amidst the tearful goodbyes between E.T. and his humans. "E.T." is a very personal movie for Paul, thus Clive's childhood fascination with "Mac and Me"(co-starring Ronald McDonald as himself) must stick in his crawl, but he remains respectfully quiet, perhaps even, suspiciously so. That's because "Mac & Me" was his idea too. It's the only explanation. He's just too embarrassed to own up to it. At the end of the Christine Ebersole vehicle, the family of mysterious alien creatures gets sworn in as American citizens, therefore choosing Earth over returning back to their desert-like planet. Paul, who probably could have quit his bureaucratic job anytime he wanted to, decides that he prefers his adopted home, as well. These two movies: "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Mac & Me", reflect the breadth of Paul's earthly experiences; starting off as a stranger in a strange land and ending with a successful transition into fruitful assimilation. Expand
  6. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    It's a forgettable movie with a few memorable moments. Odds are, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen said everything the movie has toIt's a forgettable movie with a few memorable moments. Odds are, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen said everything the movie has to offer. Not bad, just not good either. Expand
  7. Feb 28, 2012
    0
    I hate this movie, I don't understand what is the reason that the people watch this thing, the alien is really terrible, and the cast, onlyI hate this movie, I don't understand what is the reason that the people watch this thing, the alien is really terrible, and the cast, only Wiig and Lynch have a great performance, but the rest is terrible. Paul have bad jokes, a good situation but have much mistakes. Expand

See all 117 User Reviews

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