Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic 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: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 16, 2011
    83
    Graeme and Clive, representatives of a nation of nonbelievers in UFOs and big dinner portions, come to the psychic capital of a country that wants to believe, and they're transformed. In Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do likewise, in celebration of what the Spielbergian cosmos is all about.
  3. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Mar 18, 2011
    80
    Paul is a close encounter with the comic brilliance of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost that makes going to the movies fun again.
  4. Reviewed by: Linda Holmes
    Mar 18, 2011
    80
    A good-hearted, funny movie.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    Mar 5, 2011
    80
    Affectionate, funny and action-packed sci-fi spoof.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt (1)
    Mar 5, 2011
    80
    Broader and more accessible than either "Shaun Of The Dead" or "Hot Fuzz," Paul is pure Pegg and Frost - clever, cheeky and very, very funny. You'll never look at E. T. in the same way again.
  8. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 19, 2011
    75
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    Rogen is a nonstop hoot, but it's the byplay between Frost and Pegg that roots the laughs in characters we care about. That's right: characters. No anal probes.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    Bateman has rarely had the opportunity to play a snarling lawman, but with his cool aviators and his bristling putdowns he's perfect, too.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    Scabrously funny yet essentially gentle, as the main thing that it's probing is our collective ignorance.
  13. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    This is a well-made, well-plotted and sensitive movie.
  14. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    Paul is a little sloppy and a little sappy, but the filmmakers' passion for their subject matter carries it over the occasional rough spot.
  15. 70
    The third and least original of the Pegg-Frost features, but it's still a lot funnier than most films of its ilk.
  16. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 17, 2011
    70
    After the sharp bite and harsh light of most American-style guy-based funny films today, Paul comes as such sweet relief.
  17. Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    Mar 17, 2011
    70
    Fortunately, the movie is studded with performances that demonstrate the cast's skills, such as Kristen Wiig's soggy white-bread delusional Christian Ruth.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 17, 2011
    63
    Here's a movie that teeters on the edge of being really pretty good and loses its way.
  19. 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.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Mar 17, 2011
    63
    Where Paul takes off is in its embrace and knowledge of sci-fi icons.
  21. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 16, 2011
    63
    There's only so much humor you can wring from the f-bomb, even if you are a cute animated alien.
  22. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 18, 2011
    60
    A decent comedy, good-natured if unspecial, amusing if rarely hilarious.
  23. 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.
  24. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 24, 2011
    50
    Paul is offensive solely for being so underachieving.
  25. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    While Paul seems great conceptually, he's not particularly interesting or surprising.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    Not bad, but certainly not good; classify the movie as lazy fun.
  27. 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.
  28. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    A big fat geek kiss to the movies of Steven Spielberg and his fanboys, Paul is a mild, meandering comedy.
  29. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The script avoids going full-bore as satire. Where it goes instead lacks a purpose, a reason for being, beyond the usual name-checking of "The X-Files" and the like.
  30. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The script is a veritable cosmos of Spielberg in-jokes, but the writer-stars also make room for some vicious and decidedly English digs at red-state shit-kickers and Christian fundamentalists.
  31. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    Mar 15, 2011
    50
    This is the smart-ass stoner's "E.T.," the movie the fanboy parent won't be able to hand down like some tattered, squeaky-clean memento to their action-figure-collecting kids. It's just not quite right without Wright, who could have helped Frost and Pegg stuff Mel Brooks back into their Han Solo Underoos.
  32. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Mar 5, 2011
    50
    Part bromance, part sci-fi spoof and all a bit disappointing.
  33. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 17, 2011
    40
    The hit-to-miss gag ratio is atrocious, and we spend most of the movie hanging out with these borderline-agreeable characters, waiting for something to happen.
  34. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 15, 2011
    40
    The title character himself is also an unimpressive digital creation-Rogen might as well be performing his stoner-from-another-world shtick during a wee-hours movieoke session.
  35. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Mar 14, 2011
    40
    Feels at once secondhand in its eagerness and unknowing in its scorn.
  36. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 17, 2011
    38
    Never achieves the exhilarating feat of exemplifying the types of Hollywood movies it wants to unpack.
  37. 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.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 108
  2. Negative: 14 out of 108
  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 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    7
    Paul is funny, clever and very, very cheeky. Pegg and Frost have definitely delivered a great sci-fi comedy.
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    If you are a sci-fi nerd like me you MUST see this movie. It's truly an homage to people like you and me. The Star Wars cantina music playing in the bar scene slayed me. The movie is full of clever little inuendos like that connecting to famous sci-fi from the past. Seth Rogen is perfect as the alien's voice. This Pegg/Frost creation compares very favorably to the hilarious Shawn of the Dead !!!! Full Review »