Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
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  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 21, 2011
    60
    The generational mix of actors works well enough, although Campbell too often seems stranded with little to do until the climax.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 14, 2011
    60
    It's almost really cool, without quite being really cool.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Apr 13, 2011
    60
    The picture delivers enough of the expected goods, if seldom with the wit or panache of the series' best.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Apr 12, 2011
    60
    Don't go in expecting scares so much as laughs. Scream 4 is a better "Scary Movie" than any of the "Scary Movies" ever were, from its inventively gut-busting kills (watch out for that mail slot!) to the unintentionally humorous sight of the three leads acting as if they're in three separate films.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 19, 2011
    50
    Scream 4 is so obsessed with the self-referential element that made the original Scream unique that it loses the capacity to be genuinely scary or funny.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 15, 2011
    50
    Why doesn't anybody just buy a gun? I guess the female characters spent all their money on tight tank tops.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 15, 2011
    50
    Between a diabolically funny start and a surprise climax, Scream 4 offers nothing more than a series of gory deaths that grow tiresome with repetition. The rating is a hard R, but Craven and Williamson keep it soft at its core. "Scream 1" is still the only keeper.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 14, 2011
    50
    It's hard to sustain that cheeky meta humor, and the film seems to just give in and join its slasher brethren, devolving into a string of gruesome, but unoriginal, slayings.
  9. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Apr 14, 2011
    50
    It's rare for a sequel to extensively acknowledge its own pointlessness, let alone make the unnecessary nature of its existence a recurring theme, the way Scream 4 does. Then again, the Scream franchise has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to deconstructing itself and the rules of the slasher genre.
  10. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 14, 2011
    50
    All through the movie, Scream 4 lets us know that it knows exactly what it's up to - and then goes right ahead and gets up to it.
  11. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Apr 14, 2011
    50
    Scream 4 has a smart beginning, featuring Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell, and one well-delivered line at the end that would have brought down the house in a better movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 13, 2011
    50
    A fast-starting film that quickly piles meta, self-referential elements on top of each other until they no longer make much sense, and the whole thing collapses under the weight of its own coolness.
  13. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 21, 2011
    40
    Too self-referential for its own good by half.
  14. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 15, 2011
    40
    After a promising start that uses Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell to perfection, they settle into their old stomping grounds as if they'd never left - and that turns out to be a letdown.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Apr 14, 2011
    40
    The central conceit of the characters' fates being determined by the "rules" of horror movies feels irredeemably tired; a clever idea that was worth one movie.
  16. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Apr 14, 2011
    40
    A desire to Know What You Did Last Installment is likely to be the biggest draw for Scream number four, but if this proves to be the last in the series, it's a bloody shame it ended not with a Scream but a whimper.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Apr 13, 2011
    40
    If there was ever a horror film that made fans of the genre feel old, it's Scream 4.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 336 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 118
  2. Negative: 12 out of 118
  1. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    I definitely have to say..speaking as a HUGE fan of the first 3 films that 11 yrs later in Scream 4...i was definitely thoroughly entertained.I definitely have to say..speaking as a HUGE fan of the first 3 films that 11 yrs later in Scream 4...i was definitely thoroughly entertained. It was an amazing opening and ending that still has me thinking WOW! I highly recommend this to any horror fan and any fan of the first 3 films...way to go Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven...cant wait for Scream 5 and 6! Full Review »
  2. Apr 19, 2011
    4
    i found scream 4 to be hilarious, with its sudden outbursts and random comments, just adding some blood and guts to it makes it all the morei found scream 4 to be hilarious, with its sudden outbursts and random comments, just adding some blood and guts to it makes it all the more weird. but what made this movie funny is that all the actors constantly try to avoid there inevitable death with their knowledge of scary movies that they've seen. If wes craven and kevin williamson thought this movie was gonna be scary they were far from right. suspencful maybe. scary not close. Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    To start, I am a massive "Scream" trilogy fan, but my thought in going in was that "the franchise has had it's time and this is completelyTo start, I am a massive "Scream" trilogy fan, but my thought in going in was that "the franchise has had it's time and this is completely new, a new trilogy". The film rewrites the rules of the first trilogy, and one of the most evident changes comes in the opening scene, in which 2 characters, 1 male, 1 female are killed. This scene will be seen as either boring and long-winded, or completely genius; my belief being the latter. It excited me and shocked me, without ever leaving the viewer lost, and in it's last moments (while giving a violent nod to a famous death from the 1st film) becomes the most violent and aggressive pre-title scene from all 4 films. Following a couple of misleading "jumps" and a little exposition, with the original 3 survivors positions all being developed quickly and efficiently, it isn't long before the film delves into the "who's next?" pace. With the standard "CiCi/Candy" kill being presented, in this movie as a more intelligent, brutal killing (and a particularly active Sidney Prescott facing off with 'Ghostface'), the movie already feels very different to it's predecessors. The kills are creative, quick and in heavy supply, and the list of suspects is soon whittled down, leading to the most shocking, well-acted, and at times hilarious conclusion that leads the viewer asking "When is Scream 5 coming out?".
    The overall game is still same, but the rules are so different that this movie is the most dramatic of the lot. Roll on 5.
    Full Review »