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Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 226 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Brennan Huff is a sporadically employed thirty-nine-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy. Dale Doback is a terminally unemployed forty-year-old who lives with his father, Robert. When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other asBrennan Huff is a sporadically employed thirty-nine-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy. Dale Doback is a terminally unemployed forty-year-old who lives with his father, Robert. When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other as step brothers. As their narcissism and downright aggressive laziness threaten to tear the family apart, these two middle-aged, immature, overgrown boys will orchestrate an insane, elaborate plan to bring their parents back together. To pull it off, they must form an unlikely bond that maybe, just maybe, will finally get them out of the house. (Sony Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33
  1. 88
    There is too much funny here for a movie (even though it continues into the closing credits). Step Brothers should be a TV show.
  2. While Ferrell and Reilly are great together, hatching harebrained schemes that have no basis in reality, part of the unexpected treat of Step Brothers is watching Jenkins and Steenburgen sink to such blithely immature levels of rude and crude comedy.
  3. Stupid, predictable and fairly funny.
  4. Are Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay getting tired of their own shtick?
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    I don't want to sound like a party pooper (or deny that there is something wickedly funny about seeing these middle-age adolescents beating the crap out of a playground full of little bullying kids) but there's something depressing about the never-ending celebration of eternal adolescence in recent American comedies.
  6. Reviewed by: Reyhan Harmanci
    50
    Essentially a throwaway film.
  7. There's a good subject for satire here, the extended adolescence of American kids. But satire presupposes maturity, or at least some perspective. The movie's calculation is that its subjects and audience share the same point of view. The results are truly ghastly.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 78
  2. Negative: 21 out of 78
  1. Andrew
    Jul 24, 2008
    10
    Best Movie Of The Summer!
  2. Purgs
    Aug 1, 2008
    10
    Hilarious! My expectations were low and it blew me away with shit-your-pants laughter! Awesome!
  3. Aug 12, 2010
    10
    I own very few movies, but I do own Step Brothers on DVD. For my money, it doesn't get better than Step Brothers. The characters areI own very few movies, but I do own Step Brothers on DVD. For my money, it doesn't get better than Step Brothers. The characters are extremely over-the-top, the plot is hilarious and the jokes never stop. From the opening credits to the final scene, this movie delivers the funny. You can't expect any high-brow humor here. But the cursing, potty humor, clever plot twists, obscure references and subtle comedy is by far one of my favorite movies. It's full of one-liners that you feel compelled to imitate. As a side note, the DVD has great extra features. If you get a chance, listen to the commentary. It's just as funny as the movie itself. Best: John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell's AWESOME comedic chemistry.
    Worst: No sequel.
    Expand
  4. JordanR
    Aug 19, 2008
    8
    This movie is a comedy and nothing more. It is perfect for what it is and gets a good laugh, although silly. The Humor is quite low brow and This movie is a comedy and nothing more. It is perfect for what it is and gets a good laugh, although silly. The Humor is quite low brow and slapstick but does it very well. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Jul 26, 2008
    7
    1987 is not just the address of the Doback household; the innocuous number also serves as a disquieting reminder for a seemingly imperturable 1987 is not just the address of the Doback household; the innocuous number also serves as a disquieting reminder for a seemingly imperturable father, that his quiet, middle-class life since Ronald Reagan's last days in the Oval Office, can be encapsulated thusly, in short order: lemons, or lemonade. 1987 is the year his son Dale(John C. Reilly) stopped growing up. During the course of some out-of-state business-related speaking engagement, anti-serendipidity stares him in the face from his podium on the stage. Enter Nancy(Mary Steenburgen). She has baggage, too. In fact, it's matching; hirsute baggage, with no silver lining, just like Robert's(Richard Jenkins). Don't let the presence of Will Ferrell fool you. As Brennan Huff, a(holy crap!) Pablo Cruise fan(in Adam Rapp's "Winter Passing", Ferrell's character stops wearing eyeliner because it's "too Adam Ant"), the former-SNL performer carries around his usual bag of absurdist schtick, but this time, his lavish buffoonery is framed by a setting that unsettles the viewer with complicated laughs. Inside "Stepbrothers" beats an indie heart that inevitably receives a dose of Hollywood atenonol, but not before the pathology of arrested development becomes self-evident, when the elder Doback's good will for his son is finally all tapped out. For a few tantalizing moments, the surface gloss that effaces the familial corrosion underneath the lowbrow hijinks of Ferrell and Reilly's physical comedy, is smudged. Something substantially dark manages to peek through. There's real anguish in Jenkins' face over his disappointing son that goes beyond standard comedy fare. Before the two brothers complete their character arcs, "Stepbrothers", in the time being, discomfits Hollywood protocol by being "The Brady Bunch" meets "Chuck and Buck"(Miguel Artega's 2000 film about a man-child who tries to reconnect with his romper room buddy). "Stepbrothers" has more in common with Todd Solondz's "Happiness" than Adam McKay's previous film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby". It's a shame that the institutionalized norm of major studio films, especially summer fare, dictates that all stories must strive to end happily, which predicates a change in narrative trajectory, that ultimately, feels grafted on, and ends up ringing false to the viewer. Especially, in this instance, because things get surprisingly hairy in "Stepbrothers" for awhile there, and I'm not talking about John C. Reilly's self-described "pube fro". Expand
  6. Feb 21, 2015
    3
    Aggressively unfunny, Step Brothers seems to think that the only way to make people laugh is through jokes that were only kind of funny in theAggressively unfunny, Step Brothers seems to think that the only way to make people laugh is through jokes that were only kind of funny in the third grade. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is severely misguided and it makes the film almost unbearable to watch at times. After an hour and a half of nothing but things that were supposed to be funny, but were not, it was refreshing to see the ending, which actually was kind of funny and oddly touching. It ultimately left a good taste in my mouth as this one ended, which is why I was less harsh than I thought I would be. In addition, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, did have some good chemistry and were well-matched. Unfortunately, they were let down by a horrible script and tasteless joke after tasteless joke. Damn shame, really. Expand
  7. Paulle
    Jul 24, 2008
    0
    This is a stepping down stone of Adam McKay career. This film is filled like Epic movie dumb and vomit humor inspired like. This is the worst This is a stepping down stone of Adam McKay career. This film is filled like Epic movie dumb and vomit humor inspired like. This is the worst picture of 2008. Adam is making the wrong thing for his film for his r rated film. Totally unfunny and very mean spirited. Expand

See all 78 User Reviews

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