Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Comedy veterans and co-creators Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza capitalize on their insider status and invite over 100 of their closet friends (who happen to be some of the biggest names in entertainment, from George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Carey to Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Paul Reiser and Sarah Silverman) to reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their own versions of the world's dirtiest joke, an old burlesque routine, too extreme to be performed in public, called "The Aristocrats." (ThinkFilm) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. 91
    In the wake of everything we've seen on TV and in movies in recent decades, it's amazing that something as harmless as language can still stupefy us. As The Aristocrats demonstrates, there is real humor in the confrontation of taboos.
  2. 88
    You'll either be screaming with laughter - or be incredibly offended.
  3. Reviewed by: Bob Westal
    An essential for all serious humor fans who don't mind verbal grossness of the most extreme sort.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A documentary that dissects the essence of comedy as well as showcases outrageous improvisational humor.
  5. 75
    Killer-funny documentary.
  6. What fascinates is, first, that these comics treat the joke the way jazz musicians might treat a theme that each of them plays differently; and, second, that the passage of this joke from one comic to another is like the bonding of a profession.
  7. As long as it stayed mainstream dirty it was okay, but when it got into perversions the American Psychiatric Society hasn't even named yet, it left me behind.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 64
  2. Negative: 12 out of 64
  1. JulieL.
    Feb 27, 2006
    You're going to love this film if you're interested in the craft of comedy, and in the relationships comedians have to other comedians, their intelligence about the craft and their delight in comdey's particular voices and styles. And you'll hate it if you have some kind of agenda about keeping things clean and making comedy serve a social good. Don't bother to see it if you're only interested in the dirty joke, because that's not what this documentary is about. What it's really about the delivery, the voice of the comedian, the style, the beautiful riffs of particular tellers of the joke, the sense of a pattern and the breaking of patters, almost like great improvisational jazz.The stand-up comedians are very honest about the joke's old-fashioned appeal, its roots in vaudeville, the appeal of it, nostagically. Some of their talk wanders over intosweet melancholy, like that of Paul Resie, whose take on the joke is my own favorite. Granted, some of the talk gets mind-bogglingly gross. But the movie is fascinating and funny. Listening to some of the comedians laughing and enjoying each other while telling it - I loved it, and laughed along with them, and learned quite a bit about the sense of voice among comedians. Expand
  2. jen
    Sep 3, 2005
  3. Ianl.
    Oct 30, 2005
    I laughed during most of the film,. Being short and quick comments prevented me from getting bored at anytime despite it being an hour n half interview as a film. I did get uncomfortable at some interpretations on the joke, especially as I work with kids. uncomfortable cos I was laughing at the the joke. I would have been rolling on the floor at Gilbert Godfrey telling it in the manner in which he did, excellent! Expand
  4. RonN.
    Apr 14, 2006
    First off - anyone that gave this a rating of 2 or lower should be banned from EVER giving another review again. Anyone that thinks this movie was suppose to be funny (for the actual joke) needs to check into rehab ASAP. Also, anyone who's review went down the road of complaining how "The Joke had to be explained" - PLEASE do society a favor - DO NOT HAVE KIDS! Come on folks - it was a documentary Expand
  5. TomM.-
    Feb 22, 2006
    Aristocrats is a great a movie as reviews suggest. It consists of telling the same joke or parts of it about 1,019 times and the joke is not even funny after the second time. It's only worth your time because of all of the great comedians that somehow got paid off to do the movie. Not Recommended. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2010
    Its a shame that they did not just have the entire footage for each comedian from start to finish rather than merely showing exerps from each comedian. Not for the faint hearted. Possibly the most foul things to hear. Hilarious to see some comedians such as Gilbert Gottfried but others don't make me laugh as much. It's easier to type it into youtube to find your favourite comedian telling the joke. Expand
  7. RobertR.
    Aug 29, 2005
    It should be marketed for 9th grade dropouts How brave does a criric have to be before advising anyone with a college or even a highschool education that this film is literately s..t and that he would be wasting his time and money if he went to see it. Expand

See all 64 User Reviews