Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    90
    Obscene, disgusting, vulgar and vile, The Aristocrats might be the funniest movie you'll ever see.
  2. 88
    You'll either be screaming with laughter - or be incredibly offended.
  3. At the very least, The Aristocrats provides a survey of some of the best comic minds in the business.
  4. 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.
  5. The Aristocrats has a lot of laughs, but as it giggles and blasphemes its way into areas not so far removed from the scandalous landscape of the Marquis de Sade, the movie, funny as it is, becomes exhausting and a bit depressing.
  6. What keeps the film from becoming obnoxiously redundant is the conviviality of the comedians. These are funny people even when they're not telling the joke.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    The Aristocrats -- the movie, not the joke -- is a working demonstration of the pleasures of the profane.
  8. Sure, this movie is proudly profane, but it's also funny.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 65
  2. Negative: 13 out of 65
  1. Nov 2, 2014
    3
    The Aristocrats: 3 out of 10: The joke in the Aristocrats is not funny. (Many comedians on tape admit this outright.) It really isn't a jokeThe Aristocrats: 3 out of 10: The joke in the Aristocrats is not funny. (Many comedians on tape admit this outright.) It really isn't a joke as much as a Shaggy Dog story. The funny part of a Shaggy Dog story is watching someone who thinks it's a joke squirm. The more you can make a (in this case) prude squirm the funnier the raunch is.

    The funniest scene in the movie is Gilbert Gottfried's masterful and legendary telling of the joke at the Fryers Club soon after 9/11. What makes it funny is watching a surprising prudish and confused Hugh Hefner's reaction listening to the joke. (The exact performance wouldn't be as funny if Larry Flynt for example was on the dais. And the filmed performance wouldn't work had not Hefner not been shown in frame.) The Gottfried performance comes late in the film and we are treated to dozen's of top comedians wasted telling the same joke sans victim. And since the audience by this time is intimately familiar with the mechanics of the magic this is true tedium. Moreover most of the comedians telling the joke do so to the camera with no audience in sight. There is a reason that comedy routines are done in a concert film style performance before a live audience.

    There is a lot of top flight talent here. Drew Carey, Robin Williams, George Carlin among others yet it is a mime (Steven Banks) that tells the joke most creativity and Bob Saget who tells the most disgusting version. Honestly the film shoots it's um …. gun much to soon in the feature and nothing removes humor from something faster than explaining it.

    There are some self serving insights about comedy in general and some so called inside stuff that by its very nature isn't but the majority of the film really is dozens of comics telling the same joke over and over again that wasn't all that funny to begin with.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 4, 2012
    7
    Great comedians telling their own versions of The Aristocrats joke. You get a lot of insight from comedians on how joke telling works for themGreat comedians telling their own versions of The Aristocrats joke. You get a lot of insight from comedians on how joke telling works for them and in general. Really, really funny if nothing else. Full Review »
  3. May 13, 2011
    6
    I laughed, I busted a gut, it was hilarious. Once. When I saw this movie the first time I thought it was histerical. Everytime I tried toI laughed, I busted a gut, it was hilarious. Once. When I saw this movie the first time I thought it was histerical. Everytime I tried to watch it after I couldn't get 15 minutes in before I would get bored and turn it off. This movie seems to have a serious lack of staying power. Full Review »