Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. A wickedly funny, Naked Gun-style parody that conflates old-style private-eye pics with Shaft and, yes, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  2. 60
    You don't have to be Jewish to love Jonathan Kesselman's uneven, profane and occasionally flat-out hilarious parody of vintage blaxploitation pictures, but it helps.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    60
    Writer/director John Kesselman serves up a stylin' live-action spoof that irreverently milks stereotypes and bravely pokes fun at that which is usually sacrosanct.
  4. This circumcised "Shaft" plays half-awesome, half-aw-shit; it exists almost as if to prove you can cram every Jewish joke in the Old Testament into a single movie.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    50
    Although amusing as often as not, the material remains more comedy-sketch fodder than a fully developed feature.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    40
    But the corker-to-groaner ratio heavily favors the latter as the bagel-and-dreidel jokes begin to lose their spark, as does the story
  7. 40
    Ultimately more interested in exploiting clichés than subverting or commenting on them, and Coyote and Dunn's grotesque caricatures are embarrassing.
  8. 40
    The result is explicit, if less than hilarious. The Hebrew Hammer lacks the edge of Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song," although as anti-seasonal fare, it would make a suitably unbearable double bill with Terry Zwigoff's "Bad Santa."
  9. Would have worked brilliantly as a five-minute late-night comedy sketch, flogs its premise for nearly an hour and a half, generating too few laughs to justify the enterprise.
  10. Unfunny rather than outrageous as intended.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    30
    Desperation is the project's principal quality, characterizing everything from the misfiring jokes to the surprisingly distinguished cast.
  12. A crass, sophomoric and, more to the point, offensively unfunny parody that sets out to remake Shaft and his blaxploitation ilk as a Jewish action hero.

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