Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 8 out of 29
  1. 75
    The movie surprised me. It treats its disabled characters with affection and respect, it has a plot that uses the Special Olympics instead of misusing them, and it's actually kind of sweet.
  2. The movie's shockingly tasteless setup is also its secret weapon. Despite many scenes in The Ringer that could individually be viewed as politically incorrect, audiences will be laughing with the athletes most of the time.
  3. The surprise of The Ringer is that the movie is pretty damn funny.
  4. 70
    If anything, The Ringer doesn't go far enough to exploit its edgy premise, but it does have two conceits that consistently pay off: Knoxville turns out to be a lesser athlete than his competitors, and he's so bad at acting "retarded" that only the unchallenged buy into his ruse.
  5. These guys are laugh-out-loud funny, not because they're being belittled, but because they're finally getting a chance to show a sense of humor onscreen.
  6. 70
    Though the movie bears some of the Farrellys' trademark outrageous humor, it has a sweet demeanor and makes a noble statement.
  7. If the movie were as funny as it is well-meaning, this would be one for the ages.
  8. No one will accuse The Ringer of being tasteful, but when you're not laughing, you may find yourself genuinely touched.
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    It's the supporting characters' combination of smarts and sass, not to mention an honest and positive depiction of the mentally challenged, that turns this potentially crude and heartless comedy into something that the Special Olympics actually endorses.
  10. Reviewed by: Simon Braund
    60
    As with "Stuck On You," this is proof that when the Farrellys are involved (even as mere producers), ribald yet humane comedy can be mined from the most potentially offensive sources.
  11. 60
    An odd and not wholly successful little comedy. Its pacing is slack, and although it has a gentle heart, it treads so gingerly across the minefield of potential offensiveness that it sometimes snuffs out its sparks of life as quickly as it throws them off.
  12. This wannabe daring comedy about a man who attempts to "fix" the Special Olympics strains for that patented naughty and nice balance with squirmingly squishy results.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Knoxville is functional only when the movie needs a bravura comic performance, but The Ringer is easy enough to take.
  14. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    50
    The Ringer is a movie whose good intentions shine a lot brighter than its art.
  15. Whether Ringer, with its mild comedy and milder messages about inclusiveness and tolerance, will be embraced by Knoxville's hardcore "Jackass" fans remains to be seen. But we can at least trust that the Farrellys will stay the course.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    50
    The movie strains so hard to have its heart in the right place that it never really exploits the guilty-pleasure fun of the premise.
  17. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    50
    At the sweet heart of this silly film is a determination to upend the clich├ęs and assumptions applied to the population we condescendingly label "special."
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    Sometimes veering close to being a promotional film for the Special Olympics, pic will be applauded by the disability community and its advocates but quickly ignored by longtime fans of the Farrellys and Knoxville.
  19. Not extreme enough to skate the edge of tasteless farce and not straight enough to play the material for edgy satire, The Ringer is a cheat right down to the final stretch. Breaking the rules should be more fun than this.
  20. 40
    An uncomfortable intermingling of message movie and gross-out comedy, a sporadically funny vehicle that indicts its audience for laughing.
  21. More than predictable. It plods along with the inevitability of a doomed soldier going off to war.
  22. 38
    Instead of watching a professional actor pretending to be intellectually disabled, we're watching a jackass pretending to be a dimwit pretending to be intellectually disabled.
  23. 38
    Come on. You want to know if it's funny. And the answer is: kind of.
  24. 30
    A flimsy setup dooms this from the start, though its sheer awfulness is something to see.
  25. 25
    It's getting harder to sustain a rooting interest in the career of Johnny Knoxville.
  26. Knoxville, Jed Rees and Bill Chott act daffy and more impaired than their counterparts, and that never sat right with me. This may not be the equivalent of acting in blackface, but it's awfully close.
  27. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    25
    You could make a very funny comedy about a guy who pretends to be retarded so he can win the Special Olympics, but The Ringer isn't it.
  28. 0
    The Ringer is astoundingly craptastic not because the handicapped are handled poorly (though if they were paid more than union scale I'd be surprised), but because it's one of the most singularly unfunny films ever made.

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