Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    70
    A loose-knit, character-driven comedy that percolates with good-vibe amusement, often earning industrial-strength guffaws with sneaky one-liners and tossed-off non-sequiturs.
  2. 63
    Slight but consistently entertaining.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    Despite a terribly conceived coda, Luke and his brothers have mostly succeeded, thanks in large part to sharp dialogue, a solid vintage soundtrack (Rick Nelson's "Garden Party" features prominently) and some great older actors -- Cassel is a particular standout -- from the heyday of American cinema.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Directing seems to suit Luke, who also does some of his best work to date on screen.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    60
    In large part the film succeeds, feeling like a good-natured throwback.
  6. A shiny shell of a movie, "TWBS" is pretty to look at, and occasionally fun to watch. But ultimately, it's an exercise in futility - for the participants, who can do so much more, and the audience, which deserves so much better.
  7. If you want proof that Will Ferrell is the most riotously funny straight man since Jack Benny, observe the way his utter sincerity (in the Ralph Bellamy role, as Wendell’s rival for Eva Mendes) lifts this two-ton piece of whimsy into the stratosphere.
  8. 50
    A sweet, dumb pup of a movie, not unlike its eponymous hero, The Wendell Baker Story frisks along sniffing the sidewalk.
  9. The appeal of The Wendell Baker Story depends on how charming you find the Wilson brothers, with their chipmunk grins and hip smart-aleck attitude. For my taste, a little goes a long way.
  10. Feels like an attempt to rebottle the postmodern fizz of Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket." I wish instead they'd put a stopper in it.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    40
    For a movie aiming to play like some 1970s throwback, both in sound and spirit, the most depressing thing about The Wendell Baker Story is how messy and impersonal it feels.
  12. A cast this charismatic is bound to make something of the situation. In short bursts, the movie is alternately sunny and charming, dark and weird, confounding and dull.
  13. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    30
    I hate to sound like a disappointed parent, but I expected more from Luke Wilson.
  14. 30
    Some people make films in homage to Ingmar Bergman, others nod to the French New Wave, but only the Wilsons would think to follow in the footsteps of Burt Reynolds.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    25
    Movies in which the same person serves as writer, director, and star should carry a special warning for audiences, even if that individual happens to be an actor as endearing as Luke Wilson.

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