Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 16, 2012
    40
    The worst thing about What to Expect When You're Expecting, director Kirk Jones' fictionalized film version, is how fake it is, how cartoonish the experiences.
  2. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    May 16, 2012
    50
    Hopelessly old-fashioned then, but not the aggressively bad picture you might have anticipated.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 17, 2012
    75
    The writing is sharp and the performances bright, and if you've been through the forced gestational march known as pregnancy, there are knowing laughs to be had. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and stay away.
  4. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    May 15, 2012
    60
    What to expect from What to Expect When You're Expecting: laughs, heart and a terrific ensemble of actors doing what they do best.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 17, 2012
    63
    A cheerful comedy with just enough dark moments to create the illusion it's really about something.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 18, 2012
    50
    Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez provide the star power, but what's missing is script power.
  7. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 16, 2012
    75
    As sociology, it's skin-deep, but if you're a parent or preparing to be one, you might see yourself in a few of these folks and have a good time doing so.
  8. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 17, 2012
    40
    Rather than the engaging enlightenment of the source, the film becomes bloated by confusion.
  9. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    May 17, 2012
    50
    What to Expect has no standout character who's consistently funny, and it must operate within the confines of a "kids are the most important thing in our lives" mentality, which is more tiresome ground, comedically speaking.
  10. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    May 17, 2012
    45
    In the realms of pregnancy comedy, What to Expect When You're Expecting doesn't find new laughs, just layers on attempts at the tried-and-true ones.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 17, 2012
    20
    What you don't expect is how bad almost all of it is.
  12. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    May 20, 2012
    30
    Somehow both annoyingly overstuffed and depressingly thin.
  13. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    May 18, 2012
    50
    While it certainly isn't good, Expecting isn't as charmless as you might have feared, largely due to a cast working furiously to sell every scene.
  14. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    May 17, 2012
    50
    So although this multicharacter stew has a tasty morsel or two, in the aggregate it makes one long for the comparative complexity and subtlety of "Valentine's Day."
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 17, 2012
    38
    Morning sickness afflicts most of the potential mommies. For me, the movie itself triggered the vomiting.
  16. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 17, 2012
    50
    In the end, What to Expect, isn't an inspired movie, but a manufactured one, but one with some laughs and some moments. Plus, it has Chris Rock, who gets to liven things up as the ringleader of a beleaguered fathers' group.
  17. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    May 15, 2012
    25
    Mostly the movie's varied storylines cough up the same platitudes: being pregnant sucks, having young children is a misery, but it's all worth it when you're holding that newborn in your arms.
  18. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 16, 2012
    50
    The only surprise is that Garry Marshall didn't direct this jumbled, star-studded kibitz and rename it "Mothers Day."
  19. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 16, 2012
    50
    The film is mostly an excuse to do a pregnancy-themed "Love Actually," an overblown symphony of birthing stories that reaches its crescendo in the maternity ward.
  20. 50
    It's a sitcom-y ensemble film (complete with product placement) that feels like you're flipping around the TV dial.
  21. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    May 26, 2012
    40
    Someday Hollywood will think of women as more than fallopian tubes in heels; until then, we're stuck with this kind of project.
  22. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    May 11, 2012
    50
    Amid the would-be and actual laughs, the screenplay tries to drum up drama, but every disagreement and tension is treated superficially and summarily resolved.
  23. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 17, 2012
    60
    The overall mood is of warm reassurance, and some of it is even pretty funny.
  24. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    May 21, 2012
    30
    The awfulness of What to Expect When You're Expecting, an ugly brew of guide book, reality television and romantic comedy, is of course, entirely to be expected.
  25. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 15, 2012
    40
    If What to Expect represents the best tearjerking laugh-machine that Hollywood can birth, it's probably time to get those story ideas implanted in vitro.
  26. Reviewed by: Ellen E. Jones
    May 26, 2012
    40
    Its overview of the baby experience is obscured by a family-values lens – no single/same-sex parents - resulting in an awful ensemble comedy to complete that "Valentine's Day" / "New Year's Eve" box-set, complete with sexist clichés.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 17, 2012
    25
    What audiences should expect is a tone-deaf, superficial, charmless ensemble rom-com, focused on five attractive, but uninteresting, couples.
  28. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    May 11, 2012
    60
    Helmer Kirk Jones does a solid job negotiating the material and managing the few tonal shifts when an occasional dark moment emerges.
  29. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    May 15, 2012
    10
    For all the fear, loathing, and overthinking that Murkoff's bedside text engenders, its journey ends with the hopeful beginning of a new life, whereas the movie leaves you hoping for a swift end to your own.
  30. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    May 17, 2012
    50
    The movie turns out to be a little of everything yet succeeds only occasionally at anything.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 6 out of 18
  1. Aug 31, 2013
    5
    It's a mediocre film but not so bad. It's a movie to have fun with your friends or your family. It's a movie to have a great time. Nothing more. Not so good, but not so bad. Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2012
    3
    Shockingly unoriginal, doesn't hit on any note. Plays like an equally-bad version of "Valentine's Day"/"New Year's Eve" giving stars cameos and no real meaty parts. Just press stop. Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2012
    3
    I expected a lot more from this movie! First of all, I think its not really a good movie for teenagers to watch! I expected it to be a lot more humorous but instead it's more a description about pregnant woman's hormones! Full Review »