Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Summary: A thoughtful but outrageous comedy from Bobcat Goldthwait, World's Greatest Dad is a story about a man that learns the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy, and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone. Robin Williams stars as Lance Clayton, a man who has learned to settle. He dreamed of being a rich and famous writer, but has only managed to make it as a high school poetry teacher. His only son Kyle is an insufferable jackass who won’t give his father the time of day. He is dating Claire, the school’s adorable art teacher, but she doesn’t want to get serious -- or even acknowledge publicly that they are dating. Then, in the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of, if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got there. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Knopf
    A very funny comedy. It’s a very funny comedy that almost made me cry.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    The particular stew of midlife and pubescent despair that clogs a single-father male-child household has rarely been achieved so well.
  3. 75
    This premise is well-established because of a disturbingly good performance by Daryl Sabara as Kyle, the disgusting son.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    The picture wobbles a bit before emerging a successful low-key satire of literary fraud and morbid personality cults.
  5. At around the halfway point the film takes an intriguing swerve, as Kyle is canonized and Lance is unexpectedly launched into celebrityhood. Flashes of deadpan outrageousness occasionally redeem the dourness.
  6. 63
    It takes a while for the movie to build to its wicked possibilities and only a few scenes to squander them.
  7. Ultimately offers some ironic amusement but wallows too long in the sins of its father.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Jan 21, 2012
    I just watched the "World's Greatest Dad". This a black comedy movie, however the ending ruined the whole black comedy aspect of the theme. I mean, the ending is MACRO BIZARRE. I felt that the whole movie was literary flushed down the toilet when it turned 180 degrees into a "black hole of nonsensical disparity". Respectfully submitted and thank you. SAAA PRODUCTIONS Expand
  2. Nov 30, 2010
    This movie is admittedly not for all tastes, but really surprised me. The odd cover art you might see for this will typically just show Williams, and with all of the family friendly cookie cutter movies he's made, his image along with the title is bound to make people think it's another one of those Disney type popcorn movies, and that might be what they are expecting when they see it. The intended audience (who might like darker and twisted comedies) might pass for the same reason, the title. It's meant to be darkly ironic of course, but I can just imagine what marketing discussions were like, they must have had no clue on how to "sell" this movie. I truly enjoyed it, and it got big deserving laughs several times. Williams is at his absolute best, and the script is full of highly amusing dialogue. The one area where Bobcat flails a bit in my opinion is in relying too heavily and too often on montages set to music. It's used very well in some scenes, and too much or too heavily in others. And when you have two humorous montage music segments within minutes of one another it really breaks up the flow of the story. That said, that is really the extent of my criticism as I think the movie succeeds very well on it's own terms. Some of the smaller scenes are wonderfully played, such as a scene where Williams visits his paranoid shut in neighbor and they share a plate of pot brownies. It's a shame more people will not see this movie, but then again it's the kind of comedy that makes people uncomfortable, like "King of Comedy." A lot of people won't enjoy being messed with in such a genuinely edgy way, but the right people will love it. You don't see movies with guts like this one has very often. Expand
  3. Mar 17, 2013
    Many would say that World's Greatest Dad has quite a misleading title, but this couldn't be further from the truth, perfectly summing up a dangerously funny film that pushes the boundaries of comedy, but also how us human beings may deal when tragedy strikes under the most unexplainable of circumstances.
    Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) plays a down on his luck high school english teacher who aspires to become a famous writer, as he has yet to sell any of his work.
    He is father to a very unruly and under-acheiving son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), who doesn't appreciate or show any love towards his father, but Lance seems to just let it pass him by, along with a very non committed relationship with fellow teacher Claire (Alexie Gilmore).
    But just when Lance seems to make a breakthrough with his arrogant son, an embarrassing yet equally tragic occurrence befalls Lance that soon changes his life forever, but not in the most common and expectant of circumstances.
    The following story continues in a very surreal and awkwardly brilliant manner, one which director Bobcat Goldthwaite has utilised to the its fullest advantage, combining awkward confrontations with a black comedy script, all based on a lie.
    Robin Williams puts in a dramatically grounded and excellent performance as the dad who is just along for the ride, until his guilt gets the better of him, which is perhaps where the film started to slightly unravel. His continuing lie to the people surrounding him becomes monstrous, to the point were he can only sit back and watch what he has created.
    Daryl Sabara also steps out of his comfort zone as a teen action hero to be, well most average teens in our current generation, spoilt and ignorant to the point of disbelief, and he plays the part very well.
    The film tests the emotional depth of the human psyche, and to what lengths we might go under pressure to cover up or even grieve for the loss of family or friends. What truly sets the film apart is really the almost realistic nature of the events, as they happen now in our very society.
    World's Greatest Dad plays out basically to tap and prod at the basis of humans and how they capitalise on the opportunities of death. To what heights does hypocrisy and two-faced lying go? All these questions are put forward in this wonderfully crafted and risky tale of a dads strained relationship with his loathsome son.
  4. Aug 28, 2010
    I thought this movie was interesting but that the moral message was wrong. Even though he was being deceitful his book was helping people. He had created a way to stop many kids from committing suicide and to inspire confidence in people and so i think it was selfish of him to take that away from them by revealing the truth. His feelings of loneliness and guilt were a sacrifice he should have made to keep the lie going and to keep helping kids with depression problems. It's like he had a cure to many suicides and then took it away. I discussed this with some people after watching the film and they all thought he did the right thing, that the truth is what matters. But i thought to myself 'is the truth really important if the lie is helping people and saving lives?' The truth was important to Lance, it freed him of his guilt, but at the same time it ended the feelings of confidence and companionship people felt after reading the book. While thinking about this i remembered a quote someone said, i can't remember who it might have been off Batman: "those who have the power to do good, have the responsibility to" and so i think Lance's decision and the moral message were wrong. Expand
  5. Feb 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A really good little dark comedy. Half of the film I absolutely loved while the other half I absolutely hated; the tone is uneven and truly bizarre. Robin William's plays a dad whose son unexpectedly dies. He then takes it upon himself to write a diary in his son's name which then makes him popular and successful. It was very strange but I still can't recommend this enough. It features some really good performances. An absolute must-see! Expand
  6. Sep 6, 2010
    The InstaFlicka Index

    ----- The InstaFlicka Podcast Doing our part to help you by watching the NetFlix Instant Queue until our eyes
    bleed. Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2014
    I expected an at least some what funny movie but instead what I got was a painful awkward dark "comedy" that was simply not funny and poorly executed.

See all 10 User Reviews