Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Knopf
    A very funny comedy. It’s a very funny comedy that almost made me cry.
  2. 83
    With Dad and his last writer-director effort, "Sleeping Dogs Lie," Goldthwait has accomplished the formidable feat of making wry, tender, fundamentally sweet comedies about the human condition that just happen to center on acts of autoerotic asphyxiation and bestiality, respectively. That isn't easy.
  3. Williams hasn't been this sympathetic in years.
  4. 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.
  5. With a merciless acuity this nihilistic comedy ridicules collective grief and the news media's cynical marketing of inspirational uplift after a death.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    For all of its cutting cynicism, "Dad" proves unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a middle-aged man leaving childish things behind.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    After leading the audience into some very inky satire, Goldthwait backs off.
  8. The edginess here isn't merely facile. Goldthwait's movies, including the under-appreciated "Shakes the Clown," are about reclaiming dignity from the dung heap. And he's found a fitting collaborator.
  9. 75
    This premise is well-established because of a disturbingly good performance by Daryl Sabara as Kyle, the disgusting son.
  10. For a comedy about autoerotic asphyxiation, epic deception, and shameless exploitation, World's Greatest Dad is a surprisingly sweet and tender affair.
  11. 75
    Goldthwaite's script has the honesty of someone speaking with the voice of experience.
  12. 75
    Yes, a comedy, however dark, about a parent taking advantage of a child's death is a tough sell. But with Williams more restrained and sympathetic than he's been in years (again, faint praise), and a final act that makes up for a ponderous first third, "Dad" shows that it can be done.
  13. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    The picture wobbles a bit before emerging a successful low-key satire of literary fraud and morbid personality cults.
  14. 70
    With his delicate mix of sick humor and compassion, Goldthwait is that rare comic writer who can legitimately be compared to Lenny Bruce.
  15. 70
    May not be for everyone, but filmgoers tuned in to its particular, perverse frequency will find much to value in its bent sense of humor and compassion.
  16. 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.
  17. 63
    A tad too long, and takes its sweet time to get to the point. But its twisted heart is in the right place.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A few scenes in World's Greatest Dad may qualify it as the most uncomfortable and unsettling movie to sit through of any this year.
  19. 63
    It takes a while for the movie to build to its wicked possibilities and only a few scenes to squander them.
  20. Though wildly uneven, the film sometimes comes within screaming distance of the sick ironies of "Heathers." That's how loudly Goldthwait still knows how to yell.
  21. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Odd, confident, challenging, and featuring a brilliant turn by Williams. If only there was just a little more to it.
  22. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Dunderheaded delirium from writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait.
  23. Sadly, once the movie shifts gears, it becomes a timid "Donnie Darko."
  24. Ultimately offers some ironic amusement but wallows too long in the sins of its father.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Aug 19, 2014
    This is a good little flick sporting a great performance from the late Robin Williams. This is not the best film to watch if you want to seeThis is a good little flick sporting a great performance from the late Robin Williams. This is not the best film to watch if you want to see it for him right now, but all the same, I enjoyed it a good bit. The comedy works for the most part and at times, it gut bustingly hilarious. However, there are definitely a lot of long portions of this one that are not all that funny. This one is certainly very dark at times, but the humor of the situations lighten it up a tad. The film is also an interesting discussion of posthumous celebrity, suicide, and teenagers. However, the film itself is pretty predictable. As you watch it, you can pretty much assume how it will end, but that is not a huge deal to me, though it does hurt the overall enjoyment since I knew what was ultimately going to happen. All the same, this one is a dark, enjoyable, at times upsetting little film that is a good one to watch if you are looking for something to watch. Full Review »
  2. 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.
  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 aMany 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.
    Full Review »