17 Again 2009

Critics score:
55 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: I was disappointed. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Zac Efron, looking cool, is movie enough for the makers of 17 Again, a halfhearted fantasy that stars Efron in a role cryogenically frozen around the time of C. Thomas Howell's '80s heyday. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: The idea of going back to high school is so overdone, there was even an entire episode of Family Guy that parodied it. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Even with actors who echoed each other's mannerisms, 17 Again would still be lame. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: The ancient body-switching premise is animated by a breezy script that briefly addresses some of its darker implications before returning to a celebration of adolescence. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: The result is lumpy and irritating, but 17 Again regroups whenever Efron is back on screen. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: With plenty of help from a fine supporting cast, Efron deftly handles the fish-out-of-water hijinks and slips through more icky May-September romantic entanglements than an average season of Friday Night Lights. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: The kid may not be the next Sean Penn, but he is definitely a movie star. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: 17 Again is product, loaded with high fructose corn syrup so the girls will like it, and as meaningful as an afternoon at the mall. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: I found him a sympathetic, and strangely believable, middle-aged dad. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: If you're looking for the performance that might one day be characterized as Efron's embarrassing breakout role, this is a good bet. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It could be better, it could be worse. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A slack do-over fantasy in which Zac Efron, as a basketball star, looks baffled as to why he hasn't been asked to sing and dance. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Funny and lively, with a healthy dollop of sentimentality, it reassures us that all is not lost, except maybe our six-pack abs, as we descend into schlubby, dissatisfied middle age. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Efron, as a teen with the brain of a father, ably carries this featherweight movie. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Can't we just watch Freaky Friday again? Really, I'd take either version at this point. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Though Mann and Perry are game, it's Efron who carries the movie. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: 17 Again makes the '80s comedies on which it's modeled seem positively cutting-edge by comparison. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: 17 Again is a comically responsible way for Efron to leave his teen roles behind and make his teen audience think about the adult decisions they now face. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: For me, 17 Again is mildly diverting. For the tweens who are its target audience, Efron's outside shot is a three-pointer. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The filmmakers don't give their viewers credit for a minimum level of observation and, as a result, have produced a sloppy, lazy motion picture. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 17 Again is pleasant, harmless PG-13 entertainment, with a plot a little more surprising and acting a little better than I expected. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: If you can't figure out what happens, you've never seen a movie. And if you haven't, please, God, don't start with this one. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: 17 Again takes a while to get cooking, and at times it just feels like a pale imitation of 13 Going on 30. Still, it's often breezily entertaining, partly thanks to Efron, who certainly knows how to be cute. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: 17 Again isn't a sophisticated work of art, nor was it intended to be. It's often silly, sometimes fun silly, sometimes too silly. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: You needn't be a Zac Efron fan to enjoy the appealing 17 Again. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The movie manages a few good jokes about inappropriate flirtations, but it never addresses the bigger questions of why the marriage went wrong or what Mike is supposed to be doing about it. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Wholesome just isn't as wholesome as it used to be. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: 17 Again makes Xeroxes look original. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: There's evidence that the young heartthrob might make a decent leading man if only he'd apply himself. Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: The leads are charming, the comedy well judged and the script, however predictable, sure-footed, playing on notions of midlife nostalgia with grace and integrity. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Though not as clever as 13 Going on 30 or Freaky Friday, it's also not as hokey as Hannah. For a swoon-fest aimed at tweens, 17 Again has a lot going for it. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: An energetic but earthbound comic fantasy that borrows a few moves, if little inspiration, from Big and It's a Wonderful Life. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: If this is one small step for the actor toward becoming a leading man, it is, for Hollywood movies, one more giant leap into infantilism. Read more

Dan Kois, Washington Post: Efron has no edge. And although that edgelessness might prolong his career, it keeps 17 Again from having anything surprising to say about teenage life in 2009. Read more