21 Jump Street 2012

Critics score:
85 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: 21 Jump Street earns my genial nod because of its limber, 120-IQ take on the whole notion of movie revivals. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: It's mostly another raunchy buddy comedy - albeit one with welcome comic discipline, more focused on maintaining pitch than continually lowering the bar on gross-out jokes. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: Not everything... works, and if you're actually looking for a consequential night at the movies you might want to stay away, but for a goofy fun Friday night this gets the job done. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Completely abandoning earnest teenagers-in-crisis melodrama in favor of crude, aggressive comedy, this "21 Jump Street" is an example of how formula-driven entertainment can succeed. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: Rather than treat the late-'80s source material as holy kitsch, the filmmakers have reconceived this tale of illegal narcotics and arrested adolescence as a viciously satirical, unapologetically crude buddy comedy. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It has a bad, slapstick first act but by midpoint becomes strangely compelling, tapping into the fantasy of reliving one's high-school years (which did a number on us all) and getting it right. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This cheerfully chaotic, gleefully vulgar action-comedy retread of the old television series has box-office success written all over it, and where's the harm? It's irresistibly funny until it isn't. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Less an adaptation than an "adaptation" that delights in highlighting the ridiculous cliches and tropes it lampoons. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller get nearly everything -- the tone, the self-referential nods to the show and the dead-solid-perfect surprises -- just right. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: This is not a property requiring respect and devotion to the source material to satisfy longtime fans, so the filmmakers wisely make a "21 Jump Street" all their own. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Neither man has had a better foil. They are literally and figuratively trying to bring something out of each other, and they do. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: Much of the humor involves trotting out cliches from cop movies and teen movies, then commenting on how dumb they are. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: What was the last stupid Hollywood comedy -- good-stupid, not stupid-stupid -- to offer actual, audible, verifiable big laughs? Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The basic premise -- that these two are supposed to be high school age and siblings -- is funny, but the joke, as is true of many others in this movie, is replayed way too often. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "21" makes clear from the beginning it is gobbling up some pop culture refuse in the name of nothing more than making fun of it and having fun with it. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: It's part homage and part wink at the past. It jokes about high school but is also a sensitive sociological study of those crucial years. It bridges slapstick and action. It's quick-witted with its pop references. Read more

William Goss, Film.com: The whole crew makes clear its affections for action cinema, trashy television and the YouTube generation alike while having fun at the expense of all three. Read more

Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter: Co-directors Lord and Miller keep the comic pace humming along agreeably with the same sort of animated energy they provided for those raining meatballs. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Miller and Lord clearly understand the push-and-pull and hyper-competitiveness that make guy friendships both complex and stupid. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: What makes 21 Jump Street so funny and exciting and lovable is all the stuff you don't see coming. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: The saving grace of "21 Jump Street," co-written and produced by Hill, is its obvious affection for teen genres, and for teenagers. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: The late-eighties TV series is rebooted with jolts of sentiment, personal discovery, and wild comedy. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A raucous, raunchy comedy. Read more

Andrew Lapin, NPR: It was inevitable that one of Hollywood's many recent reboots would eventually attain sentience. Hence the arrival of 21 Jump Street, a film that not only knows it's a remake, but knows how absurd it has to be to succeed as a remake. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Big surprise: The sometimes chaotic "Jump Street" is a lot of ridic fun, as the kids say, turning predictability on its head. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: This is the funniest movie I've seen in more than a year. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: This potty-mouthed and drug-laced reimagining of the 1980s TV show has one of the highest laughs-per-minute ratios since the Naked Gun films. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Yes, there are laughs to be had here, but I wonder whether it might be more amusing to watch episodes of the old TV show. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: I didn't think we needed a '21 Jump Street,' but it's actually kind of funny. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Here's the last movie I was expecting with this title. In other words, "21 Jump Street" is pretty good. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: This bracing new take on 21 Jump Street has a playful spark all its own. It's a blast. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: This film is even better if you come in with no spoilers and low expectations, so we will build it up no more. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: 21 Jump Street makes a virtue of low expectations, like an underachieving high school burnout coasting on his modest reserves of charm. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: "21 Jump Street" thrilled me to itsy-bitsy elated pieces. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Even if you think you've graduated from genital jokes and violent slapstick, the laughing gas around "21 Jump Street" may get you hooked. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: The makers of 21 Jump Street clearly understood that almost nobody really wanted a 21 Jump Street movie, and they've cleverly used a familiar property as a way to get a wildly entertaining new comedy made. Read more

Anna Smith, Time Out: Thanks to charming leads and a smattering of laughs, this is still worth a punt for fans of light buddy comedies. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Tatum and Hill steamroller any misgivings right from the start. They take a comedy connection that seemed doomed to fail - pairing Tatum's hunky command with Hill's nerdy neediness - and make it look like the most natural thing in the world. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's that rare comedy that's funny throughout, with a hilarious story that hinges on the unlikely pairing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: The helmers make slick use of their new live-action collaborators. Considering that hardly anyone was asking for a 21 Jump Street reboot, they've put their own playful stamp on it. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice: Though these mismatched cops bounce well off each other, Tatum, in his first comedic lead role, is the better performer, both more riotous and affecting. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "21 Jump Street" might be yet another product of Hollywood's recycling program, but it deserves to be noticed. Read more