Ghost Town 2008

Critics score:
86 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: This just kind of fell flat. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The sharp comic timing and the offbeat chemistry of Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear and TA (C)a Leoni keep Ghost Town afloat. Read more

Sara Cardace, New York Magazine/Vulture: Who knew that Ricky Gervais could play such a likable leading man? Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: In this comedy by David Koepp, Gervais handles the big, crowd-pleasing gags with aplomb, though the only scenes that approach the edgy wit of his TV work are those he shares with fellow improvisers Aasif Mandvi and Kristen Wiig. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: It's enlivened by the performance of Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pincus, a latter-day Scrooge for whom the living are no less annoying than the dead. Read more

Mark Rahner, Seattle Times: Fans of Gervais' awkward, caustic brand of humor should be pleased to see him in a big Hollywood movie that'll make him more of a household name. Read more

Noel Murray, AV Club: Pretty much everything about this afterlife comedy is straight-from-the-shelf save for Gervais, typically hilarious as a misanthrope who organizes his work and his private life so he doesn't have to talk to anyone. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Ricky Gervais is a genius. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Someone once said about W.C. Fields that he had the rare ability to despise amusingly. I can imagine no greater compliment than to say that Ricky Gervais seems, at his best, like a young Fields. Read more

Jan Stuart, Los Angeles Times: Gervais is a master of the flustered broken thought, and Koepp takes full advantage in scenes that pit Pincus against a distracted doctor (a droll Kristen Wiig) and an imposingly large dog. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: You can only wander down this comic road for so long. Once you've run through a few sight gags, you have to go somewhere else with this old-fashioned, high-concept premise. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: With lesser talent in front of the camera or a heavier hand behind it, the film might have crashed with a thud. Read more

Tom Charity, Naturally, Koepp makes it his business to redeem this unpleasant character and recast him as an acceptable stand-in for a romantic lead. But cynics should not despair; it's not a complete makeover. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: It's not just that Gervais isn't your typical leading guy. He's not, and bravo. It's more that Koepp and Gervais hold tight to Bertram's unpleasantness and human clumsiness after most other films would have winked at their intentions. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A friendly little piffle of a movie, Ghost Town nevertheless serves as a fine and funny introduction to Ricky Gervais for American audiences. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Ghost Town is diverting enough, but it's also the kind of high-concept studio concoction Ricky Gervais might have ridiculed in his great backstage-showbiz sitcom Extras. Read more

Christine Champ, Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: As Ghost Town reminds us, there's nothing wrong with formula filmmaking - as long as it's done with smarts and style. Indeed, formulaic doesn't have to be shorthand for lazy, obvious and uninspired. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Funny but familiar, Koepp's comedy feels like a multiplex reincarnation -- we've seen this film before and back then we must have stepped on someone's toes Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The painfully awkward, stubby Gervais as romantic lead is a funny enough concept, but the actor's ongoing banter with Kinnear is engaging, and their styles mesh entertainingly. Read more

Justin Davidson, Newsday: A delightful antidote to the comedic excesses of the season, Ghost Town is smart, sexy fun that should leave no doubt (if there was any) that Ricky Gervais is among the funniest men in film. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Leave it to the unfailingly brilliant Gervais to breathe new life into an expiring genre. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Although ghost hijinks are a very Hollywood way of dealing with the subject, the twists are executed superbly, right up to a climax that fits the David Mamet definition of what makes for a perfect ending: It is both surprising and inevitable. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Ostensibly a comedy, but one in which the (normally) brilliantly funny Ricky Gervais is more dull than he is droll, Ghost Town takes a familiar formula and goes nowhere with it. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Ghost Town's unwillingness to escape from a safe orbit keeps the movie trapped in mediocrity. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Gervais, a British actor whose work on television is legion, has at last found a leading role in a feature, and it's a good one. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Leoni and Gervais are wonderful together, as much for the ways in which they wobble against each other as for the ways they ultimately mesh. Read more

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle: Ghost Town, a romantic comedy about the living and the dead coming to terms with each other, is both very funny and a bit of a tearjerker, with an on-the-money performance from Ricky Gervais and a nice feeling for New York in fall. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: The last two lines of dialogue may be the best kicker I've heard in a movie this year. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It makes good on the cliche 'it'll make you laugh; it'll make you cry' by providing clever comedy and stock sentimentality without feeling tired. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: An innovative romantic comedy that is a mixture of British spice and American sugar. Read more

Rob Salem, Toronto Star: Through it all there always shone this subtle, gleeful naughty schoolboy charm, not quite a full-on wink at the audience, but a tacit acknowledgement that sometimes even total jerks can exhibit an endearing charm. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: Enjoyable as it is to see Gervais trying (and often succeeding) to make something of the mediocre dialogue, it's not enough. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Sure, it's a light comedy, but it effectively achieves what it sets out to do: amuse us and tug on our heartstrings. And best of all, it's written, directed and acted with intelligence and wit. Read more

John Anderson, Variety: Smartly supernatural, and featuring sensational performances by Ricky Gervais and Tea Leoni, Ghost Town is a Topper for our times. Read more

Variety: Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: It takes a good while for Ricky Gervais to warm up in Ghost Town; it takes even longer for the audience to warm up to Ricky Gervais. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: The best part of the movie is watching Gervais and Leoni delight in each other in scenes that burst with spontaneity and genuine warmth. Read more