Tower Heist 2011

Critics score:
68 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Tom Long, Detroit News: So what if it's sheer petty escapist enjoyment? Tower Heist delivers the laughs in desperate times. Read more

Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine: It's hard to go completely wrong when you've got Broderick shuffling around in a bathrobe and Murphy scampering in black leather. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: "Tower Heist'' is smoothly made and smart enough. It's not going for too much, but I laughed a lot, despite knowing better, which was more or less any time Eddie Murphy says anything to Ben Stiller. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ...things take a turn for the worse during the heist itself, as more and more ridiculous elements and obstacles turn up, and Ratner fails to sell them. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Mr. Ratner goes for the safe bet and the easy score, which means that, for all his shows of solidarity with the working stiffs, he has more in common with the wealthy scam artist who took their hard-earned money. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: A shameless but exuberantly well-done caper comedy... Read more

John Anderson, Wall Street Journal: The type of film with which Mr. Ratner has claimed to be infatuated is itself like a caper -- it requires precise execution. "Tower Heist" is more like that 10-story Snoopy, as he drunkenly bobs along Central Park West. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A movie so elaborate that the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade plays a supporting role, complete with balloons and thousands of spectators, "Tower Heist" won't stay with you long. But, like popcorn, it's enjoyable while it lasts. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Like the scheming protagonists in the slick caper Tower Heist, the film's creators had some big plans that didn't exactly work out. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Man, it's good to see Murphy being funny again. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: When Murphy's on screen in his classic comic mode, it's hard to focus on anyone or anything else. It's as if we've turned back time and erased all those family-friendly duds and lame laughers... Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Highly recommended if you want to watch an assortment of rich movie stars feel your pain. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: For what it is - recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast - it's fun. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Alan Alda plays the billionaire, and his oleaginous smarm is so good that you almost wish Alda were starring in a hard-edged movie about Madoff instead of this goofy heist picture that takes way too long getting to the heist. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Eddie Murphy reignites his inner firecracker in Tower Heist, a middling comedy caper that can't match its star's focus. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Tower Heist is the cinematic version of a Trump property: overblinged, eye-catching, and essentially tacky. Read more

Eric D. Snider, Made me laugh and held my interest more than it should have, given how sloppy it is. Call it an acceptable bit of B-minus work from a C student. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Ratner and screenwriters Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson use the financial mayhem as a plot trigger for an elaborate scheme that, however far-fetched, is all but irresistible in its criminal legitimacy and its promise for just desserts. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Tower Heist" might not be a classic (it's not), but at least for a little while it will make you laugh instead of cry about the current state of affairs, which is more than you can say about a lot of things. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Tower Heist constantly makes you aware of the buttons and levers the movie is pushing and pulling: There's something artificial and plastic about the film that keeps you from ever truly getting lost into it. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Toss everything you can find, starting with roughly diced plots, into the blender, press "Pulse," and pray: such appears to be the method behind "Tower Heist." Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: You really want these poor schlubs to get their very justified revenge - just like you want to like this movie. It co-opts you from the very start. Read more

Scott Tobias, NPR: Between the protracted setup and the fizzled execution, however, Tower Heist finds a nice comic groove in the job's planning stages, when Murphy finally bursts onto the scene and pings jokes off his timid counterparts. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Boasts an unusually strong cast of actors, who boost the slick screenplay into a satisfying popcorn picture. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: It's a cunningly engineered movie that's as much fun as "Ocean's 11," a tale of a Renoir of ripoff who matches skills with freewheeling, improvisational rivals -- the Jackson Pollocks of plunder. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Devoting more time to the setup than to the follow-through, Tower Heist doesn't really build suspense so much as it builds impatience - for the thing to be over. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: This is a sadly common example of a filmmaker designing his production for inattentive, lazy audiences who don't really care about story coherence or consistency. It's a "turn off the brain" movie. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Cheerfully crappy schlock. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This isn't a great heist movie for a lot of reasons, beginning with the stupidity of its heist plan and the impossibility of these characters ever being successful at anything more complex than standing in line. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: You won't remember Tower Heist an hour later, but the top cast makes the jokes (even the lousy ones) go down easy. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, "Tower Heist" is funny in the way of so many Hollywood comedies, meaning that individual scenes are often crisply written and played, but the whole doesn't add up to anything. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: The most that can be said for Tower Heist, the new action comedy from Brett Ratner, is that it's a middlingly well-done evocation of the big-budget caper you remember with vague fondness from long-ago matinees at the mall. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Comedy is funnier when it rebounds off a hard reality, and the money woes underpinning "Tower Heist" give the caper a solid bounce. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A generic caper comedy with pretensions of timeliness. Read more

Robert Levin, The Atlantic: This is, of course, Hollywood schlock, directed by shlock-master Brett Ratner. But it's also a surprisingly effective social drama. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: The latest comedy-action film from director Brad Ratner is a shaggy affair, but it's intermittently inspired in its action sequences and the comic business of its sprawling cast. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Tower Heist is painless to sit through, and the movie does pull off a few action set pieces that are vertiginously exciting. It's just too bad that Ratner isn't craftsman enough to keep this souffle from collapsing. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: Puts a quality cast through their paces, alternates chuckles with spectacle and is pleasantly unpretentious with it. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Another thing Ratner is good at is not wasting our time when he runs out of ideas. But he leaves us smiling, if not believing our own eyes. Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today: Tower Heist feigns being an Ocean's 11 for schmucks, but plays like a retread of 48 Hours. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: The big-budget pic goes wonky on the way to the bank, due to its lackluster pacing and shortage of the qualities that typically earn stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy their paychecks -- namely, laughs. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: Tower Heist deserves credit as a clean, well-turned job, fleet and funny and inconsequential. It gets in and gets out quickly... and leaves no trace once it's gone. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "Tower Heist" is an improbably satisfying action comedy, the kind of wax-on-wax-off, slickly machined Hollywood widget that meets its audience's expectations without once aspiring to exceed them. Read more