Judd Apatow's Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story "is less thoughtful satire and ... more the distant cousin of Airplane!," writes Brian Orndorf of OhMyNews.com. Starring John C. Reilly as a blues prodigy who ultimately experiences success, failure, and redemption, it plays like "an extended riff on the likes of severely mediocre Oscar-bait" such as Walk the Line and Ray, Orndorf says.
The film "has its frequent ups and down," acknowledges Prairie Miller of Newsblaze.com. But "it's a joke machine and a nice change from the better but almost uniformly downbeat movies out there this season," writes Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle. Plus, Reilly "completely owns" the Dewey Cox role, "the swagger, the rump shake and, of course, the voice," says Jeff Otto of ReelzChannel.com.