The Watch—which, before Trayvon Martin's death, was supposed to be called Neighborhood Watch—is part buddy film, part alien-invasion flick, sprinkled liberally with jokes about the male anatomy. Despite Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Vince Vaughn, the movie doesn't really work:
- Writing in Variety, Justin Chang calls the film a "lowbrow, lame-brained mash-up of buddies-on-patrol comedy and sci-fi actioner, held together (barely) by an endless string of penis jokes."
- It's a "ramshackle science-fiction comedy desperate for laughs," writes Stephen Holden in the New York Times, and it appears to have been "filmed on autopilot on a strict budget."
- At the AP, Jake Coyle agrees that the movie has an "almost paint-by-numbers feeling to it" following "better films like Superbad and Pineapple Express.'" And "though many of the jokes land, some of them feel like a game of penis-related Mad Libs."
- "Never in the history of mankind has a movie been more phallic-ly fixated than The Watch," notes Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Still, its non-penis-related jokes "keep the laughs coming."