Samberg's Popstar Is 'Pitch-Perfect' Satire
It's a smart take on today's celebrity culture: critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2016 8:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Perhaps you expected bad reviews. After all, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary about a ridiculous Bieber-like rapper whose star is fading. But you're in for a nice surprise. Critics are raving about this spoof on celebrity culture, starring Andy Samberg and a sea of music-industry celebs. Here's what they're saying:

  • It has all the makings of an "easy-to-watch and enjoyable film. But Popstar is smarter than that," writes Anne T. Donahue at the Globe and Mail. "It's a legitimate look at celebrity culture delivered in a way that's as funny as it is thought-provoking." Yes, there are dick jokes—which are "great"—but it effectively "holds a magnifying glass up to the culture that we've all had a hand in creating."
  • Fans of the Lonely Island, the name given to the comedy trio of Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, are in for a "nonstop party time," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. The flick isn't just funny—it's "insanely funny" and comes "with a surprising amount of heart," he says, noting "everyone from Bieber to Kanye gets ribbed in this hilarious mockumentary."

  • It's "a pitch-perfect take satirizing modern-day pop stardom" and "front and center, carrying the film, is Samberg in what is easily the most winning film performance of his career," writes Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's funny because it gets it RIGHT without ever being too mean-spirited. Even the jokes referencing Anne Frank and Osama bin Laden are good-natured and almost sweet. Almost."
  • Ty Burr, however, gives it a 6 or 7 out of 10. He enjoyed the "sneaky wit of its take on celebrity culture" and the "patented Lonely Island music numbers," but he found Popstar to be "genial, silly, and instantly forgettable," he writes at the Boston Globe. He was particularly bummed to see Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, and Joan Cusack "get lost in the shuffle."