5 of the Worst Critic Slams of Holmes and Watson

Critics hate the latest from Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, and audiences mostly agree
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2018 2:30 PM CST

One of the movies that opened on Christmas was Holmes and Watson, featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the famous detective duo. Can't miss, right? It can, and it did. The movie has a mere 6% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences were more forgiving, but not that much more forgiving at 25%. Some of the choicier slams:

  • Rafer Guzman, Newsday: It's "one of those movies that goes beyond unfunny and into a comedy-cubist zone, where jokes are no longer recognizable and laughter is philosophically impossible."
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: "One might call it a failure on almost every level—that is, if the movie ever gave the impression that it was trying to succeed. Instead, it’s pervaded by an air of extreme laziness. It’s cheap and tacky."

  • Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times: "More laughs are all that would have been necessary to prevent the stagnation of Holmes & Watson; as the movie stands, smuggling in booze to dispel the sense of dull routine could only help."
  • Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: "You can feel the flop sweat emanating from the third onscreen pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly." This one "makes their previous vehicles Step Brothers and Talladega Nights seem the height of comic sophistication by comparison."
  • Peter Sobczynski, RobertEbert.com: It's "probably the biggest cinematic clunker of the season," he writes. "The whole thing feels like someone took the unfunny outtakes that might have adorned the end credits and stretched them out into their own film."
(More movie review stories.)

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