The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to Larry Crowne

As hard as this may be to believe for some of you, it appears the critics love (or maybe the correct term is "hate less") Michael Bay more than Tom Hanks. At least when it comes to Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Larry Crowne. The Hanks-directed comedy has been raked through the coals in reviews, and currently sports an even lower Rotten Tomatoes rating than Dark of the Moon. Perhaps it needed more Autobots. Ahead, the 9 most scathing critical responses to Larry Crowne.

9. "Larry Crowne has Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and a good premise and a colorful supporting cast, but what it doesn't have is a reason for existing. The screenplay carries blandness to a point beyond tedium." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

8. "The story of a middle-aged average Joe who goes to college, finds love and befriends a veritable rainbow coalition of upbeat minorities, Hanks' first directorial effort since 1996's That Thing You Do! is an insipid mid-recession fable in which every honest laugh and emotion has been sanitized out of the equation." -- Justin Chang, Variety

7. "[A]s difficult as it is to dislike Mr. Hanks, it takes no effort to all to develop an aversion toward Larry Crowne, the alleged comedy being perpetrated today by Mr. Hanks; his director, Mr. Hanks; his producer, Mr. Hanks; and the co-writer, Mr. Hanks. It is a distinctly painful experience." -- John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

6. "Larry Crowne isn't a movie for adults. It's a movie for adults who don't like things with screens and keyboards. [...] Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is an obnoxious feel-good idealization of youthful energy. She over-texts him (their conversation pops up on the screen). She gives him what she thinks is a cooler name (Lance Corona). She makes him buy better clothes (they're vintage, her favorite), flirts with him, and causes adorable trouble with her leader-of-the-pack boyfriend (Wilmer Valderrama). The whole gang reeks of farmers' market and craft beer. They're Alice Waters Muppets." -- Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

5. "I'd be curious to have an experienced screenwriter get a hold of the screenplay (which Hanks co-wrote with Nia Vardalos) and examine it page by page, asking questions like, 'Why is this character doing this?' and 'Why is this character even in the movie?' and 'What purpose does this scene serve?' and 'What is the story arc?' and 'Is it even remotely plausible that someone as outgoing and personable as Larry would be such an inarticulate public speaker when the speech class begins?' The margins would soon be filled with question marks scribbled in red ink, and the experienced screenwriter would have a migraine." -- Eric D. Snider,

4. "Somewhere in a dark corner of hell, a satanic film class is waiting to study Larry Crowne." -- Peter Howell, Toronto Star

3. "Tom Hanks (directing himself) and Julia Roberts in a story about a dorky middle-aged man who goes to community college and becomes sexually desirable - is completely inexplicable on every level. Beyond banal; vomitous, even. [...] this is a film that can only be watched in utter misery." -- Antonia Quirke, Financial Times

2. "Larry Crowne is a painful and embarrassing experiment in light-hearted comedy. This ridiculous disaster tries so hard to be funny and falls so violently flat to the floor that you almost want to give it a hug as the credits roll." -- Daniel Walber, indieWIRE/Spout

1. "Please, shoot me now." -- Stephanie Zacharek, Movieline

[Photo: Getty Images]


  • Danny says:

    This is why I don't go to the show. 90% of the movies are crap! And the other 9% are ok at best. And 1% may be very good. I have my own Home Theatre set up. With a 8x4 foot screen. And will see the movie at home for a buck are so...

  • marksnark says:

    Oh, Nia Vardalos had something to do with this? No wonder it's a schlockfest. But trust me, every post menopausal woman within a hundred yards of me will insist I go see it. The same ones who "swore" My Big Fat Greek Wedding was "outstanding". Ummm...pass...

    • mary says: menopausal? You may criticize the movie but offending my age group is downright mean-spirited. wonder where you are on the marginal testosterone growth chart -- still in infancy?

  • casting couch says:

    Boasting about home theater setups was impressive in, say, 1992.

  • 14Buck says:

    This movie smells like 'rich people in Pacific Palisades write movie about little people in this 'recession thing' -
    like Jarvis Cocker/Pulp sang..'cause everybody hates a tourist, especially when it's all such a laugh'.

  • Pete says:

    From the clips i have seen it reminds me of Big (only worse). Another tom hanks summer movie basically just made to entertain with a predictable plot.
    When big time actors needs money they make a film like this one - and it doesnt help to appear in all the talkshows to promote it.

  • Eric says:

    Even my mom has no interest in seeing this.

  • Glen says:

    Oh Tom. We've come to expect better from you.

  • Kyle says:

    make another war movie tom,ill go see it.
    julia can play mom in the war movie.

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