The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to Jack and Jill

It's been a while since the critical establishment really, really hated something enough for Movieline to feature a customary "Scathing Responses" round-up. But they have emptied their spleens today for Jack and Jill, the new Adam Sandler "comedy" that our own critic Alison Willmore described as "a film whose star often seems moments away from turning to the camera and yelling 'ARE YOU LAUGHING NOW?'"

But even Alison found glints of redemption in such factors as Al Pacino playing a lovesick send-up of his contemporary screen persona. Other reviewers were not as affected -- thus the bile tsunami ensuing today. Head for the hills!

9. "Jack and Jill is not so much a movie, but a challenge to your soul. Maybe it is designed to make us wonder if there is a God, and if He will save you from this disaster. He won't." -- Willie Waffle, The CW

8. "Directed with the customary lack of effort by Dennis Dugan and slopped over with sticky sentimentality in its final moments to mask its overall meanness, Jack and Jill is so bad that you know the people who made it knew better, but simply didn't care enough to fix it. They're pandering to anyone who ever bought tickets to a Happy Madison production, and by buying into this one, you'd only be encouraging them to get worse. Stop the madness. Avoid this." -- Katey Rich, Cinema Blend

7. "The only message here, meta or otherwise, is this: People who pay to see this kind of movie are dumb suckers, and deserve a movie that treats them as such." -- Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine

6. "I'm not even sure this qualifies as a real movie. [...] Farts are farted and balls are scratched, but what's really depressing to witness here is Sandler's complete laziness, failing to secure at least one measly laugh, trashing his once delightfully absurdist self to make a grotesque comedy that doesn't even attempt to sustain a plot, instead brimming with poo-poo and pee-pee jokes. This movie barely has a pulse." -- Brian Orndorf,

5. "Jack and Jill is being cynically marketed as a PG-rated 'family' comedy. Personally, I'd be tempted to call child protective services on any parents who dragged their kids to a movie about a guy who is trying to pimp his sister, or an unreasonable facsimile, to Al Pacino." -- Lou Lumenick, NY Post

4. "I can honestly say that I did not laugh one time during Jack and Jill. It's that depressing. But it is also an important movie that every man, woman and child on this Earth should be forced to watch. Forced to see the pain as I saw the pain. Forced to make sure nothing like what we see onscreen with Jack Sadelstein and Jill Sadelstein ever, ever happens again." -- Mike Ryan, Moviefone

3. "It's not like a certain American doughnut chain hasn't ponied up and clearly gets its money's worth, culminating in a faux ad for a new coffee drink that riffs on Pacino's name. 'Burn it!' Pacino hollers when he sees the results. If only he'd said that at the start of the picture." -- Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

2. "More than 24 hours has passed since I watched the new Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill and I am still dead inside. It made me feel as if comedy itself were a dirty thing, mainly practiced by people eager to express ugly feelings toward everyone from homely women to Mexican immigrants. I can't definitively say that this is the worst Adam Sandler movie ever made, having missed last summer's Grown Ups, but it is certainly the worst I have ever seen." -- Mary Pols, Time

1. "Mr. Sandler's subtly self-lacerating performance in Judd Apatow's Funny People suggests that he is aware of the hollow, hateful side of what he does for a living. Grown Ups and Jack and Jill prove that, as long as it pays the bills, he doesn't care. [...] I have always been interested in what he would do next, and I suppose I still am, especially if what he does next is retire." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

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  • HwoodHills says:

    Wow. Where's all the hate coming from? I saw a screening earlier this week and while it's not a perfect movie, comments like those above certainly aren't warranted.
    Sandler makes movies for people who buy tickets and want to be entertained. While critics seem to thrive on only liking "important" movies with "grand messages."
    Sandler does a bang up job of actually making the Jill character separate from the Jack character, which, quite frankly, I didn't think was going to be possible.
    It was fun. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • jax says:

      Jack n jill was fun! Its a movie people not to be takem so serious. I laughed. Poopsy. Jill is filled w love onside. The ending is great! I luved it!!

  • joe says:

    HwoodHills (aka happy madison production company)

  • Alex says:

    Are you high or just stupid? Jack & Jill has to be Sandler's worst movie to date and that's saying something. His brand of comedy is based on flatulence and an undercurrent of racism (all Mexicans are named Juan and are lazy, hahaha). It's because of people like you -with low standards- that Sandler keeps making movies. Next time do us all a favor and stay home, maybe read a book.

  • Not having seen it, I can't weigh in on the film either way. I think there is a teeing-off factor that many critics enjoy, but I generally tried to aggregate reviews that explicate their distaste.
    Two things I can say, though: While I think most of these reviewers would agree with your assertion that "Sandler makes movies for people who buy tickets and want to be entertained," the idea has long been that he's undercutting the talent evinced in films from _Happy Gilmore_ to _The Wedding Singer_ to _Punch Drunk Love_. He's making garbage literally for garbage's sake, and he doesn't have to. And anyway, aren't we all "people who buy tickets and want to be entertained"? What makes demanding higher standards for our readers' (and his viewers') $12 an act of high-minded snobbery?
    Second: You're overreacting a little about that snobbery. For example, last I checked, the monumentally vulgar and stupid (and very funny) _Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas_ was rocking 75% positive reviews on RT.

  • j'accuse! says:

    All due respect bro, but, I hate it when this tired old line is trotted out to defend lame movies. "Insert name of director/producer/star who's just made an unwatchable movie makes movies for people who buy tickets and want to be entertained."
    I don't mind films that don't have grand messages or are long as they don't leave me feeling dumber for having watched them. For me, it is a simple matter of having a limited budget for viewing films. So I look at the slate of pictures coming out, and I make choices to watch good ones, important or straight up fun. I would only see Jack and Jill if I were a critic and had to do a write up on it. I hope the office took up a collection to buy Alison a ticket to a good movie after she did the review to help her get the memory of this stinker out of her head.

  • Curly L'Orange says:

    11/11/11 "Jack and Jill". Never forget.

  • "I hope the office took up a collection to buy Alison a ticket to a good movie after she did the review to help her get the memory of this stinker out of her head."
    That's not a bad idea!

  • j'accuse! says:

    A more doable workaround might involve him sitting on a park bench hitting himself in the face w/ an inflatable ball until he achieves a state of pure being. The ball thing will save us all.

  • HwoodHills says:

    I love message boards because they give people the opportunity to rant, rave and scream at opinions they don't agree with.
    All's I'm saying is that movies are made for the masses. The masses buy the tickets. If it sucks as much as you guys think it does, it'll answer to that via low box-office returns.
    I'm a Sandler fan but not a blind one. LITTLE NICKY remains one of the worst movies ever made in my opinion.
    I enjoyed the flick and won't apologize for it.
    Thanks for all your kind words!

  • The WInchester says:

    Here's where my suspension of disbelief of this film went out the window: Sandler's making Dunk'n Donuts commercials in a city that's 200 miles away from one.

  • Noah James says:

    Fricking "I Heart Huckabees" reference! Amazing.

  • j'accuse! says:

    No ranting, no screaming...we're just mocking you dude. If you show up someplace and display such an embarassing affinity for Sandler flicks, and are not currently a stoned/drunk frat dude, you're probably used to people reacting that way. As for the internet thing, by all means, if you're going to be hanging out in Kirkland tonight, I'll be wearing my ironic Occupy Seattle pin, and I'd be happy to mock you in person. And there isn't always a corollary between quality and mass appeal, and you know it. Millions of people eat McDonalds cheeseburgers and KFC Doubledowns every day - not because they're great high quality food items, but because they're cheap, readily available and give them a nice heroin-like serotonin rush. They, along with Jack and Jill, are just more bad crack in the schoolyard.

  • Wally Ballou says:

    Holy crap. I just watched this...this is truly cinematic junk food. Video Z-listers like the ShamWow Guy (everybody loves the ShamWow Guy, right? And we all call him ShamWow Guy, right? Right?), Billy Blanks (remember 1997?) and Bruce Jenner are trotted out like beloved relatives you haven't seen since last Thanksgiving. Put a funny wig on Shaquille O'Neal and let him be funny with a ham. Some Indian kid (undoubtedly the son of some Sandler business buddy) tapes things to his body (they spun the Wheel of Quirkiness to come up with that one.) This whole wretched exercise isn't a movie, it's a giant velcro ball rolled through Sandler's talent agency one night at 3 a.m., casting whoever sticks. It's perhaps the biggest insult to be foisted onto the movie-going public perhaps in the history of talkies.

  • anonymous says:

    "All's I'm saying is that movies are made for the masses. The masses buy the tickets. If it sucks as much as you guys think it does, it'll answer to that via low box-office returns."
    Box office returns doesn't equal quality. Incredibly shitty movies can still make money because theres a lot of people who will watch crap. Jack and Jill will make money because its an Adam Sandler movie but that doesn't make it good.

  • sam says:

    Junk food tastes good. This just looks like junk.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    "Happy Gilmore" comes surprisingly close to greatness, for mine - yes, it has its share of C-movie jokes, but that just serves to make some of the oddball moments of inspiration all the sweeter (that janitor miming to "Endless Love" still gets me, as does the exchange "I eat little pieces of shit like you for breakfast."/"You eat little pieces of shit for breakfast?")
    So I've got no high-movie/low-movie bias going on. I'm happy for a movie to be as silly and disposable as Ferrell and Heder in "Blades Of Glory"; there's still fun to be had. My problem with late Sandler is that the movies aren't funny at all (often substituting humourless cruelty for wit) and he looks like he's asleep.
    I don't know who's churning the scripts out; do they not get that a cruel movie repulses twice as many people as it attracts? Don't they see that movies with a generosity of spirit and some respect for their characters are given an *enormous* head-start by the audience?
    Or, to break it down even more directly: Frat-boy shots at the homeliness of Sandler in drag can go one of two ways - we believe that "Jill" is a real character and feel protective because she's abused, or we laugh because we know it's Sandler in drag and ha ha doesn't Adam make for an ugly woman. Problem with the second approach - which from what I've seen "Jack And Jill" pursues with some abandon - is that, quite apart from being needlessly mean (which can be funny if set up correctly, but doesn't seem to be here), it continuously, relentlessly, unavoidably pulls us out of the movie. And Sandler movies are not so strong on suspension of disbelief that they can afford to be that cavalier for a cheap laugh.

  • ASFan says:

    You forgot to add Peter Travers' zero star review to this list.

  • Preston Livingston says:

    The movie would have been an acceptable Sandler movie if Jill had been played by a woman who could actually portray a big heart. The previous Sandler movies were enjoyable movies, but Jack and Jill is a real stinker, barely watchable. The only thing I found interesting was the background opulence of everyone around, thrown around so casually that it really feels like the big guys involved in the movie have severely lost touch with their audience and given way to sloth where they think anything they do is magical. Avoid the movie.

  • Nycole says:

    Whoever thinks that jack and Jill and little Nicky and all of Adam sanders movies are the worst UR WRONG cause those movies are one of the bests. Adam Sandler is probably the most funny guy ever then jim carrey... But Jack And Jill its so awesome how the make them look soooo much alike and different.. All of Adam Sandlers movies are the funniest ever.. If we didn't have comedians like Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Martin Lawerence and all those guys the world would be BORING!!!!

    • John says:

      Learn how to spell. Learn correct grammar. And for god's sake learn what the meaning of "funny"' actually is. Adam Sandler died when he started pounding out movies for free vacations and a few dollars. He's too lazy to be funny.

  • Wenny says:

    It's a good movie!!!! I don't know how negative these people have become for their reviews. Anyway, ADAM SANDLER KEEP MAKING MOVIES! YOU ARE GREAT! I promise.