(I) (2016)

Critic Reviews



Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Masterminds is kinder to its characters than most comedies about the bumbling and under-educated, and that's Hess's strength.
It's this improv-ready ensemble's wit and Galifianakis' own gift for physical humor that account for most of the laugh-out-loud moments, heightened by silly flourishes so eccentric...they could only be found in a Jared Hess movie.
Bits of welcome weirdness creep in, mainly through the too-brief character of Ghantt's intense fiancée (Kate McKinnon). But Hess has little time for wit.
Masterminds still has its riotously funny moments, thanks to the fearless, uninhibited actors and a director who lets them play.
At its playful best, the screenplay by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer and Emily Spivey sends up crime-movie clichés with a light touch, and Hess shows uncharacteristic restraint in letting those moments play out without reaching for punchlines.
Sometimes it's absurdist comedy. Sometimes it's dark comedy. Sometimes it's out-and-out killing-people drama (almost, but not quite). It's often funny, but it never quite hangs together as a coherent movie.
The film strains in two different directions, half trying to stay true to its based-on-fact roots, half wanting to ditch all that and become a ridiculous farce.
If you're laughing at all throughout Masterminds, it's probably because of Jason Sudeikis.
It's every cheap, fast, loose, pointless joke in the book, and barely any of them can clear a solid laugh.
Masterminds is a bit of an interesting case study, as it is basically a Coen brothers film but put through a mechanism that removes all the wit, visual style or excitement. In its place are tortuously dull set-pieces, rambling dialogue and banal stagings.

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