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Paul (2011)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
Two English comic book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.

Director:

Greg Mottola
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Popularity
2,259 ( 595)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mia Stallard Mia Stallard ... Young Tara
Simon Pegg ... Graeme Willy
Nick Frost ... Clive Gollings
Jeremy Owen Jeremy Owen ... Sword Vendor
Jeffrey Tambor ... Adam Shadowchild
David House David House ... Security Guard
Jennifer Granger Jennifer Granger ... Adam Shadowchild Fan
Nelson Ascencio ... Jorge
Bobby Lee ... Valet
Jane Lynch ... Pat Stevens
David Koechner ... Gus
Jesse Plemons ... Jake
Seth Rogen ... Paul (voice)
Jason Bateman ... Agent Zoil
Sigourney Weaver ... The Big Guy
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Storyline

Two sci-fi geeks take a pilgrimage to America's UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he's been taken prisoner, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town - a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes. Written by Universal Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fugitive, celebrity, slacker, joker, alien. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Klingon

Release Date:

18 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Change the Channel! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,043,310, 20 March 2011

Gross USA:

$37,412,945

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$97,984,015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A Hellboy comic can be seen on display during the ending credits scenes. Jeffrey Tambor who portrays Adam Shadowchild, has starred in the Hellboy movies as Agent Tom Manning. See more »

Goofs

When Graeme and Clive order at the diner his pancakes have whipped cream on them he puts his arm in the whipped cream yet in the next shot it is undisturbed, as if his arm just bounced off it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Tara: [referring to her dog] Go on, then, Paul. Don't be long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There's a scene during the end credits. See more »

Connections

References The 4400 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Got to Give It Up
(Marvin Gaye)
Performed by Marvin Gaye
Courtesy of Motown Record Company LP under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Mainstream but enjoyable sci-fi comedy
17 August 2011 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When they were promoting Paul, I had heard Pegg and Frost discussing the film and they made a comment regarding the fact that nobody was just going to give them 50 million dollars and let them do whatever they wanted to do at risk of a loss. Also in their minds I would guess was the fact that colleague Edgar Wright had been given freedom to make Scott Pilgrim which, although really good, didn't perform box office wise. As a result of this comment I was sort of prepared for this film not quite to be as British or as smart as their previous work on things like Hot Fuzz and of course Spaced; turned out I was right to be ready for this but wrong to assume it would make a bad movie.

Paul isn't a bad movie at all, it is just a pretty average and mainstream one. The laughs are solid and the action enjoyable but it does rather lack edge and bite when it has the opportunity to do so. Instead it seemed much more mainstream and easy than I expected it to be. The film really only takes shots at far right Christian extremism and they probably weren't going to be queuing up for this film in the first place. Outside of this the film goes for good general laughs so we have a rude alien who is essentially Seth Rogen and lots of action with comedy blended in – and it gets these good general laughs and produces a perfectly fine mainstream comedy. Sci-fi references are throughout the film but even these are hardly very clever or obscure (even my girlfriend got most of them); I still found them funny but again I got the feeling that the film was trying to make sure that it was as broadly appealing as possible, as opposed to the slightly more arch comedy that the two have done previously.

It does still work though because I laughed more than I expected to and even when I didn't it had a broadly amusing tone to it that entertained me and kept the mode consistent. A big part of this is that Rogen's Paul actually works well. Primarily as an effect he is great because you quickly forget he is an effect. Secondly though he works because he is likable and funny – and I say this as someone who can take or leave Seth Rogen's limited range. He is a good character and he has good presence. Pegg and Frost play it safe mostly. Pegg appears to be channelling Ricky Gervais' awkwardness but not to as much success – he is good but he has been better elsewhere. Frost plays his usual shaggy-dog character and he also does reasonably well with it even if some of his material isn't up to much. Wiig is nice in support and her unconvincing cursing is very convincing. Bateman was enjoyable as ever (he deadpans up there with the best of them), Weaver allows for several good sci-fi references and the support cast feature turns from Lynch, Tambor, Koechner and a few others doing solids.

Overall I expected little from Paul but yet it was funny and enjoyable. The laughs were solid but outside of them it kept its tone well and made for a mostly safe and enjoyable mainstream comedy. I hope that both Pegg and Frost benefit from it though – and benefit in terms of a little bit more trust and freedom because Spaced, Hot Fuzz, Shaun and so on all show they can produce classics when given the chance. Paul is not one of their classic but by all means it is a really enjoyable mainstream comedy.


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