Observe and Report (2009) Poster

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8/10
One Seriously Underrated Comedy
aciessi16 December 2013
Observe and Report. No, it is not a ripoff of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, lets get that out of the way right now. This movie has been troubled since the very beginning and has been disowned by critics for being too dark to be funny. Dark? Yes, this movie has its share of politically incorrect humor and gratuitous violence played up for laughs. But to call it not funny…. I simply cannot fathom why anyone did. This movie is a laugh-out-loud spectacle. Its almost as good in the way that Bad Santa was good. Seth Rogen even plays his character akin to Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (minus the Oscar worthiness and anything that made Travis Bickle a classic character of course, I'm not equating Rogen to DeNiro). The rest of the cast exemplified terrific comedic timing, especially Ray Liotta. If your looking for laughs, this movie is up your ally. Its in the same league as Kick-Ass and Bad Santa for sure. As for the critics… well… prior to the film's release, the stock market crashed. I blame the economy for this one. Times are a little bit better, and so is this movie. Give it a watch.
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8/10
great little dark comedy
songofvictory201125 May 2013
I've watched this film almost half a dozen times so I guess I am part of the Observe and Report cult. All you people giving it one, two star reviews...really? Are you that masochistic that you have to write a dissertation on something you hate? This is a great movie that knocks you on your ass with its dark humor and is indeed offensive. In fact, I would say if you're not offended in certain scenes, then there may be actually something wrong with you. Go see your shrink and talk about it. Despite that, there are also scenes that are moving and true to life which make this more than just some exercise in shoddy exploitation. At any rate, I love this movie and own a copy (if that says anything) Why you ask? Well, for one thing this is a great movie about a delusional man with bipolar disorder. The film has dream elements where he comes close to realizing his over the top ambitions only to be smacked in the face by societal regulations. On a serious note, there are a lot of young men who cannot fit into society and find a deeper purpose for living. The mall seems like the perfect metaphor for what has happened to American society. It is a boring, stultifying environment where banality is seen as the highest good and crass consumerism is the almighty God. Certain professions like security guard seem to attract nutballs, guys who dream of a police badge and a gun yet have to settle for chasing off skateboarders from the mall parking lot while carrying mace and at most a tazer. Now is the film an indictment of a crazed society and its shiftless youth or is it a nihilistic celebration of recklessness and mental illness? Even after watching it as many times as I have, I'm not sure I can come to any stunning conclusion. Its opened ended and while I know that can infuriate people looking for closure (and worse, a message) its the truth about this shocking and original film. Let me say that you owe it to yourself to check it out. When truly stupid comedies are abundant (usually ones about young men smoking pot and trying to get laid), its refreshing to see a film that dares to be wildly different in true punk rock fashion.
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8/10
Twisted, dark comedy at its best
dawnrzr27 July 2010
This movie surprised me in a very positive way, i really liked the balance of dark and gritty comedy but at the same time also cute and beautiful (often in a very twisted way).

It was a refreshing movie to watch, maybe not as good as Bad-Ass (exact same kind of twisted humor) but nevertheless a movie that shouldn't be missed by anyone who loves dark comedy.

With comedy and horror it's impossible to go by the IMDb score, i think a 6 a way too low rating for this movie, but if you're frequent IMDb visitor you know about this already. People just have extremely varied taste when it comes to comedy and horror, either you love it or you hate it..
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10/10
It's all about your sense of humor
bexandbarn12 May 2010
Firstly, this does not deserve a 10 out of 10 rating because it is not perfect, but it certainly doesn't deserve the many 1 out of 10 votes it has received. I am ranking it 10 out of 10 to redress the unfair balance.

You will see by the reviews for this movie already that you are either going to love it or hate it, it will be very difficult to feel indifferent about it. And why? Because some people are not going to find this funny. If you haven't laughed once after the first 10 minutes then you might as well turn it off. It's not for you, was never intended for you, so keep your opinions to yourself and move on to something designed for your more mainstream sense of humor. DO NOT tell everybody else in the World not to watch it because you are denying a potential audience a comedy classic.

To say that this is the worst movie ever made, as some reviewers have done, is preposterous and is just a reflection on the reviewers' taste, not a true representation of the movie.

I'm a bit fair-weather with these recent comedies. I loved Superbad and Pineapple Express, was fairly indifferent about 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and thought Zack & Mire was lame and puerile. As such, I was a bit skeptical about this film but I was wrong. This is better than all of the aforementioned because it appeals to my sick sense of humor and does not pull a single punch.

This film smashes so many taboos including police brutality, date rape, mental illness, alcoholism and racism. But it doesn't care. None of the above would be seen as any great topics for comedy but this film embraces all as if it is purposely trying to offend. It has clearly succeeded judging by the feedback here. But I loved it. Taboos are there to be exposed and smashed, and if you like your comedy to be near the knuckle and ground breaking then you will definitely love this film.

Seth is fantastic in the lead role. Very plausible and a definite deviation from his past roles. The supporting cast are also equally brilliant, especially his mother and Seth's co-workers. There is also no rationality behind this film so please ignore all the reviewers who claim certain aspects are implausible. Who cares? It is a comedy and the suspension of disbelief is paramount to the viewer's enjoyment.

In a nutshell, if you are not easily offended, like your humor to be in your face and boundary pushing (and most importantly, fairly sick) then you will love this film and laugh out loud throughout.

One other thing, the soundtrack is absolutely awesome with a great cover version of The Pixies' 'Where is my mind?' during one of the funniest scenes in the film, as well as a rocking song by Pyramid (a band I'd never heard of) during the end credits.

One of the best comedies I've seen in recent years, up with Bruno and Black Dynamite. And although it may not deserve the 10 out of 10 rating it is so close to comedy perfection.
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7/10
Pure Great Dark Comedy.
pat-pat18 April 2009
I can easily understand why many people were turned off by this film, Its easily one of the darkest comedies i've ever seen. There is some brutal violence, use of heroin and even essentially a date rape. But perhaps the darkest element of the story is Ronnie (Seth Rogen). The character is so twisted but fear not people this movie IS funny and sometimes extremely. If you have seen Jody Hill's other works, The Foot Fist Way and Eastbound and Down, and think they're funny then I can almost assure this humor will be right up your alley. But for those who are not fans of dark comedy you may hate it, it all depends on your taste. While it may lack originality in its plot it also has a side of Seth Rogen we haven't seen before, a more deep, layered character, that shows he may have the ability to do more dramatic work. I gave the film a 7 out of 10 because of Seth Rogen's performance with a few noteworthy comedic shines from Anna Faris but most of all for the intelligent and hilarious dark humor the film contains. On the con side however the plot was very similar to Paul Blart.
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9/10
The new, darker Seth
Donatien318 May 2009
Most actors, if they want to have a lengthy career, have to prove their versatility (Johnny Depp, for example). 'Observe and Report' marks a big step for Seth Rogen; as opposed to his good-natured, man-child teddy bear image from 'Knocked Up' and 'Zack and Miri Make an Porno', O&R sees Seth playing a bi-polar mall cop determined to save his workplace from a serial streaker. While this film has the same basic idea as 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop', 'Observe and Report' treads much darker territory. Rogen is excellent as Ronnie Barnhardt, who is rude to most people, yet is still kind of likable and ia infatuated with Brandi (Anna Faris) the blonde makeup consultant, even having sex with her when she's virtually unconscious.

The thing that sticks out in this movie is the violence, which is brutal at times. Like Robert De Niro in 'Taxi Driver' (which this film has been compared to) Rogen turns into a self-made vigilante with no qualms about using force to get what he wants. Towards the end, as he trains himself for his job, Rogen provides a 'Dark Knight'-style voice-over, perhaps foreshadowing his role as the Green Hornet.

The best thing about this movie is the ending. While some comedies can falter under an overly-sentimental finish, 'Observe and Report' manages to keep its nihlistic tone while wrapping up the loose ends to everyone's satisfaction.
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9/10
An Archetype of Misled Machismo
jzappa11 June 2010
I always knew the Judd Apatow crowd was of higher caliber than many others in their genre field. Even when they don't work under Apatow, there is real work, wit and earned laughs in what they do, and here is a film that is a perfect example of how elemental film techniques can make a movie funny. Music and slow motion work in favor of the main character's mindset, but the reactions of his surrounding characters are deadly opposite. He is delusional to the point that he is dangerous. At one point later, there is mention of his being a bipolar case, but not just to lend clarification to his behavior but more to ground him in a real-world everyman situation which makes his heroic, narcissistic delusions all the more unexpectedly genuine.

Seth Rogen's Ronnie Barnhardt exemplifies both the old-school hardass and the modern-day dumbass, and while he merely defends the domain of Forest Ridge Mall, he does so with an aggrandized self-image and the most brutal of temperaments. If it weren't for those bothersome psychological evaluations, he might even be a cop by now. Rather, he's an archetype of misled masculine vigor on a mission: to stop the flasher who has been threatening his territory.

One would imagine it'd be a light storyline, one convenient for the cheaper tendencies of SNL or MAD TV, yet Rogen and writer-director Jody Hill extract a subversively funny character study about a depraved man and his perverse perception of what it means to be a hero. In Ronnie's mind, to save the day means busting out the Taser with his sidekick, a speech-defective Michael Peña, by his side; to love a woman (Anna Faris, as funny and foul as ever) means essentially committing date rape. He is sexist and racist.

There's a good deal of immediate laughs to be had here, found in Ronnie's behavior with another character and how they're oblivious to each other in some way or another, or how Hard rock music and strutting slo-mo complement him while on-lookers are dumbfounded or confused or shocked. For example, Hill gives Ray Liotta his best role in awhile, sharply utilizing his intense temperament to make his character funny. But Hill appears more focused on getting under the skin and verging extremities in order to get a better grasp of who Ronnie is and why he behaves the way he does. Perhaps it's Ronnie's bipolar tendencies that propel the plot, leading our impassioned protagonist to a downfall and a warped idea of redemption. Ronnie isn't an antihero. He's a hero in his own mind and his own territory, and Rogen is more acutely committed to this performance than any before, leaping in with profundity and brooding. Therein lies the distinction between the bottom-feeding shenanigans of one Paul Blart and those of Ronnie Barnhardt.

The grandest indication that Rogen and Hill have scored something above average is when the authentic jolt and utter hilarity of a peak moment of violence reveals the stunner that everything had led up to that moment within reason, if only in Ronnie's line of reasoning. There is always something more rewarding about a comedy that achieves a careful tonal balancing act.
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10/10
Dark humor at it's best!
UniqueParticle13 December 2019
An extremely outrageous inappropriate film filled with profanity and crude remarks plus an incredible soundtrack! I absolutely love Seth Rogen throughout, oddly enough I have appreciated Observe and Report since before it even came out; I was obsessed with the trailer. The movie is kinda stupid but thoroughly enjoyable story and I really like the clothes in many scenes. Hilarious how frequent the F word is used, I think in some movie it makes them better!
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A crude day at a shopping mall
futuregiantsplayer20 September 2011
An anonymous flasher exposes himself to shoppers in the Forest Ridge Mall parking lot. The head of mall security, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), makes it his mission to catch the flasher. He is helped by Charles (Jesse Plemons), Dennis (Michael Pena), and the Yuen twins (John Yuan and Matthew Yuan). Ronnie's dream girl, Brandi (Anna Faris) is flashed the next day, and she becomes hysterical. Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) comes and takes over the situation, this makes Ronnie very angry. Ronnie decides to take the case into his own hands.

A incredibly disgusting film where Seth Rogen is at his funniest, but a great performance by Rogen cannot save this crude film. Observe and Report is a very dark and unpleasant experience. A cliché thing to say, but I found myself looking at the clock waiting for this film to end. Besides for Rogen Observe and Report has very few laughs. The perfect example of why you can't base and entire films laughs on dirty humor. Some of the most unfortunate, and unwanted nudity I have even had to sit through. Jody Hill tries to shock and awe viewers will dark humor, and a unique storyline, but instead creates and unfortunate film. The most surprising thing about this film is that even while the film is very tough to sit through, Rogen's performance still almost carries the film.

Jody Hill is the co-creator and executive producer of the HBO series Eastbound and Down. Eastbount and Down has dark humor and a very outrageous plot as like Observe and Report, but Observe and Report is not able to link together as well. Hill's first film The Foot Fist Way was seen by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell who bought the distribution rights. And also developed a cult following. Hill was allowed on the set of Knocked Up, and he fell in love with Seth Rogen's acting style. He became even more of a Rogen fan after the release of Superbad. Hill both directed and wrote the script for Observe and Report. Unfortunately it just didn't have as great of an effect as his previous work. Observe and Report's script is very poorly made. Hill's direction is well done, but the film is an absolute mess.

Seth Rogen's performance is one of the best and hilarious performances from a comedy since probably Steve Carell's in 40 Year Old Virgin. Besides for Rogen there are no other performances worth mentioning. Anna Faris as Brandi is a very untalented performance. Ray Liotta as Detective Harrison is nothing special, no lines or scenes worth mentioning. One performance does not keep a film in motion. Each time Rogen is off the screen this film just crashes and burns.

Observe and Report only grossed about 25 million in the box office, one of the lowest grossing films that Rogen has stared in. This film had plenty of hype. Rogen as the lead, the co-creator of Eastbound and Down as the director, and also starring Ray Liotta. But like so many comedy films, it disappointed. It seems like each year there are more and more gross- out comedies that are released. Hopefully this film will help people realize that these films very rarely work, but probably not. The amount of awful nudity in this film will make you have to check and make sure you are not at a Jackass film. Observe and Report is a film you need to brace yourself to sit through. A film Rogen fans will want to pass on, and if you are a Jody Hill fan you too will be disappointed.
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9/10
A funny film with a fantastic cast
WBPictures17 February 2009
I saw the same screening mentioned below in New York last week. Jody Hill introduced the film and told us it was not finished but it still was pretty awesome. I liked Hill's Foot Fist Way and this was something like that but even wilder. Seth Rogen plays a hyped up mall security guard who wants nothing more than to be able to carry a gun and carry off Anna Faris' character…a hot counter girl at the mall.

While it will receive obvious comparisons with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the world of Observe and Report makes Blart's look like Rodeo Drive on a warm spring day. Hill has a gift for mining comedy out of the mundane, and he effectively populates his mall with a hilarious food court of human pain.

Rogen adds a surprising depth to his usual comic genius as the bipolar Ronnie. Faris is a disgusting delight--one of the few actresses who can remain attractive even while she's throwing up. Her performance reminds us why she is one of the best comediennes working today.

Ray Liotta brings his distinct brand of over-the-top hilarity to the role of Detective Harrison. Patton Oswalt, Michael Pena, and Azis Ansari are a perfect supporting cast. While most of Observe's key male demographic will be horrified to find the graphic nudity is primarily of the non-female persuasion, it effectively sets up a world where anything can, and does, happen. This is perhaps Hill's greatest strength—he's willing to push the boundaries of comedy to the very edge, resulting in a fresh, daring voice that will leave audiences sore from laughter.
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8/10
Disturbing and funny, but maybe not funny enough
zetes12 April 2009
We have a new auteur in comedy director/writer Jody Hill. With two films and one television series under his belt now, his vision is pretty clear: he makes comedies about nasty, mean-spirited people who can be extremely unpleasant to be around. His work divide audiences sharply, and even those who like it, like myself, have their reservations. Observe and Report is heavily influenced by Taxi Driver. Seth Rogen plays the head of mall security. He spends most of his days wishing he were more important, but he also likes to believe that he is very important where he is. He dreams of shooting the bad guys and getting the hot girl (Anna Faris, a bimbo who works at a makeup counter at the mall). When a local police detective (Ray Liotta) starts horning in on his mall and his girl, Rogen begins to fly off the handle. Like Hill's previous film, The Foot Fist Way, what Observe and Report really needs is a few more laughs. It was funny, but it always felt like it could be funnier. The movie's often very depressing, and Hill is effective in making those painful moments work. Even though Rogen is pretty crazy and frankly a bad person, I felt sorry for him. If Hill could pull off more humorous moments, the balance would work a lot better.
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8/10
Very Dark and Very Funny, But That's Not All
D_Burke6 May 2009
I went in to the movie theater to see "Observe and Report" knowing it was going to be a lot darker than a typical goofball comedy. After all, if it came out two months after another slapstick film like "Paul Blart: Mall Cop", it better not be the same movie. Still, despite having that expectation going in, I didn't expect a lot of other elements in the movie, particularly the surprisingly effective dramatic ones. Based on that, I also didn't expect to really like the movie the way I did.

The movie starts out brilliantly with scenes from a mall familiar to anyone who has either worked in one or has gone to one at 9 A.M. in the morning at least once. It's an excellent montage showing the diversity of mall customers from the toy stores to the food court. Any other casting director may have stuck perfect looking people in that scene, but its familiarity to people who don't live in L.A. makes it work so much better.

From that scene comes a part I expected only from reading reviews beforehand. You see the back of a flasher's trenchcoat as he roams around a large parking lot flashing mostly women. The plot, or at least one element of it, presents itself, and in comes Seth Rogen.

I really went to see this movie because of Seth Rogen, since he has not done wrong in a movie yet. What I didn't expect was for Rogen's character, "Officer" Ronnie Barnhardt, to be so believably dislikeable, especially in the beginning. Rogen in this role reminded me of some people I went to high school with who were so delusional and full of themselves that they came off as arrogant and posturing. That's good, though, because it's about time Rogen plays someone who isn't just a lovable yet unmotivated guy again. He will eventually play that character so familiar in movies like "Knocked Up" and "Zack & Miri Make A Porno" again soon. For now, it's just refreshing to see him play someone else, even if it's someone you don't expect to dislike.

Anna Faris also usually plays a likable goofy person in her movie roles, especially in comedies. Although she's still funny in this movie, she, like Rogen, plays someone who is like the popular girl in high school you love to hate. Barnhardt's crush on her also strikes many familiar tones, and his disillusionment with their relationship is entirely believable. There has been some controversy over his taking Faris' drunken character home after a date and then having sex with her even though she is partially unconscious. It's a shocking scene that many have characterized as rape, and they're correct. However, in a scene like this, it is not as though the movie is advocating this kind of promiscuity. Far from it, in fact. Anyone who has these kinds of hook-ups, and there are sadly many, is out of their mind and needs help. Rogen's character definitely needed help, especially since his character is bipolar, as the movie revealed shortly before that scene.

Besides Faris, Rogen didn't have anyone to play off of in the movie, since his character is so self-absorbed and standoffish he makes almost every other character uncomfortable in his presence. Rogen's Barnhardt won't play off any other person because he refuses to even if giving the opportunity. Having Ray Liotta play Detective Harrison was a good casting choice. Especially good was the part where Liotta's character loses it and goes on a screaming rant towards Barnhardt. Liotta's rant was somewhat unexpected, but Rogen's reaction was not.

That being said, his fellow security workers seemed a bit pointless to me as characters. There was the Mexican-American who served an important part in the story three quarters of the way through, but came off to me as a one-dimensional stereotype than a convincing character. The twin Asian security guards also didn't seem to serve a purpose, and they said very little throughout the movie. Why did the movie even need twins anyway? I just didn't see the point.

On the whole, though, "Observe and Report" is a good vehicle for Seth Rogen. He shows in this role that he can play unlikeable just as well as he can likable, and he can still be funny. This movie is far more like "Bad Santa" and "Heathers", which is not bad at all. It's funny, but with incredibly despicable people. It's just the believability of the characters, the absurdity of the situations, and the great plot twists really engage you into the movie, as it should. Just like Adam Sandler in "Punch-Drunk Love", if you come in with more of an open mind, you'll see that Seth Rogen's darker side can carry a movie very well. Although the film is not perfect, I still recommend it.
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7/10
Not as bad as people have written..........give it a chance
dannyjcarr14 September 2009
To be honest I quite enjoyed this film, OK its not a laugh out loud all the time comedy but it does have its moments. Sometimes it comes across as a serious film and its gets confusing as to what sort of route its taking. I think the viewer needs to sit down, relax and watch it with an open mind, that way you will find yourself enjoying it. The premise of the film is basically about a Naive Mall Cop (Seth Rogan) who suffers from Bi-Polar, his aim in life is to become a Police officer, without going into too much detail and spoiling it, he sets his target of finding a Flasher that is terrorising customers of the Mall to prove to an investigating police officer (Ray Liotta) he is capable of doing his job. Along the way he tries to win the heart of a Make-up Clerk (Anna Faris) with miserable consequences. All in all, many films I have seen recently I have switched off halfway through, not interested in seeing what happens in the end, this I watched to the end. I thought the ending was good, can't see what other people thought was so bad about it, yes it was a bit harsh, but all was OK. Sorry about the review being a bit short on the info part, but did not want to reveal too much about it.
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1/10
Save your money - go see Hannah or anything else - shouted
lablady510 April 2009
I can honestly say this is the worst film in the history of films - OK. Trust me - I liked Howard the Duck. This film was worse than Paul Blart. Go see Slumdog Millionaire - again if you have to, it's a better deal. Go have a root canal it would feel better than feeling like you got reamed at the Box Office. If my brother wasn't with me I would have left - but I stayed to the bitter awful nauseating end. Horrible - shouted without capitals, I was edited!!!!!! If you want to feel violated by Hollywood - they must think we are all stupid to make such an awful film. This proves that monkeys write scripts in Hollywood, happier Cows my a@@.
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3/10
Sad and depressing. I was embarrassed to see such losers, and be asked to laugh at them.
bopdog11 April 2009
I saw "Observe & Report" last night with mild anticipation. I knew it was unlikely to be a masterpiece of "cinema," but I was nonetheless expecting some raucous, silly, fun and dumb laughs. I like Seth Rogan, and Anna Faris, and I like this genre, too.

Instead of the funny, goofy, and escapist trip I expected, I saw a very sad and even depressing movie. It seemed cruel that the director was asking us to laugh at such human misery. Ronnie Barnhardt, Rogen's character, was not just some caricature of a wannabe copper we could laugh at. He was genuinely pathetic. I felt horribly sad and sorry for the poor guy. And his mother, played expertly by Celia Weston, was such a loony-tunes and pathetic creature that it was difficult to watch her. I chuckled mildly twice. The packed cinema I was in laughed mildly a few more times--- but those sitting near me seemed more disturbed and uncomfortable--- and yes, even embarrassed--- than amused. I heard many soft groans and "Ewww" more than once.

Maybe there is something about "mall cop" comedies that makes them impossible to pull off successfully? The last one a few months ago was absolutely not funny. It was a dud. But at least it wasn't this heart-wrenchingly depressing.

Noticing the rave reviews and comments in the first few posts in this forum, it made me wonder about the authenticity and genuineness of the authors. I may be completely off-base, in which case I can only apologise. After all, we all have different tastes, and if this film is your cup of tea, then by all means enjoy it, and share your views. But I must confess a bit of disbelief when I read the first couple of pages filled with glowing reports. Come on!!! Even if I had liked this, and found it in my heart to laugh at these demented and sad creatures, I still would not have said "Movie of the century!" and similar hyperbole. But, maybe that's just me. With all due respect, I have often wondered if the first posts on the user comment boards come from people who work for the studios--- you know, PR types paid to flood the boards with misleading hype?
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1/10
So unfunny.
marwag-312 October 2009
This movie was so very, very bad. I loved Seth Rogan in Knocked Up so I thought this would be more of that. Not so. Why did he do this movie? Did he lose a dare or something? And Anna Faris? Ray Liotta? Why were they involved is this garbage? It was a painful movie to endure. My husband even said it was bad. Bless him, tho, he always watches crap to the end (except for Moulin Rouge-even he couldn't' take more than 15 minutes of that one!), always insisting "It's got to get better. It can't be this bad the whole way thru." Alas. It can and it was. I'm trying to think of even a short moment that I enjoyed...oh, I got it! The credits when it was finally over. Don't waste your time. There are so many other movies that are better---like every other movie.
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1/10
Do not see this movie, ever.
gary-chris24 September 2009
My opinion of this movie, well, just take all the negative comments made here by other’s reviewing it and then add one more notch lower for me. Even terrible movies I’ve seen, and I’ve seen quite a few, seem to have some obscure purpose and audience somewhere hidden deep inside. This has nothing. What audience was this made for?

The thing that really bothers me is how something like this gets made. It’s not just the sick mind of one person, but many people have to give the go ahead to actually get this on film. The writer pens the script, the actors, and there are some notable actors involved here, read the script,the producers,studio,director all say lets do it. How does this happen? The worse part is that the production value is there so you do get involved. It does affect you and leave an ugly feeling in the pit of your stomach which takes a while to shake off.
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1/10
Utter Garbage
jon.h.ochiai14 April 2009
"Observe and Report" is utter garbage. In fact "Observe and Report" is heinously bad, and a complete waste of time. It is so wrong on so many levels. I am a fan of smart tasteless humor; however, there is nothing smart about this mean spirited piece of trash. What in the world was Director and Writer Jody Hill doing here? This is a tangential macabre miscalculation at ill conceived comedy. What was Warner Brothers thinking in green lighting this movie?

For one thing, Seth Rogen's Ronnie Barnhardt is a reprehensible loser with absolutely no redeeming qualities to speak of. Okay, he gets sympathy points for struggling with bipolar disorder and taking prescription lithium. This too, seems a bit calculated and manipulative. He lives with his Mom (whacked out Celia Weston), who is a pass out drunk. In a quiet moment Ronnie asks his Mom, "Did Dad leave, because of me?" Mom replies, "Yes." Funny. But this is so out of context. Rogen's Ronnie more annoyingly is an arrogant idiot. Ronnie is the head of Mall Security, who is determined to hunt down the Pervert (Randy Gambill), who has been flashing his privates to women at the shopping mall. It is weird that this is the second mall cop movie of the year, perhaps a disturbing trend. Though with all due respect to Kevin James, I will see that movie which I gather was good.

One of the victims of the Pervert is cosmetics sales woman Brandi (kooky Anna Faris), who is psychologically scarred by the incident—well, not really. Ronnie is in love with Brandi, and vows to catch the Pervert, despite the investigation by Detective Harrison (Roger Moore-like Ray Liotta). Brandi is another stellar human being. In Faris's and Hill's characterization, Brandi comes off as a crass vapid whore, who is dumber than a stone. There is a sex scene with Ronnie and Brandi that is nearly nauseating. Predictably there is the good girl that Ronnie should fall for, Nell (cute and genuine Collette Wolfe), who is the girl at the food court with the broken foot who gives Ronnie free coffee. She encourages Ronnie to follow his dream of becoming a real police officer. Again, Ronnie is way too stupid figure any of this out.

Here Rogen is so wildly inconsistent with Ronnie which is more likely Jody Hill's doing. Empathically Ronnie has severe mood swings. However, there is one scene where he dispatches street thugs with martial arts skills that come out of nowhere. He is a creepy vacuous bully, who predictably fails his police psychological. He has a "F***k you." exchange with merchant "Saddamn" (Aziz Ansari) which goes on for nearly 2 minutes, which is pointless and totally unfunny.

I had originally seen "Observe and Report" to kill an hour or so before leaving for an appointment, intending to see it again if it was any good. I walked out after less than an hour. The movie was insufferable. The only way the movie would have ended well for me, is if Ronne died a violent and fiery death. And that wasn't going to happen. I am a fan of Seth Rogen. However, he picked a movie that really sucks. More to the point: "Observe and Report" has got to be the worst movie I've seen the last 5 years.
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1/10
I can't believe I actually watched it until the end.
snuhmcsnort17 April 2009
This is by far the most ridiculous movie I have seen so far this year. It was far more episodic than even an Apatow film - if one could imagine such a scatter-shot 'script' making it to production - and even less engaging. Poorly written, with an extended, tedious scene wherein the mall cop and the his nemesis exchange the f-bomb well past the point where it may have been funny in any juvenile sense, and pound nail after nail into the coffin of the feeble, impotent exchange. Unforgivable are the wild, erratic shifts in tone throughout the acts, beginning as a low-brow comedy about a dim-witted mall cop who's intent on capturing a streaker, and by the third act the tone shifts randomly between witnessing random acts of brutality to having a slow-motion chase through the mall with a fat man with his junk swinging around. If the film had been clear in it's tone it might have been less grating, but as it stands it is a complete misfire of poorly directed, miscast, and ill-paced scenes held together by the flimsiest of plots, with one of the worst denouements I have ever seen. Do yourself a huge favour and go out and rent Taxi Driver instead - a film classic that deserves to be paid homage to, but not in the way that the director of Observe and Report did.
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8/10
A ridiculously over-the-top comic spectacle
DonFishies24 September 2009
Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) is a bi-polar underachiever. He works as the head of mall security at the Forest Ridge Mall, while secretly wanting to become a police officer. An anonymous pervert (Randy Gambill) begins flashing women in the parking lot, and after he exposes himself to cosmetic hottie Brandi (Anna Faris), Ronnie takes it upon himself to find the flasher and bring him to justice.

Observe and Report, the second film about a mall cop this year after Paul Blart: Mall Cop, is one of the most polarizing films I have ever seen. People either loved this movie, or absolutely despised it. The film is played wildly and ridiculously over-the-top, and is played out entirely for the darkest laughs most people may ever see. There is just so much taking place in the name of bad taste that it is no wonder that people hated the experience of sitting through the film. But it is a comic spectacle no less, and even on a second viewing, still proves to be quite the hilarious film.

Having not seen The Foot Fist Way, it was almost impossible for me to have any expectations outside of what the trailer showed for this film. And I think that works immensely in its favour. The material on display pelts the viewer at such voracity that it manages to continually one up itself over and over again. It gets to the point where the story starts twisting and turning into directions no one would ever expect, and the viewer has to choose whether to stick with it to its uncompromising and immensely entertaining climax, or just to stop watching altogether. It is littered with just dozens of scenes that will turn off casual viewers or make others sit and watch more intently. A particular controversial "rape" scene comes to mind in this case, and while the filmmakers play the entire thing out for laughs, it is easy to see where some viewers may become horrifically disturbed at what boils down to writer/director Jody Hill's bizarre circus. While some of the shocks of the twists wear off in a second viewing, it does not make them any less hilarious.

Yes, there are holes in the plot, unresolved subplots and unexplained oddities throughout the film (including a trippy and borderline morbid montage featuring Rogen and Michael Peña), but the film's break neck pacing never leaves any time to dwell on them. Hill has crafted the film to just be unapologetic and simply not care that there are obvious pieces missing from it. While it does not matter in some cases, in others, it leaves some characters with such one-dimensional fallacies and next to nothing to do within the grand scheme of things. I would have loved to have seen more of Celia Weston as Ronnie's alcoholic mother, Jesse Plemons as newbie mall security recruit Charles, and even Peña as Ronnie's right hand man, Dennis. These little imperfections eat away at the film, and make for obvious areas where it could have been glossed over and fixed. The addition of more of the obvious satire of being a mall cop could have been a nice place to start.

The bizarre storyline is only complemented by the totally crazy performance by Rogen. This is a totally different character for him, and it shows in how uncompromising and how unlikable he is. You may feel for Ronnie in some scenes, but then he does something so unflinching and inhuman that he takes any pity all away. Comparisons have been made to Robert DeNiro's Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, and for obvious reason. Both men are totally out of their minds, and go on a rampage in the name of good defined by themselves. While Ronnie is not quite the lunatic psychopath Travis was, he is still far from acting in the right at any time. Rogen breathes an unusual and unique life into this sad and twisted individual, and while he plays every action up for laughs, you can see he is trying something different and he almost looks uncomfortable doing it. It is more than refreshing to see him playing this off-the-rails sociopath than the lovable, cuddly, horny, pot-smoking geek he has practically perfected over the past four years.

Faris does wonders as the clueless blond hottie that Ronnie pines after. This kind of character is nothing new for Faris, but she does a great job making it still feel new. She is one-dimensional like the majority of other characters, but her one-dimensionality is not forced by the confines of the film. It is forced because that is who this idiot wonder is, and Faris makes no attempts at trying to change that. Ray Liotta is another excellent addition to the cast, as Detective Harrison, Ronnie's obvious rival. He plays the character mostly straight, but has frequent bouts of just putting Ronnie down. His performance is the most mean-spirited in the film (saying a lot for what kind of person Ronnie is), and Liotta's twisted sense of morality and judgment makes for a great character to play off of Rogen. A small turn by Aziz Ansari and a cameo by Danny McBride are also well done, providing some of the funniest moments in the film.

Observe and Report is a hard film to laugh at, and an even harder film to laugh with. It is cut of a breed of pitch black comedy that you can either appreciate or outright hate altogether. It is a stronger film than Paul Blart, but it is obvious why the film failed to find the audience the latter film did. It may be destined for cult classic status in the coming years, but for now, I am content in saying it is a good film that just missed out on being great.

8/10.

(Portions of this review originally appeared on http://www.dvdfanatic.com).
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1/10
Worse movie I've ever seen
grandpasblessed14 April 2009
I usually like any comedy. This is one of the only ones I didn't like. This movie was so stupid that all three of us got up and left in the middle of. The first movie in my 40 years I've left in the middle of. There was no real purpose and interest in the plot. There was no purpose at all for the over redundant F word. I don't agree with the main review on this page. I thought the acting was almost high school level. If you waste your money on it, at least don't say you weren't warned first. I find it hard to believe you can copy a good movie like Mall Cops and ruin completely ruin it so horribly that you almost can't recommend the good one that was copied.

Save your money.
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1/10
Worst movie of 2009
eggartrealty10 August 2009
This has got to be the worst movie of 2009. It's a very unfunny movie with a script that's all over the place.

We watched this thinking it was a raunchy comedy that would be some fun entertainment - we were wrong completely. Bad acting, bad script, even and worse directing. I guess the scriptwriter(s) thought that by throwing in more "F" bombs that would make it funny - guess what Hollywood... the "F" word is over-used and is no longer funny or shocking. And, what was with the violent/bloody shooting at the end of the movie?

The characters are totally unlikeable.
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10/10
Ballsy and Hilarious Film!
bullet-tooth-tony26 March 2009
I saw "Observe and Report" tonight at an advance screening and have to say I was more than impressed. I've been enjoying the similarly casted and styled Apatow produced comedies over the past few years and was expecting to get laughs out of this one, but where I was really surprised was with how many risks this film took.

Seth Rogen's character is not likable- he's cocky, arrogant and flat out rude. But as you see the purity of his intentions you can't help but warm up to him, and by the end you are flat out rooting for him (at least I was).

And the violence... wow, did not see that coming, and I loved every second of carnage they put on screen. It is brutal, and is so unexpected it only adds to the hilarity of this wild film. The violence is very brief though which also adds to the humor to it. And finally, the nudity- hilarious. Flat out hilarious.

I highly suggest this film for fans of riskier and darker comedies- it's one hell of a ride and far more enjoyable then Rogen's last film "Pineapple Express." Warning- it will catch you off guard many times, but I'm betting you'll be happy it did. Do not miss!
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10/10
Cult Classic
Partington_lid11 September 2009
I always check the rating out on IMDb before I watch and film and usually I'd skip over a 6.5. But as it had Seth Rogen in it and I had little else to do, I watched the film.

zomg, one of the best films I've ever seen for all the wrong reasons. You just get used to how films are going to play out, you can read the ending just by watching the first 10 minutes. All films just repeat the same undertone in different scenes for an hours and a half. Not this film.

I have no idea what kind of film this is, I would not call it a comedy or any specific genre, I really was left amazed and shocked. It just doesn't really give a clear message or direction. When you feel you're starting to understand the film, it turns again.

I've watched thousands upon thousands of films and have never had a movie experience like this. There are dark moments which you feel shouldn't be in the film but that's because you've been led to believe it's a comedy.

Really enjoyed it, glad I never read any reviews on here before watching it or I may have been prepared.
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1/10
This movie was a joke
optimusprime1234530 August 2009
I gave it a 1 out of 10 because that's what it deserves. This movie was one of the worst movies I have seen in years I watched it because people said it was funny there was a couple scenes that me me chuckle but nothing really laugh out loud. Also the acting was the worst ever. I also watched it for ferris since she is hot still and she was in one of my favorite comedies of all times Scary movie the first one. What I want too know how was this movie funny and there was no rape scene. Please do not watch this it is not funny this is the farthest thing from funny this movie should be burned. I recommend that if you watch this burn your eyes out because its so bad.
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