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Hank Azaria
Dan Castellaneta
Julie Kavner
Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith
Harry Shearer.
David Silverman.
Running Time
80 minutes

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The Simpsons Movie

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After yet another Homer (Castellaneta) inspired disaster — involving his new best-friend Spider-Pig — Springfield is declared an environmental disaster area and sealed in a glass dome as an example to all America. Miraculously escaping their prison, the Simpsons head for Alaska, before Homer has an epiphany and (after the word is explained to him) decides to return and save his town.

The Simpsons Movie
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Even in a mediocre episode of The Simpsons there is one great gag. Back in the classic era, the first ten seasons, say, they created jokes for the ages; comic writing with the kind of snap and sizzle of Woody Allen in the ‘60s or Neil Simon or Mel Brooks (all of whom have been satirised in yolk yellow). Beyond that, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and the other one have warmly redefined our concept of the American family. It takes genius to do dumb so well. After 18 years of such consistency surely the next move for the Day-Glo dysfunctions of Homer and co. was a movie… Surely.
The Simpsons Movie has been ten yeas in the making. During this tricky decade, the one factor the crew of eleven writers (their finest) had trouble settling on is how a movie version of the half-hour Springfield spins would be different. After all, why buy a ticket for something you get ad infinitum on the box? Eighty minutes after Itchy nukes Scratchy on the moon (the literal opening salvo) you realise that the problem may have defeated them. The Movie is no more than a mediocre episode stretched like taffy till it splits. And there’s not one truly great gag to speak of.  
How did something so light and confident become so lumbering and unsure of itself? Everyone is trying too hard and getting nowhere. Lamed, as the later episodes have been, by an overt political agenda, the film so bangs the drum for Al Gore’s eco-message it borders on polemic. Saving the planet may be vital, but not at the expense of Homer’s sublime buffoonery please. The series is at its best when satirising the intricacies of ordinary life — aim smaller, hit bigger.
With more time on their hands, everything seems to work against itself. There are odd pauses, mistimed punchlines — the lovely jazzy rhythms of the old episodes becoming stilted and soggy. Worse still, the characters are shadows of their old yellow selves. Homer, by necessity the brainless centre of the story, never properly reaches his true absurdist extremes. Bart is entirely lost, his storyline — weary of Homer’s shortcomings, he’s enticed to join the Flanders — neutering the arch prankster. Bart needy? Come on. Meanwhile Lisa falls in love (not explored), Marge despairs of her husband (Zzzz…) and Maggie… Actually, Maggie keeps her end of the deal. No one, excepting the title family, gets much of a look in, and the paltry attempts to notch them up are less cameos than momentary blips. In what sane universe does a Simpson movie give Mr. Burns merely two scenes?
There is also the stunning fact that, between eleven of surely the funniest writers in America, no one could come up with a good story. Springfield sealed in a dome is about it, but even then nothing is made of the town’s collapse into anarchy, while in not-breaking-news-at-all, Homer has to learn to appreciate his family. Again.
It is a depressing experience to rain on this particularly beloved parade. So massive is the series achievement, it’s like punching a best friend in the mush. In pop cultural terms Groening and team are artists, the animation equivalent of Martin Scorsese — imagine the likes of him delivering something so bereft of inspiration. You chuckle here and there, you enjoy the animation (given a bit more pep and computery dimension for the big screen), but the moment it takes off never comes. This is not the worst film of the summer, just the biggest waste.  Then, perhaps that is the problem. The Simpsons never needed to be a movie.

The Simpsons Movie is like the mad moment in 1985 when Coca Cola decided to revamp their tried and tested beverage into New Coke. Take something everyone loves, and make it fizzier and sweeter, with a curious new tang. It utterly failed. The message is just as clear with Simpsonian antics — if it ain’t broke, don’t make a movie…

Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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Average user rating for The Simpsons Movie
Empire Star Rating

2-stars? Really, Empire...

It's very rarely that I disagree with Empire's verdicts (give or take one-star), but this? No - The Simpson's Movie was not bad. I thought it was funny, well-written, just the right length, and in keeping with the appeal of the TV show. It may not be a comedy masterpiece, but it's certainly a must-see, in my opinion. As for comparing it to the new Coke thing? Far from it - if anything, the new Coke is the recent floppiness of the TV show, and this movie is like bringing back the original. It i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LeFelixBrown at 06:57, 28 April 2014 | Report This Post

A great comedy.

The Simpsons is one of the greatest shows ever, even the later seasons are still funny and is better than practically anything else on TV. This film captures that same hilarious essence of the series and captivates it onto the big screen. Featuring practically every character in the show, it features so many great laughs, and a story that is both emotional and exciting. Repeat viewings are just as good also. A must watch for comedy, Simpsons and animated fans. Looks very good on Blu Ray als... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reaper996 at 21:24, 25 August 2012 | Report This Post

The Simpsons Movie Review

The Simpsons Movie contains the hearty laughs, biting satire, and honest portrayal of an American family that makes the show so popular. And it boasts slicker animation and polished writing that hearkens back to the show's glory days. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 19:14, 05 February 2012 | Report This Post

very good indeed ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jackcarlin18 at 23:27, 23 January 2012 | Report This Post

Homer did well but not that great ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ciaran McDaid at 12:35, 01 November 2011 | Report This Post


2 Stars, empire must not have a sence of humor. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 14:18, 04 June 2011 | Report This Post

Funny, But Nothing Special

The Simpsons created an entire era of comedy with its' sharp sight gags and unusually witty characters that are as varied as a paint pallete. It's therefore quite ironic that when a movie is made, the producers lose sight of the wit that made the original series so successful. The movie succeeds on its' own terms as a feature length episode, but that's not enough to warrant a high score. Some very amusing gags aside, this is a simple and uninspired stuff. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 11:01, 09 March 2011 | Report This Post

This is a really good film, one all simpsons fans can appreciate. While there are a few moments that feel like an extended episode (and by that I mean it goes on a while), and a few moments at the opposite end of the spectrum, as it feels a little too hollywood, in general its great. It's very funny, has some nice touches, great animation, and loads of memorable lines and scenes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hjfleeds at 11:43, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post

Although the film is very funny it isnt as funny or even as cinematic as some of the best episodes. With the main focus rightly put on Homer the rest of the brilliant eccentric characters dont get a look in. This leaves Bart to do nothing really and when the town falls into chaos the film moves off with th Simpsons to Alaska, D'OH! But the main problem is the villian, if you make a Simpsons movie you dont bring in a new character to play baddie, you get one of TV's greatest ever villians, Mr C M... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevolegendbauer at 15:05, 31 July 2010 | Report This Post

Although I'm really not a simpsons fan, I still quite liked the movie. Loughed hard at the "Arnie Schwarzenegger as president" scenes! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FanaticalAboutFilm at 14:42, 24 September 2009 | Report This Post

Although I'm really not a simpsons fan, I still quite liked the movie. Loughed hard at the "Arnie Schwarzenegger as president" scenes! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FanaticalAboutFilm at 14:42, 24 September 2009 | Report This Post

Worst show ever.....

they should have made this a good 15 years ago now that the shows filled whit moe rubbish than a 15 foot bin ... More

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Posted by S1lent B0b at 21:38, 08 September 2009 | Report This Post

Worst show ever.....

they should have made this a good 15 years ago now that the shows filled whit moe rubbish than a 15 foot bin ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by S1lent B0b at 21:38, 08 September 2009 | Report This Post

tp://]The Simpsons Moviehere was a piece in the newspaper this morning about 20 years Simpsons, so I thought I`d watch the movie again, inspired by the article. I even liked it more this time then when I first watched it when it played in cinema. Excellent jokes, Homer of course steals the show. The word jokes are great and the fingerpointing towards other movies is really cool. Nothing wrong with that, really enjoyed it! /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:41, 18 May 2009 | Report This Post

D'oh nuts!

The Simpsons is the greatest tv show ever made. Don't argue. Therefore, making a movie was always going to be a really bad move in terms of comparitive quality; any writer knows that a 22 minute show is funny much more esily. Quadruple that run time, and you've got a pickle on your hands. However, everyone knew this would make a lot of money, so on we go... Plotwise, Springfield has been trapped in a massive dome thanks to an environmental disaster triggered by Homer. The family has someho... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lukeynemo at 18:27, 06 April 2009 | Report This Post

Good Movie

I think that if you like the simpsons as a series than you might like the movie because the movie was like the series only longer than a regular episode ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by caps_fan2490 at 21:07, 13 March 2009 | Report This Post

Totally with Empire here ...just cos something is a good TV series (...and it's debatable that The Simpsons hasn't been that either for quite some time, but that's for a different review) doesn't mean it'll make a good movie. Ok, I've given it one more star than Empire did cos I think it's "Ok" and did make me chuckle on occasion. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 12:24, 09 February 2009 | Report This Post

crushed by 18 series of expectation

i am one of the many fans of quite frankly one of if not the best show on tv...the simpsons. i have now 11 series on dvd and think it is genuis. what this film does well is provide lots and lots of gags and i chcuckled the whole way through, it mixes in jokes with hillarious political commentary and tried to features as many of the shows characters as possible, the problem is that so many people were expecting something great it couldnt deliver and it just felt like an extended episode it wasnt... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by THE DALTONATOR at 10:47, 25 January 2009 | Report This Post

I laughed much more the second time around. They screwed it up to be honest - the fact that we're debating whether it's good or not is mental and should never have happened - but I did laugh. My girlfriend loved it! ... More

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Posted by Pat Roach at 20:44, 12 November 2008 | Report This Post

It's funny, true it isn't classic Simpsons but it is funny and don't doubt yourself because you can't say you didn't laugh ... More

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Posted by willchadwick at 20:19, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


Thank god a critic was clearly eyed enough to see this movie for what is is: unadulterated overrated bastardized washed up trash. The Simpsons was superb in its heyday, which was from 1989-1998. Sadly, by 2007, the show was flatter than Coke opened for a month. I had to force myself, FORCE myself to laugh during the movie, because I couldn't bear the thought of having paid $11 for lame, trite trash. The guest starts are superfluous, as they have been since 1999, just appearing to appear, get the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jay20 at 01:15, 18 October 2008 | Report This Post

I Might didn't need one.

  It might not needed a movie, but it got one, and it's great this is really a movie a not a long episode. The Plot wasn't orginal but it was good anyway. Animation looked great. This is better then the last 5 season of The Simpsons. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by AFTP at 13:22, 01 October 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Funny But Not Really Funny.

 The 'Yeah, but, no, but yeah" generation have latched onto spider-pig - which would have been a throwaway gag in early 'The Simpsons' episodes. The eco message was ponderous and the set-pieces were re-mountings of classic, famous TV set pieces.  I want Groening in a room with some writers and animators and start again. This movie was 'product' when it could have been so much more. Did Groening even get near a production meeting on it? ... More

Posted by rancorpuppet at 16:25, 30 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Funny But Not Really Funny.

L: Tech_Noir L: joanna likes films there are some funny and tender moments like Spider Pig and the strain on Homer and Marge's relationship. amn it, Spider Pig was NOT funny - it was cring-worthy bad. Amd Homer and Marge having some marriage difficulty is the plot for at least 100 Simpsons episodes.  his is one of those rare times when you and I are in complete agreement, Tech. ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 21:54, 29 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Funny But Not Really Funny.

L: joanna likes films  there are some funny and tender moments like Spider Pig and the strain on Homer and Marge's relationship. p; Damn it, Spider Pig was NOT funny - it was cring-worthy bad.   Amd Homer and Marge having some marriage difficulty is the plot for at least 100 Simpsons episodes.  ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 21:37, 29 September 2008 | Report This Post

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