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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Will Ferrell
John C Reilly
Richard Jenkins
Mary Steenburgen.
Directors
Adam McKay.
Screenwriters
Will Ferrell
Adam McKay.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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Step Brothers
Ferrell and Reilly in a case of seriously arrested development


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Plot
Brennan (Ferrell) is a 39 year-old stay-at-home layabout. So is Dale (Reilly), except he’s 40. When Brennan’s mum (Steenburgen) marries Dale’s dad (Jenkins), the two are forced to live together. Can they put their differences aside and finally get off their asses?


Review
Step Brothers
Talladega Nights, the second movie from the SNL-spawned creative team of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, may have made big bucks but it was pretty disappointing, failing to capture the magic of Anchorman, their free-wheeling debut. But in introducing John C. Reilly as an unexpected comedic foil for Ferrell’s blustering idiocy, McKay and his writing partner laid the foundations for their third movie. And if it’s still a few notches beneath the inspired lunacy of Ron Burgundy and chums, it’s a definite return to form.

 

Although the problem of grown men refusing to leave the parental home is very real, McKay and Ferrell aren’t interested in social comment. Instead, they’re focused on making us laugh, a policy that hinges on the chemistry generated by Ferrell and Reilly.

Though the line blurs between Brennan and Dale (both are idiotic curly-haired man-children, engines of id, impulse, immature posturing and, Ferrell fans will be pleased to hear, primal screaming), Ferrell and Reilly are a superb double-act, Reilly’s cockiness meshing well with Ferrell’s puppy dog innocence. They’re fine separately, but when the two are together, be it during an extended fight scene with a bunch of kids, or a demented sleepwalking sequence, the movie is a blast. Crucially, they also make Dale and Brennan - who could very easily be obnoxious and unpleasant - likable.

However, there are missteps, such as the decision to root the action in a mundane world, which works against the outlandish humour (even Jenkins and Steenburgen, both fine actors, can’t sell the concept that anyone would put up with the crap Dale and Brennan pull). More damaging is McKay’s pursuit of an R rating (most likely a 15 over here), which doesn’t sit well with the tone of the movie or their established universe, which previously - erection gags and all - felt innocent and joyous. Gags about exposed balls or licking dog shit do not.

But when McKay focuses on the pure simplicity of the pair getting stupidly excited over tree houses, Chewbacca masks and samurai swords, Step Brothers is a hugely entertaining exercise in the comedy of the random, complete with improvised non-sequiturs, bonkers one-liners (“Your voice is a combination of Fergie and Jesus”), and a triumphant climactic sequence featuring a montage that’s actually funny.


Verdict
It’s no Anchorman, but it’s several steps in the right direction.


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Step Brothers
Empire Star Rating

Empire is spot on, except for the redeeming features

Yeah, the outlandish comedy jars in the mundane setting and the gross-out gags don't sit well with the premise - but I disagree that the characters are likeable and only a few of the jokes 'land' making it, for me, a rather dull, frustrating movie given the talent involved. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by philshepp at 23:50, 02 November 2013 | Report This Post


"Brendon has a"... something something.

Hilarious. Outrageous. Heart touching. Step Brothers is one of the best comedy's of all time, and to be honest its one of my top five. Overall a must see for anyone who's humor is beyond the realms of crude ...aka that means hyper crude. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jericho117 at 08:52, 22 October 2013 | Report This Post


My Favourite Movie.

I have watched countless movies since I have been alive. And personally I'm more of a horror fan than anything else but this, this is so so so great. I couldn't belive my eyes when they rated this 3 STARS! In my book this will be the movie of will ferrals career. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by HorrorFan77 at 20:57, 27 May 2013 | Report This Post


so it works out his mum had him at 14

puts a dampner on the film if you ask me. poor typecastin from before the film gets aired. riley doesnt exactly act too dumb to find pullin a bird either makin his character also unrealistic. got boring mid way thru and stayed that way to the end. grimaced more then laughed. wil fans will love it. if Uv got any monty python in ur collection id give it a miss ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sheath at 18:58, 24 December 2011 | Report This Post


Somewhat Entertaining

The unlikely pairing of Reilly and Ferrell seems to pay off better than expected, and some amusing lines aside, Step Brothers is little more than a solid comedy with a rather ridiculous storyline. I have no doubt that it'll delight the masses from the 'Ferrell' school of thought, but, in all honesty, this should've been much better. Take it or leave it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 15:45, 22 March 2011 | Report This Post


Loved It

Absolutely Fabulous!!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ryanchallenger at 16:12, 13 February 2011 | Report This Post


Loved It

Absolutely Fabulous!!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ryanchallenger at 16:12, 13 February 2011 | Report This Post


3 STARS

NOT AS GOOD AS ANCHORMAN, BUT STILL DEFINITELY WORTH SEEING.......... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 18:14, 23 January 2011 | Report This Post


Comedy gold ;) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Lynchie at 09:35, 06 June 2010 | Report This Post


Comedy gold ;) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Lynchie at 09:35, 06 June 2010 | Report This Post


I watched this movie and then five minutes of Anchorman for the first time and thought this was better. Definitely very funny x Also, have you heard the prosthetic ball song on the commentray? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ArraCrepsley at 10:53, 03 January 2010 | Report This Post


Adam Mckay's best

This is a brilliantly written, hilarious movie. Anyone that tells you otherwise has probably been lobotomized somewhere along the line. Such a great premise for a movie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Smootle at 17:51, 19 September 2009 | Report This Post


Brilliant

I had convulsions throughout this movie laughing my ass off. Ferrell is a genius!!! Funniest man on the planet ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by johncarrelson at 15:36, 11 July 2009 | Report This Post


Brilliant

I had convulsions throughout this movie laughing my ass off. Ferrell is a genius!!! Funniest man on the planet ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by johncarrelson at 15:35, 11 July 2009 | Report This Post


Mediocre

I've only seen bits of Talladega Nights, but what little I saw made me laugh more than this latest offering. Aside from the bunk bed gag there wasn't a whole lot of truly laugh out loud moments in Step Brothers. Empire has hit the nail on the head in pointing out the unnecessary pursuit of an R rating. A lot of the coarse swearing was out of place and some of the jokes would have been funnier without it. I wouldn't call it a Marmite film, I just feel too many Will Ferrell comedies are mediocre f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Real Alex Young at 16:48, 31 May 2009 | Report This Post


Step Brothers

Absolute crap. Will Ferrell takes advantage of his cult following by throwing together a 2-bit reel in the hope of raising a couple extra million. Did anyone else think half way through that the Ferrells and Reillys characters were made out to be special needs? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mrfleets at 22:42, 29 April 2009 | Report This Post


My Marmite Movie

Three stars !? Empire what were you thinking , what a cop out. There is no middle ground with this movie. You either love it or hate it. I loved it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by flennen at 03:02, 16 February 2009 | Report This Post


My Marmite Movie

Three stars !? Empire what were you thinking , what a cop out. There is no middle ground with this movie. You either love it or hate it. I loved it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by flennen at 03:02, 16 February 2009 | Report This Post


If I could say one word about this movie it would be... Genuis. It truley is a hilarious movie. Will Ferral is a comedy master. Bring on Anchorman 2. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by movie wizard at 20:09, 31 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

Terrible film, I love anchor man, tall nights and blades of glory are quite good, but this was tripe, didn't laugh once, walked out half way through. Jonti ... More

Posted by Jonti at 20:03, 26 September 2008 | Report This Post


i have not seen any other ferrell movie apart from bewitched fancied a comedy an looking at trailers for this and tropic and pineapple this seemed the funniest. being in the situation of still living with my parents v in my forties i could see the comic potential in the situation this requires ferrel an reilly to act like 10 years old and it is stupid vulgar crass but also very funny in parts it fizzles out at the end at the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by quizkid at 12:26, 24 September 2008 | Report This Post


Fantastic

Went to see this movie with a few friends i thought this was a fantastic movie and well worth watching if you want to go see a real Laugh Out Loud mvie.. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bernardben at 16:25, 15 September 2008 | Report This Post


okay

Some good laughs but it went on for too long and the characters actually became annoyingly childish around half way through ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 20:49, 11 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Step Bros

four fucking stars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shawshank prisoner at 18:53, 10 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Step Bros

I have to agree with most of other posters here.  There are funny moments but too much of this film either covers ground that we have been over before or simply isn't funny enough.  It is the nature of Ferrell and McKay's highly improvisational technique that there will be many misses before a hit happens and this is one of those times when more of the misses have made it into the film.   As much as I like Ferrell, I can't help but feel that he is better employed as a support... More

Posted by Groovy Mule at 18:02, 10 September 2008 | Report This Post


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