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Mark Wahlberg
Mila Kunis
Seth Macfarlane
Joel McHale
Giovanni Ribisi.
Seth Macfarlane.
Seth Macfarlane.
Running Time
106 minutes

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You, Me And Furry

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Boston, 1985. Eight year-old loner Johnny Bennett finds a stuffed bear under the Christmas tree. Wishing really, really hard, he transforms it into a walking, talking "thunder buddy for life". Fast forward 25 years and John (Wahlberg) and Ted's slacker antics are fast getting under the skin of John's girlfriend (Kunis). Someone has to go, but who will it be?

If you thought the crazed mind behind Family Guy’s legendary chowder puke-athon (season four, episode eight) had no greater horrors to inflict on living-room floors, think again. Midway through Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s delirious feature debut, some weapons-grade pooing has put all that in the shade. That the culprit is not a hopped-up teddy bear — presumably saving himself for the next trip to the woods — but a stoned hooker called Sauvignon Blanc tells you everything you need to know about MacFarlane’s comedy.

For those slow on the uptake, Ted probably isn’t the place to come for droll social comment or Woody Allen-esque introspection. There are memorable cameos galore, but none of them are by Marshall McLuhan. Instead, MacFarlane straps us in for a red-band roller-coaster of lewd humour, fart gags, pop-culture references, blow-job jokes and killer lines that’s so dizzying it should come with a health warning.

The opening, narrated by Patrick Stewart with eyebrows set to ‘cocked’, plays like a twisted antidote to this year’s barrage of fairy tales. Friendless and shy, eight year-old Johnny wishes his toy bear Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) into existence one stormy night, creating a loyal buddy for himself in the process. His new best pal is hardly Harvey, though. For one thing, everyone can see him, beginning with Johnny’s terrified parents; for another, he quickly develops a potty mouth and a taste for the high life that would shame Kanye.

MacFarlane then spins us deftly through 25 years, showing the now-famous bear spitballing with Johnny Carson, signing autographs and living la vida loca in a terrific, E. T.-referencing montage, before dumping us back on the couch, where Mark Wahlberg’s thirty-something Johnny (now just ‘John’) and his cynical bear friend are found smoking bongs and indulging their love of Flash Gordon. Both of them have grown up, and neither of them have; an arrested development that frustrates John’s high-achieving girlfriend (Mila Kunis), who urges her man to dream beyond his next beer. All the while, she’s forced to fend off the advances of her sleazy boss (Community’s Joel McHale).

What follows, it should be stressed, is not Family Guy: The Movie. To borrow the term of the day, there’s plenty of DNA in common with MacFarlane’s multi-Emmy’ed animation — few could miss the similarities between Ted and Peter Griffin’s husky haplessness or the return of Family Guy alumnus Kunis — but those left cold by the Griffin clan are well catered for by some sharp writing and a winning comic turn by Wahlberg. Fast developing into one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, he delivers the kind of loose charm and comic timing that Adam Sandler used to muster, and, in one tongue-twisting race through trailer-trash first names, flaunts all the verbal dexterity of a rapper. Go figure.

If the hell-for-leather gag rate and Wahlberg and Kunis’ sheer likability elevates this love triangle far above the likes of You, Me And Dupree, major kudos should also go to the film’s FX boffins. Utilising Avatar-grade mo-cap technology, they’ve created a wholly believable central character who just happens to have come from a shelf at FAO Schwarz. If Monsters, Inc. made fur fly in an animation, Ted brings incredible detail to a live-action environment. Inevitably there are flaws. The odd joke whizzes wide of the mark amid the mayhem and the climax sacrifices laughs for a gratuitous chase sequence. The film’s bad guy, Ted’s “biggest fan” (played with whiny relish by Giovanni Ribisi), spirals the plot across Boston’s seedier side via speeding cars, punch-ups and a deranged visit to Fenway Park that’s unlike anything we saw in Moneyball. It’s fun but off-kilter — think Dennis Lehane on helium — and distracts from the fact that John’s biggest enemy is, of course, himself.

Crass, supremely silly and very, very funny, Ted is the comedy of the summer.

Reviewed by Phil de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Ted
Empire Star Rating

Formula but funny

A little boy wishes his teddy would come to life and be his best friend. Lo and behold, his wish is granted and some 30 years later we see the two of them are inseparable and complete losers. Pot-smoking, potty-mouthed and unemployed, Ted may look super-cute but he’s a bad influence on Wahlberg’s character. The powerplay that emerges between him and Wahlberg’s girlfriend Kunis is probably not the most interesting aspect of the film, and the plotting is very formulaic. However, ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 10:15, 07 June 2015 | Report This Post

If You Can Afford To Sacrifice Humour For Heart, You'll Have A Great Time

First things first; Ted was not as funny as I hoped or expected. Being a fan of Family Guy, I hoped that MacFarlane would have at a different, more universal type of humour. Whilst it can be said that Ted features a different kind of humour, it's still very much a Family Guy spinoff at heart, being all at once crass, filthy and immature. Despite this, there's a surprising charm to be gleaned from Ted. Setting itself apart from other Apatow-esque frat-pack style comedies, Ted has a very warm stor... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 16:18, 28 March 2013 | Report This Post


If you like family guy then you will find this the years best comedy . I laughed all the way through. It is Peter griffin in a teddy bear but who cares , very funny ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Magicbigp at 08:24, 25 December 2012 | Report This Post

watchable crap

But 4 star funny? Really really not even close. I think I managed a smile once ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chris wootton at 14:56, 17 December 2012 | Report This Post

Teddy Bore

Ok I saw this as an in-flight movie so maybe that's not a good place to judge it, but it still made me want to chuck plane food at fellow passengers. The worst thing was how lame it was. The jokes and one-liners seemed telegraphed, and became totally predictable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Normal Control at 02:32, 11 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Outstanding

L: soulfood One of Best Movie of 2012. (Essntial Viewing if you love Comedy ) aid no one ...sane ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 20:49, 07 December 2012 | Report This Post


Watching Ted. I honestly don't get it. With this and the last two seasons of Family Guy Seth MacFarlane has lost it. Painfully unfunny. ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 20:48, 07 December 2012 | Report This Post

A few good (OK, very good) lines with long stretches of dullness inbetween. How can a film about a talking teddy bear from the creator of Family Guy be so boring? We fast-forwarded the end ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by philshepp at 23:41, 04 December 2012 | Report This Post

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

I can't believe how much people have been raving about this film! It just isn't funny! Marky Mark's acting is at an all time low and the Boston accent he attempts is so annoying. The only reason I carried on watching was because of the epic beauty of Miss Kunis. It's not the worst film I've ever seen but it is pretty bad! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by guysalisbury at 12:21, 29 November 2012 | Report This Post

Great fun

Really liked it quite a lot. Thought it was a really fun way to pass a couple of hours and I enjoyed it immensely. It's a hell of a lot better than anything Macfarlane has done for tv for ages. Found myself laughing pretty much all the way through. Wahlberg seems to really shine in comedy films, probably because he's having fun and not just phoning it in like he does with most of these crap roles he gets. Found all the Flash Gordon stuff funny and most of the jokes were good. Really surprised me... More

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Posted by Coyleone at 00:33, 10 November 2012 | Report This Post


One of Best Movie of 2012. (Essntial Viewing if you love Comedy ) ... More

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Posted by soulfood at 22:29, 20 October 2012 | Report This Post


Useless American styled sitcom hi-jinks with added profanity. Childish fart jokes, sex jokes etc, etc, etc.... yawn........ Why can’t anyone make a half decent knockabout comedy anymore? And I'm not talking about blasted Adam Sadler either!!!! How the hell does he keep getting work??? This deserves a big fat zero but the prompt keeps telling me to stick a rating in.... ... More

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Posted by ROTGUT at 19:01, 01 October 2012 | Report This Post

tp://]Tedf you`d describe Seth MacFarlane`s feature film debut as a 100 long live-action version of Family Guy, you wouldn`t be too far off. It has the rude (but fun) and black humour of the brilliant animation tv show and the nods towards popular cultur. The teddy bear itself is beautifully made and often looks very "real". The interaction between Ted and Mark Wahlberg is very good. That is what the film is about: their chemistry and the jokes that we ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 20:46, 16 September 2012 | Report This Post

Ted - okay film, not very good comedy (for me...obviously)

‘Ted is the funniest film I have ever seen!’, ‘I have never laughed so hard in my life!’, ‘You’ve gotta see it! I guarantee it will, literally, have you rolling around in the aisles!’. These are just some of the things that I was hearing about the ‘comedy of the summer’ by the creator of the hit-anicom Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane: Ted. So, you can imagine that I went into the screening expecting to come out with a six pack from laughing so much. And did I? Nope. Did I laugh at all? A few times... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by APSmith507 at 20:20, 12 September 2012 | Report This Post

Vulgar, But Very Funny! (Hence The Four Stars.)

Probably not as good as Hot Fuzz, but Ted has an excellent story, a good moral, a great range of talented actors and appropriate (Or Maybe Inappropriate!) jokes that makes this movie a solid, classic comedy! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SebMModerns at 16:42, 31 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ted

funniest film of the year. Also liked that Mila Kunis character wasn't potrayed as some shrewish girlfriend like these bromance movies tend to do. sure some of the jokes felt like they were lifted straight from family guy, but this is definatly it's own movie. ... More

Posted by blackduck at 16:51, 29 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ted

L: MonsterCat Quite excited to be seeing this tomorrow. I've seen the clip when Marky Mark is trying to guess the name of Ted's new girfriend and it's a brilliant little piece of comedic acting. Best scene in the film - sadly, it doesn't have much competition. ... More

Posted by matty_b at 17:27, 07 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Likeable but too many serious moments let it down...

Takes a while to get going but once it does it quite fun. The Fight between Ted and Mark Wahlberg is priceless. ... More

Posted by NCC1701A at 10:56, 07 August 2012 | Report This Post

Likeable but too many serious moments let it down...

It is difficult to dislike Ted with its charismatic cast and and enjoyable premise. However its not the laugh every minute comedy I was expecting. There are many huge chunks of purposefully serious character moments which whilst seem genuine enough sit awkwardly with the daft silliness of its humour. The jokes themselves are great but given the lack of frequency hilarious is perhaps too far. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trainedasninja at 01:22, 07 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ted

Thankfully not the one-joke film I expected, with a surprising amount of depth at times, and Mark Wahlberg actually gives a performance, though of course it's the perfectly paced laughs which dominate, including some genius funny lines. Almost beats The Dictator as funniest films of the year so far. 8/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:15, 06 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ted

Loved it. Certainly the best comedy I've seen this year (although if I think about it, there haven't been that many comedies of note this year so far, has there?) and, although it does suffer a little toward the end, the number of gags that hit the mark far out number the ones that don't. As with Family Guy I just love the way they ignore the questions that people would ask about the talking bear (how does he smoke?! how does he drink?!) and they just get on with it. If you're not a fan of M... More

Posted by porntrooper at 16:59, 06 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ted

Quite excited to be seeing this tomorrow. I've seen the clip when Marky Mark is trying to guess the name of Ted's new girfriend and it's a brilliant little piece of comedic acting. ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 11:59, 06 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Gleefully offensive

I remember Teddy Ruxpin! Man, I loved that cartoon. ... More

Posted by homersimpson_esq at 11:47, 06 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Gleefully offensive

Worth it just for the Teddy Ruckspin bit. (for those old enough to remember him? ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:20, 06 August 2012 | Report This Post

Gleefully offensive

...and surprisingly charming. Loved it! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sephiroth7 at 13:27, 04 August 2012 | Report This Post

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