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Overall Rating
3.59

Awesome45.5%
Worth A Look: 19.5%
Average: 5.5%
Pretty Bad: 7.5%
Total Crap: 22%

11 reviews, 134 user ratings


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Zoolander
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by Scott Weinberg

"Subtly smart, ridiculously silly and very entertaining."
4 stars

With equal portions of scathing satire and slapstick silliness, Zoolander is a clever and funny treat. Boasting an ensemble of strong comedians and an "anything for a laugh" attitude, this is one of the smartest "dumb" movies to come along in years. But like Stiller's earlier films, this one may also prove to be an "acquired taste".

In satire, half the battle is picking the right target. With Zoolander, Ben Stiller nails the male modeling industry right on its gel-covered head and a half-dozen other irritating conventions to boot. Delivered in a joyously empty-headed and colorful package, Zoolander ranks among the funnier films of 2001. Despite a few slow spots and a handful of pretty awful punch lines, Stiller's movie is a consistently goofy and wild ride.

Derek Zoolander is the world's most popular (and vacuous) male model. His pinched-up visage is plastered on every billboard and TV screen around the world. Although he's been at the top of the modeling game for years, Derek now has some real competition in the up-and-coming Hansel. After failing to win his fourth consecutive Male Model of the Year Award, Derek quits the runway game and heads back home to visit his coal-mining Pa. (Jon Voight contributes greatly to this minor subplot.)

After proving to be a pretty awful coal miner, Derek gets back into the modeling game with the help of the devious fashion designer Mugatu. As if this manic farce wasn't already enjoyably plot-heavy enough, we also learn that the male modeling business has long been a front for the world's most infamous assassinations. Mugatu is intent on keeping this trend alive as he goes about brainwashing Derek to kill the president of Malaysia. (Don't ask.)

As an actor, Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents) infuses Zoolander with an overpowering air of vanity and likeable stupidity. If Zoolander isn't necessarily the funniest character in the film, that's because Stiller wisely chose some truly funny people to play the supporting roles. As Hansel, Owen Wilson (Shanghai Noon) is a perfect adversary. He taunts and sneers and whines and irritates to a delirious degree, and Wilson is a breath of fresh air every time he's onscreen. As the evil Mugatu, Will Ferrell (The Ladies Man) simply steals scenes whole with his wonderfully over-the-top performance, and offers most of the movie's best gags.

Other players worth mentioning include Christine Taylor (The Brady Bunch Movie, Mrs. Ben Stiller) as an intrepid reporter for Time Magazine, Jerry Stiller (Hairspray, Ben Stiller's Dad) as a duplicitous modeling agent with a prostate problem and Milla Jovovich (Dazed and Confused) as Mugatu's right-hand assassin, a sexy Russian femme fatale. Also keep an eye out for some small yet amusing cameos from the likes of Andy Dick, Billy Zane, David Duchovny, David Bowie, Vince Vaughn and even Ben Stiller's Ma, Anne Meara.

A movie has to be somewhat smart to be so successfully silly, and Zoolander is a comedy that nails its targets with impressive regularity. Not content with only skewering the male model biz, Zoolander also offers some sly references to movies like The Manchurian Candidate, The Godfather, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Jazz Singer. Most of the biggest laughs come from Derek's work, most notably an inspired compilation of his commercials, a brilliantly unpredictable gas station musical number, and his television appearance as a 'MerMan'.

I'm looking forward to the day when Derek Zoolander (the model) and Austin Powers (the photographer) can work together.

Much of Zoolander's appeal will rest solely on two things: How much you like Ben Stiller and how irritated you are by models in general. As a director, Stiller seems to keep improving. Both of his earlier efforts (Reality Bites and The Cable Guy) were fairly underrated movies that failed to find an audience. The third time around, Stiller shows a knack for broad punch lines, quick pacing and a sleek, colorful presentation.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5243&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/16/01 08:12:05
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User Comments

6/18/14 Haley S. I love this movie! It's one of my favorite comedies. 5 stars
1/22/12 Kyle Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 5 stars
5/10/09 stinky mcdoody idon'tknowwhoyouarebutzoolandreisaqualityflickandiamsorryyoucan'tseethat 5 stars
11/18/08 Ivanna Poopalot This movie blows dead dogs 1 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Ben Stiller's best work. Seems dumb at first, but is actually kinda brilliant. 5 stars
8/24/08 Samantha Pruitt Hilariously stupid! sooo funny, Ben Stiller at his best (or worst?) 5 stars
7/24/08 Shigu22 Hilariously stupid, had me bending over in laughter. I'm little hot potato right now! 5 stars
6/22/08 PAUL SHORTT IT SELDOM RISES ABOVE DUMB AND BORING 1 stars
12/17/07 SylviaP oh man, i loooove this movie way too much, way, way too much, lol 5 stars
6/25/07 johnnyfog Almost as funny as Dodgeball and just as many cameos 4 stars
3/31/07 Champs 07 An awesome movie! Whoever doesn't like this movie has no right to watch comedies. 5 stars
3/21/07 James Dunn Sadly, I can't go left either... ended my modelling career 5 stars
3/06/07 Dude terrible 1 stars
2/21/07 C One of my favourite comedies 5 stars
7/23/06 LuVeRbOiJoHnNaY THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER! I watched this over 20 times! 5 stars
11/25/05 rebekah ison great!!! all those that say it is crap deserve to no longer be wanderin the earth 5 stars
9/24/05 Nadine Thompson A fabulous hilarity! It made me laugh out loud, causing the whole room to stare at me. 5 stars
8/17/05 ES The only worthwhile aspect of the fashion industry are movies like this one that smash it 5 stars
6/12/05 Gecko Fanfoot A lobotomizingly good time for the whole family. 5 stars
1/27/05 MyGreenBed Ben Stiller is one of the least realized talents out there, also one of the most overrated. 1 stars
1/04/05 tatum I giggled all the way through 4 stars
1/03/05 chris. this is not a "great film." but it's funny, and i love it 4 stars
11/24/04 [tRiAD] Absolutely insane levels of stupidity from stiller and wilson... what more do you need?!? 5 stars
10/29/04 .brittany. wow this movie is the best fucking movie ever! its definately a must see...WOW hilarious!! 5 stars
9/05/04 eva one of my favourite movies 5 stars
8/21/04 livid if you dont like this movie, you need a better sense of humor. and der e lick my balls 5 stars
8/06/04 DM Will Ferrell is funny; the rest of this movie sucks 2 stars
7/12/04 kitfo1 richly repays repeated viewings 4 stars
6/28/04 Jamie It's horrible the 1st time you watch it, for serious it's funnier the next times 4 stars
6/19/04 R.W. Welch Too far over the top much of the time but has some clever comic moments. 3 stars
4/05/04 Me Typical crap. Stiller still sucks. 1 stars
3/20/04 Julee Pooopward This is me FAVORITE MOVIE EVER!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/17/04 Jonni The best american comedy around 5 stars
1/15/04 ?!?! Yah this movie was halirious if ur smart enough to catcht he jokes 5 stars
12/25/03 sam mealer this is the best movie of ALL TIME!!! 5 stars
12/23/03 Chris I hated this movie. Anyone who likes it is stupid. HORRIBLE. TERRIBLE. DON'T SEE IT. 1 stars
11/23/03 amy a funny movie if you're clever enough 5 stars
11/17/03 mohd fuck the american +australian+brit.....may u burn in hell 1 stars
11/17/03 Joey One of my favorite stupid movies! 4 stars
11/10/03 ???? DON'T EVER TALK OR SAY OR WRITE ABOUT MALAYSIA IF YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT. 1 stars
10/15/03 Sarah Jane it was the funniest movie ever! 5 stars
10/09/03 Chase Nichole Funniest movie ever!! ...that Hansel's so hot right now, lol! 5 stars
9/17/03 Alex Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he's a cool guy!! 5 stars
9/11/03 Neil Forster Anyone who doesn't like this film does not understand comedy, and shouldn't pretend they do 5 stars
9/05/03 andrew tan stupid,stuipid,stupid 1 stars
8/14/03 MalaysiaBoleh Crap! A Malaysian prime minister who looks like a Buddhist monk with Islamic scriptures?? 1 stars
8/02/03 Double G The freak gas station accident was funny as hell 5 stars
7/18/03 Chris Are you all idoits this was horrible, An ambination to films. Made for people without taste 1 stars
7/11/03 Seabass242 One of the funniest movies ever. It goes way over some peoples head. 5 stars
6/22/03 Melissa I laugh my ass off every time I see it, this is possibly the funniest movie of all time. 5 stars
6/20/03 John Aster Habig dark satire Drop Dead Gorgeous with politics mixed in 5 stars
6/15/03 cynthia A movie that grows on you 4 stars
6/04/03 Picky critic Mostly a one-joke movie--even if that one joke is kind of funny 2 stars
5/16/03 Piz how do you go from Meet the Parents to this? crap, only saving grace is Stiller's dad. 1 stars
3/18/03 unknown any one who doesn't like it is a LOSER 5 stars
3/13/03 Roy Smith I actually liked this piece of crap. Pray for me! 4 stars
2/20/03 stevo i will answer your question with another question, how many abigidols do u see modelling? 5 stars
2/05/03 123 it's extremely dumb and funny 4 stars
2/04/03 Turtle Perhaps one of the stupidest films of all time, yet one of the funniest fashion parodies. 4 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones About as Funny as a Baby in a Rotisserie 1 stars
12/23/02 ThereIsNoGod Funny... If you have Downs Syndrome... 1 stars
11/29/02 Fucker GREAT 5 stars
11/14/02 will "what is this, a center for ants?" 4 stars
10/19/02 Derelique I've got news for you, Einstein - it's funny. 5 stars
9/18/02 hum if you want to see a no brainer......... 2 stars
8/22/02 TheChronic Wait for it to come out on video and even then forget to rent it. has it's redeeming pts. 2 stars
8/21/02 Film Dude Really, really fucking stupid... but funny. 4 stars
8/19/02 Del Gas fight was hilarious... otherwise, Stiller and company are overrated 2 stars
8/18/02 P.Rodriguez Dumbass movie trying to be smart. Can't do neither. Pure Crapppp. 1 stars
8/13/02 blakers a great film 5 stars
8/12/02 .Choadushouse. When watching, it's semi-dull. But it sticks with you and you'll be quoting it constantly!! 4 stars
8/12/02 Jim Amusing and totally whacked. 4 stars
7/14/02 sdjfsdkjf that goddamn voice. Not funny. 2 stars
6/16/02 The Bomb 69 so disappointing, I love stupid humor and Ben Stiller but this movie WAS NOT FUNNY 2 stars
5/27/02 Amy Suprising, fucked up and funny. 4 stars
5/19/02 Chowie u can read minds? 5 stars
5/18/02 Jake What a piece of trash. gas fight only funny scene 1 stars
4/23/02 Dude... This movie was HILARIOUS! What are you bitches talking about? No sense of humor obviously! 5 stars
4/22/02 koogles Really funny satire. The gas station scene is classic. 4 stars
4/21/02 Kendall Kramer i loved the movie, its the freakin BEST MOVIE EVER!! besides Ace Ventura Pet Detective 5 stars
4/08/02 George Not the intelligent stupidity it's made out to be. Not funny, not interesting. 1 stars
4/06/02 trashi this movie is one of those movies that u can watch over and over and never get tired of it 5 stars
4/03/02 Edfink Lombardo Should have been funny, but it missed its mark...bland, run of the mill, complete garbage 1 stars
4/02/02 bobbuttons i loved it 5 stars
4/01/02 Joe Schulz I came back from the dead to kill myself 1 stars
3/28/02 Stickypaws I think Zoolander ROCKED, It was really funny too. 5 stars
3/24/02 phantom its o.k., owen wilson makes the show imop 4 stars
3/22/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back) Zoolander is awesome. Almost as funny as "Dumb and Dumber" and it's really fun! 5 stars
3/13/02 Spyguy2 The ultimate 3-star comedy (out of 5)...nothing more, nothing less 3 stars
3/02/02 Chowie You can read minds? 5 stars
2/26/02 Butterbean Stiller took a great idea and fumbled it. A nice surprise to see Billy Zane in a cameo. 2 stars
2/09/02 Kent Millard UNBELIEVEABLY BAD. No redeeming qualities at all - and I am a Ben Stiller fan. Really sucks 1 stars
1/14/02 jawsboy Stupid, funny, entertaining, dull.??? It was fun, but not great. kinda like austin powers. 4 stars
12/19/01 Jón Snćvar Ómarsson THE MOVIE IS GREAT AND FUNNY 5 stars
12/10/01 Tam Hilarious satire on the fashion industry. Top star cameos. Loved the orgy scene best! 5 stars
12/01/01 officer412/l Zoolander. Poolander more like. 2 stars
11/12/01 Fabio too much stupid, nothing to laft 1 stars
11/03/01 Felicity Wilson This movie is just a bit of fun. People shouldnt take it so seriously. Get a life! 5 stars
11/03/01 moviegoer i laughed SO hard!!! hilariously funny in just the way you want on a hard day 5 stars
10/31/01 livedarryl Definitely my next Austin Powers. Gotta buy the DVD...Laughed through the entire movie! 5 stars
10/30/01 Greg Nixon So stupid it's hilarious, Ben Stiller is fucking funny! 5 stars
10/29/01 daniboy sorta funny (not that much) 3 stars
10/22/01 Brad Not the worst movie ever, but close. I liked the Godfather and 2001 references. 2 stars
10/20/01 Thor-Leo yawn 2 stars
10/16/01 Brad this movie was obviously hilarious 5 stars
10/15/01 Gary I smiled a few times...got pretty bored. 2 stars
10/14/01 Gia Carangi You guys are too easily amused. This movie had a cute plot, but lame jokes! 2 stars
10/13/01 Bill Cosby Fuck HSG,VerbalK, HasBen Stiller, Ron, Jake and KCobain THIS MOVIE WAS REALLY FUNNY 5 stars
10/11/01 HSG Yet another piece of shit from Hollywood for the ignorant audience. 1 stars
10/11/01 VerbalK What exactly was the joke. Unfunny, predictable and full of uninteresting cameos. 1 stars
10/10/01 k259it3ss zoolander was the funniest movie ever will ferell and ben stiller were hilarious 5 stars
10/10/01 ajay I laughed my ass off... 5 stars
10/10/01 HasBen Stiller shit 1 stars
10/08/01 ntwrage funny as hell, see it twice. 5 stars
10/07/01 KCobain Only highlight was orange frappucino part. Not much else is funny. 2 stars
10/04/01 Fish Eye One of the best comedies in the past few years. Laughed my ass off! 5 stars
10/03/01 Butterbean A great idea, but a dry execution. The funniest thing about it is Wilson's fucked up nose. 2 stars
10/02/01 asdfk; Some good scenes, but felt let-down overall 3 stars
10/02/01 T-Rev I love the orange mocha frapachino, and the orgy, and the walk off,oh shit this flim ruled! 5 stars
10/02/01 Jeff and the greatness just come enjoy this movie and.... relax.... puhahahahahahaha!!!!!! 5 stars
10/02/01 RK Bad, bad and more bad!!! 1 stars
10/01/01 Caiphn The hypnosis scene changed my life. 4 stars
9/30/01 Asstretcher Yes...very good! congradulatory ovations Mr. Zoolander 4 stars
9/30/01 Benjamin Lesbian Humorous, but not laugh-out-loud-funny 3 stars
9/29/01 spaceworm Read Ebert on this one. It's the kind of thing he won his Prize for. 1 stars
9/29/01 Scott Swain If you don't get this movie is making fun of the shallow sideof our culture... 5 stars
9/25/01 Joel Morford ben stiller has never been funier.this film was great it"s just silly fucking fun I loved i 5 stars
9/25/01 Jekyll That's okay Brown Bomber, you wouldn't know your dick if you were sucking on it. 5 stars
9/13/01 Sheree Mathiesen I think it would be great and a funny movie it would be 4 stars
8/31/01 disco the b.z., v.v., and j.v. cameos alone make this flick rock. 5 stars
7/31/01 cleo ace 5 stars
6/11/01 megan badass flick 5 stars
4/02/01 R.P. hit by a car rules I do the jitterbug into the King's mom's bedroom for some awesome erotic bloodletting 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Sep-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Nov-2001




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