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Overall Rating
3.33

Awesome: 21.12%
Worth A Look: 23.6%
Average27.95%
Pretty Bad: 21.74%
Total Crap: 5.59%

9 reviews, 107 user ratings


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Bruce Almighty
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by Daniel Kelly

"An average Carrey vehicle is still better than most."
3 stars

Is “Bruce Almighty” the best Jim Carrey film ever? I’ll answer that with a resounding no. The manic comic has been responsible for some of the funniest films of the last 20 years (“Ace Ventura Pet Detective”, “Liar Liar”), and has handed in some of the sharpest dramatic turns of any recent Hollywood superstar (“The Truman Show”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), so 2003’s uneven “Bruce Almighty” doesn’t exactly rank as one of his most memorable. Taking a high concept premise (not an unusual occurrence in Carrey’s career), “Almighty” imagines a world in which God endows his power on a mere mortal, and when said mortal is Jim Carrey you know it’s going to be a stupendously silly time.

Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a struggling reporter, constantly handed fluff pieces whilst other TV staff are granted the material which wins you Pulitzer prizes. After a particularly hideous day sees Bruce fired, the put upon journalist blames God for his misfortune, thus accidently conjuring up a meeting with the Almighty (Morgan Freeman). God gives Bruce his divine abilities temporarily, allowing Bruce to see the strains that being the ultimate creator can produce. However the newly empowered man simply goes about bettering his own life, something that eventually puts a strain on his girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston), and leaves Bruce with a major headache as the prayers of the world go unanswered.

“Bruce Almighty” is two thirds of a really enjoyable comedy, the final act being the disappointing section that lets the entire enterprise down. Director Tom Shadyac (who oversaw the first Ace Ventura flick and “Liar Liar”) keeps a solid energy throughout, but bungles the climax in a heap of sentimentality and schmaltz. The filmmaker has been guilty of overindulging his tearjerker tendencies in the past, 1998’s vile “Patch Adams” being the key example, but at least with that movie there was nothing to ruin. “Patch Adams” was awful from start to finish; “Bruce Almighty” on the other hand has solidly crafted opening and middle sections to undermine.

Carrey balances his inspired lunacy nicely with some lower key dramatic stuff, forcing the movie to raise its game simply through his momentous presence. The relationship with Jennifer Aniston is so-so, the two performers connecting effectively, but struggling to overcome an underwritten romantic dynamic. Aniston is her usual likeable self, and for most of the picture Carrey has no trouble sourcing giggles and smirks from the central concept. His trademark enthusiasm is evident from the first frame and some of the facial gymnastics and impressions he deploys hark back delightfully to the brilliance of Ace Ventura. As God Freeman is exceptionally well cast (his reprisal of the role would later be one of only few bright spots in this film’s unnecessary and Carrey-less sequel “Evan Almighty”), bringing a pathos and wisdom to his depiction of the ultimate being that adds a touch of class to proceedings. Finally a pre-stardom Steve Carell also impresses, playing a snarky newsroom competitor. A sequence involving Carell and some choice teleprompter interference from Carrey is amongst the best this feature has to offer, and showcases just how physically astute and creative a performer Carell can be.

“Bruce Almighty” should have no trouble keeping punters entertained for the majority of its duration, the screenplay combining scatological and irreverent sensibilities with the fertile premise to neat effect. Not every gag works, and some are simply too easy, but on the whole this is a picture primed with belly laughs. Well until the final 25 minutes that is. As Shadyac starts to ply his thick coat of saccharine moralizing on the product he begins to choke its comedic pulse, loosing focus on the religious lampooning, instead becoming preoccupied with the mundane relationship between Carrey and Aniston. The film hits its nadir right at the end, overfilling its sappy glass with sickly sweet moments including a teary and praying Grace, or indeed the very last sequence which overcompensates frantically with a tone of nauseatingly artificial cheer. Before these things start to dominate, “Bruce Almighty” is an excellent studio comedy, but after sitting through them it’s hard to see the film as anything more than a serviceable outing for its talented lead.

It doesn’t feel like seven years since this film’s release, “Bruce Almighty” sparked a healthy box-office take back in the summer of 2003. Some might argue that this was the last live action Carrey picture to deliver truly blockbusting numbers, a combination of odder career choices (“The Number 27”, this year’s fabulous “I Love you Phillip Morris”) and weaker comedies (2005’s mediocre “Fun with Dick and Jane” being a good example) having dimmed the thespian’s financial pulling power. The era of the movie star is now in decline, meaning that Carrey might be remembered alongside the likes of George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Will Smith as the last of this dying breed. “Bruce Almighty” probably won’t be heralded as one of his calling cards in the future, but on the whole it’s a flawed yet moderately diverting effort.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7702&reviewer=425
originally posted: 07/07/11 21:54:18
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User Comments

7/21/12 Sean Harrison Absolutely hilarious. 4 stars
9/11/11 pipesrussell Jim Carey, most overated un talented actor ever. 1 stars
8/12/11 Eric Ivins One of Jim Carreys best 4 stars
7/02/09 cindy LOVE this movie, I watch it frequently, never get bored of it. 5 stars
3/01/09 R.W. Welch The only guy who ever played God convincingly was George Burns. 3 stars
6/05/08 edareenda lyerak what is my name spelled backwards? oh yeha this movie was great 50 stars 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT NO THANK-YOU VERY MUCH! 1 stars
3/31/08 Gorp why is everyone only focusing on jim carrey being funny? maybe that wasn't the point 5 stars
10/17/07 Beau it was rather funny! 3 stars
10/17/07 mb Funny 3 stars
6/28/07 gr117 There are a few bits that still make me LOL. 4 stars
6/11/07 Dark Enchantress loved it, and it was funny! 5 stars
6/10/07 fools♫gold Not bad at all: I could probably even watch it again (just maybe). Tough to rate. 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK How long will it take for Carrey to realize he's not funny any more? 2 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday Better than I expected, but not great. 3 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Hilarious Jim Carrey movie. 3 stars
1/29/07 Lisa Craven This is such a feel good movie, very funny, kept me hooked even though it's a little hokey 4 stars
1/22/07 David A. It's funny, but it has a genuinely inspirational message. 4 stars
12/08/06 justin the movie rocks!!!!! 5 stars
11/30/06 Stanley Thai A funny comedy. 4 stars
8/26/06 Nanni I really love this movie, i've watched it like 100 times!!!!! 5 stars
7/19/06 Anthony Feor Carrey strikes again 5 stars
5/23/06 Agent Sands One of Jim Carrey's best movies. Doesn't beat Eternal Sunshine, but it's good. 4 stars
5/18/06 Roy kind of corny,but funny funny guy 4 stars
5/08/06 Indrid Cold Gets a little flimsy toward the end, but overall it's genuinely funny and entertaining. 4 stars
4/22/06 Poopy Woopy B-e-autiful 5 stars
4/03/06 JRE hysterical! for all skeptical christians, it doesn't make fun of good 4 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer First 1/2 was a comedy. 2nd 1/2 was a chick flick. What gives? 4 stars
8/30/05 Littlepurch Loved it then, still do now. And so does everyone I know. Really a feelgood film. 5 stars
7/24/05 C Vega Carrey is good and even though there are alot of laughs, the whole film is kinda corny 3 stars
6/07/05 JD Not bad but, not Carrey at hi best, it's somewhat funny. 3 stars
4/23/05 Quigley a hilarious Jim carrey triumph. it's not Dumb and Dumber, but it rocks! Jim is the best!!! 5 stars
4/18/05 Jeff Anderson Too selfish & smug for it's own good with a laugh every now & then. M. FREEMAN REDEEMS IT!! 3 stars
4/06/05 tatum Some laughs, but also some really sucky special effects 3 stars
3/28/05 Emma A funny film. 4 stars
3/09/05 ian it's gooooooooooooood... 5 stars
2/28/05 Dan I am not religious, but this movie is funny as hell! 5 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops I got the power to recommend it 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. Nasty and not funny 1 stars
7/12/04 DM Steve Carell is the movie's highlight; stay home and watch "The Daily Show" instead of this 2 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva funny 4 stars
6/12/04 Raymond Lee great laughs 5 stars
6/06/04 Jim Worth it to see Carrey make anchorman spout gibberish. Reminded me of "Modern Problems". 5 stars
6/01/04 Charlene Javier A blast! 4 stars
4/15/04 alice Started out OK but then he "overdid" it again. I hate that about Jim,he's funnier otherwise 3 stars
3/10/04 bsho76 Morgan Freeman is God...nuff said 4 stars
2/29/04 Ingo Cheesy and foreseeable. 2 stars
2/21/04 Littlepurch Bit mushy at end and not as gd as Liar Liar but still hilarious. All actors were brilliant! 5 stars
1/30/04 Matt Thiel Ugh. 2 stars
1/27/04 Katie Malone Heehee! Hilarious! Jim Carrey at his best! 5 stars
1/26/04 Rapunzel Gladstone Cinematic attempts at playing God can waste even the best of actors, Freeman in this case. 2 stars
1/16/04 Gecko Fanfoot A 21st century classic. Carrey is actually funny without overdoing it as usual. 5 stars
1/01/04 Katie Miller It was hilarious 4 stars
12/29/03 Agent Sands The rest of the movie's clever & funny, & Aniston is da bomb. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh... 5 stars
12/21/03 Gingavitus It was gr8! I played God (but I'm not Jim Carrey or Morgan Freeman, u confused readers?!) 5 stars
12/18/03 * An Idiot Who Loves Jim Carey* AWESOME! jim carey is radical! i dont why u people stay it stinks.!WEIRDOS! 5 stars
12/10/03 re Awesom movie! 5 stars
12/09/03 Sarah This movie is one of the best films I have ever seen!! 5 stars
12/07/03 Dr xaivier "It is sure to be a Hit in Hell or at least the Toilet!" 1 stars
12/06/03 bender Did it have to be so serious in act 3? Good flick otherwise. 4 stars
11/28/03 Samuel Not as good as everyone made it out to be, but still very entertaining... 4 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick crap, jim carrey's worst! 3 stars
11/01/03 Littlepurch Soppy ending but a very funny film overall. 4 stars
8/25/03 Heather Purplethorne Atheists might well find this a good basis for a reductio ad absurdum argument. 2 stars
8/21/03 Veronica Tatterworth Slow start; Good comedy when Bruce gets power. Then sinks to dumb theology and male bashing 2 stars
8/08/03 Troy Butler Nothing special, ... occasionally very funny, but tried too hard for a bit of drama!!! 3 stars
8/03/03 Farnq Y See this movie and really laugh out loud 5 stars
8/02/03 mark angelo enriquez tells people how to be GOD in one week 4 stars
8/01/03 Eric no words in the english langauge 1 stars
7/28/03 Harry Go to Bath after seeing this Great Movie 5 stars
7/23/03 Double G An okay movie, kinda boring at some parts. 3 stars
7/08/03 kz Jimmy C is back and funny as ever 4 stars
7/06/03 lee Funny & cute - take Jim C. movies for what they are or don't see! cried laughing at parts. 4 stars
7/06/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back MoFos!!!) What the fuck is w/ U guys & the trailer? The best parts weren't even in the goddamn thing! 5 stars
7/04/03 italian stallion Seen the trailer? ..... then u've seen the movie 3 stars
7/03/03 Jason It was funny. I was crying in spots. 5 stars
6/30/03 seldom scene not that good great bell and jennifer 2 stars
6/29/03 David A. Enough bathroom humor to be Jim Carey, but still has a senstive plot! 5 stars
6/23/03 Mike Jim Carrey making faces for 2 hours is NOT FUNNY !!! 1 stars
6/23/03 MJM103171 Slightly betterthan typical Jim Carrey 3 stars
6/18/03 Goofy Maxwell Goes to show--ya can't please everybody, nor would ya want to. 4 stars
6/17/03 Erin Everyone seems to like it so much I feel like i should to but I don't 2 stars
6/17/03 ^ZuLu^ All the good shots were shown in the trailer. Nothing funny left in the movie.Otherwise:ok. 3 stars
6/14/03 Darth Haggis Thought there would be more to it except what we saw on the trailer 1 stars
6/13/03 Markus Fuchs Great film, but the last fouth is too moral imho 5 stars
6/13/03 your worse goddamn nightmare It was funny with a few comedic twists. Just let yourself enjoy it... 4 stars
6/11/03 Brannie looks good, cant wait 5 stars
6/09/03 Hooters gurl Surprisingly amusing! I would reccommend it for a good summer popcorn comedy. 4 stars
6/04/03 Allen Geez, you people gotta lighten up! This was a cute, harmless comedy. 4 stars
6/04/03 movieboy Okay i thought it could have been funnier though 4 stars
6/03/03 Matt Good - liked it 5 stars
6/02/03 Mike C Predictable, boring and whiny. Promising idea, money grubbing execution! 1 stars
5/31/03 John "cute" 4 stars
5/31/03 Vince S'ok. Funniest part was Steve Carrell from the Daily Show. 3 stars
5/29/03 George Jung Slightly better than average summer crap. 3 stars
5/29/03 Blackops jim carrey does ok in this movie, but i would have thought it would have been funnier 3 stars
5/28/03 nick2k godammit! was this a disney film? sigh....it was fun here and there... 3 stars
5/28/03 malcolm bluestar Weak. Really weak. 2 stars
5/28/03 . LOL 5 stars
5/27/03 Hassan verry funny..... 1 stars
5/27/03 Danny B-E-A-U-tiful 4 stars
5/27/03 Tracy Awesome! U'll laugh all the way through, but it still got the drama!:) 5 stars
5/27/03 Jack Bourbon Eh is right. I can't believe how uncreative this movie is with Carrey playing God. 3 stars
5/26/03 ray laughed harder than I ever have in a movie 5 stars
5/26/03 bender funny stuff. 4 stars
5/25/03 Call me.....daddy ;-) I thought it was really good, the preachy stuff wasn't too preachy..forgot how funny JC was 4 stars
5/24/03 syrius eh.............? 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-May-2003 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  19-Jun-2003




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