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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.99%
Worth A Look: 24.07%
Pretty Bad: 21.6%
Total Crap: 5.56%

9 reviews, 108 user ratings

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Bruce Almighty
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Jim Carrey is God, but the script isn't divine."
2 stars

In 'Bruce Almighty,' Jim Carrey, once again gamely playing a powerless schmuck for the first reel, gets the power of God.

It's not specifically what he asked for; cursing the Creator over a particularly bad day (humiliated during his flunky comic-relief-TV-reporter job, fired, beaten up, etc.), Carrey just wants to know why God hates him so. It's the suffering of Job reloaded for the media age (will many Americans sympathize with the angst of a presumably well-paid TV personality?), and God, in the person of Morgan Freeman, calls Carrey to Him and offers him a job. "I'm going on vacation," God says, blithely leaving the universe in Carrey's jittery hands. The message is clear: If you think being God is easy, you try it.

Bruce Almighty is interesting only insofar as it proposes God as a basically well-meaning if remote deity, not the maddening Shaper who drove William Blake to wonder if the same God made the lamb and the tiger. Fundamentalists whose noses are forever tilted for the scent of sacrilege won't find much in the movie to object to. Morgan Freeman, for instance, embodies God as a hip update of George Burns' avuncular, amused Lord in Oh, God. Both actors are a stroke of casting wit, but a wilder, funnier movie might've given us, say, Danny DeVito or a tipsy, irritable Eddie Izzard as God (heck, we've already had Keanu Reeves as both Buddha and a neo-Christ, no pun intended).

Essentially, this is another of Jim Carrey's surefire vehicles that can be whittled down to a phrase: Jim Carrey is the Grinch; Jim Carrey is God. I like the guy, and I wish his box-office failures with The Majestic (understandable -- that was a stiff) and Man on the Moon (I had the poster hanging on my wall for years) hadn't scared him into such bland, unchallenging material. What would Jim Carrey do if given ultimate power? The question provokes a grin of anticipation, but he pretty much does what you see him do in the trailer. There is one spectacularly funny bit when he sabotages the newscast of snotty rival Steve Carell, but the big laughs in the scene belong to Carell, not Carrey.

The movie seems squarely aimed at a large audience (check the opening-weekend figures) that might be wondering, in these harrowing times, if God knows what He's doing. Bruce Almighty is here to reassure doubters and put them in their place at the same time. The godlike Carrey fritters away his power and can't even hold onto his girlfriend of five years (Jennifer Aniston, being a good sport). Only God, the movie says, knows how to use the power, and He uses it mostly by not using it: "You all have the power," He lectures Carrey. What should be a wild, unruly, possibly sacrilegious fable think Life of Brian becomes a didactic companion piece to The Truman Show, with Carrey as hapless puppeteer instead of hapless puppet. And it says essentially the same (humanist) thing: Take your life into your own hands.

Carrey does get off some good riffs, mostly in his pre-God fits of pique; I enjoyed his obscene jazz-pantomime gesture, destined to be copied by giggling kids from shore to shore. The subtext, though, shows us a man with the power of God who's still insecure and, as the movie spells out, wants to be loved.

Carrey, who's been the closest thing to God studio executives have seen since the canonization of Tom Cruise, may agree with some of us that he's not using his powers to their full potential, and this material which could've been played by anyone, really is Exhibit A. But its box-office returns will be hard to argue with.

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originally posted: 01/28/07 09:41:39
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell very funny religious fanatics wont like it though 4 stars
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
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? 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
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  23-May-2003 (PG)



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