‘Our Idiot Brother’ Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 5th, 2011 at 3:35 pm,

Our Idiot Brother Reviews Our Idiot Brother Review

Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother stars Paul Rudd as Ned, the type of affable burnout who would  do the “good deed” of selling a bag of pot to a seemingly depressed cop, thereby landing himself in jail. Ned is the type of upbeat idealist who can’t help but to see the best in people – an important quality when dealing with three crazy sisters, one of whom is a buttoned-down bore (Emily Mortimer), one who is a career-obsessed cutthroat (Elizabeth Banks), and another who is a selfishly hedonistic hipster (Zooey Deschanel).

But as ol’ Ned might say – if you just stay positive, and have faith that people can be their best selves, more often than not they will rise to the occasion.

Our Idiot Brother is one of those rare films which manages to strike a uniquely charming chord that’s hard not to enjoy. The story of the film (by first-time screenwriters David Shisgall and Evgenia Peretz) has a very episodic structure – Ned bouncing from sister to sister causing chaos in their respective troubled lives – but those episodes are each filled with some very enjoyable moments thanks to a strong cast – and in the end, the shenanigans actually have a nice feel-good dramatic payoff.

Aside from the aforementioned main players, the ensemble cast includes familiar (and likable) comedic actors like Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation), Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), Rashida Jones (Park & Recreation), Kathryn Hahn (Hung), Shirley Knight (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Janet Montgomery (Human Target) and T.J. Miller (She’s Out of My League). On their own, each member of the cast has proven their comedic worth – as an ensemble, they play well off one another and have great rapport, making the film a genuinely enjoyable journey from scene to and scene, no matter which combination of characters are onscreen.

Our Idito Brother Paul Rudd and Adam Scott Our Idiot Brother Review

Paul Rudd and Adam Scott in 'Our Idiot Brother'

However, this film would not work at all if not for the talent of Paul Rudd. While the three actresses playing Ned’s sisters are each talented (not to mention, pretty to look at), their respective characters would be somewhat cliched (and somewhat unlikable), save for the presence of oddball Ned, a vibrant character that gives the film the necessary spin to make it fresh and unique. Rudd gets major credit for using his now-established brand of “aw shucks” charisma to balance Ned out as an idiot we can both laugh at and appreciate for his genuine nature. In other hands, the character could easily have been one-note and dismissible, which would’ve totally unraveled this story. Instead, Rudd provides us with the sort of “Forrest Gump” character who is still layered and interesting, despite his dim ways. Set against a cast of cynical/”realistic” characters, Ned becomes a symbol of love and optimism that makes his Jesus-style hairdo and beard all the more fitting.

Thankfully, (former TV) director Jesse Peretz gives his cast room to let their chemistry spark, because truth be told, it’s hard to pinpoint what kind of movie this is. It’s not quite an indie movie, not quite a mainstream comedy or drama – it’s more of a quirky, funny, family drama centered around a charismatic central character. Take that description for what it’s worth, but in my opinion, films that are difficult to label usually offer something unique, and, in this case, enjoyable.

I would recommend Our Idiot Brother to anyone who goes to the movies with no greater expectation than being told a good story with some interesting characters. Those hoping for a more conventional comedic or dramatic experience may not be fully satisfied with the quirky balance the film strikes between the two genres. Then again, who knows? Maybe ol’ Ned’s charms will ultimately win them over, too.

If you’re still making up your mind about seeing the film, check out the red-band trailer below:

Our Idiot Brother is now playing in theaters.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5

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  1. Wow, this is the only positive review for this movie I’ve read….

    • Um, yeah… about 67 more right here:



      • After I read Kofi’s review, I went to RT to see how they rated it, and noticed it had a 67% rating. So yeah, there are positive reviews.

    • Must be the only review you have read then.

      • Holy crap, forgive me for not reading every review on the Internet. Sorry my comment bothered you all so much.

        • Didn’t bother me, I just pointed out a one-stop source for a ton of positive reviews.

          Best regards,


        • It bothered me.

          • Me too.

  2. GYAH!! Hippies!! AAHHHH!!!!

    /uses Ronald Reagan pajamas as shield

    I KEED! I like Paul Rudd. I’ll probably watch it on DVD.

  3. Great way to end the summer movie season. It had a lot of similarities to Kids Are All Right, but in the end it did just about everything better. My only complaint is that the ending is too cutesy and obvious

    • Several critics were complaning about that too, according to all the critics who saw the movie when it premiered at Sundance, it had a totally different ending. Apperantly Weinstein had the ending changed after they bought the movie to make it more marketable or something.

  4. was on the fence, since paul rudd has disappointed me lately. i fell in love with the guy after anchorman. but after reading this review i’ll probably go see it with the girlfriend. thanks!

  5. Kofi… You had me at paul rudd. Such a fan of his and I’ll watch anything he does. He is very talented and this looks pretty good.

    • Did someone hijack Daniel F’s account?

      • Daniel has pretty much always watched anyhitng Paul Rudd is in lol. I like that guy too, he’s just always been really funny to me.

      • Nope I’m just a fan of Paul Rudd I like his style and Role Models is still one my my fave comedies ever. It was funny, Smart , Dirty and heart warming but not overly heartwarming. Plus a lot of fun.

  6. I still have no interest in seeing this.

    • How dare you not want to see something someone reviewed positively on this site! Right guys!? Get him!

      • Jacks Drinking Problem WTF? Seriously no one cares if he wants to see it or not. No one is gonna get him for it. If he has no interest that’s his business.

        • Jack is upset about something else and is trying to be ironic.

          • Kofi Yea I know what he’s doing and one really has nothing to do with the other. He made a comment that no one is reviewing the film well and a couple of people proved him wrong. Now he’s trying to act like we attacked him for not wanting to see the film.

            Or he could just possibly be drunk he does have a drinking problem… Or so I’ve heard.

            • HA.

  7. Sounds like a good movie but still something I would wait to see on DVD/Blue Ray.

  8. It was alright. It had its moments of hilariousness but overall it will probably be a movie given a few months I forgot I even watched. Anyone know what the original ending was at the Sundance?

  9. boring,save your money,playing games on my phone it was that bad.so bad the theatre was empty.I will give it a negative-10,would not recommend it to people I Hate………..

    • @steve

      Clearly you weren’t practicing writing properly on your phone…

  10. Typical ‘male’ comedy. I see why many of the people who liked this film enjoyed ‘Jackass 3D.’ Uninspired.

    Oh yeah, I went there.

    • This has nothing in common with Jackass 3D also I doubt many people who liked it were fans of Jackass 3D. Especially if you look at the reviews and compare them to the Jackass 3D reviews. That disproves your theory alone.

      It’s a smart heart warming comedy. Rather than a dumb hit people in the nuts comedy.

      • I just watched it an hour ago. I stand corrected.

  11. I was disappointed that such a great cast gave such a performance. They did the best they could with a weak script and it was worth matinee ticket prices but I’d suggest waiting for DVD to friends.

  12. Nice Review! Paul Rudd is terrific as the loveable, good-hearted, naive Ned. His warmth makes this a feel good film, but the annoying sisters take their toll and nearly ruin my Rudd buzz. Check out my review when you get a chance!

  13. Her most noted movies include Zack and Miri Make a Porno, W., and Spider-Man franchise, but one of her most talked about roles takes place in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. http://bit.ly/puhjcB