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School for Scoundrels

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
School for Scoundrels
from Film Forum, 10/05/06

Billy Bob Thornton plays an instructor bent on reforming young slackers, like the one played by Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder, in Todd Phillips' comedy School for Scoundrels. But the result suggests that it's really Mr. Phillips who needs to learn a few hard lessons.

Harry Forbes (Catholic News Service) calls it "a dreary and contrived story … . Phillips' putative comedy is almost completely devoid of laughs, indifferently paced, and inconsistent in its character delineation."

According to Christopher Lyon (Plugged In), "School for Scoundrels is yet another film where the promise of concept and cast proves funnier than the execution. … [Phillips'] screenplay seems to be relying heavily on the fact that the performers will just 'be funny.' And though they can be seen swinging for the fences, said heavy hitters rarely connect."

Mainstream critics show no mercy on Phillips' film.