... a lead-balloon caper ...
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
A small fortune in salaries and stunt cars might have been saved if the director, Tom Dey, had spliced together bits and pieces of Midnight Run and 48 Hours (and, for that matter, Shrek).
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Dean Essner - Guardian [UK]
... Showtime isn't much of a show at all.
Mike Clark - USA Today
It's not so much the generally preposterous premise as it is its sloppy handling that completely unhinges the film.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
So pleased with its own spoofy conceit it stays in annoyingly self-amused, predictable mode.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
[P]artnering Murphy with Robert De Niro for the TV-cops comedy Showtime would seem to be surefire casting. The catch is that they're stuck with a script that prevents them from firing on all cylinders.
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
90 punitive minutes of eardrum-dicing gunplay, screeching-metal smashups, and flaccid odd-couple sniping.
Jessica Winter - Village Voice
Without a heavy dose of self-reflexive irony, the film's ample use of cliches don't come across as clever -- they're just cliches.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Showtime's starry cast could be both an asset and a detriment. Those who trek to the 'plex predisposed to like it probably will enjoy themselves. But ticket-buyers with great expectations will wind up as glum as Mr. De Niro.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
It's really yet another anemic and formulaic Lethal Weapon-derived buddy-cop movie, trying to pass off its lack of imagination as hip knowingness.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
The movie's funny in the opening scenes and then forgets why it came to play.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The thinness of the conception gives the actors so little room to maneuver that they turn in uniformly one-note performances.
Mark Caro - Chicago Tribune
Showtime's complete lack of originality oozes off the screen like, um, rancid popcorn butter.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Between them, De Niro and Murphy make Showtime the most savory and hilarious guilty pleasure of many a recent movie season.
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Dean Essner - Arizona Republic
Sloppy, half-baked mess.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
The results are hit and miss and miss again.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
You know you've entered flat dramatic terrain when William Shatner towers over it.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
... most of Showtime is a layering of tired pop-culture tropes by actors who are not especially interested in what they're doing.
Ray Conlogue - Globe and Mail
Showtime isn't particularly assaultive, but it can still make you feel that you never want to see another car chase, explosion or gunfight again.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
The film is nothing more than a re-hash of other individual Murphy and De Niro outings.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Under the routine direction of Tom Dey, Showtime looks like any cop movie made during the past decade.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
De Niro looks bored, Murphy recycles Murphy, and you mentally add Showtime to the pile of Hollywood dreck that represents nothing more than the art of the deal.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Showtime is a fine-looking film with a bouncy score and a clutch of lively songs for deft punctuation.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
A funny movie for adults and older teens.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
Derek Adams - Time Out
Throughout the movie, De Niro scowls and looks as if something smells bad -- and something does. It's the script.
Judith Egerton - Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Alexander Walker - This is London
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
...the real problem with Showtime is that, for a comedy, it's not nearly funny enough.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
While it's completely pointless and silly, 'Showtime' does have one of the most vital ingredients for success - it entertains.
Tom Grealis - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
Pairing no-nonsense actor Robert De Niro and comedy king Eddie Murphy may have been a clever idea rife with possibilities, but they are working for a creative team that ultimately misses its own point.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Shatner is probably the funniest person in the film, which gives you an idea just how bad it was.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
The uneasy balance of comedy and action -- including a shockingly dumb moment where we're expected to cheer police brutality -- does little justice to either genre.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Murphy is no more capable of portraying an authentic cop than he is of going to the grocery store without a posse of Hollywood hangers-on.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Showtime was right on time. I needed the laugh.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Showtime is about as crass and ridiculous as a motion picture can get without having the name Jerry Bruckheimer attached to it
Jason Clark - Matinee Magazine
Showtime is closer to Slowtime.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Stephen Himes - Film Snobs
...such an egregious enough example of color-blind, tone-deaf incoherence that it warrants mention even amid the madding crowd of Bruckheimer debacles.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
E uma pena que, mais tarde, o proprio filme abandone o tom de parodia e passe a utilizar os mesmos cliches que havia satirizado.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Showtime is one of the hapless victims of the arrogant "if we put together a wry white man and a chatty black man and give them guns, the movie will be funny" syndrome.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
Makes a joke out of car chases for an hour and then gives us half an hour of car chases.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
Dean Essner - FilmFour.com
The very definition of autopilot.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
There's surely something wrong with a comedy where the only belly laughs come from the selection of outtakes tacked onto the end credits.
Neil Smith - BBC
As I try to think back to "Showtime" and type up a review, I'm getting a headache.
Larry Carroll - Countingdown.com
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
Chalk up another big-name star vehicle that fails to live up to a wealth of potential.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
It asks nothing of the audience other than to sit back and enjoy a couple of great actors hamming it up.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
The jokes are stale, the reality TV shtick has been done to death and the action sequences & bad guys are totally 80s...
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
Both DeNiro and Murphy, no strangers to the buddy-buddy genre, are trapped in what is essentially a futile effort to make Showtime a top-of-the-line parody of the salt-n-pepper partner formulaic flicks of yesteryear
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
By the time the production reaches its third act, it is nothing but car crashes and shoot-outs.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
This has the feel of something that was written by committee and it's all been done before.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
The film benefits from De Niro's personification of the unglamorous, grumpy Mitch, from Murphy's overstressed -- yet amusingly credible -- performance.
Yazmin Ghonaim - Cinephiles
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
I suspect the writers simply ran out of clever ideas after establishing their basic premise, and coasted through the rest of the script on the creative equivalent of automatic-pilot.
Joe Leydon - San Francisco Examiner
It quickly becomes impossible to suspend your disbelief, let alone stay interested in the proceedings.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
The numerous references to other movies only show how uninspired this one is.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
This strenuously unfunny Showtime deserves the hook.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Are we supposed to take an almost entirely unironically cliched reluctant- buddy- cop action movie as some sort of mockery of cliched reluctant- buddy- cop action movies?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
De Niro and Murphy are never boring and this rickety, messy film remains slightly amusing ... so we'll give it a B.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
This movie understands exactly how much we'd like to hang out with De Niro and Murphy.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Given that the new comedy Showtime stars Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro, it's disconcerting, discouraging and downright disorienting to realize halfway through it that what you'd really like is to see a bit more of William Shatner.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
... its breeziness keeps it from ever being completely bland or flat.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Instead of being a spoof of buddy flicks, Showtime is a buddy flick. And a not particularly good one despite the presence of Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
... aside from a few scenes with Shatner, it just isn't funny.
Frank Lovece - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Nothing debases a concept comedy quite like the grinding of bad ideas, and Showtime is crammed full of them.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
Everyone involved should be arrested.
John Anderson - Newsday
[De Niro and Murphy] manage to entertain, even if it seems they could have phoned in their performances.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Director Tom Dey demonstrated a knack for mixing action and idiosyncratic humor in his charming 2000 debut Shanghai Noon, but Showtime's uninspired send-up of TV cop show cliches mostly leaves him shooting blanks.
Michael Tunison - Boxoffice Magazine
So how many exes and children does Robert De Niro have to support, anyway? It's one of the things you could think about while enduring the abysmal Showtime ...
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
... the comic chemistry between Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy positively crackles.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
[N]o matter how much good will the actors generate, Showtime eventually folds under its own thinness.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Generally funny, though it eventually devolves into the standard buddy cop flick it sets out to spoof.
Andrew Manning - Radio Free Entertainment
The film essentially amounts to 48 HRS. with a reality TV subplot.
Todd Anthony - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
A good, old-fashioned, suspend-all -disbelief, Hollywood comedy that leaves you laughing like crazy.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
It's the chemistry between De Niro and Murphy that makes Showtime work, because it's certainly not the script or Tom Dey's uninspired direction.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
Showtime is by no means great cinema, but it does succeed in taking your mind off terrorism, global warming, taxes, and impending old age for about 95 minutes.
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
Showtime is like a pair of comfortable old shoes. There's nothing new or particularly exciting about them, but you like to put them on just the same.
Staci Layne Wilson - Fantastica Daily
It might be full of big stars and big guns, but Showtime shoots blanks.
Dean Essner - E! Online
[B]eyond proving that there are no new ideas in Hollywood, Showtime could have been worse and is fun in its own small way.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
If anyone ever needed a demonstration of what happens to actors when that ventriloquist known as the screenwriter is missing in action, this is it.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Dean Essner - Hollywood.com
[U]neven but frequently engaging comedy ...
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Intentionally or not, the writers and director Tom Dey have made about as unreal a cop movie as you'll see.
Dean Essner - Charlotte Observer
It's definitely a hate-yourself-in- the-morning glut.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
It is really quite ironic then that the one guy putting out consistently good comedy is Hollywood's most serious actor.
Joshua Tyler - Filmcritic.com
[A] placebo of a film, bland and inert.
Bob Aulert - culturevulture.net
While dyed-in-the-wool fans of De Niro and Murphy might enjoy what's offered here, it simply isn't as good as others will probably be expecting or hoping.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Good lord almighty, call in the stink police! Trust me, this crime on celluloid should change its title to Stupidtime.
Dean Essner - BeatBoxBetty.com
The entire film feels like outtakes.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Murphy's ad-libbed takes and De Niro's surly reactions serve them well, especially when the thrown-together script fails them.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
...pitiful, slapdash disaster. A DOA dud from frame one.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
... has virtually no script at all ...
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Not that any of us should be complaining when a film clocks in around 90 minutes these days, but the plotting here leaves a lot to be desired.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
[F]or all its Hollywood excess, Showtime is pretty much a scream.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Neither the funniest film that Eddie Murphy nor Robert De Niro has ever made, Showtime is nevertheless efficiently amusing for a good while. Before it collapses into exactly the kind of buddy cop comedy it set out to lampoon, anyway.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Yet another bootleg copy of the Lethal Weapon franchise.
Manohla Dargis - L.A. Weekly
There is no great ambition here. But -- as Warner's advertising and trailer cutters obviously realize -- it's hard not to warm to a film that features William Shatner looking at De Niro's character and complaining about what a lousy actor he is.
Andy Klein - New Times
One of those films that started with a great premise and then just fell apart.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
The subject could have been the focus of sharp satire, but here it's treated as bland sitcom fare instead...Tepid, stale and endlessly predictable.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
... the script for Showtime, which was rushed into production to avoid last year's anticipated actors' strike, is so achingly generic it can't even score points off as easy a target as Shatner.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Even the finest chef can't make a hotdog into anything more than a hotdog, and Robert De Niro can't make this movie anything more than a trashy cop buddy comedy.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
It's getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that Hollywood isn't laughing with us, folks. It's laughing at us.
Paul Tatara - CNN.com
It's just too bad the screenwriters eventually shoot themselves in the feet with cop flick cliches like an oily arms dealer, squad car pile-ups and the requisite screaming captain.
Jackie Potts - Citysearch
a decent bit of fast-paced action comedy
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The story is boring, the action scenes are fine as far as they go, but the whole thing's a waste of time. Don't waste your time.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Sly, sharp and frequently funny, Murphy displays a rare return to 48 Hours form.
Sean O'Connell - Eclipse Magazine
One can't call a movie this stupid a "satire" of anything but unintentionally of itself.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
DeNiro shows he is capable of inspired silliness in this affectionate parody of buddy cop films.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
De Niro can't be blamed for looking mighty uncomfortable in this tepid comedy.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A grating, emaciated flick.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Chalk it up to my adoration for both De Niro and Murphy, but I had a pretty good time with this movie - despite its myriad flaws.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Sloppy construction and a ludicrous subplot drag down the energy, allowing it to surface in mere fits and starts.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
It's pathetically sanctimonious to make a satire that becomes, then grossly exceeds, that which it's meant to mock.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Impossibly lightweight for TV satire.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine