Reviews - Edtv (1999)
User Score

Based on 36 436 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0

Edtv (1999)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Taglines: Fame. Be careful. It's out there.

Director: Ron Howard

Writers: Émile Gaudreault, Sylvie Bouchard, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, ...

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Sally Kirkland, ...

A comedy about a video store clerk Ed whose life is thrown into chaos when he agrees to let an executive of a television studio film him for 24 hours.

75 | Mick LaSalle

The results are comical and unexpected -- and just a bit eerie.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle


Artful it's not. But it's awfully affable. [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]

75 | Rick Groen

EDtv is precisely the kind of brisk, straightforward, amiable and accessible material that shows Howard’s skills to advantage.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

70 | Stanley Kauffmann

The screenplay, by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, based on a French film, has enough sharp gags and plot twists to sustain it, with an ending that manages to be nice.
Read More: The New Republic

70 | David Ansen

Ron Howard's version is--no surprise--a funny, audience-friendly entertainment that's ultimately less scathing satire than conventional Hollywood romantic comedy outfitted in trendy new clothes.
Read More: Newsweek

70 | Elvis Mitchell

With down-to-earth comic instincts, it simply invests its story with a loud ring of truth.
Read More: The New York Times

67 | Owen Gleiberman

The fact that Ed's life has been channeled into entertainment never achieves much tension or comic zest. That's because Howard thinks in cookie-cutter ''situations'' to begin with.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

63 | James Berardinelli

No one will ever confuse Ron Howard with Robert Altman. So, instead of a potentially hilarious satire, we're left with, as one character in the film puts it, "a joyous celebration of boobery."
Read More: ReelViews

63 | Roger Ebert

I enjoyed a lot of the movie in a relaxed sort of fashion; it's not essential or original in the way "The Truman Show'' was, and it hasn't done any really hard thinking about the ways we interact with TV.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

60 | Rita Kempley

Howard's film, like McConaughey's performance, is unassuming, ingratiating and a little rough around the edges.
Read More: Washington Post

60 | Kenneth Turan

Like the television medium it genially satirizes, EDtv is a grab bag that's both amusing and frustrating.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

50 | Andrew O'Hehir

Bleach out the colors, backdate the wardrobes, insert Gary Cooper and Rosalind Russell and you've got one of Frank Capra's lesser films.
Read More:

50 | Marc Savlov

Neither a revelation nor a total wash, EDtv is instead solid comic filmmaking. I just can't help but think it could have been so much more.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

50 | Wesley Morris

The laserdisc of media movies - it plays fine, but it's clunky and cumbersome.
Read More: San Francisco Examiner

50 | Anthony Miele

It's the outstanding performance from Martin Landau that really seems to hold your interest, as well as hold the film together.
Read More: Film Threat

50 | Sandra Contreras

Like its star, Howard's movie is affable, but has limited range.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

50 | David Sterritt

Its screenplay veers in highly questionable directions before reaching a mean-spirited climax that outweighs Ron Howard's workmanlike filmmaking and the contributions of a star-powered cast.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

40 | David Edelstein

Howard and his writers are so in love with their own hip self-consciousness that it's a wonder they don't feature film critics discussing their movie.
Read More: Slate

40 | Todd McCarthy

A certain staleness hangs over the proceedings despite the best efforts of the cast and the fun-minded creative team.
Read More: Variety

40 | Desson Thomson

The movie's too slick and obvious about its intentions.
Read More: Washington Post

40 | Amy Taubin

It's a lot of plot but none of it is particularly funny or compelling. What keeps the film chugging along and also gives it a depressive aftertaste is a middle-aged male sexual anxiety subtext that intermittently sputters to the surface.
Read More: Village Voice

38 | Peter Travers

Satire in a blanket of bland.
Read More: Rolling Stone

30 | Peter Rainer

I've never been sold on this anti-TV thesis. It's snooty. It assumes we in the audience have seen the light denied the lower orders. Invariably, the people in these movies who are rendered blotto by the tube are dingbat common folk. EDtv takes this notion to a new low.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

30 | Michael Sragow

By the end the movie audience, like the electorate, is less satisfied than strung-out and exhausted.
Read More: Dallas Observer

20 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

But it's also Howard's and his audience's misfortune that a good time can be had by all only if nothing of substance gets said.
Read More: Chicago Reader