Back to School
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Self-made wealthy guy Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) decides he needs a better education -- and also to spend some time away from his cheating new wife. Thornton joins his son, Jason (Keith Gordon) at college. Dad hopes to gain his son's respect (isn't that always Dangerfield's motivation?), while his son tries to fit in with his snobbish and brutish fellow students. English professor Diane Turner (Sally Kellerman) forms a strong bond with Thornton, encouraging both father and son to stick out their first year despite all odds. The finale involves some slapstick at the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The vibes, here, are all wrong, and Dangerfield's unique timing is disrupted in most scenes."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"In this very funny Rodney Dangerfield comedy, there has been an important shift in Rodney's entertainment persona, a shift that has made this small film a monster hit."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Classic '80s comedy has lots of profanity, innuendo."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
"The profoundly strange presence of Rodney Dangerfield triumphs over sloppy writing and lumpy editing in this sometimes raunchy farce."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"The result is unsophisticated, unilluminating, unambitious, and hilarious."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"I mean no disrespect to Rodney Dangerfield in suggesting that Back to School is a comedy that belongs back on the drawing board."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's a good character for Dangerfield, one that veers him away from the 'I don't get no respect' pathos that comes too easily to him, and enough attention is paid to the minimal plot to integrate Dangerfield's classically constructed one-liners."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Dangerfield proves once again why he's one of the funniest men on screen."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"This is at best a flyweight summer movie."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Observe, and offer cod psychological analysis to your friends."
‑ , Film4
"Dangerfield seems to be setting the film's brisk pace and flawless timing himself."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"[An] acceptable time-passer."
‑ , Time Out
"Back to School is furious fun."
‑ Joe Baltake, Philadelphia Daily News
"One of the brightest (and least pretentious) comedies of the past quarter-century, the 1986 box office hit Back to School is the sort of film that's easy to watch repeatedly over the years."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"This Rodney Dangerfield vehicle is a lot better than it should be."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Back to School on Rotten Tomatoes