The Jerk
The Jerk (1979)

Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin (who co-wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb) in this gag-laden comedy about an idiotic white man, raised by a poor family of black sharecroppers, who doesn't realize he's not black. Navin R. Johnson… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: December 14, 1979
DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
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Critic Score: 84% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
John Skow
TIME Magazine

Its humor is successful and unsuccessful by turns, and although Comedian Carl Reiner is the director, the instinct here is to give most of both credit and blame to Martin.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

We get the sense at times that the cast and crew arrived at a location, found the script bankrupt of real laughs, and started looking around for funny props.

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Fernando F. Croce

92 minutes of direct and sweet surrealism

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Variety Staff

An artless, non-stop barrage of off-the-wall situations, funny and unfunny jokes, generally effective and sometimes hilarious sight gags and bawdy non sequiturs.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The laughs aren't steady, but they're persistent, and the film moves fast enough to compensate for its unevenness.

Richard Luck

If only he could have satisfied himself with this area of expertise, people would still talk of Steve Martin as one of the kings of comic cinema.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

The comedy runs out of steam when the jerk makes good, but laugh for laugh it's probably a better investment than 10.

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Simon Miraudo

An oddball odyssey so strange, filled with non-sequiturs so funny, and decorated by a romance so sweet, it was an inevitable star-maker.

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Mark Bourne

The whole thing is uneven and slight, but the highlight moments guilty-pleasure us with the sort of stupid-funny that's 'LOL' quotable afterward.

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More reviews for The Jerk

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
danny d
i feel like this film gets funnier to me every time i watch it. martin and peters are both in top form. one of my favorite comedies of all time.
Jim Hunter
An idiot sets out to find his place in the larger world, encountering colorful characters on his way. I saw an interview with Steve Martin, and he said, "I… More
Thomas Johnston
Few movies can stand the test of time like this one!! Love me some Steve Martin!
Aj V
This movie was just so crazy that it actually worked! It has so many hilarious scenes, and the story is ridiculous, but it's very fun, and I really like… More
Daniel Perry
A genius exercise in the absurd that's also a watchable comedy. Truly a classic. Acting's a little weak and it has to get a little cheesy in order for… More
Michael Gildea
I don't understand how Steve Martin could do something this amazing and hilarious and never come even remotely close ever again. His timing was perfect and… More

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