2016, Movies

Masterminds (2016, Jared Hess)

Masterminds is one of those films you marvel about how it got made. Despite the rather incredible comic cast, this is a film that feels like it was dumped on an unsuspecting public once the people making it realized how much of a disaster it nearly is. It is a film full of very funny people that is only sporadically funny. It is a film that is ostensibly based on a true story that feels like it was made up on the fly, from a series of scenes the writers thought were funny (or were improvised) that were then stitched together in the editing room.

There are times in this movie where I was thinking I was watching a disaster that will eventually be mocked on How Did This Get Made? There are a number of gags that just do not work and nearly every single person in the film save Owen Wilson (playing himself) and Kristen Wiig (playing a real character) feel like they are playing a joke character, a character that they thought would be really funny when coming up with it, but is really just an accent and bad hair.

But, that being said, I laughed a bunch of times. And one time I was almost crying I was laughing so hard. It’s those sporadic moments when I was entertained that keep me from viewing this as a terrible film. It’s still not good, but the worst comedies are the comedies that aren’t funny.


  • Directed by Jared Hess
  • Produced by John Goldwyn, Lorne Michaels
  • Written by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, Emily Spivey
  • Starring:
    • Zach Galifianakis as David Scott Ghantt
    • Kristen Wiig as Kelly Campbell
    • Owen Wilson as Steven Eugene “Steve” Chambers
    • Jason Sudeikis as Michael Aaron “Mike” McKinney
    • Kate McKinnon as Jandice
    • Leslie Jones as FBI Special Agent Scanlon
    • Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Michelle Chambers
    • Ken Marino as Doug
    • Karsten Friske as Cort Chambers
    • Dallas Edwards as Ken Chambers
    • Devin Ratray as Runny
    • Jon Daly as Detective
    • Ross Kimball as Eric
    • Jordan Israel as Valet
    • Njema Williams as Ty
    • Kerry Rossall as Trunk Hostage
  • Music by Geoff Zanelli
  • Cinematography by Erik Wilson
  • Edited by Keith Brachmann, David Rennie
  • Production companies: Michaels-Goldwyn, Relativity Media
  • Distributed by Relativity Media
  • Release date: September 26, 2016
  • Running time: 94 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $25 million
  • Box office: $30.9 million

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