‘Tower Heist’: The Reviews Are In!

Most critics are lukewarm on the Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller caper flick.

The 99 percent finally have their own heist movie! In “Tower Heist,” Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller team up to take back money from an evil executive who Ponzi-ed it away from the staff of his New York apartment building.

The reviews certainly aren’t glowing, and most paint it as a less entertaining “Ocean’s Eleven” but admit there are some laughs to be had. We’ve rounded up some of the reviews to give you an idea of what the critics are saying. Take a look below to find out if you should join in on “Tower Heist.”

The Story
“The employees at a gilded Manhattan apartment complex, led by manager Ben Stiller, decide to rob the ass of a Madoff-like billionaire in the penthouse (a supremely slimy Alan Alda). Why? He’s bilked them out of their pensions. Stiller recruits a bankrupt resident (Matthew Broderick) and a bellhop ( href="http://www.mtv.com/movies/person/235600/personmain.jhtml">Michael Peña). But the friskiest conspirator is Slide (Eddie Murphy), a thief with his own agenda.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Eddie Murphy
“Here, though, Murphy’s crow’s-feet are showing, and while it should help promote his gig as next year’s Academy Awards host, the casting makes ‘Heist’ a jumble of a film. As occasionally convincing as co-stars Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck can be as blue-collar workers bilked of their pensions, Murphy’s role seems to be a criminal Yoda: a wisecracking ex-con with street smarts, staccato delivery and quick grin.” — Scott Bowles, href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/story/2011-11-03/tower-heist-ben-stiller/51065400/1" target="_blank">USA Today

The Action
“It runs a refreshingly unbloated 104 minutes, and the action scenes are less frequent and less destructive than we’re used to in our late-Michael Bay era. Not that this movie skimps on the spectacular stunts — one pivotal scene involves a Ferrari being lowered from a skyscraper window by a winch while a man dangles from the front fender — but in comparison with, say, the last ‘Fast Five’ movie, this is a miniaturist character study.” — Dana Stevens, Slate

Gabourey Sidibe
“And Gabourey Sidibe, the striking plus-size Oscar-nominated star of ‘Precious,’ makes her Hollywood leap as a feisty Jamaican chambermaid who gets in on the heist action. (The girl’s got mad safecracking skills.) I don’t know why Ratner and cinematographer Dante Spinotti felt compelled to push the camera in close, as if gawking at Sidibe’s dramatic coloring and size. But then, I also don’t know why she wasn’t used more.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

The Direction
“Mr. Ratner goes for the safe bet and the easy score, which means that, for all his shows of solidarity with the working stiffs, he has more in common with the wealthy scam artist who took their hard-earned money.”
— A.O. Scott, href="http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/movies/ben-stiller-and-eddie-murphy-in-tower-heist-review.html?partner=rss&emc=rss"
target="_blank">New York Times

The Final Word
“This is a sadly common example of a filmmaker designing his production for inattentive, lazy audiences who don’t really care about story coherence or consistency. It’s a ‘turn off the brain’ movie.” — James Berardinelli, Reelviews

Check out everything we’ve got on “Tower Heist.”

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