Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
Drillbit Taylor is so ploddingly directed and lazily written that it adds up to little more than a diffuse collection of second-hand gags and jokes, few of them funny.
The action sags in the middle, but director Steven Brill gets mileage out of some funny cameos and good one-liners.
Maybe I should have bought popcorn; this movie undoubtedly goes down better when it's partially drowned out by munching.
The familiarity wouldn't matter if the gags weren't so belabored and, thanks to the PG-13 rating, neutered.
Despite sharing a producer in comedy-genius-of-the-moment Judd Apatow, a co-writer in Seth Rogen and somewhat similar territory, Drillbit Taylor doesn't measure up to the raunchy classic that gave the world McLovin.
The makers of Drillbit Taylor aren't so much interested in a movie about the tyranny of bullies as they are completely turned on by the violence they inflict.
Los Angeles Times:
Some of the movie's problems stem from the fact that the filmmakers can't seem to decide whose story it is, with a constant narrative tug of war between Wade and Ryan's battle for survival and Drillbit's dreams of escaping to Canada.
Drillbit Taylor makes last summer's very funny Superbad look even better in retrospect.
Watching kids being forced to pee on each other isn't actually funny. Neither is watching those same kids get chased down by a pair of thugs in a sports car.
Overly familiar, underwhelmingly funny and thoroughly predictable, Taylor is a one-joke movie that doesn't even get that one joke right.
It's hardly worth going on at much length about the movie, a disordered, dispirited shuffling of flailing-to-be-funny and trying-to-be-empathetic scenes.
Dallas Morning News:
The jokes are funny, the acting is good (especially the three freshmen) and the film has an underlying sweetness that harkens back to 2004's Without a Paddle, which was also directed by Mr. Brill.
The Apatow vibe may still carry some righteous mojo. But Drillbit Taylor proves that even the smoothest-running hit machine can stand a tuneup every few miles.
Wilson needs to find a few other steady sources of scripts if he doesn't want to become the clown prince of B-movie land. And Apatow needs to slow down and try a little harder unless he wants to become its smirking figurehead.
New York Daily News:
Even if this movie doesn't quite hit the highs of its predecessor, it's nice to know that there are still filmmakers ready to respect the eternal struggles of freaks and geeks.
New York Post:
Trying to mix farce with heart, Drillbit Taylor is instead as soulful as Kenny G and as wacky as public television.
Movies such as this remind us that Owen Wilson is nothing less than a national treasure.
Too much of Drillbit Taylor is the kind of formulaic free-for-all that does Wilson no good, nor anybody else.
Wilson gets by on his delivery and his demeanor. It doesn't matter what he says; it's how he says it.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Without focus, without apparent intention, the movie floats along, stringing various incidents together, and in the end seems much longer than it is. It feels like 2 1/2 hours.
In Drillbit Taylor, produced by Judd Apatow, co-written by Seth Rogen and Kristofor Brown, and starring Owen Wilson, the career trajectories of three comic talents converge to dispiriting effect.
Globe and Mail:
That so little of the movie bears the inventiveness, charm or rude energy of the team's last look at teen life suggests this particular well of inspiration has already run dry.
This is Apatow Lite, a slapped-together series of sketches that are rarely funny and are often nastier than a movie aimed at pre-teens should be.
Given the uninventive, not to say downright repetitive nature of the narrative, about all Drillbit has going for it is Wilson's star presence. Or should we say his often agreeable lack of presence.
'Drillbit Taylor' is a bit of a giggle, but it lacks bite and direction: even the old prom showdown routine would have enlivened this aimless comedy.
Drillbit Taylor is as clunky and humorless as its title.
Setup promises a sort of modern Three Stooges takeoff that, unfortunately, is only haphazardly delivered.
Here, Apatow produces a script co-written by Seth Rogen that, although not particularly objectionable, seems a pale shadow of such hugely popular watersheds as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Superbad.