Daddy’s Home, the new comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, has failed to impress film’s top critics.

‘Daddy’s Home’ Review Roundup

Ferrell and Wahlberg, who costarred with one another in 2010’s The Other Guys, re-teamed for Daddy’s Home, in which they once again play up their differences to comedic effect. In this family comedy, Ferrell plays hapless stepdad Brad who is eager to please his new wife and kids, while Wahlberg plays the uber masculine biological foil Dusty and Ferrell’s character’s foil. When Sara (Linda Cardellini) lets Dusty move in with the family, hilarity ensues – or at least it’s supposed to.

While the premise could have inspired endless laughs, critics have been left unimpressed by the new effort from Ferrell and Wahlberg. Daddy’s Home, directed by Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2) was too one-note for most critics. Cardellini seems to be a bright spot in the movie, which some reviewers did find redeemable in parts.

“The fact that Dusty is actually a bit of a sad sack is something a smarter film could have developed. But director Sean Anders’s film tells a basic story in which strutting males repeatedly lock horns to varying degrees of comic effect. Ferrell’s sensitive, PC stepdad is amusing at first but becomes less engaging as he buckles under pressure, while Wahlberg looks like he’s sauntered in from a different film altogether. Linda Cardellini has little to do other than look exasperated.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“It seems like yesterday that Bridesmaids was being touted as definitive “proof” — as if such a thing were necessary — that, yes, women could be funny. But as 2015 draws to a close, moviegoers may be wondering what’s going on with the dudes. […] Daddy’s Home [is] the largely laugh-free reteaming of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg after their 2010 cop spoof The Other Guys. Other Guys found some amusingly weird shades to Ferrell and Wahlberg’s odd-couple chemistry, and you’ll miss it while watching the pair’s new film, an insipid bit of hack work from Sean Anders.” – Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter

“A goofball comedy laced with very real adult anxieties, “Daddy’s Home” engages with both the pressures of a new marriage with stepchildren and the paradoxical nature of modern manhood. In its best moments, it’s a sly exposé of the frailties of the contemporary male self-image and in its lesser moments a simplistic slapstick. This being a Will Ferrell comedy, sometimes those moments are one and the same.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“The movie is 100 minutes of the men attempting to out-dad each other, right down to trash talk about who is better equipped to put another baby into Cardellini’s Sarah. It’s tired in concept, flimsy in structure, and it only on occasion suggests that anything is being satirized. Cardellini, a champion eye-roller, smartens up every scene she’s in, hinting at what the script doesn’t dare: That, rather than a prize these dopes are fighting over, Sarah is almost as touched as they are.” – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Daddy’s Home, rated PG-13, hits theaters Christmas Day.

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