This Is the End, the apocalyptic comedy with the all-star cast, has opened to largely positive reviews from film’s top critics. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the film centers on six actors (playing themselves) who are trapped in James Franco’s house when an cataclysmic event wipes out the Los Angeles population. Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride round out the raunchy group of six with Rogen and Franco.

Mary Pols of Time Magazine wrote, “I’m happy if there is even one [comedy] that makes me laugh so hard the laughs replicate and snowball until the exact source of the original eruption couldn’t possibly be located. That’s the sweet spot.” She added, “This Is the End […] is my sweet-spot comedy for 2013.”

The Village Voice’s Alan Scherstul also believes that This Is the End offers something special for comedy film audiences. “Unlike too many comedies, This Is the End gets stronger as it goes, especially when the cosmic finish tasks its cast with bigger things than talking about jacking off,” he writes. “In fact, as Rogen and company strive for that grandest of all redemptions, the movie seems both a culmination of and an elegy for the comedies that have made them rich.”

Not everyone was as impressed with This Is the End, Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post being one of the film’s biggest detractors. “The apocalyptic satire This Is the End was made for admirers of Seth Rogen and James Franco, who, the movie suggests, may be their own biggest fans,” she wrote. “It presents viewers with the ultra-meta image of a comedy genre eating its own tail.”

The New York TimesA.O. Scott sees the meta-comedy in a more positive light, even suggesting it was a smart direction for a film. “The end of the world is a hot topic at the movies these days,” wrote Scott. “But the allegorical significance of This Is the End may lie closer to home, in the creative exhaustion of its makers and the popular, profitable strain of humor they represent.”

This Is the End is currently in wide release.

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