Ted

Ted

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of Ted. In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett, a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish...and has refused to leave his side ever since. 3.0 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
Ted

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Comedy
Director Seth MacFarlane
Cast Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton Mark Wahlberg
Studio Universal Pictures
Release Date August 2012
Running Time
 

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of Ted. In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett, a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish...and has refused to leave his side ever since.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Phil De Semlyen

For those slow on the uptake, Ted probably isn’t the place to come for droll social comment or Woody Allen-esque introspection. There are memorable cameos galore, but none of them are by Marshall McLuhan. Instead, MacFarlane straps us in for a red-band roller-coaster of lewd humour, fart gags, pop-culture references, blow-job jokes and killer lines that’s so dizzying it should come with a health warning.

30/07/2012

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Laughter doesn’t lie. I loved Ted and found it irresistibly funny and hugely enjoyable. But then talking animals pretty infallibly do it for me (MacFarlane is also spiffy as Brian the Talking Dog in Family Guy). Maybe it’s because I’m a simpleton? Some reviewers have been gravely unamused. It’s just another formulaic Judd Apatow-style stoner movie in disguise, they say, yet another bromance indulgence for thirtysomething men who won’t grow up or commit. Sure — but what a great disguise! Seeing a cuddly bear come out with Ted’s cynicisms and obscenities is hilarious time and again.

03/08/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

This film may well be dismissed by some with the phrase "comedy is very subjective", a phrase traditionally used by pundits to mean: "This is absolutely and objectively unfunny but I am far too wearily mature to argue about it." In my experience, comedy is subjective, but no more so than anything else. Ted has nothing much to offer in terms of subtlety and sensitivity, but there are plenty of laughs.

02/08/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

There are times when the jokes verge on the sour, or even rancid. Even for Ted, Giovanni Ribisi's sick stalker type is twisted, and some of the bits are too raw. But mostly "Ted" is a very guilty pleasure stuffed with so many sly cultural references and sardonic cameos, it's tough to catch them all, but it's fun trying. To fully appreciate Ted, it's best to simply forgive its bad behavior upfront and save any apologies for liking it until later. Sorry.

28/06/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

MacFarlane cut his storytelling teeth on shorter formats and there are a few pacing issues with the plotting. That said, it is both painfully funny and, surprisingly, emotionally heartfelt. Celebrity good sport awards go to Norah Jones, for admitting to “awkward, fuzzy sex” with Ted at a party, to Tom Skerritt for being the butt of a running joke and to Ryan Reynolds for a dialogue-free cameo as the gay lover of John’s co-worker.

03/08/2012

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Total Film

Tony Horkins

When Ted shifts away from the “Look at that, it’s a swearing bear!” novelty circus, and delves into these deeper, more relatable subjects, you’re given a reason to keep watching and caring. Not that Ted is a conventional comedy: it’s still stocked with enough fart jokes, pratfalls, flashbacks, digressions and throwaway obscenity to keep MacFarlane’s regular customers satisfied. There are so many nods to the Griffin clan and their unique ways that it sometimes feels like you’re watching an extended episode.

23/07/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Behind this lies Sigmund Freud's division of the psyche into the id, ego and superego. Ted is the id, the area of the instinctual, the libido, the dark, destructive elements of ourselves. John is the ego, mediating between the id and reality but all too easily distracted. Lori is the superego, the conscience, the controlling part of the mind, the parental sense of responsibility. So in effect we can read Ted as not merely a comedy of growing up, or refusing to move on from adolescence, but as a psychological fable about the continuing struggle to become a mature person. Of course, Ted would have something sharp to say about that.

05/08/2012

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Time Out

Ben Walters

Whether you enjoy the movie will depend on how much you like Ted. There are plenty of strong gags of the MacFarlane school, and the funniest moments involve Ted in full, rude flow, either holding forth or engaged in brawling, partying and other unteddybearlike activities. Other than that, there’s little going on. MacFarlane opts for a predictable story in which the adult John is under pressure from his girlfriend to get his shit together. She’s fending off a slimeball at work and Ted is being bugged by a fan, and that’s it. The plot runs out of steam, squandering its jeopardy and limping towards a cop-out climax with no technical flair to keep things going.

01/08/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

The central joke is that Ted may have started off cute, but grows into a disreputable, pot-smoking, lascivious layabout. Seth MacFarlane voices the bear like a Bostonian Danny DeVito, with a string of sexist, racially offensive, scatological gags. For about half-an-hour, it’s a hoot to hear these things said by a teddy. It’s also fun to hear a plummy-voiced English narrator (Patrick Stewart) with an evident distaste for popular culture and Hollywood garbage like the stuff he’s having to narrate.

27/07/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Siobhan Synnot

Thanks to motion-capture and some imaginative design, Ted is an expressive, hyper-realistic­ creation but Wahlberg is no less gifted, playing John as a likeable dim bulb with unironic commitment. A punch-up between man and bear is all the more remarkable when you consider that Wahlberg shot all of it in an empty room.

29/07/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

America in general, and Hollywood in particular, are usually so good at being un-grown-up we wonder why they go through these self-mortification cycles. Forget it, we want to say. Even the love of a good woman, dear USA, won’t help you become adult. Just stick with what you’re good at – overgrown-kid impiety – and do it better next time.

02/08/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

In the modern, meta manner ... [MacFarlane] wants both to indulge and to deny the offensiveness of this material, to wallow in ugliness and make fun of it too. It’s a wasted effort though. The sin of Ted is not that it is offensive but that it is boring, lazy and wildly unoriginal. If Triumph the Insult Comic Dog ever got a hold of Ted, there would be nothing left but a pile of fluff and a few scraps of fur.

28/06/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Despite such blights, Ted is apparently meant to be ­likeable, even emotionally engaging. It is helped by ­Wahlberg and Kunis, who flesh out their characters quite endearingly. Wahlberg is always sympathetic when doing bewilderment (he acquires the air of a confused labrador), and that gift is on show here. The trouble is that John and Lori are presented as equable types, so MacFarlane struggles to find reasons for them to fall out with one another and do the kind of things that keep romcom story lines going. He has them act in odd, arbitrary ways, then wrenches the plot out of their hands by bringing in a con­venient villain, a dull weirdo who kidnaps Ted and sends the film into chases and fights.

05/08/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

if the story is lazy, the jokes are even lazier. MacFarlane's humour marries the worst tendencies of Ricky Gervais and Judd Apatow, in that half of his punchlines rely on irony-veiled racism, sexism and homophobia, while the other half are pop culture references, as if mentioning James Bond or TJ Hooker were hilarious in itself. Wahlberg and Kunis make an agreeable couple, but it's hard to understand why no one ripped the stuffing out of the teddy bear a long time ago.

05/08/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

The standard defence of these films is that they are ‘equal opportunities offenders’, but one social group is exempt from Ted’s ire: its target audience of comfortably well-off males between the ages of 15 and 30 with low-pressure jobs and class C drug habits, of whom Wahlberg’s character seems to be some kind of improbably muscular Platonic ideal. As such, while Ted might masquerade as risky, it’s the safest, most faint-hearted type of comedy imaginable. Contrast Ted’s self-satisfied sneering with the shrieks and gasps at a screening of a Sacha Baron Cohen picture, or the squirm-inducing transgressions of the South Park film. This is ersatz subversion for an audience secretly terrified of the real thing.

01/08/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Ted is a profane, lecherous oaf, more boorish than bearish, and his abduction by a violent weirdo would be a piss-poor excuse for a plot even if we cared for the bear. Stuffing's too good for him.

03/08/2012

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