Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: December 28, 2018
7.3
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Generally favorable reviews based on 28 Ratings
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Mixed:
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10
johndoe2014Jan 15, 2019
Both of these actors deserve oscar nominations. Not only do they do an excellent job of playing the real men, but their comedic characters as well. The movie picks up steam in a gentle way and by the end it is powerful and exceptional.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
FunkymonkJan 19, 2019
It's rare to see a movie where everyone gives fantastic performances. From Rufus Jones untrustworthy, deadpan tour manager to the bickering, protective wives. It's Coogan and Reilly who steal the show. Both give nuanced performances that goIt's rare to see a movie where everyone gives fantastic performances. From Rufus Jones untrustworthy, deadpan tour manager to the bickering, protective wives. It's Coogan and Reilly who steal the show. Both give nuanced performances that go beyond mere impressions of the duo. I'd be disappointed if both didn't receive Oscar nominations. Even if you're not a fan of Laurel and Hardy this is worth seeing. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
Rebecca31Jan 16, 2019
Depicting the later years of the life of Laurel and Hardy and their comedy tour of Britain in 1953. No longer making movies and not in the public eye anymore, Stan and Ollie re-connect with their fans as they begin their tour. You don't evenDepicting the later years of the life of Laurel and Hardy and their comedy tour of Britain in 1953. No longer making movies and not in the public eye anymore, Stan and Ollie re-connect with their fans as they begin their tour. You don't even have to be a die hard Laurel and Hardy fan to appreciate the joy that is Stan & Ollie.

Not only do Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly look the spitting image of the real Laurel and Hardy but from the get go they become fully immersed in their characters, I never questioned it for a moment. Their performance and their chemistry was absolutely perfect. I never had any doubts about Coogan's acting ability, particularly his impressions so when he was cast it made sense but I never held John C. Reilly in high regard until now. Oscar worthy performances without a doubt. The script is very witty and the supporting characters add that little bit extra. Highly recommended but don't go expecting a laugh out loud comedy, it's not that kind of film. It's charming, delightfully entertaining and an all round feel good movie.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
IsaacJJan 13, 2019
Here, John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan star in a biopic as delightful and fuzzy as its subject, the legendary comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy. Jon S. Baird directs the film, which documents the lesser-known twilight years of the pair; Stan andHere, John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan star in a biopic as delightful and fuzzy as its subject, the legendary comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy. Jon S. Baird directs the film, which documents the lesser-known twilight years of the pair; Stan and Ollie, aging and fading from the public eye, embark on a tour of Britain in order to raise funds for a big (and almost too good to be true) movie break to bring them back in the limelight. The film being called Stan and Ollie is poetically appropriate; we are being given a wonderfully personal look at the men behind the celluloid. The end result is a movie that is simply irresistible.
John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan star as the titular leads, in portrayals that are both uncanny and effortless. Reilly plays Hardy with a jovial honesty, his clumsy gait and trademark finger-twiddle completing a gorgeously authentic performance. The same is true of Coogan, whose portrayal of Stan Laurel is well-rounded and classically humorous. This film truly could not work without the two actors, who commit to their roles with ease in a partnership that seems as natural as Laurel and Hardy themselves. However, it is Rufus Jones’ hilarious tour manager who hits the nail on the head, quipping that we get “two double acts for the price of one”, when referring to Stan and Ollie’s fiercely protective wives. Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda give the film another layer in humorous supporting performances as Lucille Hardy and Ida Laurel, with Arianda, in particular, being absolutely scene-stealing.
Jeff Pope (who worked with Steve Coogan on Philomena) writes a sharp and versatile script; throughout the film, the lines are blurred between the on-screen personas of Stan and Ollie and their personal lives. This makes for results that are, as expected of this film, utterly hysterical, yet also comes with the difficult job of making sure the comedy and drama coincide comfortably. Stan and Ollie does this perfectly; while the film is certainly an irreverent and nostalgic comedy, what allows it to truly work is the emotional edge that acts almost like a tonic, cutting through the slapstick. The film never strains for laughs and the same is true of its approach to its more serious side, lending an emotional weight to the fun (“You loved Laurel and Hardy”, Stan snaps, “but you never loved me”). The whole package is wrapped up nicely with Rolfe Kent’s jubilant score and Laurie Rose’s cinematography, full of marvellous continuous shots (the opening prologue on the set of Way Out West particularly stands out). Some may argue that Stan and Ollie is sweet to the point of saccharine, but I disagree; it’s a charming film that’s filled to the brim with joy and heart. In times where, perhaps, the negative seems to stand out, this is a breath of fresh air that reminds us of the importance of love and laughter in a quaint and purely magical way.
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4
GreatMartinJan 18, 2019
While there are a few good things about "Stan & Ollie" there are too many negatives to make it worthwhile seeing.

John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel were a top comedy duo in the 1930s and by 1950 were barely
While there are a few good things about "Stan & Ollie" there are too many negatives to make it worthwhile seeing.

John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel were a top comedy duo in the 1930s and by 1950 were barely making a living. Both actors are excellent in their roles though, sometimes, Reilly's prosthetics go astray. Most people, under 50, probably won't be familiar with these comedians and their routines might provide puzzlement as to why they were so famous even to the older folks in today's audience.

As a film about two comedians, it is more of a drama than a comedy, telling the story of their lives in the 1950s doing a tour in England to almost empty theatres and hoping to make a movie that might never be made.

Shirley Henderson as Lucille Hardy has a very hard to hear, and understand, accent while Nina Arianda as Laurel's Russian born wife Ida seems to get the most, what there are of them, laughs in the film and the two women are more of a comic team than their husbands.

In the 1940s Abott and Costello were more popular while they, in turn, would soon be surpassed by Martin and Lewis.

"Stan & Ollie" has 3-4 laughs and near the end a few tears but all in all it does nothing for them putting the spotlight on the team and really doesn't entertain the audience.
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7
Brent_MarchantJan 13, 2019
A capably made though somewhat "safe" and formulaic biopic that might be seen as mediocre were it not for the outstanding lead performances of John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan, as well as several delightful supporting characters. In tellingA capably made though somewhat "safe" and formulaic biopic that might be seen as mediocre were it not for the outstanding lead performances of John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan, as well as several delightful supporting characters. In telling the story of this legendary comedy duo, the film would have been more balanced had it included more about the pair's rise to comedic greatness and not focused almost exclusively on their sunset years. All in all, a decent effort but one that could have (and should have) been better to do justice to the legacy of Laurel and Hardy. Expand
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8
TVJerryJan 31, 2019
Comedy duo Laurel & Hardy were box office giants in the 30s, but this film only begins there. It soon transitions to the '50s, when they're fame has faded and they're attempting one last tour of England. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly notComedy duo Laurel & Hardy were box office giants in the 30s, but this film only begins there. It soon transitions to the '50s, when they're fame has faded and they're attempting one last tour of England. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly not only look amazingly like the real men, their "off-stage" characters are sweetly affecting. The re-creations of the classic routines is not only perfect, but shows while the originals were so funny. As the drama progresses, their relationship is challenged and this is where the film falters. While there are tender emotions, their professional and personal challenges never get sufficient gravitas to create a truly affecting drama. Still, it's a sweet treat. Expand
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8
preciouskikiJan 26, 2019
Entertaining and enjoyable, "Stan and Ollie" is "Much more enjoyable than I expected it to be." I laughed out loud a number of times, and the story seems true to life and never treacly or heavyhanded. Loved the Hollywood and British sceneryEntertaining and enjoyable, "Stan and Ollie" is "Much more enjoyable than I expected it to be." I laughed out loud a number of times, and the story seems true to life and never treacly or heavyhanded. Loved the Hollywood and British scenery and the costumes, too. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are just perfect. Expand
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5
tropicAcesFeb 11, 2019
Perfectly fine, if not too basic for its own good. Reilly and Coogan have solid chemistry and do good impressions of the real duo.
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6
Compi24Jan 29, 2019
A quaint, if fleeting glimpse into the true-to-life friendship between the titular vaudeville legends in question, "Stan & Ollie" may feel a bit sanitized and safe, but it's the earnest intention and soulfully winsome performances that makeA quaint, if fleeting glimpse into the true-to-life friendship between the titular vaudeville legends in question, "Stan & Ollie" may feel a bit sanitized and safe, but it's the earnest intention and soulfully winsome performances that make this the mild delight that it is. Director Jon S. Baird treads on a lot of well-examined thematic material here (aging, friendship, maintaining relevance in art, etc.) so I can't say there's anything fresh or novel about this story. But, again, picking this movie to shreds is like trying to smack a puppy upside the head -- it's just too innocent and good-natured to ignore. Expand
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10
GinaKJan 22, 2019
A funny but also very sad biography of Laurel and Hardy, brilliantly brought to life by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly and an excellent supporting cast. My father loved these comics and thought they were hilarious, but I never “got” theirA funny but also very sad biography of Laurel and Hardy, brilliantly brought to life by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly and an excellent supporting cast. My father loved these comics and thought they were hilarious, but I never “got” their appeal. Through this film, Coogan and Reilly made me appreciate these men as performers and friends, perhaps because there was more to this film than simple physical comedy. I experienced their warmth, struggles, and deep friendship. Reilly was very good, but Coogan was brilliant – he had all the gestures of Stan Laurel down pat, but he also made him a fascinating and lovely human being. Expand
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7
moviemitch96Jan 25, 2019
This was a charming little biopic about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, one of the most beloved and famous silent film era comedy duos, as they navigate their way through the peak of their careers in the 1930s, as well as a comedy tour inThis was a charming little biopic about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, one of the most beloved and famous silent film era comedy duos, as they navigate their way through the peak of their careers in the 1930s, as well as a comedy tour in England during the sound era as they struggle to stay prominent and relevant within changing times. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are both delightful together as Laurel and Hardy respectively, and easily help make up for the film's relatively safe, predictable, and standard biopic narrative. Overall, while it is pretty standard, the film's fun and charm, as well as plenty of classic Hollywood nostalgia paired with Coogan and Reilly's great chemistry together makes it just worthwhile and enjoyable enough. Expand
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8
moviecritic68Feb 6, 2019
A very delightful film which portrayed the real lives of the duo. Really well done & above par acting. Enjoyed every minute of it.
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6
MetaflixJan 29, 2019
The most notable aspect of ‘Stan & Ollie’ is the performances of Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, who play the titular roles of the legendary comedic duo. Viewers can spend a fair amount of time after watching the film debating who deservesThe most notable aspect of ‘Stan & Ollie’ is the performances of Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, who play the titular roles of the legendary comedic duo. Viewers can spend a fair amount of time after watching the film debating who deserves greater acclaim for bringing their respective parts to life—and neither side would be right or wrong, as either stance would be purely a matter of subjective opinion and both have received their fair share of award nominations. Otherwise, taken in its entirety, ‘Stan & Ollie’ is a bit too pedestrian to garner any sort of effusive praise, and despite a fairly compelling third act, the end result is largely forgettable. Expand
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7
MarkHReviewsFeb 1, 2019
From the 1920s to the early 1950s, the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy made over 100 films. They began with short silent films, graduated to short sound films and eventually starred in 23 full-length feature films. In their heyday, LaurelFrom the 1920s to the early 1950s, the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy made over 100 films. They began with short silent films, graduated to short sound films and eventually starred in 23 full-length feature films. In their heyday, Laurel and Hardy were among the best-known and most-beloved personalities in show business.

After a brief vignette focusing on the team at the peak of its popularity in 1937, “Stan and Ollie” examines the pair on a 1953 tour of Britain and Ireland. By this time, many assume the team has retired, requiring Stan (Steve Coogan) and Ollie (John C. Reilly in a fat suit) to judge beauty pageants, meet with local officials and do whatever is required to build an audience for their stage performances in small, depressing theaters. The pair does so without complaint. Their efforts result in a sold-out series of performances at the Lyceum Theatre in London. By the time their tour concludes in Ireland, their boat is greeted at the dock by a large, adoring crowd.

Screenwriter Jeff Pope brings to these proceedings the same air of mournful wistfulness that permeated his screenplay for 2013’s “Philomena.” In the hands of Director Jon S. Baird, the script becomes a quiet, thoughtful examination of two colleagues dealing in very different ways with the melancholy and introspection that come when a career is much closer to the end than its beginning. A note in the postscript catches the essence of this film: from Hardy’s death in 1957 until his own in 1965, Stan Laurel continued to industriously write dozens of sketches and comedy scenes – all for the team of Laurel and Hardy.

The performances of Coogan and Reilly are the engines that propel this film, although they inhabit their roles in totally different ways. Steve Coogan offers a tour de force, eerily mimicking many of Stan Laurel’s physical traits, from his Chaplinesque walk to his literal head-scratching antics. His carefully calibrated performance depicts convincingly Laurel’s drive for success, his anxiety about financial security and his bridling at unjust treatment by the Hollywood system. But, ultimately, Coogan communicates Laurel’s quiet joy in just doing the work. John C. Reilly, in contrast, is a study in understatement, content to portray quite simply a man of simple needs and pleasures. Both are riveting. Reilly received a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination for this role. Coogan is nominated for Best Actor by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

In many ways, “Stan and Ollie” is an elegy and an homage to a bygone era. Given the chaos, insanity and self-absorption that regularly dominate headlines today, this film offers a forceful nod toward different values – the virtue of daily professionalism, the value of work for its own sake and the gentle rewards of well-earned friendship.
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