The embargo on “Entourage” reviews lifted at 2 a.m. this morning, unleashing snark in a flood of the kind seen since the Hoover Dam splintered in “San Andreas.” About the nicest thing anyone has to say about the “Entourage” movie is that it’s like the “Sex and the City” movies, only shorter — a needless extension of a TV show that already wrapped things up on its own terms. The climate has changed since “Entourage” went on the air, and while continuing TV shows get grandfathered in, a gap in the franchise means playing by new rules: Just ask “24,” which came into being in a period where torturing suspects to stop terrorist threats was considered a necessary evil, but reborn into a world after Abu Ghraib. In 2015, an unironic celebration of rich white bros — if one that ever so often remembers to give its audience a little wink — does not sit well with anyone except, well, rich white bros and those who look up to them, although that’s only part of “Entourage’s” problem. The reviews light into the movie for being a glorified Season 9, for stretching a minimal plot into a movie that feels padded even at 104 minutes, for having nothing new to say but saying it anyway. A handful of reviews praise “Entourage” for meeting its own extremely modest goals, but there’s little to encourage anyone who was in any way doubtful about seeing the movie to make up their mind in its favor.
Reviews of “Entourage”
Andrew Barker, Variety
The biggest stumbling block faced by TV series-turned-films is a tendency to go too big, taking characters that were appealing in small doses and overextending their allure. For Doug Ellin’s cineplex expansion of his HBO series “Entourage,” the writer-director finds a novel solution: Simply offer up an average episode, and inflate it to feature length with twice as many boobs and celebrity cameos as usual, to the point that the film might as well be called “Boobs and Famous People: The Movie.” Granted, “Entourage” was never exactly scared of boobs or gratuitous famous people when it was on TV, and the rest of the series’ strengths and weaknesses survive the theatrical transition intact. Sometimes funny, often dumb, with equal doses of inside-baseball references and broad bro-ish boorishness, “Entourage” will be loved by fans and despised by detractors, possibly for the same reasons.
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
Much like the series, even in its lowest points, there are still a few laughs from the supporting cast, and Ellin paces the piece well (it doesn’t feel nearly as long as the neverending “Sex and the City” movies), but “Entourage” mistakenly keeps its characters floating in rarefied air, giving us no way to relate to them or care about them. Vinny and his buddies have become easier to correlate with the Kardashians than the dreamers they used to be. And that makes for a film that keeps its audience at a distance, never surprising them at all narratively and barely moving the needle for its characters. It is fan fiction in film form.
A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club
For those who loved the series and its steady supply of winking star cameos, half-dressed models, and boys-will-be-boys banter, the good news is that Entourage has made the transition from the small screen to the large one basically intact. (Worry not, fans: The familiar buzz of that Jane’s Addiction theme makes an early appearance.) The bad news is that Vince and the bros have to sustain their “appeal” for an unbroken 104 minutes — a veritable eternity for these one-dimensional sitcom Neanderthals.
Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
Four years after “Entourage” wrapped its eight-season run on HBO, the boys and their testosterone-fueled fairy tale are back with a big-screen escapade. The good news/bad news for fans who’ve been jonesing for more of Vincent Chase & Co. is that they’ll find this winking depiction of the Hollywood fast lane the same as it ever was. From its look to its episodic rhythm, the movie plays like a compressed Season 9 — a season that has its moments but wouldn’t rank among the show’s finest. The houses and paychecks have grown bigger for this entourage, but the movie’s design, camerawork and editing, as well as its hit-and-miss narrative, are scaled to the small screen. As with the tried-and-true friendships that drive the story, Ellin is sticking with what he knows.
Kate Erbland, Playlist
It’s fitting that “Entourage” (the film) hasn’t abandoned the theme song that accompanied eight seasons of “Entourage” (the television series), the “oh, yeah” infused jams of Jane’s Addiction’s “Superhero,” which has become synonymous with the show itself. Fitting because “Entourage” (the film) and “Entourage” (the television series, and yes, we’ll do away with the purposely clunky differentiation right now) are so similar as to be nearly the same entity, with Doug Ellin’s feature film aping the style, tone, look, feel, and message of his television series so completely that it’s nearly impossible to recommend the film to viewers unfamiliar with the show.
Mike Ryan, Uproxx
Your level of excitement or enjoyment toward the possibility of watching the “Entourage” movie is inherently linked to that of your enjoyment of the television series. There are no surprises here. This is not The Monkees making “Head.” You will not come out of the “Entourage” movie and think to yourself, Wow, they really changed things up. I wasn’t expecting that and I will now think of these people in a completely different way. This is basically just a longer episode of the television series. (Though, I now like the idea of Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, and Jerry Ferrara starring in a “Head” remake as their “Entourage” characters. If this ever happened, I would be the first person to buy a ticket and I would hope it won at least one Oscar.)
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Devoted fans of the HBO series (2004-2011) will find it passably engaging, and newcomers will likely stare at the inside-Hollywood tropes and panic attacks the way Nipper the RCA dog stared at the Victrola.
Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire
If you didn’t watch the original HBO series, you should know that it was just like this movie, but in episodic form. Also, why are you seeing this movie?
Scott Tobias, Dissolve
“Entourage” the show has always been lifestyle porn, with Vinnie’s brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) and his friends E and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) feasting at the trough of his fame and fortune. The movie offers more of the same, only more: more T&A, more conspicuous consumption, more cameos, more Jeremy Piven yelling, and significantly more Mark Cuban than anyone outside the city of Dallas needs to see. “Entourage” mimics the “Sex and the City” formula on the big screen just as it did on the small one, doing more or less the same thing, but on an amplified scale that makes everyone seem like cartoon versions of their former selves.
Matt Singer, ScreenCrush
As originally conceived, “Entourage’s” dudely fantasy worked specifically because it was happening to a bunch of average joes; before he managed the world’s biggest movie star, Eric managed a Sbarro’s Pizza. But as the show progressed, “Entourage” doggedly refused to let its characters suffer any kind of personal or professional defeat, and as a result these guys moved further and further from the realm of relatable human beings. At this point, the “Entourage” boys seem more like glamorous rock stars than schnooks from Queens. That’s a decidedly less pleasurable kind of vicarious thrills.
Alison Willmore, Buzzfeed
It is ridiculously, maddeningly short on conflict, a slack hour-and-a-half story about how the awesome lives of its five main characters get even awesomer. It treats women interchangeably like fleshlights or jiggly decor. And it treats the public like morons. If it has a point to make at all, it’s about how some nepotism is good, and other nepotism is bad, mostly when it doesn’t directly involve you and your friends. But “Entourage” is the movie about Hollywood we deserve — one that’s breathtakingly honest about how great the industry is if you’re a rich white dude, and how terrible and unwelcoming it is for almost everyone else.
Peter Martin, Twitch
In its own, likely unintentional manner, the series passed judgment on attitudes and behavior that were abhorrent and often repellent, yet appeared to thrive in Hollywood. A little of that sort of thing goes a long way; if nothing else, a careful watch of the series might spur any sane, creative person who wants to make movies to steer far away from Hollywood. Perhaps that was the intention, to show that success in the studio system is nearly always accidental and that true individual creativity is a rare gift that is rarely prized. Or maybe Doug Ellin and his collaborators are just stuck in the male-dominated past, working hard to relive their glory years as young men full of piss and vinegar. “Entourage” is about three times the length of the old TV episodes, yet feels six times as long with about an eighth of the humor.
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
“Entourage” comes to celebrate the privileges of being white, male, wealthy and famous, not to bury them. While there’s nothing wrong with creating a little vicarious wish fulfillment for people who dream of living La Vida Hollywood, it would have been nice if writer-director (and show creator) Doug Ellin had given the movie as many funny lines as there are opening credits for himself. (I counted four.)
Matt Prigge, Metro
The bros of “Entourage” still call each other “bro” with all sincerity. That’s all you need to know about the “Entourage” movie, which isn’t so much a movie as a state of mind — an infantilic, horndog plane of pure, unchecked douchery, beamed from the evil side of producer Mark Wahlberg you keep wanting to forget exists. It’s the dude’s flip side to another HBO lifestyle fantasy, “Sex and the City,” where the lusted-for designer shoes are fake boobs and the apparently inevitable film spinoff is, thankfully, almost an hour shorter. It’s just not short enough. But who are we kidding? This is a niche film for a niche audience — a celebration of a certain belief system for a certain type of male that seems to be going out of favor, at least in pop culture, if not in actual life. Everyone deserves a movie, even bros, and when it comes to the type of old school-style young male who feels threatened by women who are funny and gays getting married, this is the movie for them.
Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
“Entourage” wallows in its protagonists’ obnoxious attitude towards women. The female characters on display are mostly either sex objects to conquer or nagging wives who must be endured. (The rare exception, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, playing herself, is courted by Turtle, but there’s not much rapport between the two actors.) Ellin doesn’t mock his characters’ behavior, though: In the world of “Entourage,” Vincent’s crew is to be indulged and glorified, while the womenfolk are there to be exceptionally hot and then get out of the way of the story.