'Entourage': What the Critics Are Saying

Vince and the boys are back in the big-screen installment of the hit HBO show.

Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his gang of friends, manager Eric "E" Murphy (Kevin Connolly), half-brother Johnny "Drama" Chase (Kevin Dillon), and driver-turned-entrepeneur Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) are back — this time taking their Hollywood antics to the big screen as Vince aims to make his directorial debut in a risky project funded by newly minted studio head, and Vince's former agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).

The film is written and directed by series creator Doug Ellin and features a roster of high-profile cameos including Liam Neeson, Emily Ratajkowski, Gary Busey, and Entourage executive producer Mark Wahlberg. Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment also star.

From Warner Bros. and HBO Films, Entourage hopes to clear $20 million for the five days, but if there's enough interest among males, the film could outperform tracking.

Read what top critics are saying about Entourage:

The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden says, "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 nine — a season that has its moments but wouldn't rank among the show's finest."

Director Ellin "is more concerned with the mechanics of Hollywood deal-making — the friendships, smoke-blowing and backstabbing — than with Vince's artistic motivation, evolution or working methods. He doesn't use his big-screen canvas to explore a big-screen set," and "whether artistic or emotional, evolution isn't much of a player in a boys-will-be-boys universe of arrested development."

While the "houses and paychecks have grown bigger for this entourage," 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."

The New York Times' A.O. Scott writes, "By the time it reached the end of its HBO run in 2011, Entourage had grown staler than last night's Axe body spray. The passing of a few more years has not improved the aroma. Watching the movie is like finding an ancient back issue of a second-tier lad mag — not even Maxim, but Loaded or Nuts — in a friend's guest bathroom. You wonder how it got there. You wonder how you got there.

"It's rare to see a movie of any kind pander to its imagined audience with such unabashed cynicism. On cable, there was sometimes a glimmer of satire or a hint of heart, and also an appealing pseudo-democratic idea about the accessibility of money and celebrity in a world that worships them." The film is "not a movie about women," but rather "about Hollywood, which is to say about the narcissism, neediness and sexual entitlement of men. It sometimes pretends to make fun of those things, but let's not kid ourselves. You could accuse it of glamorizing the shallow hedonism it depicts, but that charge would only stick if the movie had any genuine flair, romance or imagination."

The Boston Globe's Peter Keough notes the film "has all the class of Grown Ups 2" and "resurrects a macho churlishness and puerile wish fulfillment that is less charming now than it was back when the show went off the air." The "film is stuck in the inconsequential rut of the series. The characters are static, and the comedy is situational rather than dramatic."

Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips gives the film two stars and says, "It's in the realm of 'eh,' " while star Piven "needn't do much of anything to dominate his Entourage scenes beyond a raised voice and a fidgety downward glance into his character's merrily corrupt soul." Director Ellin "has pushed everything to the middle in terms of tone" and "squanders the narrative possibilities," though, "it's no Medellin, the Scarface-style action movie Vince brought to Cannes, disastrously."

Time Out New York's David Ehrlich states "what once felt like an innocent tale of wish fulfillment now plays like the masturbatory fantasy of a men's-rights activist." It "can't muster enough conflict for a podcast, let alone a feature" and is "transparently just a bloated episode of the show" that is "so cartoonish it makes Who Framed Roger Rabbit? look like a documentary."

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