"Identity Thief" reviews: Critics weigh in on road trip crime comedy

This undated publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows Jason Bateman, right, and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from, "Identity Thief." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures) AP/Universal Pictures

Melissa McCarthy, the Emmy-winning star of the CBS series "Mike and Molly," is going head to head with Jason Bateman in their new comedy, "Identity Thief," in theaters this weekend.

Directed by Seth Gordon (who previously worked with Bateman on "Horrible Bosses"), "Identity Thief" stars the Oscar-nominated McCarthy as Diana, a woman living in Miami who goes on seemingly endless shopping sprees. Diana's lavish lifestyle is financed because she is impersonating Sandy Patterson (Bateman), a man living thousands of miles away in another state. Sandy tracks down McCarthy's character, and the two set off on a wild road trip.

Audiences might expect a funny movie given the talent involved, but most critics are saying this is anything but. While there have been a few positive reviews, the majority of critics say the film is devoid of any laughs, and merely a trap to lure viewers into the theaters.

Several critics have used their review as a warning to readers to avoid wasting money seeing "Identity Thief":

Mary Pols, TIME: "Despite how invigorating it may be to see a victim take matters into his own hands, Diana is not a real identity thief. She's a Hollywood construct, complete with a sob story shared late in the game that is meant to justify her crimes and turn her into a sympathetic character. It's sleazy storytelling."

Mick LaSalle, S.F. Gate: "'Identity Thief' is not only not funny. It's negative funny. It's short on laughs, but it will disturb and annoy."

Manohla Dargis, N.Y. Times: "[McCarthy and Bateman] become one of those belligerent odd couples who are forced on the road together chockablock with stereotypes, gun violence, visual clichés and cruel comedy."

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "'Identity Thief' is a larcenous bit of funny business. It probably should be locked up for its crimes and misdemeanors against moviemaking."

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "The hard-to-watch 'Identity Thief' may reduce the appeal of cross-country driving trips by a measurable amount."

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: "'Identity Thief' is a cheap copy of much better comedies. Here's hoping someone finds a much better vehicle for these terrifically talented actors."

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: "The fault, I think, isn't in our stars but in the script, running up a huge comedy tab the likable players can't pay off."

Peter Debruge, Variety: "Generally speaking, the brightly lensed, snappily edited pic leaves auds wanting more, despite a few distracting visual effects and one or two dead-end subplots it could have done without."

Scott Bowles, USA TODAY: "Preposterous, goofy and a clear ripoff of 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,' 'Identity' still manages to make off with just enough laughs to work, thanks to the wondrous McCarthy, one of the few actresses in Hollywood allowed to showcase her wit and charisma as much as her physique."

Tell us: Do you plan to see "Identity Thief" this weekend?

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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