"The Campaign" review roundup

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign." Patti Perret/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign."
Patti Perret/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

(CBS News) The new Will Ferrell-Zach Galifinakis comedy, "The Campaign," opens in theaters today and has received somewhat mixed reviews.

While some critics find the movie laugh-out-loud funny, others say some of the slapstick gags missed the mark.

Pictures: "The Campaign" premiere

In the film, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady (Ferrell) by putting up a rival candidate Marty Huggins (Galifinakis) to gain influence over their North Carolina district.

The comedy has received a 64 percent review on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with critics taking up positions on both sides of the fence.

Here's what some of the them had to say:

Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post: "In a way, 'The Campaign' is the comic side of the same coin occupied by last year's 'The Ides of March' -- a respectable piece of mainstream entertainment but one that fell short of the insight and ambition required to be a movie that singularly captured its time."

Kyle Smith of the New York Post: : "This movie is single-handedly causing a major rise in our mirth deficit. It's so bad, I'm declaring a laugh emergency."

A.O. Scott of the New York Times: :"My point is that the movie, which is sometimes very funny in the usual zany, pop-surrealist sketch-comedy manner, is studiously inoffensive and thoroughly chicken-hearted. Punching a baby -- a bit featured in the trailers -- is shockingly funny but not exactly brave. The film's timidity places it squarely in a tradition of Hollywood anti-political comedy that has flourished at least since Mr. Smith went to Washington."

Peter Debruge of Variety:  "Before the 2012 presidential election has a chance to get really nasty, "The Campaign" vigorously swoops in to satirize how low things can go between a pair of rival congressional candidates."


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