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A 2011 comedy movie directed by Greg Mottola.

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Paul... not your usual alien

  • Mar 25, 2011
  • by
Hollywood had three alien invasions hit theaters this month, each dramatically different films. Disney's Mars Needs Moms is a family friendly animation, Battle:LA is an action heavy flick with an Independence Day meets Cloverfield feel, but it is Paul that clearly brings the house down with an amazing balance of story, comedy and geek-tastic references.  Although the box office might rank Battle: LA higher than Paul, I would not judge the films in that order.  I think Paul is a film that brings all elements of film-making together into a perfect package for sci-fi lovers.  I mean lets be serious here... sci-fi geek-dom is something known world wide and if you cannot laugh at yourself for being a fan of some of the craziest films to be made and probably even being one of those "obsessed" fans who dress up to go to 20-minute previews, or stand in line for HOURS, or rush the lines at (enter name here) Comic Con than what else do we have to offer this world?  I myself am a proud fan and willing to admit that I camped out to attend a 20-minute preview of Serenity as well as bought passes to both the NY and San Diego Comic Cons last year... not to mention drove cross country just to attend the events in San Diego... so for that fact alone I fit right in with writer Clive Owen (Nick Frost) and his illustrator Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg).  If you have seen the film you know what I mean.

Paul is one of those films that gives you a taste of everything that is great about sci-fi with amazingly funny characters that drive the story home.  The visual effects are well done that it doesn't even miss a beat.  It almost comes off like a live-action version of American Dad only with better human characters.  Graeme and Clive are some of the quirkiest characters I've seen since Fanboys but I love every bit of them.  Then there is Paul.  Oh Paul, you will win over the hearts of the human race and all it will take is the twirl of a finger and some inappropriate nudity.  Although I normally cannot stand Seth Rogen, I found him to be the perfect voice to give life to the extraterrestrial. Although Paul does steal the show (and rightfully so) the combination of Kristen Wiig (SNL, Whip It and Extract), Jason Bateman (Juno and Arrested Development), Jane Lynch (Glee), John Carroll Lynch (Fargo), and Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents) there is nothing but comedic gold from start to finish.

From amazing comedic timing, a great ensemble cast and a wide range of jokes, references and puns off of previous sci-fi films there is very little that goes wrong - well plenty goes wrong but the quality of the film has few flaws.  The two elements that I most enjoyed were the jokes made at "shock value", some moments even made me drop my popcorn they were so outrageous.  On top of that I felt a personal connection as the route I took while driving to the San Diego Comic Con took me to the infamous site used for the final scene in the film.  It was nice to recognize exactly where they were going and WHY.  Granted I am an 80s baby, but I was born in the late 80s so some of the references come from films and other references before my time.  However having a brother that is 12 years older helped me catch a lot of things that others my age missed.  I will confess I felt like quite the geek during my screening being over of the "older" people in the audience and actually picking up and laughing at some of the scenes and was shocked when it took the group of college kids sitting next to me the ENTIRE film to recognize who the voice of The Big Guy was. 

Paul is a great flick to kick back and have a good time.  I'm actually considering going again to see if there are any additional references I missed the first time through.  I give Paul a 4 out of 5.  If you are a fan of sci-fi and have either attended a comic con or just love to laugh than this is your film. 

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March 28, 2011
Excellent review
March 28, 2011
Thank you.
March 25, 2011
Nice review! Sorry I am a little late reading this one. I was trying to catch up with a lot of things/reviews and  I already rated most of your other reviews (I guess I missed this one). I liked this one as well, granted it wasn't perfect but the dynamics of the direction, acting and plot worked really well. Thanks!
More Paul (2011 movie) reviews
review by . March 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
“Buddy Flicks” are also a dime-a-dozen these days, and I knew it was only a matter of time before someone took the premise of “E.T. the Extraterrestrial” and “Mac and Me” and crammed it into the premise of “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” and "National Lampoons Vacation". Well, the comedic duo of “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead” reunite (curiously missing director Edgar Wright) and together with director Greg Mottola …
review by . March 19, 2011
‘Paul' is Out of the World
Nerds, wizards, people in the craft of war and the rest of the reality inept…May I introduce you to Paul? I had my reservations about this movie, but by the end I was onboard. Paul isn’t complicated; a pair of Brits on holiday at Comic-Con who set out to see the unconventional sights the US has to offer stumble upon a nerds wet dream, a real life alien in need of help.      The film stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen who brings to life the sarcastic but …
review by . October 11, 2011
posted in MovieSucktastic
It's the new super-sexy Express Review format that celebrates A.D.D.   Paul is the worst comedy of 2011, if not the worst film, period. I didn't fall for the "two British guys travelling must be gay" gag the first time or even the twentieth time it was used. Making the Baptists look dumb didn't quite do it for me either. I did smile once when I remembered I still had a frozen pizza I hadn't eaten. The casting department miscast Seth Rogen as the voice of the …
review by . March 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
 **1/2 out of ****      There's a sci-fi movie/comic-book geek in all of us. Deep down; we were adventurous at one point on our lives. But some people don't grow up, in fact, many don't. Two of the kids who fail to grow up, even past twenty years of age, are the characters of "Paul"; two geeks by the names of Graeme and Clive. These two are played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, respectively, and the whole affair essentially turns out as you'd expect …
review by . May 02, 2011
Paul, as of now, is the first Pegg/Frost movie I've ever seen and I know I probably should have watched Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz beforehand, but hey, I saw this now, and it was great. While not being perfect, and getting off to a bit of a slow start, Paul is still a very entertaining comedy filled with some decent jokes and some very great comedic performances, both voice and person. It also kind of did for science fiction in terms of references what Rango did for western references. It …
review by . March 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
From the TV show Spaced to the movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have rapidly proved themselves to be one of the great modern double acts of comedy, but, somewhat surprisingly, Paul is their first fully developed writing collaboration.      In this highly entertaining comedy/sci-fi adventure, Pegg & Frost play Graeme & Clive, two British sci-fi geeks who experience a little more than they bargained for during a trip to the USA. Following …
review by . March 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Get your geek on!
PAUL   Written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost   Directed by Greg Mattola   Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman and Seth Rogen       Graeme Willy (at Comic-Con): I love it here.  It feels right.       It has never been cool to be a nerd, but if the nerd community has proven anything in recent years, it is that they are a force to be reckoned with.  They will band together when necessary …
review by . April 04, 2011
Paul Pleases To A Degree
Paul comes from the minds of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, both of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame.  The Brits play a pair of science fiction loving nerds who, after attending the San Diego Comic Con, inadvertantly run into Paul while on a road trip to famous alien encounter spots in the American Southwest.         Paul is on the run from Area 51 and a few men in black who have very bad plans for him.  As he, Frost, and Pegg are on the …
review by . March 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         It’s no longer enough that aliens exist. Now they have to act exactly as we do. Or, at least, as the immature eighteen-year-olds we all were at a certain point. The inherent flaw of Paul, the newest comedy written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is that, by making the title character a foulmouthed, wisecracking, beer-chugging, pot-smoking, English-speaking dude, he becomes the most human of them all. The best we get is that …
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Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #110
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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About this movie


Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America's UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. For reasons unknown, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town-a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes...
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Director: Greg Mottola
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 14 February 2011 (UK) 18 March 2011 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
Runtime: 104 mins
Studio: Working Title, Relativity Media
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