September 19th, 2008
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references.
David Koepp (dir.)
Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pincus D.D.S.
Téa Leoni as Gwen
Greg Kinnear as Frank Herlihy
Billy Campbell as Richard
Kristen Wiig as Surgeon
Aasif Mandvi as Dr. Prashar
Our reviews below:
Ghost Town Review By John C.
***1/2 (out of 4)
Ghost Town may not the funniest movie of the year, but it is one of the most likable. There are some big laughs in the first and second act, but by the third act it becomes surprisingly moving. It does not make up most of its comedy from sight gags, but most of the laughs come from the smart and witty dialogue of Ricky Gervais. A few scenes into the movie we see Gervais’ character Bertram Pincus, a dentist who, be it his patients or his colleagues, does not like people. When he goes for a routine colonoscopy, something terrible happens, he dies. But only for a few minutes. Now he is stuck with the ability to see ghosts, and they all want something. But the one that wants the most is the recently deceased Frank Herlihy, (Greg Kinnear) who asks him to break up the engagement of his widow Gwen, (Téa Leoni) to a humanitarian lawyer, who he does not think is good enough for her. All of the the actors get good lines, but the best ones come from Ricky Gervais, who is pretty much unknown outside of England, and Greg Kinnear, who achieved comic brilliance in Little Miss Sunshine, but also shines brightly in the upcoming drama Flash of Genius. Go see Ghost Town, and you will have a good time.
Ghost Town Review By Erin V.
***1/2 (out of 4)
In Ghost Town, Ricky Gervais plays Dr. Betram Pincus, a dentist, who after a brush with death, can now see ghosts. These aren’t scary ghosts, instead, they are best described as people that only he can see and hear. Delighted that someone can finally communicate with them, they turn to him to help them. They start to follow him around, although, at first, he believes that he is hallucinating. The ghosts are still here because they have some unfinished business to deal with, and he is the only one that can help them. The main ghost Frank, played by Greg Kinnear, is one ghost in particular that won’t leave him alone, since his widow Gwen, played by Téa Leoni, is going to marry a ‘bad man’, and he needs Dr. Pincus to intervene. Unfortunately, Dr. Pincus is no good with people, (or ghosts for that matter).
What follows plays out nicely, as the whole story is very well written and acted. Although not all that complicated a story, it is funny to watch, and very entertaining. The comic timing worked very well, and towards the end of the movie, I found myself enjoying it even more than expected. From the opening scene to the movie’s conclusion, the story plays out perfectly. Thoroughly enjoyable, and unlike some other movies that I have seen, there are not really any parts that I would have preferred to see done differently. An entertaining romance-comedy that actually really works. This being said, Ghost Town is definitely worth seeing.
Ghost Town Review By Nicole
***1/2 (out of 4)
Ghost Town is a funny movie about a self-centered dentist named Dr. Bertram Pincus, who, during a routine medical procedure, is accidentally over sedated, and briefly dies and comes back to life. When he wakes up, he realizes he has a new, (but unwanted), ability, that is, to be able to see and hear ghosts! Pretty soon, he meets a ghost named Frank, who is jealous of his widow Gwen’s new boyfriend, Richard, so he gets Dr. Pincus to hook up with her. Dr. Pincus meets Gwen, an Egyptologist, by pointing out the dental problems in a museum mummy. He starts to question Frank’s motives when he meets Gwen’s boyfriend, a human rights lawyer for Amnesty International. Dr. Pincus’ relationship with Gwen and his encounters with Frank and the other ghosts, cause Dr. Pincus to slowly begin to look beyond himself, and care for others.
This movie is funny, clever, and heartwarming. Despite some adult language, this movie does not rely on gross out gags to be funny. Instead, it relies on good lines, and good comedic timing to make you laugh. This movie is nothing but fun.
Ghost Town Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
Ghost Town is a thoroughly enjoyable romantic-comedy. What made it so enjoyable for me was the smartly written dialogue and the impeccable comic timing of actors Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. The main character, dentist Bertram Pincus, (Ricky Gervais), has a brief death experience that would lead most characters to take stock of their lives and change how the deal with others. But Dr. Pincus continues to be self-absorbed, abrupt and rude to all who come in contact with him, including the ghosts who come to him for help in getting a message out to those they’ve left behind. It is through Dr. Pincus’ reluctantly helping ghost Frank Herlihy, (Greg Kinnear), try to break up the engagement of Frank’s wife to a human rights lawyer, that Bertram Pincus starts to change. As unlikable as Bertram Pincus is, there is something about this jerk that you want to like and root for him to find happiness. The encounters with the various ghosts, including Frank, are funny without going over the top with slapstick or cheap laughs. The movie also has it’s tender side when Dr. Pincus finally decides to help the various ghosts complete their unfinished business and move on to the next world.
Overall, I laughed and I cried, and left the theater with a smile on my face. I really can’t find any faults with this movie other than a caution about some language for younger viewers. This would make a good date movie. Go see this one.
Ghost Town Review By Tony
*** (out of 4)
Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, ghosts have always been popular, from tragedies like Macbeth to comedies like Topper and even soaps, where veteran actors in semi-retirement can reprise their roles beyond the grave to spook wayward offspring (e.g. Y.& R.)
In Ghost Town, the dentist Dr. Pincus (Ricky Gervais) has a near-death experience leaving him with the ability to see dead people–the ghosts of those who died with unfinished business. They soon mob him with requests to fix on earth whatever is keeping them from their final rest. Unfortunately, he is as misanthropic as Scrooge and wants nothing to do with them. A phantom adulterer (Greg Kinnear) forever stuck in the tuxedo he had on when the bus ran over him, promises to shield Pincus from the other spirits if his widow (Téa Leoni) can be prevented from marrying a lawyer that does not meet his approval. Despite his obnoxious personality, Pincus gradually endears himself to the widow, coached by the ghost in scenes reminiscent of Play it Again Sam. It doesn’t hurt that as a dentist he can provide valuable insight into the lives and probable causes of death of the Egyptian mummies that she is studying. With a few twists along the way the film moves at a leisurely pace toward a satisfactory ending.
Though not a masterpiece, Ghost Town is a charming comedy, with fine acting by the three principals and a good supporting cast of minor characters.
Consensus: Enjoyable romatic-comedy with likable characters. Ghost Town is a charming, fun movie. ***1/2 (out of 4)