Directed by: Larry Charles
The Skinny: Austrian fashionista Brüno (Sacha Baron Cohen) gets fired from his TV gig and comes to the U.S. with the sole intention of becoming famous by any means necessary. This involves putting celebrities and average joes in awkward situations for our amusement.
The Good: Just you watch—"critics" are going to turn around and criticize Brüno for the very things they loved about Borat (just like the useless idiots did with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) but, let's be honest here. We know what Cohen does and it's hilarious. This is like complaining that the second Jackass movie lacked character development. The laughs in Brüno are almost exclusively of the mouth agape, "I can't believe he's doing this" variety. But isn't that what we want to see? Of course it is. You'll laugh, you'll gasp, and you'll marvel at Cohen's paratrooper-like nerves.
The Bad: The only complaint about Brüno is that the movie kind of gets away from the core of the character—targeting the shallow worlds of fashion and celebrity—and ventures into territory that is more Borat's arena (the gay conversion ministers and the hunting party especially). Not that these situations aren't funny, they are, but the movie is stronger when it stays in Bruno's wheelhouse.
No MJ: The version we saw didn't have any scenes featuring LaToya Jackson—looks like Charles and Cohen did do some last minute editing in honor of MJ's death.
Arbitrary Critic Rating: We give this four Peter Travers