Stan & Ollie (2019)

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Critic Consensus: Stan & Ollie pays tribute to a pair of beloved entertainers with an affectionate look behind the scenes -- and a moving look at the burdens and blessings of a creative bond.

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Movie Info

Laurel & Hardy, one of the world's great comedy teams, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shines through, they re-connect with their adoring fans. The tour becomes a hit, but Stan & Ollie can't quite shake the specter of Laurel and Hardy's past; the long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver's failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages, they are aware that they may be approaching their swan song, trying to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.

Cast

Steve Coogan
as Stan Laurel
John C. Reilly
as Oliver Hardy
Nina Arianda
as Ida Kitaeva Laurel
Shirley Henderson
as Lucille Hardy
Danny Huston
as Hal Roach
Rufus Jones
as Bernard Delfont
Susy Kane
as Cynthia Clark
Ella Kenion
as Holiday Camp Organizer
Harry Hepple
as Wally Brady
Bentley Kalu
as Elephant Wrangler
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Critic Reviews for Stan & Ollie

All Critics (175) | Top Critics (33)

[T]his one is worthwhile viewing, no matter how lightly it might tread.

Jan 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's a modest film, but a very good one, and by the end I was quite moved by its valiant belief in decency and in the duo's eternal appeal.

Jan 26, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

"Stan & Ollie" has plenty to say about the things that bring us together, and the things that keep us together.

Jan 24, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

When it's not trying too hard, "Stan & Ollie" is itself a sweetly charming good time.

Jan 23, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A rueful and respectful tribute that stands on its own because of the extraordinary performances of Steve Coogan as Stan and John C. Reilly as Ollie.

Jan 22, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

For a movie focused on two of the most influential performers in comedy history, it feels like an especially cruel joke - and not even the punchiness of its two stars can help the thing land.

Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Stan & Ollie

½

A touching and sweet story of two friends who through good times and bad times in their careers, really cared bout and loved each other. Coogan and Reilly light up the screen as Laurel and Hardy and you forget they are acting. Henderson and Arianda are also very good as their wives. A true treat for fans of the comedy duo! 01-29-2019

Christopher Oakley
Christopher Oakley

Super Reviewer

This sweetly nostalgic film looks back at the friendly and fractious relationship between classic comedy partners Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), the top comedy duo for decades. Flash forward to 1957 and they're older and touring England to regain enough relevancy to scrap together a movie deal. It's a delight to watch both actors just perform as the famous comedians and they cannily turn any opportunity into a recitation of a physical comedy bit. At its heart, the film is about the close relationship of the two men, what pushed them apart, and what brings them back together. It's a very undemanding movie that is very nice, populated with nice people doing nice things for one another, bowled over by the sincere power of humor. Coogan and Reilly (in a very big fat suit) give honest performances rather than impressions. I never knew Laurel was so instrumental in developing their material, and he continued writing Laurel and Hardy material long after his partner died. The movie glides along on its good feelings and historical recreations, settling into a nostalgic sweet spot that isn't too far into maudlin but interesting enough to justify the trip. If you're a fan of Old Hollywood magic and Laurel and Hardy, then Stan & Ollie is a dream. Nate's Grade: B

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

½

A very sweet and tender gaze into the downside of a career of comedy's iconic double act. Reilly and especially Coogan seem to disappear into their characters in order to tell the story of barnstorming the UK in the 1950's. Much better than expected. (1-29-19)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer

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