21 Jump Street
With their feature debut, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Phil Lord and Chris Miller established themselves as smart, sensitive and irreverent filmmakers, applying all three qualities equally to successfully adapt a beloved children’s book. But in reviving 21 Jump Street for the big screen, the filmmaking duo create an action comedy that skillfully navigates between source material homage, genre deconstruction and sweetly straightforward character study, anchored by two great performances from Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, the movies relishes opportunities to take buddy-cop and rom-com clichés apart while delivering some genuinely exciting action, as well as some of the great comedy set pieces of the year. Where Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 lacks some of the structure and sharpness of his earlier work, 21 Jump Street evidences Apatow’s influence and then shows how effective that approach can be when applied with greater discipline, even to a framework that otherwise feels completely familiar. Not just a terrific comedy but one of the best and most enjoyable moviegoing experiences of the year.