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Can We Take a Joke?

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Ted Balaker

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About the Movie

In the age of social media, nearly every day brings a new eruption of outrage. While people have always found something to be offended by, their ability to organize a groundswell of opposition to – and public censure of – their offender has never been more powerful. Today we’re all one clumsy joke away from public ruin. Can We Take A Joke? offers a thought-provoking and wry exploration of outrage culture through the lens of stand-up comedy, with notables like Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, and Adam Carolla detailing its stifling impact on comedy and the exchange of ideas. What will the future will be like if we can’t learn how to take a joke?

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 20
  • Fresh: 11
  • Rotten: 9
  • Average Rating: 5.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: It would be better if it ... at least acknowledged the possibility that some jokes ought not be told. – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, Jul 28, 2016

Fresh: "Can We Take a Joke?" ... poses a valid question at a juncture when freedom of speech is a hot topic, especially where the Internet is concerned. – Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, Jul 28, 2016

Fresh: It's all awfully dispiriting. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Jul 21, 2016

Rotten: It's not the state that has turned against them; it's audiences. – Chris Packham, Village Voice, Jul 28, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Forget the law, think about the culture

We all know where the law comes down on free speech, but how do we as a society informally police speech in a way that also encourages debate and artistic expression? This movie does an excellent job of examining that question through the lense of stand-up comedy.

If you like good comedy, you'll be entertained by this movie. If you like good stories, you'll be moved by the story of comedy legend Lenny Bruce. If you like to sink your teeth into meaty issues, you won't want to miss this exploration of taboo, offense, and our free speech values.

Engaging and Entertaining

Examines the concerning trend of increased censorship in society, especially from the left. Lot's of great actual examples of shame mobs attempting to silence people and ruin their lives because of a joke they didn't like. Extremely interesting to hear top comedians discuss the matter, and even more interesting to hear the experts explain why free speech is so fundamently important for society. Highly reccomend that everyone check this movie out.

Outrageously Excellent and Inspiring and Entertaining

Late last night I figured I'd take a look at the first few minutes of this film before bedtime so I could decide whether to watch the whole thing later. Big mistake. Once I started, I had to watch the whole thing. I could not stop. It is a moving and thought provoking civil rights documentary, and, at the same time, an engaging and fun drama. I've never written an iTunes review before, but for something this brilliant and this worthwhile, I will.

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