Several critics agree that the one-minute pitch for Identity Thief must have been a doozy: a guy (Jason Bateman) discovers that his career is potentially in shambles because of someone (Melissa McCarthy) who has stolen his credit cards and his identity. He goes to Miami, finds the thief, and decides to drive her to Denver to explain the situation to his boss. None of this, the critics say, is a bit funny. Writes Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle: There are holes in the story you could float a blimp through and Loose Ends everywhere, but none of that would matter if Identity Thief had a Spark of joy, some honest life to it. There is none. It's just an irritant. Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post uses similar words, writing that the movie turns out to be not so much a major drag as a minor irritant, the kind of instantly forgettable nothing-burger for which the early months have become notorious. But those are some of the kinder words written about the movie. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe writes that it's an obnoxious comedy made worse by obnoxious sentimentality. Unfunny, predictable, and vulgar. Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune calls it debilitatingly witless. Joe Morgenstern's take on the movie in the Wall Street Journal: Identity Thief steals time. But, oh, that performance by Melissa McCarthy. She is the supernova who burns up this show, writes Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. Says Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times: McCarthy is such a gem, with a rare ability to turn a thought into a one-woman show. And Rafer GuzmÃ¡n in Newsday suggests the film is worth seeing just to savor McCarthy's performance. Identity Thief certainly has its flaws, he writes, but McCarthy gives it a winning personality.
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