Most parents would do anything to protect their children from danger. In Neighbors, that danger takes the form of a discarded used condom on a young couple’s front lawn, and the offending party is the raucous fraternity — led by an ab-fab Zac Efron — that just moved in next door. Seth Rogen and Bridemaids‘ Rose Byrne play the young suburban couple whose lives are upended by the frat’s 24-hour antics. And as it turns out, the tit-for-tat battle of wills and pranks that ensues might be the season’s funniest comedy.
Director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is back in an R-rated groove — after co-writing two Muppets movies — and Neighbors has the polish and personnel of a Judd Apatow joint (though the Knocked Up filmmaker is not involved). There’s Rogen, playing a new dad who can’t help but look longingly at the fun going on next door. There’s Dave Franco and McLovin himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, playing oddly-talented members of the fraternity. And there’s the delightfully surprising Byrne, who plays a young mother struggling with her new role at home with a baby. In fact, though she’s surrounded by larger comic personae, Byrne — who proved she could do comedy in 2011’s Bridesmaids — marks her own territory. “Speaking in her native Aussie twang, Byrne shows that she’s a deadpan comic ace,” writes EW’s Chris Nashawaty. “And thanks to her chemistry with Rogen, Neighbors proves that just because you grow up doesn’t mean you have to be a grown-up.”
Read Nashawaty’s entire review, as well as a round-up of other notable critics, below. READ FULL STORY