Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ★★★½

When will the Criterion Collection give us the richly presented remaster of this modern classic that we deserve?

But seriously, this is a severely underrated film—it's plain stupidity disguises it almost too well. McKay and Ferrell and their collaborators craft a brilliantly stupid satire of America in the brilliantly stupid Bush years, to the point where it's the rare film that delivers successfully to two completely different audiences.  

By allowing the sports drama tropes to carry the narrative and cannily exploiting the low expectations of "dumb" comedy, the filmmakers manage a relentless mockery of consumerism, NASCAR conservatism, American exceptionalism, homophobia and sexism (though the women's roles could have been much smarter—it's one of a few missed opportunities).

I don't know if there's another American mainstream film of the Bush era that so expertly skewers the home front culture of those years.