Get Smart

Rated 5.0

Steve Carell plays hard-working, clueless secret agent Maxwell Smart, the role created by Don Adams in the 1960s spy-spoof sitcom, and it’s an inspired pairing of a new star with an old character. The inspirations don’t stop there: Anne Hathaway as the efficient, fetching Agent 99; Alan Arkin as the Chief, Terence Stamp as the villain Siegfried—indeed, the entire cast (and some unbilled cameos) could hardly be improved. Director Peter Segal and writers Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember transcend their unexceptional résumés with an expertly constructed script and a light-footed pace that builds laugh on laugh from scene to scene, suggesting that series creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry (billed here as “consultants”) were not only consulted but listened to. All movies based on old sitcoms should be this good.