Rajkumar Santoshi's Phata Poster Nikla Hero has not managed to garner appreciation from the critics. The film, they say, doesn't offer anything new but Shahid Kapoor is the only possible reason to go for it.
Going by the reviewers, the film attempts to be a comedy and it fails miserably. Simantini Dey of Firstpost sets it straight, "If Phata Poster is meant to be a comedy, it isn’t funny. If it is an action film, then it’s so last decade. What it definitely is, is a disappointment."
Dey gives credit to the lead actor and feels there is no meat in the film except him. The critic says, "Shahid Kapoor owns whatever there is to own in this film. His face is like all the emoticons that you have ever seen, rolled into one. This could have been a bad thing, but when Kapoor pulls all these expressions, he manages to make it work. He is delightful in dance numbers like Khali Pili and Dhating Naach. However, there is only so much that he can with a half-baked character and a messy plot"
Mayank Shekhar seconds that, "This movie is supposed to be a comedy, though it’s cacophony for the most part with assorted dons, fake cops, real cops, and general unexplained madness."
Shekhar further adds: "You feel sorry for the director, swallow some pride on his behalf. But the lead actor here wanted to be a Bollywood hero anyway. The pint-sized star like Singham drops from the air on his feet over flying dust, his body horizontally swaying over the earth as villains come crashing down, he travels to desolate beaches for the Sufi song, dances on the stage for the item track, weeps for his mother, hugs his father, mimics Dev Anand, Amol Palekar for comedy. You wish him well, quickly pop a Saridon, along with the popcorn, and safely go home."
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama too feels the film is full of clichés. "It's a frothy comedy that would have gone astray and misplaced its luster had it been delegated to a lesser talent", he believes.