50/50 (15)

Film

Comedy drama

50/50

50/50

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Fri Sep 30 2011

Modern bromance edges towards the serious with this comedy-drama about a Seattle radio exec, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who develops a rare form of cancer, and the goofy best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), who urges him to turn his frown upside down and use his newfound condemned-man cachet to pull chicks.

Questions of poor taste are partly sidestepped by the fact that writer Will Reiser was inspired by his own battle with the big C, and although his script never gets to grips with the ugly reality of the disease, it has the ring of truth to it. The acting, too, is mostly superb, especially Gordon-Levitt in a tricky, often unsympathetic lead role.

Elsewhere, ‘50/50’ runs into trouble: Jonathan Levine’s direction is sitcom-flat and the soundtrack is stuffed with predictable indie whinge-rock from the likes of Radiohead and Pearl Jam. Most damaging of all, the film’s female characters run the gamut of misogynist cliché: Anna Kendrick is sympathetic but non-threatening as the love interest, while the treatment of Adam’s flighty, unsupportive ex-girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) develops from dismissive to vicious, a bitter streak also reflected in Rogen’s bullish, unlikeable turn and a shrill, throwaway appearance by Angelica Huston as Adam’s flappy mum.

So, on the one hand there are a brace of memorable one-liners, some powerhouse performing and an infectious sense of joie de vivre in the face of extreme duress; on the other, a sad lack of cinematic ambition and some shady gender politics. 50/50 is about right.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Nov 25, 2011

Duration:

100 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
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Sam

I honestly think this is a masterpiece. Its the only movie that has made me go directly from laughing to sobbing (I cried, I'll admit it), and that's all you can ask of a movie. Contrary to the critic's review, I thought Anna Kendrick was absolutely fantastic, and while we do agree about the movie making his ex a stereotypical wicked witch type person, I think it would have made the movie to crowded and a little to heavy if they tried to fully develop her character. Seth Rogan adds some much needed comedy, and Adam's Mom really helps the movie hit on an emotional level. Like I said- a 9.5/10 masterpiece.

Sam

I honestly think this is a masterpiece. Its the only movie that has made me go directly from laughing to sobbing (I cried, I'll admit it), and that's all you can ask of a movie. Contrary to the critic's review, I thought Anna Kendrick was absolutely fantastic, and while we do agree about the movie making his ex a stereotypical wicked witch type person, I think it would have made the movie to crowded and a little to heavy if they tried to fully develop her character. Seth Rogan adds some much needed comedy, and Adam's Mom really helps the movie hit on an emotional level. Like I said- a 9.5/10 masterpiece.

Londonjames

I'm a 30 something male who had potentially fatal cancer a couple of years back, and this film deals perfectly with what it does to your head and how it makes you feel. Friends all react in different ways; so I can't understand the negative Seth Rogen comments. I'm not his biggest fan but watching him try to handle the situation via escapism and deflection mirrored many of my own experiences. Ignore the comments about this being a 'Hollywood treatment' of cancer. It isn't. It gives a terrible subject a light hearted balance by adding humour: what's so wrong about that? Surely it's better to prepare for death with a smile on your face, enjoying what your remaining life has to offer. All in all, great music, great acting and a fine film. I don't mind admitting it brought a tear to my normally hardened eye.

Londonjames

I'm a 30 something male who had potentially fatal cancer a couple of years back, and this film deals perfectly with what it does to your head and how it makes you feel. Friends all react in different ways; so I can't understand the negative Seth Rogen comments. I'm not his biggest fan but watching him try to handle the situation via escapism and deflection mirrored many of my own experiences. Ignore the comments about this being a 'Hollywood treatment' of cancer. It isn't. It gives a terrible subject a light hearted balance by adding humour: what's so wrong about that? Surely it's better to prepare for death with a smile on your face, enjoying what your remaining life has to offer. All in all, great music, great acting and a fine film. I don't mind admitting it brought a tear to my normally hardened eye.

Cassius

I don't agree with the misogynisict tag. Apart from the girlfriend all the characters have their positive and negative qualities. Even Seth Rogan has questionable motives. That debate aside, no one has mentioned the emotional depth of the film which is achieved without resorting to melodrama. This is a funny and quietly touching film. I had no problem with the music.

DC

Unsure where the mysogynist hang up stems from. Do all films need to strike a healthy gender balance? Can this not be this characters experience? Can this flawed reaction not be this mans way of dealing with the double blow of cancer and infidelity? It wasnt the "correct" reaction to have and neither in was it healthy for he and his counsellor to get together, but I liked that the film didnt try to mask the emotional confusion and dizziness cancer can cause. Review of reviews aside; it was a lovely watch, well scripted, well performed and well directed. It had its flaws but managed to pack a mainstream emotional punch in a year where the mainstream largely failed to deliver.

Paul

After first seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the wonderful Mysterious Skin, I always make a point of seeing his films and this has to be the most disappointing. A good topic to tackle but Hollywood seems incapable of departing from its formula to make a film close to life. A wasted opportunity, but acceptable stuff to munch your popcorn to. Don't rush tho' and wait for the dvd or bargain bin.

Mike

I didn’t need much persuading to see this movie - I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Angelica Houston are all exceptional actors. Rogen plays messy, chaotic, but intensely loyal friend, to Gordon-Levitt’s slightly uptight, organised, and career focused. . Despite Gordon-Levitt playing someone so ill at such a young age, the humour in the movie is very well done – neither trying too hard, nor too subtle – just consistently chuckle-worthy. I loved the bit when Gordon-Levitt was trying to find a way to tell his mum he had cancer, and started with “Mum, you know the film Terms of Endearment …�, and also Rogen helping Gorden-Levitt shave his head before chemo, but forgetting to clean his beard trimmer, which it transpired had been used for everything but his beard. I thought this was a great movie and, unusually, I’m definitely going to see this again in the next week or so. I can’t see that “the Academy� will nominate this for an Oscar – it’s just not that sort of movie – it’s too young at heart. But it is good. Recommended. Definitely 8/10 or 4 stars.

long cat

Dire piece of junk. Unconvincing storyline and Rogen's character destroys what coud've been a decent film. Take him out of it and it would gain three stars but I got so pissed off with it I walked out.

scrumpyjack

I thought the comment below mine was that idiot that infects this site with his crap humour but i was wrong and apologise. This review is total crap as it reads like a 2* job but dishes out 3 where a strong 4 are in order. 8/10 EXCELLENT stuff!

john o sullivan

Agree with the review... the scene of them destroying the artwork was borderline mysoginist the only thing that saved the film for me were the two performances of kendrick and bryce howard. begining to think ritchies daughter is in some sort of competetion with jessica chastain for title of best actor of the year. she manages to squeeze some much out of so little