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My Sister's Keeper (2009)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 136
Fresh: 65 | Rotten: 71

My Sister's Keeper gets fine performances from its adult and child actors, but the director's heavy-handed approach turns a worthy emotional subject into an overly melodramatic tearjerker.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 21

My Sister's Keeper gets fine performances from its adult and child actors, but the director's heavy-handed approach turns a worthy emotional subject into an overly melodramatic tearjerker.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 364,480

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Nick Cassavetes collaborates with screenwriter Jeremy Leven (The Notebook) for this drama about a pair of parents who resort to unorthodox methods in order to save their young daughter's life, only to find their decision coming back to haunt them in a manner neither could have ever foreseen. Sara (Cameron Diaz) and Brian (Jason Patric) are coasting through life with their young son and daughter when tragedy threatens to tear the family apart. Suddenly, their baby girl falls ill, and her



Jeremy Leven, Nick Cassavetes

Nov 17, 2009


Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (137) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (71) | DVD (9)

Diaz is a whiny irrelevance, but sharp supporting work from Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack makes the proceedings tolerable for boyfriends.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where restraint might have raised up My Sister's Keeper, a heavy hand has brought it down.

July 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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I found the movie to be really tough and challenging and enjoyable.

June 29, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I have a heart. I just don't want schlock.

June 29, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

My Sister's Keeper targets tear ducts so ruthlessly, it might as well be sponsored by Kleenex.

June 26, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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Uneven but deeply moving.

June 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tearjerker that aims for rarefied feelings as well as knee-jerk, sentimental moments.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

My Sister's Keeper is a committee-approved nerve-snapper that, much like its main character, has been genetically engineered to MAKE! YOU! CRY!

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Strong performances, and a subtle script make director Cassavetes film one of the better tearjerkers of the year...

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The film has its flaws and swims in meticulously crafted schmaltz... yet also has well-conceived tender moments hiding in the fringes.

December 6, 2009 Full Review Source:

My Sister's Keeper demands nothing less than a tidal wave of tears.

November 28, 2009 Full Review Source: What Would Toto Watch? | Comment (1)
What Would Toto Watch?

The film has a profound and compelling premise. Regrettably, it seems intent on being about everything but that premise.

November 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

I tried to keep an open mind, hoping something would win me over. It didn't happen.

November 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

[I]ntelligent, moving and even occasionally funny, although you might want to bring along a few tissues just in case.

August 11, 2009 Full Review Source: New England Movies Weekly
New England Movies Weekly

Cassavetes...shows great skill in weaving bright moments -- even an adolescent romance -- into the gloom. It's still bittersweet, but like mass-produced crème caramel, never too bitter.

July 31, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

[Cassavetes] refuses to let the material speak for itself, putting a famous-for-making-women-cry song behind almost every scene, and lingering on every sentimental moment.

July 31, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Bring the tissues. This film works.

July 31, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

What starts as an exploration of the ethics of organ-donation and genetic selection, rapidly disintegrates into a sloppy, unstructured, tear-jerking mess.

July 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Screenwize | Comment (1)

There's no question that this is a really intriguing drama and a drama that I think deserved better treatment than it gets here because I think Nick Cassevetes -- I don't think he's a very good director, really.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

There is a touch of contrivance to the set-up that is not totally convincing and the film avoids much of the ethical arguments in favour of family drama. But I must admit to being affected.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

A morally ambiguous tearjerker with a twist.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Though the motives of My Sister's Keeper will seem dubious to some, there is no denying the performances on display keep everything in the realm of the watchable.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

As manufactured Disease of the Week weepies go, Nick Cassavetes's drama based on a Jodi Picoult bestseller, is surprisingly moving.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Courier Mail (Australia)

The decision to avoid unnecessary sentimentality defines this film, elevating it to a more thoughtful if a touch less engaging arena, sacrificing emotional escapism for conversation provoking tragedy.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The obnoxious calculation smothers what should've been a pure articulation of melancholy and a potent debate of morality.

July 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons | Comment (1)
Dark Horizons

Sometimes, a sad story isn't just a manipulative venture that makes you cry. Sometimes, as in 'The Notebook,' it's a tale well told that brings out honest emotions. Sometimes, it's in a movie such as 'My Sister's Keeper.'

July 15, 2009 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Audience Reviews for My Sister's Keeper

He's probably tired of people comparing him to his parents and I really shouldn't but I can't help it. How the hell can the Son of one of America's greatest directors/writers and 2 of the greatest actors of all time write/direct such an awful and terribly acted film? The initial story was strong but was soon almost forgotten about, like it drew the crowd in but didn't live up to its promise. It's so heavy handed that instead of feeling any empathy for any of the characters I just gave up caring. Some of the depictions of cancer patients and medical staff are verging on unforgivable and are at best insulting. Don't get me started on awful acting either, I can't be bothered to write any more about this film - a lazy review of a lazy film, not recommended.
September 14, 2012

Super Reviewer

A very poignant look at a family dealing with a 15 year old daughter going thru leukemia treatments, and the family problems it creates along the way. A very well written movie, with many lessons to be learned for everyone. Sofia Vassilieva was awesome as the leukemia stricken teenager who handles it valiantly. Tissues required..
October 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

One of the most heartbreaking films I have ever watched. The ending is so unexpected. It changes your views completely.
June 23, 2011
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

    1. Anna Fitzgerald: Once upon a time I thought I was put on earth to save my sister. And in the end I couldn't do it. I realize now that wasn't the point. The point was I had a sister. She was fantastic. One day I'm sure I'll see her again. But until then our relationship continues...
    – Submitted by Selena T (20 months ago)
    1. Jesse Fitzgerald: I tried to wake her up. I poked her and everything.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Anna Fitzgerald: Most babies are accidents. Not me. I was engineered. Born to save my sister's life.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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