50/50

50/50

93%
  • R, 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Jonathan Levine
    In Theaters:
    Sep 30, 2011 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 24, 2012
  • Summit Entertainment

Opening

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50/50 Reviews

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August 25, 2014
Well written, well acted. 50/50 is a gem. Very rarely do movies capture the essence of health relationships so well, but 50/50 does it wonderfully. The music is great as well, as is the comedy. See it!
Simeon T.
July 28, 2014
This is a movie inspired by events in Seth Rogen's life, or rather that of his best friend (here named Adam, and played well by Joseph Gordon Levitt), who was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age and given a 50/50 chance to live (hence the title). Seth Rogen is playing himself in a similar manner as his other performances, and it is probably the best movie he has been in. Oddly, he doesn't often come off that well, and I don't think he was really meant to in the way he often is. He is an inept friend who doesn't know how to respond to something as unexpected, serious and seemingly unnatural as a young best friend getting cancer. Nobody else does either, especially the stricken lad's mother. Frankly, there is no good way to respond to this sort of thing, only levels of insufficient.

This is a movie of disarming realness which creeps up on you. It isn't raw, it goes for a more composed and understated naturalness, but it knows when to be harrowing. The scene where Adam finally breaks down in the car is hard to watch, especially for me because I've seen that breakdown with my own eyes. 50/50 unexpectedly takes the understated approach throughout, but it works pretty well, especially in capturing the banality that makes up most of the life of being a patient. It is a movie which, due to the trailer and the presence of Seth Rogen, one expects to be like another buddy raunch movie, but it isn't. I found it to possess a quiet dignity and resonance. Just a really good little movie.
Jake
August 2, 2014
The problem with 50/50 is that it tries to cushion the blow of the subject matter with cliché, Seth Rogen and neat conclusions which makes the whole film feel cheap and predictable. It's disappointing that this route was chosen given the potential of the premise.
October 1, 2011
If the topic does not scare you off, it is a very good movie. Anna kendrick steals the show (as she does on a regular basis). It has lots of heart.
ascordeiro108
ascordeiro108

Super Reviewer

June 22, 2011
Some topics were too childish for the seriousness that the movie should have
September 3, 2014
It's the first time a buddy film made me teary-eyed because of the story and not because of the laughter.

50/50 is easily one of the best drama-comedy movies I've seen. Ever. You seriously need to add this on your watch list because once you start watching, there is no turning back. The story cuts to the chase right from the very first five minutes and from there, it just continues to reel you closer and closer to its characters. What's more is that the cast have done superlative performances making the protagonists' situation even more moving and dramatic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen did a fantastic job in portraying a duo of friends who stood by each other through thick and thin. Likewise, the writing is undoubtedly a killer! It's a rollercoaster ride of laughs, tears, love, friendship and survival. Beats out all the cancer-themed films I've heard and seen so far. Director Jonathan Levine, you are awesome. 5/5 hands down.
Brett C.
August 29, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

I wasn't blown away with the first film that I have seen from director Jonathan Levine, Warm Bodies, as there were elements of it that showed high potential when read on paper but seeing his execution on screen felt underwhelming. Though even after that experience, I still had high hopes for 50/50, as its premise seemed to show an opportunity for drama and its poster and cast shows that it also could come off as funny. This film could have been the perfect drama-comedy but due to problems in balance prevent it from being so. Nevertheless, 50/50 still has its charms.

The film's plot of a young and healthy man, who suddenly received news of spinal cancer, was definitely an interesting one. I have seen many films that contain characters who suffer from the disease, but their role always seems to play as a hurdle for other characters to deal with. This time, we see a film that centralizes on the stages during this unfortunate event and ultimately leading to the final destination that determines his prognosis.

The story features interesting events that I felt was true to life. We get to watch the ranges of emotions that a person would go through when the chance of death is just around the corner. Stages of grief are clearly shown obviously here but the film prevents itself from being predictable in that sense, as though our protagonist does undergo those stages, it is written in such a way that felt personalized rather than an example from a psychological textbook.

Though I was impressed with the film's personal character driven narrative, I was even more impressed with the aspects slightly outside that, which are the relationships that the protagonist has. All figures of his life are given enough time for exploration, and each one could simply be a story on their own. I did have fun watching his relationship with his best friend as it handles the idea of friendship in such a natural way that one can't help but feel a little convinced that these are more than just fictional characters. The protagonist's relationship with his girlfriend and therapist, particularly the former, felt realistic and dealing with problems that one can also find in the people that walk around us; though I did have minor issues with his relationship with his therapist as its ending felt warm but ethically immoral even if he is not her patient anymore, I think my problem is that for a film that contains so many elements that feel organic, why hurt that with a false ending? Both of these relationships were entertaining to watch, none of them though was able to make me care as much as his relationship with his parents. Levine handles it with such tenderness that I was close to showing external sadness towards it. There was a scene near the end of the film, where the protagonist and his parents are at the pre-operation ward, waiting to be called into surgery; that moment resonated so much with me as I have had many opportunities to care for patients like him and I never really understood the feelings they go through as they always seem to project a persona in front of you telling that they are fine. Seeing him express his fear and anxiety made me recall back on my own experiences and the look his father gave to him after saying "I love you" was heartbreaking.

My core issue with this film is simply in Levine's handling of the film's tone. He clearly wants to blend the film with both a comedic and dramatic aspect but I felt he has not mixed efficiently enough that it felt like eating something with curds. The comedy in this film was certainly effective as I did find myself chuckling quite a few times but its first half reached to a point of over-saturation where it starts to hurt my overall experience, it could have been improved if Levine was able to buffer these moments with drama that echoes the effectiveness of its comedy. Also sentimentality is a tricky element, when it comes to judging how I feel about it in film, as it entirely depends on how the director executes it and the overall value of its purpose; 50/50 is definitely the type of film that I expected high sentimentality from but the film just couldn't deliver the goods. Its key moments did feel melancholy and sympathetic, but it didn't reach the heights that for example "Terms of Endearment" was able to achieve. I think Levine in this film was attempting to match the quality that Marc Webb was able to bring with "500 Days of Summer", but sadly missed the mark.

The performances from the cast in this film were great, though what they have delivered, aside from Rogen's, are far from their best. Joseph Gordon Levitt was able to handle the demands that Levine required from him, carrying heavily the dramatic aspect of the film while still possess a sense of humour. Watching him interact with both Rogen and Kendrick, and the differences that he brings to the character in each moment makes his character come to life, and avoiding coming off as one-note. Seth Rogen as I have said surprised me here, showing off a bit of emotion that I never thought the actor even had, and delivers it in such a way that was layered. This is now twice in a row that Anna Kendrick has impressed me, her performance in this film was fantastic, portraying as the love interest but does so in a way that avoids the overly-recycled and recognizable characteristics, at least that is how I felt. This is certainly far from her best role, as for now that merit goes to her role in Up in the Air.

I definitely expected more from 50/50, but overall it holds up and has determined itself to be worthy of at least positive praise. After seeing this, it does make me worry whether or not Levine is actually a worthy filmmaker to invest my time in as he doesn't seem to have a personal trademark that make himself distinctive from his rival competitors.
August 19, 2014
50/50 presents a touch topic, but is charming, heartfelt, surprisingly funny and emotionally powerful at times, and features a career best performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
August 16, 2014
50 50 is like life, true and direct...Great casting makes this intents subject, Cancer, and struggle and desire to live, easier to deal with and there are good break times from the subject for the audience.
August 12, 2014
An incredibly captivating film that smartly blends humor and drama. It's a real tear-jerker for sure!
August 10, 2014
Divertida, dramática son los adjetivos que componen esta excelente película, las actuaciones son tan convincentes, en especial las de Joseph Gordon Levitt y Seth Rogen, una excelente obra, bastante recomendable.
July 11, 2012
(First and only viewing - 7/11/2012)
August 1, 2014
An emotional feel so good movie
July 28, 2014
Enjoyable, but not quite as funny or emotionally stimulating (?) as I expected. That's why it's bad to go into movies with high expectations.
May 26, 2013
Excelente pelicula , y como dicen las reseñas ries y lloras
July 25, 2014
JGL! proven once again.
July 20, 2014
Second time I watched and it still keeps my attention riveted. Substance, actors, music, scenery, filming : All exceptionally moving. And funny.
Mandy Acosta
October 27, 2013
50/50 makes you laugh when it's funny and hurt when it hurts.
July 17, 2014
One of the most moving films I have ever seen. It's funny when it needs to be and heartfelt as well. It's a beautiful balancing act and one of 2012's best movies.
July 11, 2014
ace movie on a close to home subject - music great - the scene where he gets stoned for first time in hospital is really funny
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