People Like Us - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

People Like Us Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 15, 2015
An unapologetic chick flick with all the trimmings, but at least done with some intelligence, and with some respect for their audience. The story of how two families come to discover they've the same father is not overly convoluted, which is to say, simple, but the performances of the leads are committed enough to carry the day.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2012
People Like Us was a good movie with a great cast. The story was really good. I loved that Sam started out self absorbed to by the end being so open and loving. His mother and father really did a number on him. She is where I think he got his selfish ways. The fact that she made her husband give up a relationship and any kind of connection with his daughter really made me dislike her.
I loved Pine and Banks together on screen. They flowed well together making is very easy to believe they had a close connection. I think Michael Hall did a great job in this. He held his own with these actors. I look forward to see how he does in future films.
The ending was really sweet. It couldn't have ended in an any better way.
It is a great family drama. I will definitely be seeing this again.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2013
This has to be under everyone's radar and that's a true shame. I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for a truly moving film about fractured families and fractured souls.

I was completely blown away by this movie and by every single performance. If I were an Academy member and I saw this film I would immediately place the names Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer at the very top of my Oscar nominations lists. Honestly, everyone is just that good in these roles especially Banks. Hers is the best performance I've seen this year bar none. The movie itself is so wonderfully written and packs true emotional resonance. The plot may sound cliché but nothing is handled in a predictable or unreal fashion. Secrets are revealed and it sheds new life on family and the meaning of love. To paraphrase: what seems important now really isn't and what's may seem not important now really is... there's a lot to digest about this film. One thing's for sure, if you "lean in to it" and give this movie your time and undivided attention you will not be sorry that you saw it. 5 Stars 2-7-13
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2013
A fine little gem featuring solid performances from Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Very moving. Heartwarming. Very well done...complete with the most absolutely perfect ending.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2012
i loved this movie!!
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2012
"People Like Us" is a chick flick type movie that doesn't really work. It wants to be a comedy and a drama, but instead of meeting somewhere in the middle, it just kind of turns into a boring mess of a movie. The movie is about Sam(Chris Pine) who is a salesman on the verge of being fired and he is neck high in debt. His dad dies and leaves 100 thousand dollars to a kid named Josh. Josh's mom is Frankie(Elizabeth Banks), the sister that Sam never knew he had. He then befriends Sam while dealing with the dilemma of whether or not to tell her who is is and keep the money, or give her the money. It starts out good and the performances are all good, but it just drags a lot in the middle and the ending is pretty unsatisfying. Worth a one time watch, maybe, but really this is one you should probably just skip. My wife fell asleep so I would say ladies, save the time and get a different movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2012
Find your family.

Great Drama of 2012! This is an adult family film. It's PG-13 rating is not for nudity, swearing, or violence. It is rated that because it is a mature look at dysfunctional family problems. So while little of that is shown, they are referred to through the dialog, thus making it a mature film for teens and up. The musical score had some strong moments, particularly when they highlighted classic rock tunes from decades ago. There were periodic sentimental tunes, which seemed a bit manipulative. And there was a beach scene which was a bit deflated, because it was so typically pretty. I wish this film would have taken more risks, and navigated through an even murkier emotional landscape. The movie handles all the topics brilliantly, not making stupid gags to get people attention, not playing the banality speech to attract it's audience and not making stupid cliché moments to indulge in the Hollywood sequence of how a drama should be played to the masses, in exchange it give us characters that are truly alive. Overall, the movie is depressing, heartfelt, moving, inspiring and very much worth seeing.

Sam has been keeping his distance from his father. When his father dies, he goes home for the funeral, and to see if his father left him any money so that he could bail himself out of his latest jam. But he learns that his father left all of his money to someone named Josh Davis. He finds him and learns that he is the troubled son of a woman named Frankie. Sam thinks she is his sister. He doesn't give the money cause he needs it. He makes contact with her but doesn't tell her who he is. Eventually they become friends and even helps Josh with his problems.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2012
An astonishing gem of a film. A terrific and heart breakingly great movie. A wonderful, funny and deeply moving experiance. Director, Alex Kurtzman crafts a riveting first feature film thats a perfect balance of humor, drama and alot of heart. A rich in character and exreamly well-told film. Some of the strongest writing in a film this year from Kurtzman and Robert Orcio. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks gives magnificent performances, they have outstanding chemistry and are extreamly character driven. Banks is perfect, shes a force to be reckoned with. Pine is beyound brilliant. These two stars shine in every possiable way and give some amazing work. Michcelle Pfeiffer gives some of her best work in this film. Movies dont give much more heart than this film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2012
The film gets props for the interesting premise and set-up, but a solid D on the execution. Everything about the screenplay is muddied and logically flawed and Chris Pine is just terrible. The main bright spot is Elizabeth Banks, who plays a believable down-on-her-luck single mother. Ultimately, most of the film is just laughably bad and hardly worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2014
In "People Like Us," Sam Harper(Chris Pine) is having a very bad week. First, there is that bad shipment of tomato bisque to Ecuador that could potentially get him into legal trouble. Then, his father dies. His conveniently leaving his wallet behind in the car delays their departure but only until his girlfriend Hannah(Olivia Wilde) schedules a later flight. That arrives after the funeral but not late enough for them to help his mother(Michelle Pfeiffer) with the clean up. And then his father's lawyer(Philip Baker Hall) gives him $150,000 to give to the nephew, Josh(Michael Hall D'Addario), Sam never knew he had. Josh's mother Frankie(Elizabeth Banks) could use any kind of good news since she barely persuades his school to not only keep him out of Guantanamo but also not to expel him after he blows up the school pool.

While not being in any way creatively revolutionary("Brothers & Sisters" used to tell a similar story every other episode), "People Like Us" still succeeds, by going the route of understatement to detail the complexity and messy nature of families. This starts with the opening shorthand gestures to introduce its characters and closes neatly enough, with just enough openings at the end to denote the fact that not all of their struggles' have ended, especially economically. A lot of this works due to the quality of the performances as Chris Pine proves his mettle as a young actor while Michelle Pfeiffer does some of her best work by doing less.
Super Reviewer
½ October 31, 2012
Pine's character is introduced in one of those classic Hollywood fluff openings, setting him up as a bit of a cad, though certainly charismatic. He works in "bartering", a trade which is made to look a lot more simplistic here than I suspect it actually is. Ignoring a series of phone calls from his mother (Pfeiffer), he arrives home to girlfriend Wilde who breaks the news that his father has passed away. Reluctantly Pine heads out to Los Angeles but manipulates events so as to arrive late for the funeral. Desperate for money, he's excited at the prospect of an inheritance but is shocked to find his father has left $150,000 to Banks, a sister Pine never knew existed. At first he plans to keep the money himself but curiosity gets the better of him and he befriends Banks and her precocious son D'Addario.
On paper it's a story with promise but as this is from the writers of the "Transformers" trilogy, dramatic detail is traded for cliched montages underscored by seventies rock classics. It seems Kurtzman has been taking notes from Michael Bay and has adopted the same ADD style of film-making, all flashy edits and camera moves that seem to go nowhere. The general feeling is of an extended episode of one of those family drama shows that always seem to air on Sunday evenings. Perhaps Kurtzman should have hired W.G Snuffy Walden to score the film. The uncomfortable theme of a woman becoming attracted to a man she doesn't know is her brother is glossed over, lost among the hard rock and orange sunsets.
Pine is an admittedly charming screen presence but he lacks the range for this character and at times it seems he's on the verge of romancing Banks rather than just expressing brotherly feelings. Pfeiffer would seem at least ten years too young for her role, given the historical context of her back-story. The most convincing performance comes courtesy of Banks though you can't help wish they'd played the story more for laughs. Her stint on TV's "30 Rock" showed her to be a fine comic performer. Sadly for Banks, her character is paper thin, one of those remarkably good looking recovering alcoholics you only find in films of this ilk.
Kurtzman should stick to giant robots as he seems clueless when it comes to presenting convincing human characters.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2012
A well done story of a family whose dynamic was horribly broken by the recently deceased patriarch's inability to connect with his family. Sam, who avoids painful confrontation like the plague and is a pathological liar to boot, discovers that he has a sister, Frankie, he knew nothing about. She has been suffering from abandonment issues and of course, is unaware of what caused her father to leave. The interesting thing in this was to watch the characters begin to find strength and healing in finally confronting their past with honesty, in spite of the pain it caused in the short term. Chris Pine surprised in the depth of emotion he brought to the screen, and Elizabeth Banks was terrific as the single mom struggling with a problem child. The supporting cast was more than adequate, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Sam's mother, newcomer Michael Hall D'Addario as Frankie's troubled son and Jon Favreau in a brief appearance as Sam's boss as the standouts. This one really tugs at the ol' heartstrings, but will have you cheering at the end.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2012
It's kinda weird that so many of us are rooting for the drama these days. So scarce in the marketplace that big studios won't put down the graphic novels they read in bed to consider making one, dramas used to be the norm. Can you imagine ORDINARY PEOPLE, or KRAMER VS. KRAMER getting made in this 3D Superhero climate let alone even getting a "Consider" from a Development Assistant's top sheet?

So when I heard that Dreamworks was putting some money into a weepy family dramedy with the likes of Chris Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer and Elizabeth Banks, I figured this had better be the most amazing story ever told in order to get this one past the suits. Or perhaps the studios owed somebody a passion project in exchange for, I don't know, Captain Kirking up the joint?

Regardless, I wish I could say that PEOPLE LIKE US is the "Comic Book Killer" movie we've all been waiting for, but it's not. It's well-intentioned, slightly undeveloped, ferociously directed yet overly so, and filled with terrific performances....yet it adds up to a good, surprising cry at the end preceded by the classic "Aggressive Douche Learns To Tell The Truth And Be A Responsible Member Of The Human Race" storyline we've seen a gazillion times. Frankly, I would like for this storyline to play out just once amongst the entire population of Los Angeles, but, alas, I'm clearly dreaming.

Everybody acquits themselves nicely, the cards all fall into place as you would expect, and, and, and...God, this film is just so forgettable. I saw it over a month ago, didn't really care to write about it then, and frankly, I still couldn't care less. Alex Kurtzman, an established producer making his feature debut here, directs as if nobody is ever going to give him the gig again. It's a classic rookie mistake of putting way too much energy into every shot, leaving absolutely no room for restraint and breathing room. This is kinetic filmmaking, and I applaud his energy and enthusiasm...but it's in service of the wrong script and the wrong genre.

Maybe he felt that the only way to get butts in the seats was to fool people into thinking it was an action film. Trust me, the audience may be stupid sometimes, but without a gizmo in the poster, ain't no chance in hell they're seeing your drama, however shiny the gift wrap may be. This depressing state of affairs is far more interesting a topic than anything presented in this film...except for that ending. It's beautiful emotional and totally unexpected, filled with restraint lacking in so much of the film. So, see it for the ending, but just don't expect to remember the first 110 minutes.
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2012
Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks make good use of the script in crafting detailed characters who dance around each other until they must decide whether or not to be a family. Great work.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2012
This drama is a directorial debut by Star Trek screenwriter Alex Kurtzman. The story of Sam (Chris Pine), a struggling corporate barterer in New York, is written by Kurtzman, Jody Lambert and Roberto Orci and is trying to take us into the world of a young businessman who is in trouble after one of his deals violates federal law. He discovers a ruinous family secret during a return trip home to attend the funeral of his estranged father, and in the wake of this life-altering revelation, he embarks on a transformative journey - a journey that will alter the way he looks at life, love, and family.

This was described as a heartfelt drama but from a movie starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Jon Favreau and Michelle Pfeiffer, I was expecting a little bit more! It's not a bad movie, far from it, but it felt like a flat fizzy drink at the time and I needed to refresh myself to stay in the story. If you have some spare time, like a little bit raw cute/sweet soapy situations - maybe you could spare some time for this one... if you don't: consider other options.
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2012
The film was so so. I was expecting it to be really good, cause the trailer is good. The film reminded me too much of Rain Man and Bounce. There is some scenes in this film that felt like a bad copy of scenes from Rain Man and Bounce. The film needed a major rewrite. I major subplot of the film is left hanging and unresolved, which in my opinion is a major mistake. On a positive, the film has a good soundtrack.

Chris Pine's character reminded me too much of Tom Cruise's character in Rain Man and Ben Affleck's character in Bounce. Elizabeth Banks is great in the film. She definitely shines. She kind of reminded me of Gwyneth Paltrow's character from Bounce. Pine and Banks have a good on screen chemistry. It kind of reminded me of Affleck and Paltrow's chemistry in the film Bounce. Michael Hall D'Addario was miscast as Banks's son. Olivia Wilde is great in her supporting role. Michelle Pfeiffer stole the film in my opinion. She is terrific in every scene that she is in. I wanted to see more of her in the film.
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2012
It was easy to miss People Like Us in theaters. It was all too easily passed over due to the crowded weekend it decided to debut this summer. That is not to say it deserved more recognition than it's received and though it doesn't demand your attention it is a nice, simple film that travels its middle of the road path with precision. The film has a wonderful cast that exudes passion for the story it is telling even when the story can be extremely frustrating. Pine does some great work here, and does his best to define his abilities since breaking out in Star Trek. Elizabeth Banks, who seems to creep into every film this year is the anchor on this one though. Making her character a strong woman rather than the self-pity type she could have so easily been allows the audience to embrace her. It is the winning performances of both Pine and Banks that keep us strapped to our seats even as we want to get restless through the middle section of the film. There is fine enough supporting work from Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael D'Addario though Wilde and Pfeiffer's roles could easily be cameos. Still, each character garners their moment and the conclusion of the story more than makes up for the moments we wanted to give up on Pine's Sam. The studios tried to market this as a film in the vein of last years smash The Help, but there is something more low-key about this flick that doesn't necessitate it as a huge hit. This is a standard drama with an interesting story and more interesting characters. It is well-written and well-directed. It isn't overly flashy, but it knows its color scheme well and plays to its strengths. It is a perfect little film to rent on a rainy night while you look around at the family you're with and understand why it's important to appreciate them.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2012
'People Like Us' (2012) was so boring! (SPOILER ALERT), why in the world would a brother not tell his sister that they were related? Also, why in the world would she get mad over the fact that he was her brother? I was hoping it would get better... but it never did.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2012
The worst part about this movie is that I didn't write it. A great story made very well.
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