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Smashed (2012)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,362

My Rating

Movie Info

Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking...especially the drinking. When Kateʼs drinking leads her to dangerous places and her job as a school teacher is put into jeopardy, she decides to join AA and get sober. With the help of her friend and sponsor Jenny, and the vice principal at her school, the awkward, but well intentioned, Mr. Davies, Kate takes steps toward improving her


Drama, Comedy


James Ponsoldt, Susan Burke

Mar 12, 2013


Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (102) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (16) | DVD (1)

There will never be another Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor, but Hollywood may have found a new Lee Remick in Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Winstead and Paul make their characters feel like flesh and blood, not stereotypical Lost Weekenders. Their love is as real as their future is shaky. And that's the film's great tragedy.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The camera work is handheld and jittery, reflecting Kate's often wobbly state of mind, and the character's decidedly nonglam wardrobe, minimal makeup and charm-free home feel honest and right.

November 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Winstead, a relative newcomer, handily carries this slender film.

November 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an addiction-and-recovery movie without the usual side-effect of wallowing melodrama.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Winstead is an inarguably warm actor. She's just not doing the sort of work that transcends the movie's shortcomings.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ponsoldt keeps up a good pace and refuses to let the material get too heavy. He focuses on the characters and their slip ups, jokes, frustrations, and all the imperfections that make up a person.

June 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Winstead is immense in this picture, a true force of nature who embodies so many complexities and demons that make her this perpetually broken protagonist...

July 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The only ingredient that renders it remotely unique is an Oscar-caliber performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the proverbial drunk with a heart - and liver - of Johnnie Walker Gold.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Smashed is a non-judgmental snapshot of the small world surrounding this couple, and is filled with insightful moments and really great low-key performances.

April 15, 2013 Full Review Source:

In under eighty minutes, Smashed succeeds in so many ways.

February 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Mary Elizabeth Winstead comes into her own in this lightly directed and disarmingly enjoyable film, which delivers its message without the aid of a soapbox.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Winstead is a revelation as a young married school teacher determined to overcome alcoholism in this gritty film clearly made by folks who've been there.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

For what it sets out to achieve and the amount it chooses to portray, Smashed does a solid job - made all the more notable thanks to Winstead.

December 20, 2012 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

Despite taking a full-on approach to the issue of alcoholism, filmmaker Ponsoldt undermines his own case by telling a story about the problem itself rather than the people caught up in it.

December 19, 2012 Full Review Source:

Has an outstanding central performance from Winstead that demonstrates Kate's emotional and intellectual understanding of the complexities of alcoholism.

December 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Smashed is a smart, sensitive and appropriately uncomfortable watch, offering an unrelentingly clear-eyed view of dependence, both emotional and substance-based.

December 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

[I]t's Winstead who is the real wonder... with an artless authenticity that is at once heartbreaking and heartening.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A film that's good on general atmosphere, totally sincere and not too sentimental.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

There is an understanding of human frailty that makes the film more appealing than the subject matter might suggest.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the essential cog in James Ponsoldt's insightful drama.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Winstead gives a very good performance: muddled, scared, but courageous.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

Wheedling and hectoring by turn, ham-dram to the hilt, full of small ideas and Big Acting, the film trails talentlessly in the wake of Days of Wine and Roses.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Largely meeting its modest goals, it's a nuanced take on patterns of dependency, and the best chance yet for this feisty young actress to prove her mettle.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Involving and occasionally powerful alcoholism drama, anchored by a stunning central performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and some impressive direction ...

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

A film that is unafraid to recognise that, for some, a life spent drunk is easier (and much less boring) than fighting a disease with no permanent cure.

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Smashed

"Smashed" follows two alcoholics as their lives begin to fall apart without them even realizing it, but when Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) begins to sober up, her husband get's even worse. Living off of his parents money, he has no reason to stop. Aaron Paul and Mary Elizabeth Winstead give their all's in their performances here and their chemistry is almost as if they are married in real life. I believed every word they were saying to each other, and with such a short running time, it did not feel like anything had been in there as filler. Extremely well-written, well-directed, and brilliantly acted, "Smashed" is one of my favourite romance films out there. I was sucked in from the beginning and cried when the characters did, and that is when you know you are watching a great film. Terrific!
July 12, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Good Indie drama about a hard partying alcoholic woman who hits rock bottom, and decides to try to sober up. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Kate, the young alcoholic woman trying to clean up her act, and she is amazing in this. The movie seemed very real in it's portrayals, and the challenges she faces in trying to stay in a marriage that's founded on drinking. Not fast moving, but heartfelt, and interesting all the same...
November 14, 2013

Super Reviewer

I expected this movie to be funnier, especially with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally in the ensemble. A young couple revels in love and booze, but the wife eventually attempts sobriety to the husband's carefully masked disappointment. Alcoholism isn't inherently funny, but a film about it should be to some extent; otherwise, the struggle becomes melodramatic and the same as every other textbook addiction film.

Nick Offerman's awkward flirtation is intended to provide some comic relief, but it just ends up being overlong, creepy, and inconsequential. The script is realistic and provides some riveting plot points (Kate teaching her 1st graders with drunken exuberance, then puking and perpetuating the kids' assumption that it was morning sickness; Kate waking up under a shady overpass, unsure and scared of what transpired the night before; Kate losing control of her bladder at the liquor store and then sneakily exiting with the wine she wasn't allowed to buy due to the curfew). However, my main critique of the script is that it needed less text and more subtext in the climactic fight scenes. The accusations are so on-the-nose: "You're the reason I can't be sober!" Everything is spelled out and predictable.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (along with Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell) has one of those faces that I can never recognize. She looks different every time I see her. She has some shining moments of vulnerability in this role, but her drunkenness is once again, a bit on the nose. My first acting teacher said acting drunk for a role is tough because drunk people don't necessarily act drunk; they try to act like they're NOT drunk. Aaron Paul, as husband Charlie, is quite magnificent with his ice-blue gaze. Charlie is slightly douchey and overall loving, but the way he loves isn't enough for Kate anymore. Aaron Paul does well in disguising his secret hope that Kate will rejoin his bad behavior as support.
July 30, 2013

Super Reviewer

A well-intentioned, though heavily flawed drama concerning an alcoholic young teacher (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who must comes to terms with her life after a series of horrible decisions under the influence of alcohol. While Winstead is utterly phenomenal in a performance that should have got her nominated for an Oscar, she's unfortunately trapped in a film that suffers from a case of inexcusably awful writing at one crucial point in the story that the film builds on. The "pregnant" lie she tells is handled horribly (anyone in the world would have said "I'm feeling sick today" instead of make up some inescapable lie), and if it weren't for Winstead being so unbelievably terrific here, the film would be near unwatchable. But she is outstanding, as is her supporting cast, and the way the writers detail their characters is actually surprisingly well-done given most indie films sometimes kick character development to the curb except for the lead character. With all that said, it's not a bad movie. It is flawed, but it is well-paced, well-acted, and as said it has a good heart at showing just how dangerous the life of an alcoholic can be, while still giving us hope that all is not lost. Not a total recommendation given it's obvious flaws. "Flight" still crushes this film given the subject material, but it's certainly not anywhere close to a bad movie.
April 26, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Charlie Hannah: Can we just play one more game? Because You're kicking my ass and it's embarrassing and l would like to have a chance to redeem myself. Please?
    – Submitted by caroban s (19 months ago)
    1. Jenny: It's hard to life your life honestly.
    – Submitted by Chris P (23 months ago)
    1. Kate Hannah: Last night I ended up... smoking crack.
    – Submitted by Chris P (23 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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