The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Still, it's Gordon-Levitt's choices that continue to impress. Sure, he owned one of the most jaw-dropping sequences in last summer's blockbuster Inception. But the actor remains drawn to profoundly human-scale hurts and quiet triumphs.
In other hands, Adam might well be hard to take. But as the comedy in 50/50 turns darker, Gordon-Levitt, who's maybe the most natural, least affected actor of his generation, makes prickly plenty engaging.
The truly outrageous idea, that you can use being gravely ill to get sympathy hookups for yourself and your friends - as underlined in the movie's original, better title, "I'm With Cancer" - is given short shrift.
I admire the audacity of the script, which was written by Will Reiser from personal experience, and I laughed in most of the right places, as people in Adam's life struggle, often absurdly, to say or do the right thing.
Emotionally honest even when it's going for big laughs and filled with lived-in visual detail, it's raunchy and touching without ever being crude or mawkish, a small, sharp comic jewel with a big heart.
Neither the actor nor the filmmakers can get under Adam's skin, despite all the close-ups and the moodily shot scenes filled with the kind of movie silence that feels more like the groping of an uncertain screenwriter than of a man facing his mortality.
As a comedy about a young man with cancer, it needs to be serious enough to be real as well as light enough to be funny. Though it falls off the wagon at times, it maintains its balance remarkably well.
This nervy film avoids being blatantly "life-affirming" or "feel-good," helping it earn its tears and laughs. The premise covers the first of those. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen merge it with the second.
The fear, anger, and despair of terminal illness barely pierce the movie's easygoing vibe, which becomes something of a problem in the second half, but for the most part this is fresh, sincere, and inquisitive.
Will Reiser's semiautobiographical script initially prescribes too artificial a story treatment for its characters but is rescued by a genial, low-key vibe that builds in sensitivity and emotion up through the final reels.