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.
Dan in Real Life fires on so many circuits that at times it's actually shocking how good it is. It tells a funny and emotional story without any of the sentimental shorthand found in most romantic comedies.
Hedges is not the most subtle of storytellers, but his sincerity shines through, as does a certain gentleness. Dan in Real Life is one of those films you cheer to succeed, even when it doesn't come close to real life.
Dan in Real Life is an enjoyable if curious creature, a naturalistic ensemble comedy wed to a high-flown sitcom premise. It's infused with a warm optimism that prevails even through the drama's thornier patches.
Almost reflexively, the filmmakers skirt Dan's messier conflicts. But it is the moments when they don't dance around the awkward issue of a brother falling for his brother's girl that Dan is the most poignant.
The sort of movie that wears down your resistance until, finally, you feel as if something must be wrong with you if you don't fall for the cheap theatrics of its story and the emotional manipulations of its characters.
The setup of this comedy by director-cowriter Peter Hedges and some subsequent twists may be contrived, and the laughs aren't very plentiful, but much of the behavior seems real, and the able cast makes the most of it.
While not a perfect comedy, Dan is certainly a crowd-pleasing, cleverly engineered and well-executed divertissement that should put grins on the faces of movie fans of many ages and execs at Disney and Focus Features.