Now Is Good


Now Is Good

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,783
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Movie Info

Tessa is seventeen and passionate about life. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, she determines to use every moment, compiling a catalogue of what a normal teenager would experience, including losing her virginity and taking drugs. With the help of her friend Zoey, she sets the list in motion. While her family deals with fear and grief, each in their own way, Tessa explores a whole new world. Falling in love with Adam, her new neighbour, wasn't on the list, but it proves to be the most exhilarating experience of them all.

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Critic Reviews for Now Is Good

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (12)

  • Presses the obvious buttons so hard that you feel totally manipulated.

    Sep 21, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • As the two-dimensional Perfect Boyfriend, Irvine chases any sense of reality from the screen.

    Sep 20, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This teen cancer drama never really rises above being a collection of cliches, despite some decent performances.

    Sep 20, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Hellbent on inspiring a rush of wind-beneath-my-wings, life-affirming feeling.

    Sep 18, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • [Spikes] the Nicholas Sparks-style teen Love Story plot with refreshing flashes of sex, drugs and Ellie Goulding songs.

    Sep 18, 2012 | Full Review…

    Guy Lodge

    Top Critic
  • To be avoided at all costs, Now Is Good is in fact far from good, but instead a tiresome, often appalling drama with little or no honesty or tact.

    Aug 23, 2018 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Now Is Good

  • Apr 24, 2013
    Mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, very moving, but there were a few things that kept me from really liking this as much as I might have. The main one was the little plot with her friend's pregnancy. I didn't think it belonged in this story, and Tessa's reaction to her initial decision made me dislike her. Tessa also was a little bratty. I guess fair enough, a terminal illness at 17, I would probably be pissy too, but you kind of got that that was her personality. The premise was interesting, a girl trying to cram all she hadn't experienced into a short period of time, but I don't know that this truly succeeded. Dakota is good, as always, and manages a passable English accent. Although that always puts me off too, to be honest - well known actors faking accents. Why not use their own, or use an actor from that country. It's by no means bad, but I don't think I would like to watch if again.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2013
    Films based around terminal illnesses are a difficult ones to tackle from a filmmaking standpoint. They can cross the line of being sincere and sensitive to simply being manipulative and exploitative for awards. Now Is Good is not emotionally powerful it wants to be, but never solely manipulative to get your sympathy. Now is Good is about a girl, Tessa, dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Clocking at around 103 minutes this often cliched story will not reach to you emotionally. That mostly because of how Tessa is written. Granted it's nice to see Tessa is not entirely depress knowing she's going to die and going against the general response anyone will have about her terminal illness. What's not good is making her appear as a brat in certain situations. Mostly she says awful things towards her father who helped her through every stepped since she was diagnosed with leukemia. You can't help at times but sympathize more with the father instead of the terminally ill Tessa. There's a romantic subplot that carries alot of dramatic weight. The romantic subplot can get corny at times. It adds layer Tessa which benefits how we care about her. One subplot that was unneeded involved Tessa best friend. It was created to manipulate the viewer emotions. It's a tragic subplot, but we don't see Tessa and her best together much to for strong story telling. Regardless of the script problems that sour the experience it's a satisfying story. Dakota Fanning is great in her dramatic role. She's sarcastic, enduring, and emotionally moving. She's give an skillful take on her role outshining all the actors. While it's at times hard to find Fanning likable because of how her character treats people she doesn't downplay those certain scenes in order for us to sympathize with her more. You grow an attachment to her making it difficult to watch scenes where she's being treated or learning bad news difficult to take in. Fanning co-stars were not as good, but that's nothing taking away from them. Co-star Jeremy Irvine is easy to a liking to with sensitive yet lighthearted nature. The other actors are fine, but the scenes between Jeremy Irvine and Dakota Fanning are easily the best. The production is modest. It's not going to impress in you anyway. The score is terrific, but are relied too heavily on to draw an emotion from the viewer. Now Is Good doesn't bring anything original to the story it telling, but a decent story and brilliant performance from Dakota Fanning overcome it shortcomings. It won't be as popular as other films tackling it subject matter, though it is a fantastic showcase for Dakota Fanning acting.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2013
    A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity. Now is Good wont win any points for originality, but the movie will no doubt touch you with its heartbreaking, sincere story, and its beautiful, yet simple filming style. The musical score was used in an effective way to pull at your heartstrings, guiding you through the story in a glowing way than being straight out depressing. That makes Now Is Good one of the better films of its kind, just not great. Where has Dakota Fanning been? I would think she would have had an Oscar or nomination by now! Dakota to me is the best representation of a child star of our generation! She hasn't fucked up and is a good role model of that. Now she has blossomed into a young woman and the transition from child actor to young adult actor was smooth, as this is her most assured, mature and beautiful performance to date! She plays Tessa Scott, a girl dying of leukemia who makes a bucket list of things she wants to do before she dies, then finds love in her path. The supporting actors gave fine performances and in the end moving. Most notable was the dad played by Paddy Considine, and the love interest played by Jeremy Irvine, who to me had great chemistry with Dakota. Director, Ol Parker hasn't directed a film since his debut in 2005, with the romantic/comedy Imagine Me & You, which I haven't seen, nor heard of. He has crafted a beautiful, heart wrenching film in the likes of Love Story, but sometimes comes off as a made for TV. film, because of the simplicity of its portrayal, but pretty solid for his second film. I just wouldn't call it striking. His adaptation of the novel seems to be heartfelt and inspired though. Overall, it's not a must see, but the performances alone, especially from Dakota Fanning makes this film worth a watch. 6 out of 10
    Matt S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2012
    Fanning gives an assured performance with a convincing English accent but no amount of quality acting can make up for how unlikable her character is. She's little more than a spoilt brat who treats everyone around her with contempt, even her loving father, Considine, the only remotely sympathetic character in the film. At one point Fanning even uses her illness as an excuse to avoid a shop-lifting charge. I'm not naive enough to believe everyone who is diagnosed with a terminal illness faces it with dignity but many do. I'd much rather one of their stories be told than that of a bitter teen who insists on making everyone else's life unbearable. With this character you can't help think if she was healthy she'd have something else to moan about. She's indicative of the worst of today's youth. When asked what she wants from life her reply is "fame". Not renown, not respect, just fame for the sake of it. Her equally self-involved boyfriend, Irvine, decides to help her achieve this by graffiti-ing her name all over town. Nothing says "I Love You" like a bit of criminal damage at someone else's expense. As if the movie wasn't setting a bad enough example for teens, we also get an anti-abortion message shoe-horned into the plot. Her best friend, Scodelario, is a particularly reprehensible little oik who steals ATM cards from strangers and seems to spend most of her time stoned. When she becomes pregnant all you can think is "Abort! Abort!" but of course she decides to keep the child. What a future that poor kid is in for.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer

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