Critics Consensus

Smashed resists the temptation to play up its serious subject matter for high theatrics, opting instead to let its gentle tone and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's marvelous performance carry the day.



Total Count: 107


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,091
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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 health and life. Sobriety isnʼt as easy as Kate had anticipated. Her new lifestyle brings to the surface a troubling relationship with her mother, facing the lies sheʼs told her employer and calls into question whether or not her relationship with Charlie is built on love or is just boozy diversion from adulthood. -- (C) Sony


News & Interviews for Smashed

Critic Reviews for Smashed

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (89) | Rotten (18)

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

    Dec 14, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the essential cog in James Ponsoldt's insightful drama.

    Dec 13, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Winstead gives a very good performance: muddled, scared, but courageous.

    Dec 13, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • There will never be another Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor, but Hollywood may have found a new Lee Remick in Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

    Dec 7, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 16, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top 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.

    Nov 8, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Smashed

  • Aug 12, 2014
    In "Smashed," it may not be Kate(Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wetting the bed that she shares with her husband Charlie(Aaron Paul) that serves as a warning that she is drinking too much nor twice waking up in a strange place nor smoking crack with a veritable stranger. It is when she throws up at her job as a elementary school teacher that forces her to lie about being pregnant that gets the attention of Dave(Nick Offerman), a colleague, before he tells her about the time he drank liquid cocaine. As extremely well-acted as "Smashed" is, especially by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with very fine support from Octavia Spencer and Nick Offerman(And I checked. Megan Mullaly not being annoying is a minor miracle.), it is a shame that in its tale of alcoholism that it is nothing we have not seen hundreds of times before. Plus, the faux pregnancy storyline simply goes on too long and for such a functioning intelligent alcoholic it is surprising that Kate has not worked out a decent hangover cure by now.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2014
    "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!
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2013
    I am not sure this is Mary Elizabeth Winstead's breakout film, but it certainly gives you a great peek into her ability to lead a film. As a troubled alcoholic with an alcoholic husband, Winstead really does a good job of playing a character who knows her addiction is the source of the problem but can't do anything (at least not right away) to stop it from taking over her life. I like how the entire film is kept in a small setting. Maybe only three or four different places. Great additions with Aaron Paul (who throws a few 'bitches' around), Spencer as a calming motherly figure and husband/wife duo Mullally and Offerman (who aren't in the film) add good weight to the star power and acting. Even though Winstead is clearly the focus of the film, I thought if the director delved deeper into the history of her abuse and why she went to alcohol along with more of Paul as a central figure rather than a bystander, there would be more talk. A fine job well done though for an easy 80 minutes.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2013
    Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance is the best reason to see this film. I have seen her in supporting roles, but was so happy to see her in a leading role like this one. She shines here. She reminded me a lot of Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married and Sandra Bullock in 28 Days. My problem with the film was that, I felt like I have seen this type of film before. It reminded me a lot of movies like You Kill Me, 28 Days, and Rachel Getting Married. They didn't offer anything new here. And I found it all predictable. I was shocked by the short running time of the film. I thought it would be a little longer. Aaron Paul does a good job as Mary's husband in the film. Octavia Spencer, Mary Kay Place, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullay offer fine supporting work here. I say see it for Mary's performance.
    Sol C Super Reviewer

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