The Last 5 Years

2015

The Last 5 Years

Critics Consensus

The Last Five Years hits a few awkward notes in its transition from stage to screen, but its freshness and sincere charm -- and well-matched stars -- offer their own rewards.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 99

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,955
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Movie Info

In this adaptation of the hit musical, The Last Five Years is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie (Jordan), a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy (Kendrick), a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy's songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie's songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. (C) TWC

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Cast

Anna Kendrick
as Cathy Hiatt
Meg Hudson
as Beautiful Girl
Natalie Knepp
as Alise Michasels

Critic Reviews for The Last 5 Years

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (32)

  • The unbalanced nature of the adaptation makes for a basically unsatisfying experience (Jamie, a jerk, gets his way with everything, and Cathy, a sweetheart, doesn't), but there are moments of real delight in the movie ...

    Dec 31, 2015 | Full Review…
  • A patchy adaptation of a Broadway musical -- think The Umbrellas of Williamsburg -- which is elevated but not entirely saved by the presence of Anna Kendrick in one of the two central roles.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • This is what Fifty Shades of Grey should have been. Only instead of whips and riding crops, the female lead must submit to infidelity and career humiliation.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Anna Kendrick, of all-round-awesome fame, is singing again in this adaptation of an off-Broadway musical.

    Apr 13, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It doesn't help that the songs, while solid, become repetitive in melody. And there's not a home run in the bunch. I walked out humming ... nothing from this movie.

    Feb 26, 2015 | Rating: 2.0
  • It's bland, earnest, and receptive, and in order to capture it, the director Richard LaGravenese thinks he needs more crane shots than Citizen Kane.

    Feb 20, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last 5 Years

  • Sep 05, 2015
    It's a musical about the beginning and end of a five-year relationship, and each partner is starting at a different point and meeting in the middle. If that sounds confusing, The Last Five Years will do little to better orient you, the audience, on its criss-crossing narrative-leaping timeline. Anna Kendrick is Cathy, who is traveling from the breakup of her marriage to the moment she met her eventual husband. Jeremy Jordan is Jamie, who is traveling the more linear path of infatuation to marriage to his divorce from Cathy. Neither character is particularly that involving though their eventual conflicts that lead to their parting of ways are more relatable than I was expecting since Jamie becomes a publishing phenom. I was looking for parallels with the song pairings, since we switch from a Cathy song to Jamie song, but the more I listened the more the narrative structure felt like an unjustified gimmick. Director Richard LaGravenese (Beautiful Creatures) feels like he was rushed to complete this film because much of the camerawork feels lacking, losing track of the characters in their long takes. Could he afford to do more than one take? There isn't so much a sense of style or expanding into the medium of film. It feels like LaGravense was grabbing what he could. But that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that for an entirely sung musical (there may be like two lines of spoken dialogue) none of the songs are particularly memorable. Even minutes after finishing the film, I could not for the life of me hum one tune. To be fair the music isn't offensive to the ears, but it falls within this vanilla middle ground that plays like it should be background noise rather than featured music. Kendrick and Jordan do a serviceable job singing these bland songs, but when your movie is wall-to-wall with music that doesn't engage or register, it's the equivalent of a comedy being unfunny. The Last Five Years is a movie musical that is decidedly pleasant and deadly bland. Nate's Grade: C+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2015
    Based on a stage musical, The Last Five Years explores a couple's relationship; starting with their separation, and then going back to its begin, showing how it grew and then fell apart. The storytelling employs some interesting techniques that are quite effective; especially the transitions between time periods. And, Anna Kendrick gives a strong performance that brings a lot of energy to the film. But the writing is rather poor, as the characters (and their relationship) aren't that engaging. Additionally, there's not really a sense of tragedy or sadness to the breakup. The Last Five Years is fun at times, and entertaining (due largely to the music), but it ultimately fails to tell a compelling story.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2015
    Bittersweet musical adaptation; if you can get through the first ten minutes then you'll probably enjoy it. The songs are clever but it's the lead performance from Anna Kendrick that will stick with you.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2015
    The odds were stacked heavily against everyone involved making this film adaptation work, so the fact that it's not a complete disaster (and actually enjoyable) is impressive. Not everything works in translation but Jordan and especially Kendrick knock it out of the park.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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