• Unrated, 1 hr. 23 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Julia Dyer
    In Theaters:
    Feb 8, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 11, 2013
  • Freestyle Releasing


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54% Jersey Boys $5.2M
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The Playroom Reviews

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John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Molly Parker is Oscar-worthy in the juicy role of John Hawkes' alcoholic, stylish, sexy/pathetic wife.

Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 19, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Standout Olivia Harris and Parker are heart-wrenching as the vitriolic mother and neglected teen daughter.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

April 4, 2013
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The stuff with the adults is drab and stale, but the kids' scenes are excellent.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 4, 2013
Annlee Ellingson
Paste Magazine

In the tradition of The Ice Storm, The Playroom revisits 1970s suburbia, when the chilly civility between husband and Stepford wife bumps up against the sexual revolution.

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 7.4/10

March 26, 2013
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Modest in scale, it's the kind of American independent film that brings some honor to that shopworn descriptor.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

February 14, 2013
S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Parents seek joy, ignore kids in difficult, powerful drama.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

February 8, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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A detailed, and depressing portrait of grim, forced independence. Lightened only by the sense that if these kids are learning anything, it is how to survive.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

February 8, 2013
Cole Smithey

A chamber piece cousin to The Ice Storm, The Playroom hones in on the mentality of so many irresponsible '70s era parents whose children grew up to be much better people than their parents.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: B

February 7, 2013
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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"The Playroom" captures the malaise of mid-'70s suburbia with a merciless accuracy not seen since Ang Lee's 1997 film, "The Ice Storm."

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

February 7, 2013
Chris Packham
Village Voice
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The Playroom jettisons all things cute, but still takes flight by portraying the characters, adult and juvenile, under direct lighting, and asking you if you care about them.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

February 5, 2013
Eric D. Snider
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Covers its own ground with tender, sympathetic honesty that is refreshing and invigorating to watch.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B+

May 1, 2012
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
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Sensitively wrought family drama told from the children's perspective.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 1, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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You have your basic family psychodrama, except there's no real heat either downstairs or up.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C-

April 5, 2013
Brian Orndorf

It's a misfire from screenwriter Gretchen Dyer and director Julia Dyer, who can't connect the puzzle pieces, resulting in a movie of attentive performances working through ill-defined storytelling.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: C-

February 15, 2013
Brent Simon

If The Ice Storm was a band, think of this as the minor-chord, label-unsigned, opening act for its opening act. Lovingly captured but dramatically inert.

Full Review Source: Shockya.com | Original Score: C

February 10, 2013
Todd Jorgenson

A reliance on melodrama prevents a deeper and more insightful glimpse into the characters and subject matter.

Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com

February 10, 2013
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
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The film uses the upper-middle-class setting effectively, even as it resorts to heavy-handed symbolism and melodrama in its dour, mostly unforgiving portrait of parental dysfunction.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 8, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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This imitation "Ice Storm" is as refreshing as a step into a puddle of slush.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 8, 2013
Scott Tobias
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Between the loaded conversations and metaphors, and the phony overlay of a children's fairy tale, The Playroom can't stop telegraphing themes and interpreting itself. There's nothing left for the audience to do.

Full Review Source: NPR

February 7, 2013
Noel Murray
AV Club
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What little story there is has no sense of real life, no matter much the film pretends to be about children learning hard truths.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C-

February 7, 2013
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