Win Win


Win Win

Critics Consensus

Rich, wonderful characters and strong performances populate Win Win, with writer/director Thomas McCarthy continuing to emerge as a great American humanist.



Total Count: 174


Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,008
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Movie Info

Paul Giamatti headlines writer/director Tom McCarthy's comedy drama centering on a beleaguered attorney and part-time wrestling coach who schemes to keep his practice from going under by acting as the legal caretaker of an elderly client. Mike Flaherty (Giamatti) thinks he has discovered the perfect loophole to keep his practice in business. But his brilliant plan hits an unexpected hitch when his client's troubled grandson shows up looking for a place to stay. With his home life in turmoil and both of his careers in jeopardy, Mike quickly realizes that he'll have to get creative in order to find a way out of his current predicament. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Paul Giamatti
as Mike Flaherty
Amy Ryan
as Jackie Flaherty
Bobby Cannavale
as Terry Delfino
Jeffrey Tambor
as Stephen Vigman
Burt Young
as Leo Poplar
Mike Diliello
as Jimmy Reed
Marcia Haufrecht
as Gina Flaherty
Sharon Wilkins
as Judge Lee
Tim Ransom
as Stuart Thatcher
Jacqueline Brogan
as Woman Jogging
Marceline Hugot
as Woman Jogging #2
Michael Goodwin
as Regional Ref
Earl Baker Jr.
as Staff Member
Joseph Tiboni
as Steve Deluca/Principal
Pam Levine
as Church Soloist
Darren C. Goldstein
as Sheffield Coach
Rudy Lanzillotta II
as Kenny Randall
Christopher Lantz
as Kyle's Regional Opponent
Ryan Arnel
as Carol's Match Opponent #1
Kevin Antero
as Kyle's Match Opponent #1
Chris Sarro
as Zack Lowenstein's Match #4
Dante Porrazzo
as Stemler's Match Masked Opponent #4
Dariusz M. Uczkowski
as Zachary Lowenstein
Chris Federlin
as Thomlinson
Nicholas Lopez
as Anthony Pizzno
Quinn Knauer
as Kurt Vetner
Austin Ward
as Peter Molter
Delon Richards
as Dean Stol
Chris Loew
as Paul Bell, AKA Pill
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News & Interviews for Win Win

Critic Reviews for Win Win

All Critics (174) | Top Critics (42)

  • Win Win isn't a morality play; it's just a really good story. But it does deal with an issue that couldn't be more relevant: Where do we draw the line when it comes to survival if it means clouding our sense of right and wrong?

    Sep 2, 2011
  • The rare, humanist beauty of Win Win is that none of its characters is a caricature, none of its plot twists a blatant play for tears or laughs, none of its appeal based on some mythical lowest common denominator.

    Jul 28, 2011 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A deft, warm, serious and often very funny film.

    May 23, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Top Critic
  • Win Win is slighter, and sappier, than it might have been. Still and all, it's a joy.

    May 20, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • For all its witty observations on the trials of modern manhood, it never strays out of its blinkered suburban comfort zone.

    May 19, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Steve Rose

    Top Critic
  • Honest, insightful, warm and witty. A proper delight.

    May 19, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Win Win

  • Jan 11, 2014
    It's uncommon to find comedic dramas that balance themselves out so decently, mixing both genres that can create an entertaining ride. The main attraction here is Paul Giamatti, but the rest of the cast does a good job bringing along characters with a clearly defined role: comedy, irony, drama, tenderness, etc. Thomas McCarthy was born as an independent director, but since The Station Agent (2003), he seems to have become another average and forgettable Hollywood name despite the interesting proposals of emotional downfalls and complex dilemmas that his characters had presented. He seems to present the same array of characters to balance everything. In this case, such balance is present again (sorry for being reiterative) but the film offers nothing entirely original for considering Win Win as a refreshing proposal, and the resolution, despite being quite fair and reasonable, rushes things fot a proper powerful closure. Still, it's worth a watch. 58/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2013
    Quite a glorious little indie from the dependably insightful and naturalistic writer/director Tom McCarthy, who, like with "The Station Agent" and "The Visitor," creates another atypical leading man with mundane demons and satisfying redemptions. Perennial loser-with-layers portrayer Paul Giamatti plays Mike, a hard-up estate lawyer who commits a bit of light fraud with a rich, demented client to pay his own crippling household debts. The old man's grandson, Kyle, shows up from the wrong side of the tracks in hopes of getting away from a druggie mother, and Mike takes him under his wing out of pity and guilt, then genuine caring, and the two strike up a bond over high school wrestling...that is until Kyle finds out about Mike's transgression. Alex Shaffer plays the bleach blonde Kyle with reticence but manners, and Bobby Cannavale plays the gregarious overgrown Guido-type, Terry, with charming impishness. The wrestling plot is triumphant and fast-paced, and the growing affection in this unconventional family tugs at some heartstrings. The legal subplot with Kyle's mom wanting guardianship of Leo for shady reasons is a bit convoluted and underdeveloped though; we're supposed to sympathize with Leo and Kyle who just want to be left alone in their own home, but apparently, Leo wasn't a great father and may have contributed to his daughter's drug problems. What then?
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2013
    Paul Giamatti is a superb talent that always manages to shine in his roles. Win Win is yet another one of those films that should be seen due to a great cast and wonderful story. Films like this are better than most big budget affairs because they tend to use the simplest ideas to tell a great story. The result is a movie that has some standout actors that deliver on-screen in a fun, comedic and dramatic movie that is entertaining from start to finish. The direction is great and the film's pacing is perfect with a tone goes from dramatic to comedic. Like I previously stated, Giamatti is a great actor and he delivers the standout performance of the movie that make this movie worth seeing. If you're in the mood for a well crafted drama comedy, then give this one a shot, you'll be glad you did. The film boasts a strong script that at times could have been better, but overall, the plot and acting are well rounded it out to make this an enjoyable yarn that is quite surprising. I really didn't expect much from this one, but I came out surprised. Director Tom McCarthy has crafted something special here, a movie that is fun and charming from the first frame onwards. Win Win manages to overcome its flaws due to its cast and effective directing. This is yet another great movie from Giamatti and he proves once again that he is a talented actor that can command the screen and elevate the film's material. Win Win is a great movie that you shouldn't pass up on.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2012
    Pleasantly surprised. Not a movie I would have ever picked up, but was given a copy, so gave it a go. I really don't like sport themed movies (or sport especially), so usually end up bored and wishing I hadn't bothered. This is about wrestling, but it's secondary to the main story. Actually a really good movie, good story about a guy who is going broke so takes on guardianship of an elderly man and winds up saddled with the grandson and ex druggie daughter as well. Really good characters and believable acting. Ending a little too convenient, but it's a minor gripe.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer

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