User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 393 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 393

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  1. Oct 2, 2011
    10
    I loved this film. It's been awhile since I gave a movie a 10 but I was cast into this movie's spell. I cared about all the characters, even though the Rogen character was a little close to being over the top. Levitt is absolutely perfect as the cancer stricken person holding all his emotions in, until he finally explodes the night before his surgery. I haven't cried at a movie in years but definitely teared up at this one. I'm glad the time of the year has arrived when the good movies are shown. Highly recommended. Deserves the great reviews it's getting. Collapse
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    9
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a nice guy who finds out he has a serious form of cancer. While he deals with the unpleasant side effects of his treatment and the reactions of the women in his life, his best friend (Seth Rogen) supports him with plenty of humor. There are moments of pain and earnest drama, but a good laugh is never far away. Rogen shines with his constant comic comments and Gordon-Levitt delivers another touching, but strong performance. Don't be dismayed by the subject and enjoy the jokes! Expand
  3. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    AMAZING FILM! the cast, story, music, everything was perfect. adam is a guy who gets cancer and the movie is just about how he deals with it! adam is played by joseph gorden levitt and he plays him really well! its so believable. he played him perfecty. Kyle is adams friend played by Seth Rogen and he plays him well, i mean hes basically the same guy in every movie although in this movie he has some heart, he may look like the funny, **** type guy who just wants to get laid, but towards the end of the movie, it is shown that hes been reading a cancer book that shows how to help someone out who has it! Anna kendrick plays katty a psychiatrist whos trying to get their doctorate and adam is one of her patients. she is WOW AMAZING!!! shes so Beautiful in this movie shes really the cute girl who tries to help out adam but somehow she cares alot about him and falls for him in a way. and i seriously fell in LOVE WITH HER! Bryce howard plays rachel, adam's girl friend. i don't wanna spoil anything so i'll leave it at that. overall the movie was brilliant. i loved how they took something so serious as "Cancer" and not made it funny but somehow make the story around it funny! The movie was hilarious! and also had some sad moments, it was a NICE movie! people should go watch it! BEAUTIFUL MOVIE!... it definitely makes you think differently about cancer. 10/10 i'll definitely be getting the bluray :) Expand
  4. Nov 22, 2011
    10
    Probably the best movie I've seen this year. The story of the movie was amazing and the movie had the perfect balance between drama and comedy and knows perfectly when they have to switch between them. The humor is insanely funny and the emotional moments were REALLY emotional. The acting performances are also really amazing by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and of course Seth Rogen! Conclusion, I loved this film and i will definitely buy it on blu-ray. I'm looking forward to see the movie again. Expand
  5. Sep 7, 2012
    10
    50/50 balances Drama and comedy perfect. I felt the drama of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character dealing with the cancer. The scenes that are supposed to give me a tearjerker gave it to me. The comedy that Seth Rogen gives are very funny and are delivered well. To me the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in this movie and as the lead role makes it even better. It's a great story, cast, and movie.
  6. Aug 10, 2012
    9
    Makes a laughing matter of something that shouldn't be. At one moment, awkwardly laughing and at the next, choked up, this was well-written from top-to-bottom and expertly acted. Probably Rogen and Goldberg's best film yet.
  7. Feb 13, 2012
    9
    Much better than I had expected. I passed on seeing this in the theater because it just seemed a little too depressing, but this was a great story that was also surprisingly funny.
  8. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    In one word: wow.
    But that's not enough, so I'll put it this way: this is exactly what it is like dealing with a serious medical issue and it was both hilarious and heartfelt and rings extremely true with anyone else that has had to deal with anything remotely similar to this. Even if you haven't, or you don't no anyone that has it still is a an excellent movie that has a genuine plot and
    point to make. Go see it, basically anyone could find something to like about this movie. People that are easily offended by heavy coarse language jokes may need to stay clear though as it might be too off-putting but that was always a given with Seth Rogen cast in the movie so if you walk away thinking it's bad because the dialogue didn't fit your dinner table conversation nicely then you're clearly missing out on a great film and it's your loss. Expand
  9. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    A brilliant film if JGL and this movie aren't nominated for a golden globe and Oscar they are stupid. The film was able to balance out the funny and serious scenes really well. This probably the best film of the year.
  10. Sep 30, 2011
    9
    This is a funny (often LOL), sometimes moving (never heavy handed) movie of a young man stricken with cancer. Performances across the board are excellent, but Anjelica Huston is captivating as the son's mother who only takes BS from her son. Levitt and Rogen's friendship expressed through their banter feels authentic with Rogen the arrested adolescent and Levitt the responsible, emotionally reserved cancer patient. Easily one of the best movies I've seen this year. Expand
  11. Oct 4, 2011
    10
    Perfectly acted, emotionally flawless, and laugh out loud funny, 50/50 is one of the best movies of the year, with at least a couple of Oscar worth performances, the funniest lines of the year, and a powerful blend of crying and laughing. This movie is basically flawless, and should not be missed by anyone.
  12. Oct 21, 2011
    10
    A tremendous disappointment!! The acting was so unbelievable! Talk abou the dumbing down of movies. I was expecting so much! The acting was horrible! So contrived. I really thought it was so very stupid.
  13. Oct 1, 2011
    9
    Many films about cancer are actually only about â
  14. Oct 10, 2011
    9
    A funny movie that still seems honest about Cancer treatment at all times. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as someone dealing with the issue, never for a moment seems artificial. Seth Rogen develops some good laughs while coming across as a concerned friend. Anna Kendrick knocks it out of the park as a new and nervous therapist. As a leukemia survivor I felt this movie honestly captures what we go through more than than most films about the subject... while being genuinely entertaining. Expand
  15. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    Fantastic film! Every performance hits the bullseye! This film deals with such a sensitive topic in a truly amazing way: truth and humor. JGL is so truthful in his performance and we watch his character take the news, inform his family, and deal with the fear, anger, and denial associated with those events. Rogen, as one can imagine, provides non-stop humor and yet, there is an enormous truth with his character as well.......he deals with the stress and grief just like a confused friend probably would. Such a great film! Expand
  16. Oct 22, 2011
    9
    This movie was spectacular. It was a beautiful story about the difficulties and conversions in the life of someone who has been affected by cancer and the people around them. It was funny, touching, sad, happy, and will make you cry and jump for joy at the same time. Joseph-Gordon Levitt was amazing in this film. And so was Seth Rogan(as usual). He is seriously just funny in everything he is in, love him. I think that Joseph's amazing performance is for sure oscar worthy and I'm hoping to see him in them. Another thing about this movie is it really got you thinking. You should grasp and enjoy every second of your life as much as you can, because just like that... It could be gone. This movie was seriously an outstanding film and I highly reccommend you see it ASAP. There is a 90% chance of enjoyment for the movie 50/50. Expand
  17. j30
    Nov 8, 2011
    10
    I absolutely loved this movie. One of my favorites I've seen all year. With the combination of Joseph Gordon Levitt's boyish charm to Seth Rogan's Seth Rogan, it's comedic heaven. It's the type of movie that makes you grateful for what you have and who you share that with.
  18. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    In a market where the majority of films rely upon superfluous amounts of violence and gore, massage use of sex appeal, shallow and exaggerated melodrama, and an exploitation of CGI, it is always refreshing to come across a diamond in the rough, so the speak, that shines with a novelty that is memorable and entertaining. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a character that discovers he is diagnosed with a formation of a tumor on his spine that is a rare type of cancer. Despite the medical lingo involved in such a situation, the terminology used from the very beginning of the film and then throughout the progression of therapy, there never is a moment where the entertainment value is hindered by such. This is much in part because of the clear nature in which it is presented Expand
  19. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    50/50 is one of those films that you either love or hate. If you hate it, you really hate it, you loathe it with a passion because for some reason you find the film offensive. If you are in the love category the film floors you with its depiction of a man way too young contracting a deadly disease. As you may have figured out by the score and what I just said, I found 50/50 to be one of the most heart wrenching honest films of the year as it tackled so many themes and issues while infusing the film with a lot of crude yet hilarious comedy.
    The fact that the writer went through the same experience definitely helped make the film the way it is but the director clearly understood the delicacy it took to walk the line between drama and comedy. The comedy was well structured into the script and the scenes so that the emotional beats had time to resonate. In fact 50/50 manages to avoid the problem of most comedies in that its last 30 minutes are the best of the film. It doesn't lose focus at any time in the film, it stays on message thanks to a great script, some skillful direction and a touching lead performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

    Not only does Levitt prove himself as a skilled performer but the rest of the cast is perfectly cast. There is only one dud performance in the shape of Bryce Dallas Howard's shrill Rachael. Despite that Anna Kendrick acts as a perfect foil for Levitt as his inexperienced therapist as they both try to give such reserved performances but with so much going on under the surface. As always Anjelica Houston brings life to a character that could have easily been a cliche if undertaken by a lesser actress. Rogen to an extent plays his usual character but that is what is required to relieve some of the tension and lighten the mood.
    It's a well put together drama that just so happens to be hilarious at times, with one of the best ending all year. While not as good as Beginners it is pretty close to being the best film of 2011.
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  20. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    Loved it!!! Great Great movie!!! The acting was amazing. A great mix of funny and sad moments. Shows how some one can get through cancer treatment a positive way with help and support from friends and family. A must see!
  21. Oct 1, 2011
    9
    Great film. Not as many laughs as they portray in the trailer; but really great dramatic sequences. This movie is absolutely worth the watch. Go see it.
  22. Oct 9, 2011
    9
    50/50 is based on a true "loosely based" story of screenwriter Will Reiser's diagnosis and treatment of a spinal sarcoma. There are over 50 different types of sarcoma. We lost our 37-year old daughter to one of them, Ewing's sarcoma. Although difficult for us at times, both my wife and myself enjoyed the movie very much. Several scenes struck home. As a cancer survivor, I related to the fear of being wheeled away into surgery. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this move a 9 and a "must see" for all caregivers. You can learn about the rare and dangerous cancers called "sarcoma" in The Sarcoma Learning Center at http://bit.ly/4yEz7m Expand
  23. Nov 5, 2012
    9
    With fantastic actors for the roles, the dark humour plays well with the situation, but the point was - neither the poignancy or comedy made it awkward, but when it did, it was done well, and it felt sweet and amusing to make light of such a horrific event. And more specifically, it managed to have not just dark humour, but also a hilarious comic effect. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has just been amazing in every film I've seen, and I still found Seth Rogen's awkward jokes funny. Great chemistry, and provided an honest account of cancer - it wasn't cheesy, it didn't feel Americanised and the way things were resolved just felt fascinating. Expand
  24. Oct 22, 2011
    10
    This movie made me laugh and cry. Any movie that can do that to a 20 something year old boy must be a great film. So touching and sad and as the tears start to stream down your face you can't help but laugh out loud at the outrageously funny parts in this movie.
  25. Nov 3, 2011
    9
    Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen continue to impress me with everything they have acting in recent years. 50/50 is no exception to that. First time screenwriter, Will Weiser, wrote 50/50 loosely based on his experiences with cancer and how his real life best friend, Seth Rogen, helped him through it. The film follows Adam (Joseph Gordon Levitt), who works at radio station with his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen). Adam also has girlfriend, Rachael (Byrce Dallas Howard), who Kyle doesnâ Expand
  26. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Never I have I cried and laughed so hard in the same movie! This is an underated masterpiece. Everyone is casted fanatastically. Props to Anjelica Houston for playing the neurodic mother, probably one her best roles ever. Joseph Gordon- Levitt is extremely likeable and sympathetic as a lead. The plot is typical but still moving. Go and See this movie!
  27. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    Films like this don't come along very often.... Not only is it a comedy, but its a movie with tons of humor at the best of moments, and a multitude of moments to tug at your heart strings. This movie truly has what it takes to be the best of both worlds. Gordon-Levitt has really revived his acting career recently and with this role he shows what he can do. Seth Rogen being himself (not to mention the role he played) was phenomenal. It truly reveals that women are not the only people that can have a bond and be there for one another. Definitely a movie worth my time and everyone else's. Scrubs was always a favorite show of mine and it always had humor, but with meaning. This movie knocks it out of the park! Expand
  28. Dec 10, 2011
    9
    This movie is undeniably one of the best films this year. Humor and tragedy in one. Recognition-worthy acting from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick does it good too. Satisfactory screenplay.

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  29. Nov 26, 2011
    10
    At first I thought this movie was going to be ok and kind of sad but when I actually saw it I was amazed at how sad and touching this movie is. I cried through out the whole movie. I gave this movie a 10 and I would recommend it to every one. It was just awesome!
  30. Jan 13, 2012
    9
    Truly an inspirational movie balancing between dark comedy and serious drama. Interesting characters, believable storyline and the numerous metaphoric subtleties make this a treat. Highly recommended for all adults.
  31. Jan 19, 2012
    9
    I will say this, as someone who has gone through having cancer and all the experiences that go with it: this movie does an excellent job of portraying what happens to an individual mentally and with experiences with others. Now, on to the movie...

    I thought it was refreshing, and did an interesting job of toeing the line of seriousness and humor on a subject that hits home for so many of
    us. I thought it was great to see a movie that showed what it is like to go through the rigors of cancer, and the sometimes awkward moments that come with it. The cast is great, and the movie is top notch. A must see. Expand
  32. Jan 22, 2012
    10
    A Slice of life movie. makes you think about connections with people close to you and death. I wrote a review now because before this movie and after i have connected to it. that's all im willing to say. Just check it out and be open minded to the comical stuff.
  33. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    This movie was, in my humble opinion, truly fantastic and it's highway robbery that it hasn't received any Oscar nominations. Joseph Gordon Levitt does a beautiful job and Seth Rogan helps to balance the film excellently. The unique approach of comedy-cancer drama may seem shaky at first but brilliant execution save it from any all all possible pitfalls. This film is truly moving and one of the only to have made me cry since Rrokeback mountain. If you haven't already, go and see it. You won't regret it. Expand
  34. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    one of the best movies of 2011 this movie was funny and sad at the same time it was a masterpiece. the people in the movie do use alot of profanity though.
  35. Jan 29, 2012
    10
    As an oncology NURSE, I would like to counter novictim's review and say that I thought this movie did an excellent job showing what some patients experience when dealing with cancer. Also, I don't think Seth Rogan's character is there to make the audience laugh... He is a guy trying to make his FRIEND laugh. He doesn't always succeed because... that's what happens in real life. I could relate to every character in this movie. This movie is so good on so many levels, I'd recommend it to anyone emotionally mature enough to get it. Expand
  36. Feb 4, 2012
    9
    50/50 tells the heartfelt tale of a young man battling cancer with great comedic flare. The characters are very relatable, and the film does a great job of pulling you in. A roller coaster of emotions will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. LOVED it and will definitely watch it again. Hats off to Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  37. Jul 18, 2012
    9
    I can't remember the last time I saw a movie pull off the comedy/drama balance as well as this movie. A movie about a nice young man who finds out he has cancer hardly sounds like an "entertaining" movie but I loved it. The movie never gets overly dramatic, despite the emotionally heavy issues this movie deals with. It also deals with the theme of this movie with a lot of care. There are plenty of genuinely funny moments, paricularly in the first half of the movie. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen have good chemistry, and JGL is perfect in this role. He has plenty of charisma, mainly because his character feels so real and easily relatable. Rogen on the other hand is your typical funny man in this movie, although it's surprising that it's so easy to dislike his character. I never thought I'd see a Seth Rogen movie where is character is a genuine dick, albeit a dick who cares about his best friend getting diagnosed with cancer. The movie does a very good job with the cancer's effect on JGL's relationships. Whether it's his best friend, mother, and girlfriend. All in all, I thouroughly enjoyed this movie. It's rare to find a movie that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Expand
  38. Feb 24, 2012
    10
    i dont watch too many movies twice, but i did for this one. more of a drama than a comedy. 9 out of 10. Tied with warhorse for my 2 favorite films of 2011.
  39. May 25, 2012
    9
    This is screenwriter Will Reiser's first script, and it's a damn good one at that. Great dialogue, much of it coming from Seth Rogen (even if times it's nothing but cursing), and he does well mixing it in with his own experiences with cancer. The film moves along fluidly thanks to the excellent direction by Jonathan Levine. The film is gorgeously shot by cinematographer Terry Stacey, and its editing by Zene Baker is top notch. Overall, a film that you will both laugh your butt off and cry your heart out and still will enjoy. Expand
  40. Jul 23, 2012
    9
    50/50 was a real gamble, a comedy drama about cancer. But it thankfully it works, very well actually, exceeding expectations. The whole cast performs perfectly, with Seth Rogen, Anjelica Huston and Anna Kendrick particularly, but the stand out here is star, Joseph Gordon Levitt. He manages to be funny, and when it comes to dramatic scenes soars, showing he truly is one of the greatest actors around. The writers create a good script also, which manages to keep the balance of comedy and drama superbly, but be warned this is only for a certain audience for some may find it insensitive towards the subject matter, but, even these people shouldn't worry, only the beginning is particularly funny, for as the cancer gets worse, the films mood falls down to a real drama. This is a bit of a let down, for you hope for the whole film to have a light mood to it, but you have to face that cancer is not a happy subject, and the drama near the end is real tear jerker drama. Overall, a good film that many not be laugh out loud funny, but keeps the balance perfectly, to create one of the best films of 2011. Expand
  41. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    Everyone is pitch perfect. Levitt delivers compelling and heart wrenching performance, Kendrick is great, and even the parents have specific and well executed roles.
  42. Dec 3, 2012
    9
    One of the more seamless blends of drama and comedy that I have ever seen. Throughout the entire film I found myself prepared to cry as well as prepared to laugh. In that way it was very much like...well...life. 50/50 is engaging, humorous, touching, heartfelt and uplifting. Very, very nice movie.
  43. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    A remarkably emotional, astonishingly hilarious, life-affirming drama with winsome characters and some truly uplifting thematic messages to share.
  44. Feb 5, 2013
    10
    One of the best comedy-drama films I have ever viewed. This is some of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's best acting, and one of the most dramatic films of 2011, I almost cried.
  45. Jul 1, 2013
    9
    "50/50" is one of those very few movies that manage to find the ideal mix between humor, drama, and emotion. The movie nails the emotions at the time it wants to, from the fear and depression that comes with the cancer, to the lighter and funnier side of the movie (without ever insulting any cancer patients, contrary to some beliefs). And I am proud to say that this is the first movie that ever made me cry, due to its way of telling you "Do what you want to, while you still can". Expand
  46. May 2, 2013
    10
    Everyone in the cast are at their very best here. To pull off such a great comedy/drama involving something as hard as cancer shows the talent of the acting and directing.
  47. Jun 12, 2013
    9
    Cancer is a matter that shouldn’t be laughed at. So when you hear of the new “cancer comedy” coming out, you are immediately offended. Well, 50/50 is a cancer comedy and I think it gets a bad rap for being that. 50/50 may have jokes throughout and some that even involve our protagonist’s spinal cancer, but the last thing 50/50 is doing is laughing at cancer.
    There are a lot of movies that
    take on the tough subject of cancer and it’s usually about a person struggling with the illness and going into a depression or trying to provide for his family before it’s his time to go. What I’m saying is that they don’t take this subject lightly. 50/50 doesn’t take the subject lightly either; actually it is probably more accurate in its interpretation than any of the other films that go around the same concept. 50/50 takes cancer and instead of making it dreary and somber, it becomes a film that can mask the sadness and put something incredible, and even beautiful, in its place. It brings out the best of the situation with hilarity, and it shows the true struggles with drama, but it shows them in a way that you can tell that the characters are overcoming them one step at a time with the help from their family and friends.
    50/50 is a success is a lot of its aspects, but the most impressive part is the writing. Will Reiser is a poet. The writing in this movie is so complex and so impactful, it’s beautiful. The best part about it, and I noticed this immediately after, is that even the smaller and less important events that occur during the movie are shown and felt as to be equal to the large events that occur. The small occurrences send just as much of an impact as the larger ones. There is a scene where Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets angry at Seth Rogen out of stress and yells at him for using his cancer to get women and that he doesn’t care about him. In the net scene, JGL goes back to Rogen’s house and before leaving, decides to go to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet seat is a book called “Facing Cancer Together.” JGL opens up the book and sees that there are sections of text underlined and arrows pointing to important parts. Now this was only a short scene that doesn’t have much to do with the bulk of the plot, but it is nonetheless one of the most impactful and emotionally rewarding scenes in this movie. It shows that Rogen’s character was having difficulties with the cancer and that he really did care, and it shows it with utter finesse.
    Another impressive aspect was the acting. The acting was phenomenal in this movie, from everyone in it. Even Seth Rogen showed us a dramatic side that we had no idea he had. He really surprised at how good he was at being the funny best friend to JGL (Kyle). But the best performance was from JGL himself. His character was a tough one to play. His character was the kind of person who you would think was nice when you met him, but you wouldn’t have any interest in meeting with him again. He was awkward, sad, and extremely sympathetic. JGL played the character in a way that he made the character almost intolerably sympathetic without making him unlikable. Nothing ever goes his way. Throughout the entire movie, even in the funny parts, you never lose that feeling that he has cancer and that he’s still trying to overcome that obstacle. This is an important thing to keep because you don’t want to lose sight of what’s truly going on.
    50/50 moved me in ways I didn’t think a movie could. It wasn’t just a respectable film that effectively captures the raw emotion of cancer, but it was an incredibly entertaining one. It was hilarious, heartfelt, sad, and almost beautiful…no, it was beautiful. It takes the sorrow and sadness of cancer and masks the darkness with something bright and joyful that just makes you happy. That’s what this movie did, it made me happy. I don’t know how many movies about an illness you can say that about, but it made me happy and excited about life. I would even say that cancer patients should check this one out because it doesn’t make cancer out to be this dangerous and terrifying thing you should fear, it makes it out to be just another obstacle in the way of the great game of life. 50/50 digs to the heart of a tough situation with humor and drama without ever losing sight of what it really cares about, and what it cares about is magnificent.
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Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    Nov 21, 2011
    80
    Whether you're after a comedy-drama about cancer or a Rogen laugh-fest with added heart, this does a remarkable job of balancing the odds. And the laughter/tears split? Call it 70/30.
  2. Oct 1, 2011
    70
    What ensues is "Beaches" meets "Pineapple Express." Which, I've got to tell you, is pretty much what living with cancer is like.
  3. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Sep 30, 2011
    80
    As the comedy in 50/50 turns darker, Gordon-Levitt, who's maybe the most natural, least affected actor of his generation, makes prickly plenty engaging.