User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 409 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 409

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  1. Sep 29, 2014
    10
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  2. Aug 24, 2014
    7
    Adam (Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, the main reason for my seeing this movie) is a healthy young man who is too nice for his own good - and who gets cancer.

    Between his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen), who is quick to exploit his illness, his artistic girlfriend Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard) who cannot really take the pressure of caring for him, his suffocating mother, and a young therapist
    Katherine (Anna Kendrick), Adam finds happiness in places he didn't expect - and has to face a set of new fears he really doesn't know how to deal with.

    A funny, touching, emotional and somewhat sad story that shows the ups and downs of a cancer patient, and little glimpses to how hard it is for those around them to deal with the diagnosis.

    Evenly paced, well told story that makes you laugh, but still holds onto a serious side of things.
    Expand
  3. Jan 28, 2014
    8
    [8.7] This movie does pretty much everything right. Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon Levitt are an incredibly likable foil, the movie is consistently funny, and the drama is delightfully modern and complements the comedy quite well. Everything in this movie is mixed smoothly and deftly. It's far from perfect, and it has some slightly underwhelming moments especially in the therapy scenes, but it is thoroughly entertaining. Expand
  4. Nov 25, 2013
    6
    Never really takes off but meanders on. The acting was just OK. There were some good jokes. In the end I found it very generic. I couldn't care about Adam at all. Very plain and unimpressive. Cannot recommend it. They tried fusing comedy and drama but failed at both.
  5. Sep 20, 2013
    7
    Works as a drama, and JGL plays the part just right. Seth Rogen tries, but doesn't succeed as the comical best friend in a movie with such a serious nature. Whenever there is a movie about a topic like cancer, jokes are not that acceptable.
  6. Jul 16, 2013
    8
    A heart warming movie that deals with a tough subject. The film mixes emotions together to create a really fun movie with great performances from the lead actors who add to the feel of the movie as a whole.
  7. 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
  8. Jun 22, 2013
    8
    This film was funny and moving at the same. It was intense and I liked all the performances in that film especially Seth Rogen. I can say that this one was great for the cinema as many people laughed and some were crying?? That's all i have to say. A must watch...
  9. 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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  10. 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.
  11. Mar 31, 2013
    7
    A well-acted film about normal people dealing with mortality. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is terrific as always, and the story goes to some interesting places, but also some obvious ones. A small film with a good message.
  12. Mar 15, 2013
    4
    I wasn't capable of evening summoning up an ounce of compassion for the main character. If I am blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just obnoxious and Anna Kendrick is inexplicably annoying. A generic story for what the concept is.
  13. 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!
  14. Mar 3, 2013
    8
    Cancer and comedy don't really go hand in hand, but 50/50 does a great job of pairing them up. There are, of course, some tear inducing moments to be had but more often than not, 50/50 has you laughing out loud. Seth Rogan is tremendously funny! 50/50 is a great movie, full of heart, humor and good performances.
  15. Feb 22, 2013
    6
    Mixing comedy and drama isn't an easy thing to do. Sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn't. It gets even more difficult when you're joking about things you're not supposed to joke about. In 50/50, Seth Rogan is the best friend/comic relief and while he's hilarious as always, it doesn't really fit with the tone of the film. For the most part, 50/50 is an inspiring story about a young man fighting for his life. While the writer tries to use comedy to lighten the mood, I felt that all it did was distract me from the story and bring the quality of the picture down. As always, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was absolutely incredible and continues to be the most talented and underrated actor in all of Hollywood, but I guess that's what happens when you get your start on an overrated sitcom. Those looking for another hysterical Rogan/Pot inspired comedy will be disappointed by this film, and those looking for a touching drama, may also be disappointed by the inappropriateness of it all. I liked the film a lot, even though it tries to blend two things into one, rather unsuccessfully. Simply put JGL makes this film, Rogan doesn't fit, and there's only about a 50/50 chance you're going to enjoy it. Expand
  16. 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.
  17. Dec 23, 2012
    8
    An excellent drama/comedy that doesn't skimp out on any drama or comedy. Everybody gives a fantastic performance and it will completely suck you in. Outstanding.
  18. Dec 6, 2012
    8
    I think this is one of the best drama/comedy films I have seen in a very long time. The cast is perfect and Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines. One of the more underrated films of 2011.
  19. 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.
  20. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    A remarkably emotional, astonishingly hilarious, life-affirming drama with winsome characters and some truly uplifting thematic messages to share.
  21. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    A great dramedy with flawless actors. You see how intense cancer is, but on the other side it makes you feel good. It was too stereotypical and predictable to give it a 10 or a 9, but nevertheless it's a wonderful movie. Go and watch it, it's really loveable!
  22. Nov 9, 2012
    8
    A dramedy about cancer is a proper hard-sell in the market, this wee budget film (although JGL and Seth Rogan are quite bankable names among their peers) has done a quite solid battle in the box-office last year (domestic total gross is $35 million against its $8 million budget), due to its very heartfelt closeness and touchingness of its concoction of the three-faceted narrative (love, friendship and family) revolving around our young protagonist who has been through an ordeal of a very rare spine cancer. Adopted from a true event of the screenwriter Will Reiser (who is a close friend of Rogen and takes on an ephemeral cameo too), the film has a rare pluck and daintiness in reciting the story from a very earthly perspective, no flamboyant hyperbole, the plot goes through a carefully measured but innately captivating melodrama (although the big question of the survival of the operation had never been doubted, the bare truth is the screenwriter himself is still alive!), it could be reckoned as a sequel of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009, 8/10), JGL continues to generate his congenial drawing power through the rough road of a young man Expand
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
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.