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Universal acclaim- based on 375 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 375

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  1. Jul 1, 2013
    "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
  2. Jun 12, 2013
    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.
  3. May 2, 2013
    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.
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    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!
  5. Feb 5, 2013
    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.
  6. Dec 3, 2012
    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 50/50 is engaging, humorous, touching, heartfelt and uplifting. Very, very nice movie.
  7. Nov 28, 2012
    A remarkably emotional, astonishingly hilarious, life-affirming drama with winsome characters and some truly uplifting thematic messages to share.
  8. Nov 7, 2012
    Everyone is pitch perfect. Levitt delivers compelling and heart wrenching performance, Kendrick is great, and even the parents have specific and well executed roles.
  9. Nov 5, 2012
    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
  10. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  11. Aug 10, 2012
    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.
  12. Jul 23, 2012
    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
  13. Jul 20, 2012
    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
  14. Jul 18, 2012
    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
  15. May 25, 2012
    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
  16. Mar 28, 2012
    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
  17. Feb 24, 2012
    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.
  18. Feb 13, 2012
    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.
  19. Feb 4, 2012
    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.
  20. Feb 3, 2012
    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. Jan 30, 2012
    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
  22. Jan 29, 2012
    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
  23. Jan 28, 2012
    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.
  24. Jan 24, 2012
    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
  25. Jan 22, 2012
    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.
  26. Jan 19, 2012
    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
  27. Jan 13, 2012
    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.
  28. Dec 31, 2011
    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
  29. Dec 10, 2011
    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.
  30. Dec 9, 2011
    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.

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
    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
    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
    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.