Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 27, 2012
    63
    Sam and Frankie are certainly interesting enough that a film about them coming to grips with this hidden truth would have been justified. It also would probably have been harder to write than this one, so People Like Us marches on with a coy little smile, toying with Frankie and the audience.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jun 27, 2012
    58
    People Like Us demonstrates how a drama can be heartfelt and bogus at the same time.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 28, 2012
    63
    Pine is driven and touchingly vulnerable. And Banks, heartbreakingly good, nails every nuance in a raw wound of a role. Thanks to their teamwork, we believe we are watching people like us.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 29, 2012
    50
    The most interesting plot development – Frankie starts falling for Sam – is nipped in the bud. Some things even a soap opera won't stoop to.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 28, 2012
    60
    If its tone is considerably tougher than that of movies adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels, it is still a grown-up soap opera. And as the overly determined plot progresses, it feels increasingly Sparks-like, although there are no dewy young lovebirds to swoon over.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 29, 2012
    50
    People Like Us is neither optimal nor prime.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 28, 2012
    40
    Going on too long seems to be the disease of the week; it's certainly what brings this movie down, though the going on here stems from a surfeit of implausible plot that suffocates the main characters and the excellent actors who play them.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 28, 2012
    50
    The movie's soap opera quality undermines its efforts to tell a family saga with much believability.
  9. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 27, 2012
    50
    For all its emotional and familial kerfuffles, People Like Us is an honorable misfire – good intentions and all.
  10. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 27, 2012
    25
    An irritatingly contrived drama.
  11. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 28, 2012
    70
    The movie develops into a painful story of one generation inflicting its selfish compromises on the next. The three leads are uniformly excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Mark Duplass and Philip Baker Hall.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 27, 2012
    85
    This is a straightforward family comedy-drama, a movie made for adults, and one that actually gives its actors – among them Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer and Philip Baker Hall – something to do. That's more of a rarity on today's landscape than it should be.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 28, 2012
    50
    A fine and moving film could be made from this story, which was inspired, loosely, by events and situations in the lives of Kurtzman and Orci. But the script sets an awfully low bar for Sam's redemption.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 15, 2012
    70
    As overcranked as it is -- the film is directed as if it were an action drama, with two or three times more cuts than necessary -- People Like Us has a persuasive emotional pull at its heart that's hard to deny.
  15. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 28, 2012
    0
    This is the sort of movie that ends up awash in sincere revelations, and not a moment of it feels remotely believable.
  16. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 29, 2012
    38
    The considerable talents of Banks make the movie bearable.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 28, 2012
    60
    Its hard sell wears you down and draws you in, even as you know you're being manipulated.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 28, 2012
    63
    It's the flaws that Kurtzman builds into People Like Us that make it interesting.
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jun 27, 2012
    58
    Viewers who dislike movies in which all drama hinges on one character withholding information from another for no reason beyond the need to keep the plot chugging along should stay far away from People Like Us. The film does have its charms, but getting to them means seeing past a Buick-sized contrivance.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 29, 2012
    50
    Pine and the always-watchable Banks make the best of a bad screenplay, but People Like Us gives us nothing that we can relate to.
  21. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 15, 2012
    60
    If they never fully sell the situation, the actors nonetheless deliver strong, emotionally accessible work.
  22. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jun 26, 2012
    40
    The pity is that the people in People Like Us ultimately don't feel any more dimensional than the archetypes dutifully dotting his lowest-denominator multiplex fodder. He's just picked a different set of clichés to ransack.
  23. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 26, 2012
    75
    This is a rare feel-good treat that nudges the heartstrings and makes you feel optimistic about the human race.
  24. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jun 28, 2012
    67
    The movie is well-acted and a bit frustrating, but also a pleasant little surprise.
  25. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jun 26, 2012
    40
    Ultimately, however, People Like Us is infected with the "life-affirming" pox; this means making a narrative priority of redeeming everyone before adequately explaining them.
  26. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 28, 2012
    60
    The glossily photographed family drama People Like Us is not without appeal, but it has a major construction flaw. It's dramatic arc is predicated on the problem of accidental incestuous attraction. Egads.
  27. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jun 28, 2012
    25
    No matter how well made, well acted and well intentioned, Lying Dingbat Procrastinator movies are excruciating to watch. Case in point: People Like Us, a film hell-bent on dragging its protagonist (and, sadly, us) through the LDP narrative playbook.
  28. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jun 24, 2012
    12
    This dry-as-dust enterprise bogs down in an almost total lack of energy and imagination that no amount of faux earnestness can overcome.
  29. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Jun 20, 2012
    80
    This film stands out as one of the year's best.
  30. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jul 1, 2012
    50
    As usual, it's Banks, who's turning great performances in lousy movies into some kind of brilliant career strategy.
  31. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Jun 28, 2012
    60
    It's a soapy, predictable ride where everyone learns about the importance of family. And though it's just a Christmas tree away from being a holiday special, the stellar cast wrings just enough genuine emotion out of a stale premise to make it mostly sweet.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 5 out of 11
  1. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    A strong cast along with an engaging story, People Like Us may not be seen by many but should be seen by more. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks give two of their best performances and it's always good to see Michelle Pfeiffer. Full Review »
  2. Jul 10, 2012
    10
    I reviewed the film "People like us" what a film, such great acting and, such a storyline. I had shed a line of tears out of my right eye, after viewing this film. I don't care what bad things anyone says about this film, because I think it is such a beautiful movie. Such great actors and Actresses with such great performances. What a great storyline to be told in such a film. I don't know why it wasn't in second place in movie theatres. Chris Pine's character finds out his recently deceased father left him more that enough money, to pay off his debt, he had enough to go on a long vacation with his girlfriend and shop up the wazoo. But in this movie, he discovers he has an older sister, who was from the first marriage. An affair, which lead to the husband leaving his previous wife and child behind. At the funeral, he had ran into his sister, which she never knew he existed, who also has plenty of problems in her own and a young son. The reason he knew he has an older sibling is through the mother played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She told him the main reason he has an older sister, the affair and the choices his father made in staying with her instead of going back to his first wife. The older sibling, played by Elizabeth Banks had mentioned her father had forgotten about her as usual, because he left her with nothing, even though she was his first child.This happens in real life, and men get away from paying child support, and there's some women too. The man/ woman just walk away easy from his/her first family and abandon them all together. The older sibling felt no real emotions, because her father had walked completely out of her life, and leaving a very empty hole in her heart, not to be filled. That is such a sick thing and so sad. This film is so original, meaning it is no remade over. This film should definitely be nominated for best film in drama category and great acting. Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2014
    7
    The product of a well-written screenplay, People Like Us is a uniquely heartwarming romantic-comedy holstered by Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine and Michelle Pfeiffer. Full Review »