Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Sep 29, 2012
    100
    Ponsoldt, Paul and Winstead make a remarkably effective team for this film's points and purposes, and Smashed burns long after it goes down smoothly.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 3, 2012
    91
    What's new about the unsensationalized portrait of one-day-at-a-time progress (and setbacks) is the low-key energy of this drunks' tale, by and for a generation with a high tolerance for humor and a low tolerance for soapiness.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Oct 12, 2012
    90
    The degree to which Smashed refuses to indulge a voyeuristic taste for the kind of sordid details exploited by reality television amounts to an unspoken declaration of principle. In lieu of self-pity, Smashed substitutes tough love.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Oct 9, 2012
    90
    Movies about drugs and alcohol might be a dime (bag) a dozen, but James Ponsoldt's Smashed is so beautifully shot and well acted as to transcend the genre.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 29, 2012
    90
    Its sharp writing and essential credibility make this small, intimate tale fresh and involving.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 17, 2012
    88
    This is a serious movie about drinking but not a depressing one. You notice that in the way it handles Charlie (Aaron Paul), Kate's husband. He is also her drinking buddy. When two alcoholics are married, they value each other's company because they know they can expect forgiveness and understanding, while a civilian might not choose to share their typical days.
  7. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 10, 2012
    83
    In spite of the out-of-place pregnancy subplot, Smashed is a film of pummeling intensity and bruised emotions.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 1, 2013
    80
    For appreciators of fine acting, it's a film well worth seeing, as well as one worth toasting - if only with ginger ale.
  9. Reviewed by: James White
    Dec 10, 2012
    80
    The sharp ends in Smashed are here for all to see, and Ponsoldt never shies away from their spiky, thought-provoking effect. Yet he also finds grace and warmth in the story.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 25, 2012
    80
    Everyone in the film is good. Offerman and Megan Mullally (as the principal at Kate's school) do well in more-dramatic roles than we're used to seeing them in. Mary Kay Place is harrowing without meaning to be as Kate's mother. [25 Oct 2012]
  11. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 29, 2012
    80
    A terrific performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a rock-bottom alcoholic is only one reason to appreciate Smashed, an affecting and immersive addiction drama about the unforeseen pitfalls along the road to recovery.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 7, 2012
    75
    There will never be another Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor, but Hollywood may have found a new Lee Remick in Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 21, 2012
    75
    It's a familiar, straightforward story, carried from start to finish by Winstead, who makes Kate an interesting study in contradictions.
  14. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 25, 2012
    75
    If you had to be an alcoholic, you'd want to be like Kate, the young drunk played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the new movie Smashed.
  15. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 19, 2012
    75
    Director James Ponsoldt, who co-wrote the script with Susan Burke (inspired in part by her own experiences), opts for realism and modesty instead of sensation.
  16. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 18, 2012
    75
    Director James Ponsoldt knows what his job is here. He keeps the camera on his lead actress and doesn't cut away. For Winstead, Smashed is the doorway to great things.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 12, 2012
    75
    Smashed is quietly affecting, though sometimes difficult to sit through. The saving grace is Winstead's smashing performance.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 12, 2012
    75
    The movie has some powerful moments, but it's mostly superficial.
  19. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 11, 2012
    75
    Don't forget Winstead when making a list of the year's Best Actress contenders. Yes, she's that good.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 11, 2012
    75
    The truthfulness of Winstead's performance - and those of her co-stars, too - has a steadying influence on James Ponsoldt's modest drama, which at times seems in danger of failing a sobriety test.
  21. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 11, 2012
    75
    Winstead's performance provides a trenchant wakeup call even when the movie can't keep pace.
  22. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Oct 12, 2012
    70
    Winstead, who appears in nearly every scene, can be compelling but, like the material, often pushes too hard, especially in Kate's climactic dive off the wagon. In a far more limited role, Paul is lower-key and convincing.
  23. Reviewed by: Mark Keizer
    Oct 2, 2012
    70
    Alcoholic movie characters run the gamut from lovable millionaire (Arthur) to Skid Row bum (Henry Chinaski from Barfly) to all-out, suicidal depressive (Ben from Leaving Las Vegas). As written and performed, Winstead's Kate triangulates between all these approaches and finds a sincerity that plays to the intellect, not to the rafters.
  24. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 25, 2012
    63
    The most interesting thing about Smashed is the way Kate, the movie's alcoholic schoolteacher, never looks drunk - at least, not the way drunk people do in the movies.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 18, 2012
    63
    Feels different from most recovering-train-wreck stories. The movie is a tidy relaying of a messy situation involving two reasonably functional middle-class LA alcoholics, one of whom gets serious about cleaning up a lot sooner than the other.
  26. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Nov 25, 2012
    60
    Two fine performances - particularly from an unhinged Winstead - almost elevate Smashed to greatness. But an under-worked script leaves you feeling groggy and bleary-eyed by the end.
  27. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 12, 2012
    60
    Winstead and director James Ponsoldt add something gripping and modern to the cinema of recovery, a well-mined genre that can still, it seems, yield thoughtful surprises.
  28. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 9, 2012
    60
    To be sure, the film as a whole feels like a creaky vehicle, belabored with plot strands and stereotypes that only serve to highlight Winstead's ragged commitment to something real.
  29. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 7, 2012
    50
    Smashed may be better at preaching to the choir and is likely to find its largest audience among struggling 12-steppers.
  30. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 19, 2012
    50
    Smashed never really rises much above the level of a dramatic public service announcement. That's not so much because of its tone, but because what it's announcing isn't exactly news. Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholics aren't bad people. Quitting is hard.
  31. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Oct 12, 2012
    50
    Smashed touches on the awkward perversity that often comes from seemingly pure emotions and intentions, and turns a noticeable, if slightly analytical, eye toward the selfish hurt and narcissistic projections inflicted by the perceived moral hierarchy against recovering addicts.
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 11, 2012
    25
    There needs to be a 12-step program for movie people to stop sharing their "deeply personal" yet insight-free stories of addiction.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 19, 2012
    10
    Smashed is a small but powerful film that goes through both the highs and lows of alcoholism and sobering up. I was fascinated at how realistic the lead characters of Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) were on the surface as just a pair of fun loving people who like to drink to have a good time, maybe occasionally going overboard. As someone who rarely drinks myself, I have observed similar behavior far too often and never thought much of it, but Smashed explores the deeper issues beneath the surface masked by the funny and entertaining antics performed while under the influence. As the film unfolds some of these scenes that seemed hilarious become tainted in a sense with the darkness of Kate's situation, highlighting the complexities of identifying and dealing with alcohol addiction.

    On paper, there is nothing truly groundbreaking about the film. We've seen tons of films about alcoholics, AA, young struggling couples, etc., but for me this film approaches these issues in such an easily accessible and realstic way. Often times I feel substance abuse issues tend to be a bit sensationalized in modern media where there isn't an interesting or important story unless someone gets arrested or there needs to be an intervention. That is not the case here, Kate is not quite at rock bottom when she makes the decision to sober up, yet the film (mainly in part to a show-stopping lead performance by Winstead and a charismatic supporting performance from Paul) manages to create a set of compelling characters the viewer can embrace as if they had just been hanging out and laughing with them the night before, and sympathize and cry for by the end of the film.

    Again as someone who doesn't drink, I found the film relevant to me whether it be as a retrospective look at people I know personally or even at myself in need of a lifestyle change by breaking a bad cycle and confronting my problems with honesty. The film does this while remaining grounded and never seeming overly preachy or becoming an school special.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 14, 2012
    7
    I was fortunate enough to have seen the film with the director and cast (less Aaron Paul) in attendance. VERY talented group, and really good chemistry for a team that had worked together for such a short period of time. After the first 20 minutes, when the film is establishing Mary Elizabeth and Aaron's drinking behavior and how it affects their lives, I thought I was going to loathe the film. Yes, let's observe a couple of alcoholics making bad decisions! But the film becomes much more about the relationship between someone in recovery and her partner who is not, which is intriguing. Her support system (colleagues at her school, sponsor ,mother) is well fleshed-out. Offerman, Spencer, and Mullaly are all terrific in their supporting roles, and it's amazing that they shot this film in only 19 days considering how well they related to one another. Full Review »
  3. Feb 27, 2013
    7
    Wow, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, I really liked her in 'Scott Pilgrim', 'The Thing' and the new 'Die Hard' movie and even though she was good in them she was brilliant in this. I imagine the writing and directing team had first hand knowledge of alcoholism to give Mary Elizabeth Winstead such spot on direction. I have seen this exact behaviour before as I'm sure everyone has so I knew what I was seeing was an accurate portrayal. This wasn't an easy film to watch but it was rewarding. It's far from a new story but it's always nice when an old idea is given a facelift with excellent performances. Aaron Paul plays the husband really well but I watch 'Breaking Bad' so I can't quite see him as anyone other than Jesse, lol. The brilliant Octavia Spencer has little to do but it rounds this great cast off nicely. This is a very good film.

    Highly Recommended Score: 7.5/10 N∆V navq@ymail.com
    Full Review »