Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Summary: A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober. [Sony Pictures Classics]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Sep 29, 2012
    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: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 29, 2012
    Its sharp writing and essential credibility make this small, intimate tale fresh and involving.
  3. Reviewed by: James White
    Dec 10, 2012
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 11, 2012
    Winstead's performance provides a trenchant wakeup call even when the movie can't keep pace.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 12, 2012
    Smashed is quietly affecting, though sometimes difficult to sit through. The saving grace is Winstead's smashing performance.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 18, 2012
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 11, 2012
    There needs to be a 12-step program for movie people to stop sharing their "deeply personal" yet insight-free stories of addiction.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 19, 2012
    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.
  2. Nov 15, 2012
    Smashed" is excellent.... it deals with addiction issues and dysfunctional family system and alcoholism issues.... but it's far from being a "downer", it's very positive and intelligent in its take on this material ....great cast !....great direction....great script.....a very MATURE, INSIGHTFUL and THOUGHTFUL film....and God knows we could these qualities a lot more these days !! Go see it !! Collapse
  3. Nov 13, 2014
    "Smashed" 10 Scale Rating: 7.5 (Very Good) ...

    The Good: Mary Elizabeth Winstead absolutely steals the show and should have received more
    Oscar buzz. The story is one that most of us can relate to and is well written. What happens when we grow as people and binge drinking (and the silly antics that come with it) is no longer fun, yet all of our friends are still living that life? The struggles that one person goes through with her husband and group of friends as she tries to remain sober is both poignant and thought provoking.

    The Bad: It is listed as 1:21 in length, but it is actually only 70 minutes long, which is extremely short. There is an interaction with Winstead's character and a co-worker that was out of place and lingered throughout the film. It was an attempt at crude humor and did not fit the dark comedy/drama setting at all.
  4. Feb 27, 2013
    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
  5. Oct 14, 2012
    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. Expand