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Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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4.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 102 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Since college, confirmed bachelor Ronny and happily married Nick ,have been through thick and thin. Now partners in an auto design firm, the two pals are vying to land a dream project that would launch their company. With Ronny's girlfriend, Beth, and Nick's wife, Geneva, by their sides, they're unbeatable. But Ronny's world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees Geneva out with another man and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that Nick has a few secrets of his own. Now, with the clock ticking and pressure mounting on the biggest presentation of their careers, Ronny must decide how and when he will reveal the truth to his best friend. (Universal Pictures)




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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 14, 2011
    75
    The movie is much like a really long beer commercial - but a really dark one.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jan 14, 2011
    67
    Howard surprises with this decidedly honest comedy-melodrama.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jan 13, 2011
    58
    The dilemma of The Dilemma is that the conundrum at the center of the story isn't particularly hilarious.
  4. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 12, 2011
    50
    The Dilemma downshifts from slapstick to melodrama and back so abruptly that it is at times jarring.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 13, 2011
    50
    Ms. Ryder, playing the least sympathetic character with unflinching dignity and candor, is in many ways the reason The Dilemma works as well as it does.
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jan 14, 2011
    40
    How does one remain an unapologetic fan of Vaughn, abrasive though he is, even as his material fails him?
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 13, 2011
    20
    This tonal mishmash cripples The Dilemma almost immediately, though there are many other speed bumps, including Vaughn's irritating, fast-talking prattle.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 33
  2. Negative: 13 out of 33
  1. Nov 13, 2011
    10
    I believe that there was too much criticism towards a very good comedy,certainly better than other comedies sold as great(take The holiday for example).The dilemma features a great cast,an interesting story and a really good direction.How could this comedy have gained so much haters is beyond my comprehension.Ronny(Vince Vaughn)and Nick(Kevin James)are best friends working on a ambitious project as auto designers that would launch their company.But Ronny discovers Geneva(Winona Ryder),wife of Nick,cheating on him with another man.So he has to find how to tell his best friend about the unexpected truth. Ron Howard is not new to comedy territory(Splash for example)and in my opinion he manages to entertain the audience.The movie boasts really hilarious moments and good reflections on friendship and marriage with a light tone that is natural for comedy.Even if there are few predictable aspects I enjoyed the movie for what it is.I think that critics and audience missed the point because I've seen not so much good comedies about that. Vince Vaughn is the heart and the soul of the movie.I found him really good and I believe that he is an underrated actor.They should give him more opportunities to show his abilities. Kevin James is adequate to his role that is not too demanding. Jennifer Connelly has a pointless role as the Ronnie's girlfriend.Don't get me wrong.I think she is a really amazing actress and she plays well here.But her role is a bit useless except her mission to make Ronnie a more honest man about what's happening . Winona Ryder has the juiciest and the more complex role as the cheating wife.She was exceptional and mesmerizing.She proved why she deserves to be still today a leading actress and not to be pushed only in supporting roles and little parts. She embodies not a stereotyped character but a selfish,occasionally nasty but with a soul within the surface woman.I hope this will be a comeback for her. So good story, good direction, good script and a perfect cast.My vote is 7/10 Expand
  2. Jan 25, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Throughout the second phase of his career, the one which started with 1977's "Grand Theft Auto", this former child star, hardly what you would call a critics' darling, has consistently assuaged the mainstream audience's fear of adventure with sturdy, but ultimately, disposable films that never go, you know, there; the proverbial there, the dark place where many provincial-minded moviegoers are afraid to go.This filmmaker, for better or worse, is Middle America's Orson Welles. His most successful outing, the Academy Award-winning "A Beautiful Mind", well-received for its adeptness at showing the inner-workings of John Nash's compromised world, disappointingly settles for cheap sentiment during the final reel(for starters, the pen scene), and ends up making the schizophrenic game theorist entirely too sympathetic, by half. Love him or loathe him, that's the filmmaker's modus operandi: placate the audience, placate 'em good, which is why his latest effort, "The Dilemma", in many ways, represents a radical departure for this pathological crowd-pleaser, who as a result of his gallivanting into uncharted territory, may shock his core audience by showing off a previously incognito dark side. Nobody's going to confuse this former child star with a misanthrope like Lars Von Trier, but his foray into pessimism as a filmic tool is a new development in the ol' repertoire that deserves our encouragement, not scorn. Case and point: the off-kilter toast that Ronnie(Vince Vaughn) gives at his girlfriend's parent's anniversary party, albeit not possessing the same caliber of black humor as the damning speech given by a sexually-abused son to his depraved stepfather in Thomas Vinterberg's "Festen", does take you aback, does make you hold your breath a little, as the crazed entrepreneur, vexed over the infidelity perpetuated by Geneva(Winona Ryder), his best friend's wife, expounds upon the concept of honesty, and keeps both audiences(us and the partygoers) on pins and needles, as he speculates over other people's sex lives with his vitriol-fueled stand-up patter. When you consider that our answer to the Dogme movement(which includes the 1998 Vinterberg film, also known as "The Celebration") was Alan Cummings' "The Anniversary Party", maybe "The Dilemma", through its seeming allusion to more cineaste-approved fare, is the squarest of all square filmmaker's concession that his proficient movies are indeed maddeningly middle-of-the-road. "The Dilemma" is virgin territory for this talented hack; it's, at times, genuinely edgy. In its own oblique way, this Dogme-light comedy is a very political film; it's anti-bromance. Unlike the Judd Apatow-inspired "I Love You, Man", the close bond between Ronnie and Nick(Kevin James), inventors of a new technology that masculinizes the electric car, has none of the coyness surrounding their friendship that runs through "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express". When we learn that Ronnie had sex with Geneva(at Ball State, wink wink, nudge nudge), their sexual history, as a result, has a transformative effect on previous scenes, especially the one at the botanical garden, because now it's a former lover, and not just the best friend of the husband whom Geneva is cuckolding, who watches a whole lot of sinning going on between the secret lovers, in the thick of the rare fauna and flora. The contact that Ronnie makes with the poisonous greenery, in retrospect, no longer plays like an arbitrary occurrence; his falling down, not just a harmless bit of slapstick comedy resulting in a bad rash and urinary problems, but instead takes on the significance of a punishment, the transgression being: he covets his best friend's wife. This game-changing revelation at the coffeehouse, which codifies Ronnie's sexual orientation, culminates with Geneva feigning a good cry and corroborating story about Ronnie's ongoing lechery, which she threatens to deploy as a preventive measure against being found out. Her public display of female hysteria uncannily recalls the scene in Rob Reiner's "When Harry Met Sally" where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm. This time, it's crocodile tears. The premise that women and men can't truly be friends because of each sex's biological disposition toward f*cking, is retold in "The Dilemma" under the guise of a man's fidelity toward a committed homosocial relationship with an old college buddy. Forty-years-old and never married, Ronnie dated and dumped all of Geneva's friends because none of them were Geneva herself. For a change of pace, "The Dilemma" has a straight subtext. In "Vanilla Sky", Julie Gianni(Cameron Diaz) says, "Don't you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not." When Ronnie sees Geneva kissing that guy, his body remembers, and more importantly, he remembers. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2013
    5
    The Dilemma is a different kind of comedy. It is more serious which makes its more interesting. The problem is the seriousness is better than the comedy and that is not good when you call your movie a comedy. Expand
  4. Jan 16, 2011
    4
    About as good as I expected. Somewhat entertaining but the best scenes were in the preview. There were just far too many parts that seemed to drag.
  5. Jan 27, 2011
    3
    Watching these two very funny men make a pass at drama was not amusing. The movie was darker than I expected, and it disappointed me. The characters werent well developed and the plot was choppy. Collapse
  6. Dec 31, 2011
    2
    A promising premise that fails to capture its potential at all whatsoever. Even its talented cast can't do much with what was in front of them I give this movie 19%. Expand
  7. Jul 2, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For a movie with two popular comedians, it wasn't very funny. The parts that were intended to be humorous were so randomly distributed, it was impossible to laugh. Queen Latifa's character was a complete mess. What on earth was she doing in this movie? Her presence in a film is so strong, her character needs to have more relevance to the plot or it just becomes bizarre. Not to mention everything out of the woman's mouth was pornographic. This movie is (I'm guessing, because the plot was almost absent) about people cheating on each other while one guy nearly gets himself killed trying to "fix" everything. Of course the female adulterer gets all the heat while the slime ball who attends weekly sex sessions at a massage parlor is victimized. Vaughn becomes a human punching bag for trying to rescue his friends failed marriage while nearly destroying his relationship with a dumb, unrealistically patient girlfriend.. Ryder's character was incredibly dark. In one scene, she starts foaming at the mouth in a way you'd expect from some kind of psychopathic bunny killer in a Life Time movie. I found myself thinking "Does she think shes in Black Swan again?" Then of course there's the Queen talking about her female erections in a car lot two minutes later. It was hard to like any of the people in this movie. The only "innocent" character was a complete bore and all of the side characters were forgettable. I did enjoy a fight scene involving a broken fish tank and flaming hair spray. Only because it was the most exciting thing I'd seen since i saw the disk tray pop out of my computer prior to the movie starting. The Dilemma ended in the same nonsensical pattern, a mixture of predictability and disorganization. Including the most annoying words ever spoken by a human being (Vaughn) just before a very stereotypical bro-mantic frolic on an ice rink. I actually felt embarrassed for the stars of this film. I'm surprised that any one likes it. I want my dollar back from red box. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews

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