Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 253 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    It is outrageously funny without ever exaggerating for comic effect, and heartbreaking with only minimal melodramatic embellishment.
  2. Every scene has its highlights, from amusing observations about sex to poignant truths about parenting and partnerships. But what you'll remember most is the exquisitely lovely final scene, in which Cholodenko reminds us that all we need is a single moment of perfection -in a family, or even in a film - to believe that somehow, things will always be all right.
  3. "All right" doesn't begin to describe it. The Kids Are All Right is wonderful. Here is a film that respects and enjoys all of its characters, the give-and-take and recklessness and wisdom of any functioning family unit, conventional or un-.
  4. Here are five gifted actors at the top of their games as five characters in search of what makes a family.
  5. Positioned somewhere between sitcom and piercing human drama, The Kids Are All Right, is both overtly familiar and cutting edge.
  6. 75
    Arrives as the perfect midsummer movie, a comedy about a flawed-but-functional family that, like "Toy Story 3," captures the drama of growth and separation in all its exhilaration and heartache.
  7. 40
    There are not only glancing moments but whole sequences in this movie when the agony of social embarrassment makes you want to haul the characters to their feet and slap them in the chops.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 67
  2. Negative: 9 out of 67
  1. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    This has to be one of the most fun films in a long time. The movies plot is ever so simple; where two kids meet their sperm donor. Things seem to be okay at first, but it just seems that donating sperm probably wasn't the right choice. He develops a deep relationship amongst the family and tension soon runs high. The way that the movie is told is so plain, where dialogue and the variety of characters takes over and turns the movie into a lighthearted and touching story that is a rarity in hollywood. The movie is sexy, funny, and just pure entertainment with a good story. You'll be able to sit down and really know the characters one by one without becoming so tense on what happens next. Just sit down, relax, and enjoy the show. Expand
  2. Jan 28, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Why is everyone trashing the ending of this film and how it treats Paul? I find the end wonderfully subtle: after talking to Paul, Joni changes her mind and takes the gardening hat he gave her to college with her. That tells us--those of us who are paying attention, anyway--that the door is open to what he asked for: to see her again someday. SO much better than the hugs-all-round-and-redemption-for-everyone sledgehammer that usually ends films about family conflict. I mean, think about it: when an affair rocks a marriage but doesn't break it up, how often is the outside lover forgiven and re-embraced by the family? Is "never" a safe estimation? All in all, TKAAR is a wonderfully subtle film about people struggling to understand one another and themselves. It's also that rare film that shows people with genuinely good intentions, though often confused about what goodness is and how to achieve it. The acting is staggeringly good, especially from the two Oscar nominees. Julianne Moore is, as usual, first rate, but hers is an easier role (and we've seen versions of this character from her before) than the other two. Bening plays a less likable character, and she plays her fearlessly, not softening her edges yet offering glimpses of her underlying vulnerability. And Ruffalo, as Paul, was equally complicated: a careless, overgrown boy bedazzled by instant fatherhood--and rather good at it, until he mistakes Jules's sexual acting out for a short cut to the family he suddenly wants. Good stuff, fresh, believable and deeply affecting. Expand
  3. JMH
    May 7, 2012
    9
    The Kids Are All Right is manna from heaven for viewers seeking comedy-with-substance resting on great writing handed to gifted actors. The film offers a world of complicated personalities, personal relationships, and life changes of universal resonance. These elements are adroitly made rich through scenes that make no fuss about getting straight to the heart of the matter, painting deep, convincing back stories that fill out the core characters. These core characters are a couple, Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening), and the biological father of their children Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who enters the picture when their daughter Joni (Mia Wasikowska) contacts him at the behest of her younger brother Laser (Josh Hutcherson). Nic appears businesslike and levelheaded, and Jules free-spirited and needy. Paul is an emotionally immature bachelor who runs an organic restaurant. Joni is soon heading to college. Laser is an aimless, well-meaning, young teen. All rest at the edge of difficult life changes -- reaching out for amorphous, unknown "nexts" -- accelerated and amplified when Paul enters the picture, and the family. With Paul's arrival, change happens quickly and significantly -- the characters confront and deal with great upheaval both within themselves and in the context of the family unit. Although it sounds serious, this is also a spot-on funny film that brilliantly elides between, and marries, comedy and tragedy. All of the lead actors are stellar, particularly Moore and Bening. As the film has set in my mind, I find it's Bening's performance that stands out most. Both Moore and Bening play the tiniest of moments with extreme intelligence and wit. The audience receives less overt insight into Bening's character, but those glimpses, coming in quick succession and plainly constituting the fulcrum of the story, are rendered flawlessly. Still, it's both actresses' range, timing, and subtlety make this a great rather than good film. Expand
  4. Mar 15, 2011
    8
    I found this movie good, but a bit overrated for all the hype it's recieved. I am a fan of everyone in it, it was well acted, it flowed great and was easy to watch. I guess I just didn't think it was soooo good, the kind of good that you want other people to see it and you want to own it to watch again and again. Some of it wasn't believable and I felt some things that were introduced never had follow up by the end. Maybe these things were not supposed to be left all cleaned up, but regardless, I will say it's still worth watching but maybe not something one needs to buy for repeated viewings. Expand
  5. Apr 7, 2011
    7
    Very enjoyable movie. The only downside is one of the characters , whilst funny and a joy to watch, ends up ruining the respect of the audience which in turn drags the film to a more sober level. It turns the movie into a more serious event devoid of the humorous aspects of the first half. Expand
  6. May 7, 2011
    6
    The Kids Are All Right has a fairly simple plot. A lesbian couple have 2 children. The two children meet there sperm donor. Easy, right? Yup, it is. The Kids Are All Right is one of the finest dramedies that I have ever seen. The acting form the cast is spectacular, riveting, and memorable. The way the film makes one character seem like the bad guy or good guy in the film, suddenly changing them to good guys or bad guys, is fascinating. The supporing actors in this films were the very best. Nothing can beat the laughs they brought ot the film or the drama they did as well. The sublte humor was amazing, for it is what I liked the most in the film. The obvious humor was also hillarious, but not as good as the subtle. They also made very crude sexual jokes most of the time, which I personally enjoyed the least. But on the comedy side of the film, it deserves excellent marks. Next, on the drama side, this film is just full of it. Tense, exciting, relationships, all that a drama needs. At one point, a lesbian couple is cheating on her wife, and when you notice its kinda strange that a lesbian is cheating on her wife with a MAN, you might think its comedy. But not at all. It's very true drama if it happened in real life, because it doesnt happen very often. The fast paced drama, although there wasn't much, was good. When the characters are in arguments, you notice the tension in the room, and you cant help but root for one character oover another. Lisa Cholodenko knows how to add drama factor, to the lauch factor. I aslo have to give alot of credit to the amazing acting. Annete Benning, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowski, Josh Hutcherson, and Mark Ruffalo all starred in this film. And they made the film a star. The ensemble cast are all perfect with each other. The casting director, who ever he/she might be, should be given an Oscar. They all seemed to love each other like family in real life, just the same way they did in the film. You could literally feel passion coming out of the screen from each individual, as if you were part of the family, too. The acting nominations for Annete Benning and Mark Ruffalo were truly deserved. In the beggining, you thought Benning's character was going to be the villian in the story, and you also thoguth that Mark's character would be the good guy. But as the story continued on, you realized everything was not as it seemed. I personally thought Mark Ruffalo was the best actor out of all of them. He brougth so much joy and despair to every one of the characters, and you think about how he did it, but you really cant figure it out. I had mixed feelings about his character in the end, unlike any of the other characters. As you watch the film, you really have sympathy toward his character more than anyone else, and that's what made him stand out the most. So, the acting was great. But then comes the negatives. Lets narrow it down to four. (1) The crude sexual jokes. I shouldnt have expected less from a rated R film, but if you make a dramedy and most of the laughs come from sex jokes, then I would call it more of a perv dilm than anything else (but gladly most of the laughs weren't perverted).(2) The score. It was so boring and dull and was repeated so many times. Only a few times did the score fit a scene. I hope to never listen to it again. (3) Not a film to see again. Maybe one day if their were 50 films at Blockbuster, and this one was the best, then I would watch it again, otherwise the film was memorable, but I wouln't really watch it again any time soon. (4) Last but not least, the slow moving pace. At times (as I've said previouslly), the fim was fast, but sometimes it REALLY lagged. You'd see there expressions and be so bored that you might turn off the film, but then a sudden burst of comedy or dram saves you, and your back in. And that's really all the negatives in the film. Other than that, the film was excellent. The film also had a recurring message. No matter how hard you try, you can never lose family, and they will never lose you. Check back at my page for a new review every week. Thanks and enjoy the film. Expand
  7. Sep 3, 2010
    0
    I found this movie unwatchable, and left after twenty minutes. The director doesn't know if she respects these people or want to make fun of them, and so she does neither. Sitting even through 20 minutes was like eavesdropping on neighbors who have nothing together and have bought every pop-psychology book in the store. And the sex scenes were horrible, toe-curling. Expand

See all 67 User Reviews

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