Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 11, 2014
    100
    One of the better movies to come along this year.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Sep 11, 2014
    90
    This is only the second feature for the director: the first was "True Adolescents." But Mr. Johnson's work with his actors is impeccable, and his style is freewheeling.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Sep 9, 2014
    90
    What's singular here isn't that the stars are playing brother and sister, or that they stir such sublime and anxious joy from each other. It's that the real love story isn't even between the damaged-but-lovable characters. It's between two profoundly depressed people and life itself.
  4. Reviewed by: Christy Lemire
    Sep 12, 2014
    88
    As we enter this season of big, important awards contenders that “matter,” The Skeleton Twins is a small, intimate gem that might truly matter.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Sep 12, 2014
    88
    This is a smart movie about complicated people in search of something approaching inner peace.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 11, 2014
    88
    What raises the movie above the herd and rocks our settled ideas of pop entertainment is the way Hader and Wiig resist the script's pull to tidy things up.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Sep 3, 2014
    83
    It's a shockingly vulnerable performance (Hader), one of the best I've seen all year.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 11, 2014
    80
    The Skeleton Twins is a well-written and acted movie about contemporary life that doesn’t strain for melodrama and is largely devoid of weepy soap opera theatrics. A small, precise, character-driven vignette, it has no pretensions to make any kind of grand statement about The Way We Live Now.
  9. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 11, 2014
    80
    We already know Kristen Wiig can act. So the real revelation in The Skeleton Twins is Bill Hader, who turns in a performance so overflowing with poignancy that he deserves to be considered on any early awards list.
  10. Jan 27, 2014
    80
    Sibling bonds are fertile territory for indie dramedies, but The Skeleton Twins distinguishes itself from the pack with a pair of knockout performances from “Saturday Night Live” veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jan 27, 2014
    80
    Warm, funny, heartfelt and even uplifting, the film is led by revelatory performances from Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, both of them exploring rewarding new dramatic range without neglecting their mad comedic skills.
  12. Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
    Jan 27, 2014
    80
    Johnson and co-writer Mark Heyman may be exploring familiar territory but they do so with a warmth, subtlety and honesty that marks it out.
  13. Reviewed by: Thomas Lee
    Sep 11, 2014
    75
    The Skeleton Twins suffers from a glaring deficit. Suicide is ever present throughout the film, yet Johnson never seriously examines it.
  14. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Sep 10, 2014
    75
    Finally, a post-“Bridesmaids” film that lets Kristen Wiig shine — and brilliantly taps into co-star Bill Hader’s vulnerable side, too.
  15. Reviewed by: David Lee Dallas
    Sep 8, 2014
    75
    Craig Johnson's film is ultimately most interested in what its jokes are implying or obscuring about the jokesters themselves.
  16. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jan 27, 2014
    75
    Judging by Johnson's previous feature, "True Adolescence," he's better at crafting characters with credible problems than finding equally credible ways of exploring them. Fortunately, in the case of Skeleton Twins, the actors do the legwork.
  17. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Sep 11, 2014
    70
    I found The Skeleton Twins merely entertaining, but I’d love to see these two actors team up again, Tracy-and-Hepburn style, and make a string of movies together — maybe some that would venture further into the post–rom-com territory this one begins to explore.
  18. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Sep 10, 2014
    67
    What saves the movie is its actors: Exploiting audience’s memories of their previous collaborations, Hader and Wiig really do seem related. And both actors handle the balance between drama and comedy with aplomb.
  19. Reviewed by: Eric D. Snider
    Jan 27, 2014
    65
    While it’s only modestly effective at the serious stuff, at least it’s free of sanctimony and preciousness.
  20. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 11, 2014
    63
    And it's too bad The Skeleton Twins settles for tidy, slightly hollow narrative developments. The performers are ready to rip. For many they'll be enough.
  21. 63
    Skeleton Twins may not be a wholly fleshed-out character study, and nobody here takes a flying leap out of his or her comfort zone. But the timing of this tale of depression, suicide and how vulnerable we all are to our past, our demons and our shortcomings, is enough to recommend this engagingly melancholy comedy.
  22. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 9, 2014
    60
    It helps that Milo (Hader) and Maggie (Wiig) are cranky adult siblings, sharing a whip-crack shorthand that longtime skit partners know how to muster effortlessly.
  23. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Jan 27, 2014
    58
    It may not always work as a drama but The Skeleton Twins proves to be a fine showcase for Wiig and Hader, showing they are both capable of dramatic material.
  24. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 11, 2014
    50
    The Skeleton Twins has a pair of terrific, sharply etched lead performances, a polished, autumnal look, and some affecting moments where its protagonists bond. But to borrow a water-based metaphor from the film’s overflowing stock of them, The Skeleton Twins just lies there, cold and clammy, like a dead fish.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 12, 2014
    8
    Loved it. An amazing script supplemented with an equally talented cast makes the Skeleton Twins a must watch. Where this film really stands out is it's ability to tell a dark, but loving family tale that doesn't divert from it's core message of the bond of siblings, and as a twin myself, it really hit home. Full Review »
  2. Sep 14, 2014
    7
    Who knew that Bill Hader was such an exceptional actor? His performance in THE SKELETON TWINS is truly a revelation, simply magnificent. Kristen Wiig is equally good but we expect that from her. Together, they create a depthfully sad contemplation on modern life. It's almost shocking to see two comedic actors used for such ultimately sad purposes while not eliminating the humor they find in life. Director Craig Johnson does a wonderful job with character but then those clunky plot points keep getting in the way. Will there ever be a day again when indies don't emulate Hollywood mainstream fair? THE SKELETON TWINS has so much going for it but then the creaky plot machine kicks in truly undermining so much of the good. Ultimately, one is left with a very strong statement about unhappiness and disappointment that is shockingly real and very modern. You just wish the fillmmakers had the guts to take it to it's natural end. A good film that could have actually been quite great. Like life itself, THE SKELETON TWINS disappoints. Full Review »
  3. Sep 12, 2014
    8
    A funny, touching comedy-drama about facing fears and taking responsibility for our lives, with terrific performances by Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and Joanna Gleason. There's definitely more substance here than the picture's lightweight trailer implies, and the film's crisp, incisive writing delivers the goods with spot-on precision. A delightful treat in an otherwise-disappointing crop of off-season releases. Full Review »