Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  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: Marc Mohan
    Sep 25, 2014
    83
    Wiig, following the big-screen breakthrough of "Bridesmaids," has dipped her toes into dramatic waters, but for Hader, The Skeleton Twins is a revelation.
  8. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Sep 3, 2014
    83
    It's a shockingly vulnerable performance (Hader), one of the best I've seen all year.
  9. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Nov 3, 2014
    80
    An engaging comedy drama lifted by two revelatory performances. Wiig in particular suggests an Academy Award-winner-in-waiting.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 25, 2014
    80
    This is a film that deals with suicide, missed chances, depression, infidelity and more. Yet the movie itself isn't depressing, thanks to Hader, Wiig and director and co-writer Craig Johnson.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 26, 2014
    75
    If a movie with suicide as a central theme can be deemed funny, then writer/director Craig Johnson has pulled it off, mixing heartache and humor and giving Wiig, especially, the opportunity to shine.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 25, 2014
    75
    In a poignant and potentially depressing film, it’s redeeming to see that when they are with their kindred spirits, even the saddest skeletons can dance.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 18, 2014
    63
    The bitter, funny dialogue by director Craig Johnson and co-writer Mark Heyman gives the two stars room to work both comic and dramatic sides of their gifts.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 26, 2014
    60
    Still, there's more here to like than to dislike in what ends up being a feel-good movie about a feel-bad topic, a la "Little Miss Sunshine."
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 24, 2014
    50
    It’s worth a watch to see these two reliably comic actors do some heavy dramatic lifting and tenderly spot for each other.
  32. 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
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Sep 28, 2014
    6
    After a gay man (Bill Hader) attempts suicide, he moves in with his estranged, but formerly close sister (Kristen Wiig). The majority of the film is spent trying to get the twosome back to the warm and loving relationship of their youth. Most of this story deals with drama and dysfunction in their lives, which becomes tiresome and repetitive. Luckily, this twosome brings their comic chops to the roles (especially Hader), which add to the appeal. While there's lots of promise and the performances are decent, the film's gloomy nature hobbles it's potential. Full Review »
  2. Sep 20, 2014
    4
    I liked the premise of this film, contrived as it was I was ready to accept it. However, I never believed the characters pain, and the acting didn't help. The plot was predictable paint by the numbers, with no surprises
    what so ever. Both characters just became tiring whiners and the stakes were never credible.
    Full Review »
  3. 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 »