User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 4 out of 40

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  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 chopsAfter 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. Expand
  2. Sep 26, 2014
    3
    “The Skeleton Twins” opens with one person attempting suicide, another on the verge of tempting suicide and a third already having accomplished suicide. This doesn’t quite mesh with expectations that with Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and Ty Burrell starring and the coming attractions showing 2 possibly funny scenes, about a half a dozen funny lines and one lip synch scene, that it is a comedy.“The Skeleton Twins” opens with one person attempting suicide, another on the verge of tempting suicide and a third already having accomplished suicide. This doesn’t quite mesh with expectations that with Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and Ty Burrell starring and the coming attractions showing 2 possibly funny scenes, about a half a dozen funny lines and one lip synch scene, that it is a comedy. By the way the funny lines and funny scenes are really about all the comedy you are going to get.

    Milo (Hader) and Maggie (Wiig) are twins who have not seen each other or communicated for a decade and after his suicide attempt she flies out to California where he supposedly is an actor but is really a waiter--one of the many clichés in the film--and all of a sudden they are driving (?) back to her home in New York where she lives with her husband Lance (Luke Wilson). They are, supposedly, being very active in trying to have a child though Maggie is secretly taking birth control pills and has not been exactly faithful to her husband which leads to Milo saying “I can’t wait to be the creepy gay uncle.”

    Talking about creepy it turns out that Rich (Burrell) who was Milo’s English teacher, and now owns a bookstore, had seduced Milo when he was 15. There was going to be a huge scandal but something Maggie did--I have no idea--is what stopped that and when the twins fall out. Rich is now living with his girlfriend and his son--the latter isn’t explained--and Milo wants to reconnect with him. Maggie starts an affair with her scuba diving instructor, (Boyd Holbrook) and she meets an old schoolmate, Carlie, (Kathleen Rose) who has an obnoxious, bratty son.

    Talk about obnoxious, like most films today, especially with “Saturday Night Live” actors, there is a farting scene. Are you laughing yet? Also, like most films today, there has to be a sex scene. Along with the obnoxious scene there is a complete waste of time scene with Judy (Joanna Gleason) as the mother of the twins as if to explain why the twins aren’t ‘happy’.

    The screenplay by Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman, like the direction by Craig Johnson, is all over the place. In addition they have too many gay clichés coming out of Milo’s mouth like “Look at me, another gay cliché,” after he attempts suicide.

    Afterwards after overhearing my comment about the film to the manager, said that Wiig and Hader will probably draw their SNL fans. I don’t remember the last time I saw SNL but as actors who can handle drama and comedy they both do an excellent job, as does Wilson, though Burrell’s role is too hazy and unexplained for him to do anything with it except for his last scene, another gay cliché!

    Oh my comment to the manager? It wasn’t a bad film but a very boring one!
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  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.
  4. 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.
  5. Sep 29, 2014
    8
    "The Skeleton Twins" was directed by Craig Johnson who co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Heyman. It stars Kristen Wilg, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell in this surprisingly serious and well-written film notable because of the extraordinary performances of Mr. Hader and Ms. Wilg. It is said that a comic talent will easily adapt to a dramatic role whereas a dramatic actor will find it"The Skeleton Twins" was directed by Craig Johnson who co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Heyman. It stars Kristen Wilg, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell in this surprisingly serious and well-written film notable because of the extraordinary performances of Mr. Hader and Ms. Wilg. It is said that a comic talent will easily adapt to a dramatic role whereas a dramatic actor will find it extremely difficult to do comedy. Mr. Hader and Ms. Wilg, comic partners from Saturday Night Live, prove the point. This is a film that tells the story of two siblings and the effect their childhood upbringing has on their adulthood. It is not an easy film to watch for it paints a picture of 2 troubled human beings and how each, in his and her own way, attempts to cope with the demons that continue to haunt them from their unhappy past to the present. I give an 8 with special kudos to the acting talents of the two main participants. Expand
  6. Oct 3, 2014
    5
    This is a sad movie about what sometimes happens to kids who are raised in dysfunctional families. Even though grown up, they are still kids, and still dysfunctional, depressed and suicidal.

    Good performances delivered by both leads. Many good jokes. This movie definitely has some potential. Unfortunately, creators of the movie tried to add some AMC-type drama at the end. Miraculous
    This is a sad movie about what sometimes happens to kids who are raised in dysfunctional families. Even though grown up, they are still kids, and still dysfunctional, depressed and suicidal.

    Good performances delivered by both leads. Many good jokes. This movie definitely has some potential. Unfortunately, creators of the movie tried to add some AMC-type drama at the end. Miraculous rescue at the very last moment is quite distasteful and disappointing.
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  7. Dec 26, 2014
    8
    Bill Hader is a great actor! wow couldn't believe how good he was in this movie! Overall the movie is good, I liked the story. Maybe it was alittle predictable in how he ending will turn out. But still it was good!
  8. Sep 28, 2014
    8
    Really enjoyed this black comedy about siblings. if you have a brother or sister, and even a slightly unconventional life or relationship with your sibling (and I have 4 sisters!) you will see part of your life and relationship reflected here, and it's not often that any movie attempts to explore the bother-sister relationship in an open and honest way. The 4 main actors are excellentReally enjoyed this black comedy about siblings. if you have a brother or sister, and even a slightly unconventional life or relationship with your sibling (and I have 4 sisters!) you will see part of your life and relationship reflected here, and it's not often that any movie attempts to explore the bother-sister relationship in an open and honest way. The 4 main actors are excellent (esp. bill hader)and if you see the movie with reduced or realistic expectations, you will walk away with a smile. ( my 24 year old daughter took me to see it and she liked it quite a bit too). Expand
  9. Dec 6, 2014
    8
    An insightful look into the high's and low's of life and family. The Skeleton Twins is subtle, yet piercing--striking the heart in all of the right places. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader may be talented comedians, but their exceeding dramatic ability has never been more present.
  10. Dec 26, 2014
    9
    Amazing performances by SNL vets Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, definitely the most serious roles I've seen Wiig do. The film does a great job of delving in the dis-functionality of these siblings, and it's also quite humorous as well! Great chemistry between the two leads. My only gripe is that I feel as though not everything was necessarily explained by the end of the film.
  11. Oct 6, 2014
    8
    Contrary to its confusing and misleading title, The Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is NOT a horror film.

    As if the title wasn’t bad enough and a release date in October, this real world dramedy starring two shining comedic stars is a gut-wrenching, tender tale of sibling rivalry and love that is relatable to every person sharing half of their genetic imprint with
    Contrary to its confusing and misleading title, The Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is NOT a horror film.

    As if the title wasn’t bad enough and a release date in October, this real world dramedy starring two shining comedic stars is a gut-wrenching, tender tale of sibling rivalry and love that is relatable to every person sharing half of their genetic imprint with someone else. The Skeleton Twins is an awesome little American indie with some heart, and a lot of soul.

    The siblings, Maggie and Milo, played perfectly by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, are two people hiding from their greatest fears and darkest demons in completely different ways. After ten years of being apart, the siblings both share a near death experiences and decide to room up and bunk together in Maggie’s idealistic suburban house outside the big apple. Hesitant and awkward at first, the two learn much about one another and the biggest challenges in each others lives: including Milo’s inability to face reality and Maggie’s fears of becoming a mother and loyal wife to her husband Lance (Luke Wilson).

    While there isn’t much slapstick excitement happening in The Skeleton Twins that would initially get fans of both stars into the theatre, the real comedy comes from the comedic genius and masterminds on the page; screenwriters Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson, who has double duty as director. Offering emotionally wrenching scenes that provide a full dose of clarity to our characters and heart-breaking scenes that could easily be a glimpse into each and every one of our lives, the writing duo opt for a more realistic and fresh look at the troubles plaguing two siblings familial life. From pitch perfect arguments about favourites between the siblings, to an over-bearing mother (Joanna Gleason), to perfect husband problems including the temptation of affairs and mid-life crisis that hit strong emotional cords with audience members, the film is a divine example of having a wonderful story carried by actors who need or do very little to convey their message.

    Although Wiig is comedy gold throughout all of her scenes that should not be undermined, the real star in the film is consistently underused Hader. Hader, who has never really starred in his own film and given sole spotlight, of course excluding Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, where he plays the voice of its hero Flint Lockwood, has always stood at the side of other comedic actors and has always provided a familiar face with being ‘that’ guy in comedies like Superbad, Paul and yes, even her. But not this time. With The Skeleton Twins, a film that equally bills Wiig and Hader, shows the dominance of Hader’s comedy and his ability as a leading man. Noticeable and glorious, Hader exudes a familiar yet original signature to Milo, the gay uncle we have known to expect and love. With his scarf wrapped around his neck in the perfectly posh position, as well as giving the perfect amount of gayness to his mannerisms and movements, Hader’s homosexual role works thankfully to his real secret weapon, flamboyant comedic timing. Hader has never been better.

    Naturally, given the expectant comedy of its stars, the film isn’t all (surprisingly) about comedy. Dealing with grim and very serious issues such as suicide, unfaithfulness and the child molestation, the film flips its tone on a dime, thanks, no less, to its stars and cloudy cinematography in the sleepy suburban town outside New York City. Both leads are able to switch instantly from comedy to heavy drama, and really flesh out the big issues that are consuming their lives and the lives of the people they love around them–mostly one another. After being emotionally absent by their mother after the suicide of their father, Maggie and Milo experience the harsh realities of having a family and show-buisness all their own, given the film its real social consciousness, making for a very heavy and serious film.

    The biggest boogyman in The Skeleton Twins is independence and growing up; facing truth, running away from your past and coming to terms with the people we are, and the changes we need to make in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Wiig and Hader are two exceptional actors exercising their dramatic shops in their roles of two people figuring life out, like the rest of us with a real emotional presence and response.

    There isn’t enough praise that could be given to the script and use of witty dialogue and relatable scenes of dysfunctional family drama. It’s no surprise that The Skeleton Twins snatched up the prestigious screenwriting award this year at Sundance; an award that is quite reputable given the festival’s reputation of originality and artistic cleverness.

    But with any good emotional family melodrama coming out of the festival of the mountains, comes some effective comedic relief.
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  12. Dec 24, 2014
    7
    This film works because while it's themes are depressing there are enough laughs to keep the film level. By the end you feel yourself caring about the characters and they're fate. B+
  13. 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 findWho 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. Expand
  14. Sep 28, 2014
    9
    I loved this movie, but it wouldn't have worked without the wonderful performances by the lead actors, who are as funny together here as they are on SNL. Ty Burrell does a good job in a smaller role too. My only caveat is the last five minutes of the film, which I found unsatisfying (no spoilers).
  15. Dec 2, 2014
    6
    The film has its moments, but it doesn't deserve 74/100. Its a bit predictable and to be blunt, a bit boring. I hate to say it but I feel like this site inflates the score by like 10-15 points if there is a gay protagonist or gay themes. The film is average, I certainly wouldn't recommend it. Its not very funny and despite being well acted, the characters and the dialogue are lame.
  16. Sep 29, 2014
    8
    History might one day write that The Skeleton Twins was a critical entry in the careers of both Wiig and Hader. Both of them do the best dramatic work they’ve ever done, and if they do go on to long film careers (a la Williams, who also got his start on TV), their names will be on a short list of successful comedians who made it big in drama. They will also be on an even shorter list ofHistory might one day write that The Skeleton Twins was a critical entry in the careers of both Wiig and Hader. Both of them do the best dramatic work they’ve ever done, and if they do go on to long film careers (a la Williams, who also got his start on TV), their names will be on a short list of successful comedians who made it big in drama. They will also be on an even shorter list of SNL alums who can claim the same. Expand
  17. 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 ofA 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. Expand
  18. Sep 22, 2014
    3
    An affecting little comedy/drama that delivers two standout (if somewhat subdued) performances. With a crisp and wonderful script that should've left the audience breathless, it never really takes you there. A little redundant, a little unbelievable at times, the whole story doesn't really make you care or feel empathy for the characters, and a great opportunity was lost in that regard.
  19. Dec 5, 2014
    9
    This flick made me wince, laugh, cry, sing, dance and enjoy life just a little bit more than before I had watched it.

    I think the overall sentiment of this flick is life is **** but its how you deal with it that makes it. Most people have been touched by depression or crap parenting or loves lost or life just being generally ****ty and not allowing childhood dreams to ever reach
    This flick made me wince, laugh, cry, sing, dance and enjoy life just a little bit more than before I had watched it.

    I think the overall sentiment of this flick is life is **** but its how you deal with it that makes it. Most people have been touched by depression or crap parenting or loves lost or life just being generally ****ty and not allowing childhood dreams to ever reach fruition. This flick covers a multitude of social stigma and ailments and rolls em all up into a ball and hits that ball clean outta the ball park!

    Overall I rate this as an excellent 9 outta 10 which I know I will want to watch again and again.
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  20. Sep 28, 2014
    10
    My friend and I really loved this movie. The two lead actors, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, are terrific. I did not realize they could hold their own so nicely in dramatic roles. The film also had plenty of humor, of course, and I knew that they were terrific in that area. They exceeded my expectations in every way, and so did the film. The other actors were also great. There are not tooMy friend and I really loved this movie. The two lead actors, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, are terrific. I did not realize they could hold their own so nicely in dramatic roles. The film also had plenty of humor, of course, and I knew that they were terrific in that area. They exceeded my expectations in every way, and so did the film. The other actors were also great. There are not too many films that focus on siblings. This one did and the story really came for life for me, thanks to the fine acting. I found it touching. Expand
  21. Oct 21, 2014
    5
    Bill Hader makes a strong case for being the best actor to come out of SNL in years. Kristen Wiig is predictably Wiigish. A mostly forgettable affair--save one particular scene in a dentist office.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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."