User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 81
  2. Negative: 12 out of 81
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  1. ElaineA.
    Jun 18, 2007
    10
    A selfless performance by Kevin Costner, showing what a versatile actor he is. Wonderful as the stoned has-been baseball player, really funny, tender and warm. A beautifully understated role. Better than Robert De Niro.
  2. WillyH.
    May 8, 2005
    9
    Right balance of family comedy and family drama. Excellent performance by Joan Allen.
  3. ChadS.
    May 1, 2005
    9
    "Please don't ruin this movie," I thought to myself, "and have Denny (Kevin Costner) bed one of the four girls." It doesn't happen; instead, he gets to do it vicariously. Denny must've had an idea that his producer would seduce Andy (Erika Christensen), and his relative ease with the relationship should set off a few bells for Terry (Joan Allen). Her relationship with Shep "Please don't ruin this movie," I thought to myself, "and have Denny (Kevin Costner) bed one of the four girls." It doesn't happen; instead, he gets to do it vicariously. Denny must've had an idea that his producer would seduce Andy (Erika Christensen), and his relative ease with the relationship should set off a few bells for Terry (Joan Allen). Her relationship with Shep (Mike Binder) distracts us from the inherent potential for trouble when a mother's new man is an alcoholic, and sired daughters who don't know the particulars of an ugly stick. Denny should've laid down some ground rules for his employer, but alas, he is not her father. "The Upside of Anger" is a tour de force for Joan Allen, who gets to play another maternal surbananite, but this time, she isn't saddled with icicles such as Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire. She has the Lisbon girls incarnate in Christensen, Alicia Witt, Keri Russell, and Evan Rachel Woods. "The Upside of Anger" survives the potential treacle of a cancer scare thanks to Allen's ability to convince us that she's a mom, but the circumstances behind the funeral would've sank "The Upside of Anger", if not for a nifty final line delivered by Popeye (Wood) the budding documentarian, which did a lot to restore my good will towards this mostly winning slice-of-life dramedy. Expand
  4. NancyS.
    Apr 2, 2005
    9
    Joan Allen was great in this role, in all her drunkennes, foolishness, pride, protectiveness, anger, laughter and her tears. The complexity and confusion about love which pervades this film is then turned upside down by the provocative twist at the end of the film along with that interesting comment, "sometimes they just don't have all the tacts." I had cried with Allen and at the Joan Allen was great in this role, in all her drunkennes, foolishness, pride, protectiveness, anger, laughter and her tears. The complexity and confusion about love which pervades this film is then turned upside down by the provocative twist at the end of the film along with that interesting comment, "sometimes they just don't have all the tacts." I had cried with Allen and at the ending just sat there marvelling that I'd been pulled into her misinterpretation of reality. Talk about the suspension of disbelief! Still, I loved it and recommend it especially for middle aged people. Expand
  5. PrudenceK.
    Jul 26, 2005
    10
    Wow. Joan Allen. Right above Heather Locklear now! Why? Because the performance and film was way better. Wow-za!
  6. DaveF
    Aug 2, 2005
    10
    This is a fantastic movie. It's original, intelligent, nuanced, three-dimensional...what more do you want?? It expertly weaves half a dozen characters' stories, each of them memorable and bitingly clever. It makes me wonder what movies, if any, these red-scorers respect.
  7. ScottS.
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    I had heard rumors that The Upside of Anger was an excellent film, but I had also seen some bad reviews and my wife generally hates Kevin Costner. I never realized what incredible chemistry Allen and Costner could have onscreen. And Keri Russell is a real cutie. I think the plot and the writing of this film are dangerously close to Movie of the Week caliber, but the acting and the I had heard rumors that The Upside of Anger was an excellent film, but I had also seen some bad reviews and my wife generally hates Kevin Costner. I never realized what incredible chemistry Allen and Costner could have onscreen. And Keri Russell is a real cutie. I think the plot and the writing of this film are dangerously close to Movie of the Week caliber, but the acting and the shocking twist at the end make this worth seeing. I also thought there was some depth to the writing: anger is not always appropriate but you can't deny how it changes people permanently. I rented this movie on Pay Per View and am watching it again before my 24 hours are up. If you check out this movie, enjoy the manic frenzy of Joan Allen chewing up this role and giving it an Oscar-worthy effort. And revel in having Kevin Costner back again as the friendly, quirky, observant jokester with a drink in his hand and a witty comeback on his lips. Expand
  8. Petro
    Mar 28, 2005
    10
    Amazing movie, although not many people will enjoy and appreciate it. It is not a typical sissy hollywood love story/drama. It s real, emotional, touching, well acted amd done movie. Joan was just amazing. Loved the movie, loved the acting. cheers.
  9. claudiag
    Mar 30, 2005
    10
    Very real story and wonderfully done! Allen was great: when she was anger, she made me anger and when she cried, she really made me cry.
  10. wolffh.
    Apr 2, 2005
    9
    Intriguing film about anger in a family and its evolution into the lives of all.
  11. BarryB
    Mar 26, 2005
    9
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. 75
    The Upside of Anger belongs to Joan Allen (for whom director/screenwriter Mike Binder developed the project).
  2. 88
    A fiercely funny human comedy with jokes that sting and leave marks.
  3. Allen turns the character into a tour de force that unleashes an unexpected comedy about compassion and self-loathing.