User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 85
  2. Negative: 12 out of 85
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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. johnb.
    Apr 16, 2005
    8
    Compared to most of the junk we're subjected to in movie theatres today, The Upside of Anger is a refreshing surprise. Allen and Costner are exceptional, and work together in an entertaining and believable way. The ending was kind of strange and didn't quite work, but so what.This is a funny, sad film and is well worth the time to see it. If Allen isn't nominated for best Compared to most of the junk we're subjected to in movie theatres today, The Upside of Anger is a refreshing surprise. Allen and Costner are exceptional, and work together in an entertaining and believable way. The ending was kind of strange and didn't quite work, but so what.This is a funny, sad film and is well worth the time to see it. If Allen isn't nominated for best actress,there is no justice in Hollywood. And it's great to see Costner enjoying himself again. Expand
  5. 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
  6. MichaelH.
    May 4, 2005
    8
    I was pleasantly suprised by this film. The first 30 minutes are slow and sketchy but the rest of the film rests upon the excellent performances of the actors and the genuine feelings it explores and transcribes in a simple and moving way.
  7. ChrisR.
    May 7, 2005
    8
    The Upside of Anger, stars Joan Allen as suburban housewife Terry Wolfmeyer who becomes "angry", to say the least, when her husband of some 20+ years leaves her and their 4 teenage daughters and his job (where he apparently was going to get the axe) to run off to Sweden with his former secretary. Money is apparently not an issue as the family lives in an expensive house in a well-to-do The Upside of Anger, stars Joan Allen as suburban housewife Terry Wolfmeyer who becomes "angry", to say the least, when her husband of some 20+ years leaves her and their 4 teenage daughters and his job (where he apparently was going to get the axe) to run off to Sweden with his former secretary. Money is apparently not an issue as the family lives in an expensive house in a well-to-do neighborhood, particularly after Terry closes all of her husband's bank accounts and cancels his credit cards -- there, that ought to show the bastard. No, money is not an issue -- but the anger from the betrayal, the hurt, the abandonment, the ... well, anger from everything he ever did or didn't do, that's the issue. "Your father was a very small man, girls," says a very drunk Terry at the dinner table. "Very small ... in every way." Smiles. "Ohmygod, mother, I hope you aren't referring to his genitals. That is soooo gross." says shocked daughter #1. Terry -- broader smiles, then walks away from the table unsteadily, swinging the drink in her hand. Enter Kevin Costner (Denny Davis), a has-been baseball star who has a world series ring and a talk show where he talks about everything but baseball. The other stars on his team all ended up with car dealerships and insurance agencies and that kind of thing; Denny just has his talk show gig and a garage full of baseball that he autographs and sells to his fans to make ends meet. Indeed, the only reason Denny is initially pursuing Terry is to get her to sign a contract so the company he's fronting for can develop the acreage behind her house. He gets a "finders' fee" ... anything he can do for a little extra cash. No, he didn't have the luck that those other guys on his team had who could retire on their names .... no, the past has been good but the present is worse that lousy; it's the pits. He and Terry both have something in common ... and they both find solace in the bottle. This is a "comedic" drama (if there is such a thing) and we watch as the two main characters and five minor characters (the four daughters and a boyfriend) each deal with their anger; humor is liberally mixed in throughout the film. Anger will stop you dead in your tracks and cause you to lose focus on the things you love. The upside of anger is that if you finally rid yourself of the hate that eats at your soul, you will be a changed person -- a person with an inner peace that gives you the ability shed your self pity and allows you to extend and recieve the love of others. I give it an 8.20. Expand
  8. PrudenceK.
    Jul 26, 2005
    10
    Wow. Joan Allen. Right above Heather Locklear now! Why? Because the performance and film was way better. Wow-za!
  9. 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.
  10. Brenda
    Feb 5, 2006
    7
    I loved the interaction between all the characters, but I just couldn't get past the fact that time goes by, life goes on, and this wife does not ever attempt to reach her husband? How unrealistic is that!! He would have had to have been some creep of a husband to simply abandon his wife and daughters with nary a word FOR YEARS??? I don't believe she would have been married to I loved the interaction between all the characters, but I just couldn't get past the fact that time goes by, life goes on, and this wife does not ever attempt to reach her husband? How unrealistic is that!! He would have had to have been some creep of a husband to simply abandon his wife and daughters with nary a word FOR YEARS??? I don't believe she would have been married to such a man. Did it not ever occur to her that something might have happened to him? This part of the storyline ruined the credibility for me. Also if Kevin Kostner's character is so great of a person, why is he making a play so early in the dissolution of his neighbors' marriage? What kind of morals does he have? Expand
  11. 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
  12. DarylS.
    Oct 24, 2005
    8
    Finally, a woman who can give THE LOOK like my mother gives THE LOOK. Joan Allen and Kevin Costner are fabulous beyond words, as many others have said before me. Nothing was overstated, which is possibly why some people didn't like it. After all, many movies catering for the lesser kind of American audiences use neon-sign-like devices to let the viewer know wha's going on. Not Finally, a woman who can give THE LOOK like my mother gives THE LOOK. Joan Allen and Kevin Costner are fabulous beyond words, as many others have said before me. Nothing was overstated, which is possibly why some people didn't like it. After all, many movies catering for the lesser kind of American audiences use neon-sign-like devices to let the viewer know wha's going on. Not so here. It's not a formula piece, and that's a good thing. Sure, there are loose ends, and the whole 'missing husband' thing is just not right (or maybe I need to watch it again, to see how she is absolutely convinced he's gone off to Sweden). And yes, the leap from Shep-slapping to wedding-dancing is a bit of a stretch. But for some reason, it left me wanting to know more. And wanting to see a movie again is, for me, a sign that it has worked for me. Sure it might be a whole lot less than perfect. But what the hell? I'm still thinking about it three days on. Besides, I haven't laughed so hard since the 'gunshot in the car' scene in Pulp Fiction. Expand
  13. PatG.
    Mar 24, 2005
    8
    This movie had a few slow spots, but the acting was excellent. And the ending, though a surprise, was credible and added a layer of poignancy to all that went before. I think the movie is well worth two hours of one's time. (My major question was why all four daughters appeared to be the same age!)
  14. PeterR.
    Mar 26, 2005
    7
    Moves at a methodically slow pace. In the end, you feel like it was all worthwhile. Joan Allen is impressive.
  15. Anon
    Mar 26, 2005
    8
    Great acting by Joan Allen and Kevin Costner as believable, flawed, but sympathetic characters. This is a much more interesting movie than the suburbanite trailer suggests.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. wolffh.
    Apr 2, 2005
    9
    Intriguing film about anger in a family and its evolution into the lives of all.
  19. VetaN.
    Apr 3, 2005
    7
    I loved this movie. Joan Allen and Kevin Costner played their roles seamlessly and convincingly, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve. Mike Binder was also terrific as the sleazy radio producer. The movie was funny and real; however, it did lapse into sentimentality towards the end, and the moral lesson was a tad belabored.
  20. LauraH
    Apr 5, 2005
    7
    After reading an article that referenced Upside about how 9/11 is slowly but surely making its way into Hollywood movies, I had a thought about the plot twist that many of us are referring to. While I agree that it was handled pretty clumsily, particularly the after-effects (or lack thereof), I wonder if the point of Terry's assumption of the worst, i.e. that her husband abandoned After reading an article that referenced Upside about how 9/11 is slowly but surely making its way into Hollywood movies, I had a thought about the plot twist that many of us are referring to. While I agree that it was handled pretty clumsily, particularly the after-effects (or lack thereof), I wonder if the point of Terry's assumption of the worst, i.e. that her husband abandoned her, was a reflection that after 9/11 it didn't seem so unreasonable to assume the worst. Not that I believe that the film is meant to be some high-minded exploration of the impression 9/11 had on middle-class consciousness or whatever. I just wondered why she would have immediately assumed the most ugly and terrifying (to her) option to be true. Expand
  21. TonyB
    Jul 26, 2005
    8
    Joan Allen, one of our finest actors, gives a performance that I hope will be remembered and rewarded come Oscar-nomination time, and Kevin Costner hasn't been this effective since Field of Dreams.
  22. 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.