Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: Terry Wolfmeyer (Allen) is a suburban wife and mother whose life takes an unusual turn when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Struggling to deal with his sudden absence, Terry finds herself increasingly at odds with her four headstrong daughters and regularly drowning her anger in alcohol, until she develops an offbeat relationship with her next-door neighbor, Denny (Costner). (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. 100
    I liked these characters precisely because they were not designed to be likable -- or, more precisely, because they were likable in spite of being exasperating, unorganized, self-destructive and impervious to good advice.
  2. 88
    Original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie.
  3. If Allen owns The Upside of Anger, she is generous enough to loan it to Costner, who, despite the dim, glazed eyes, is more alive here than he's been in years.
  4. The film never earns the irony of the title or offers anything profound in its observations of fractured family dynamics in an atmosphere of lingering resentment, but Allen and Costner enrich and elevate the film and give the growth of their characters a hard-earned gravitas.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The primary upside to The Upside of Anger is the presence of Joan Allen in the lead role.
  6. The two leading actors in The Upside of Anger are so good that their performances, even more than the story they are in, keep us interested.
  7. 20
    The film has exhausted itself with fits of glib hysteria long before its truly stupefying final twist, a stunning betrayal of audience trust.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 38
  2. Negative: 12 out of 38
  1. ElaineA.
    Jun 18, 2007
    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. Collapse
  2. ScottS.
    Oct 23, 2005
    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
  3. DarylS.
    Oct 24, 2005
    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
  4. Kari
    Jan 6, 2006
    Strange how all American girls look like Julia Stiles. And the way they scream: "Oh my GAAAAAAEEEEED". Gaaaaaaeeeeed means God, anyone? That´ts the downdise of this and all movies stuffed with this kind of girls. The person who discovered Scarlett Johansen dserves an Oscar for just that. The upside is the great, always great Joan Allen, and the joy to see Costner waves away magic bullet-theories and step into a part that Jeff Bridges can do in his sleep. Kevin pulls is of and is hysterical. Not the most original plot, but to watch these two is the movies worth. Expand
  5. ShannonP.
    Jul 9, 2006
    Costner is at his best, delivering a Bull Durham-esque performance and creating a character that is funny and lovable. But the plot twist at the end is like being slapped in the face and called an idiot for watching and believing for 90 minutes that this was a decent film. Expand
  6. stevenr.
    Aug 31, 2005
    Unwatchable after 15 minutes. so i gave it another 15. i didn't care at all about these self absorbed spoiled people. and then to find out joan allen was completely wrong about her husband. there are too many good films to watch, can't waste my time on this one. Expand
  7. LaurenS.
    Oct 14, 2005
    Huge waste of 2 hours!

See all 38 User Reviews