Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 10, 2012
    91
    Duplass' feisty energy is matched by DeWitt's constant smarminess, while Blunt's shy, fragile behavior balances off the forceful personalities surrounding her.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Mueller
    Jun 9, 2012
    80
    A captivating examination of criss-crossing relationships permeated by incisive performances.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 4, 2012
    80
    After putting male insecurity under a comic microscope in "Humpday," writer-director Lynn Shelton hands the fairer sex a more prominent role in Your Sister's Sister, another winning study of relational boundaries crossed and sexual dares gone awry.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Jun 12, 2012
    60
    As Alex Ross Perry's "The Color Wheel" - another micro-budgeted sibling story - shows, a film about relentlessly repellent characters is much more fascinating, if not courageous, than one that tries to explain, redeem, or forgive them so easily.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Apr 4, 2012
    70
    Following up "Humpday" with another low-rent charmer, Lynn Shelton moves from two- to three-character dynamics.
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 12, 2012
    80
    Nothing about the movie is showy, except for Shelton's palpable love of good people making a mess of things. Barring some late-inning coyness, it's some of the truest, dinged-heart couples' circling of the year.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Jun 9, 2012
    63
    For long stretches in its first two acts, Lynn Shelton's film is distinguished by a disarming sense of freedom and spontaneity.
  8. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jun 29, 2012
    88
    This is a smart, moving film that's also very, very funny.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 28, 2012
    100
    So many movies try to capture human relationships and fail miserably. A few come close. Your Sister's Sister nails it with grace, humor and winning charm.
  10. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 27, 2012
    67
    The film's conceits may be a bit too contrived and conventional, but nothing about these characters' interactions are forced. Your Sister's Sister is a welcome guest.
  11. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jun 22, 2012
    70
    Only at the end do we sense Shelton forcing her hand, and arranging, rather too neatly, for the rebalancing and desaddening of all concerned. [25 June 2012, p.85]
  12. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    Shelton and her cast are so skillful that before long it seems we are not moviegoers watching a screen but flies on a wall witnessing real encounters and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
  13. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    Jun 21, 2012
    60
    It's probably the best three-star movie this month. An effortless, emotional, funny little indie that few people will see. Be one of them.
  14. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 16, 2012
    70
    As in "Humpday," this movie's dialogue moves with a freshness and spontaneity that sounds improvised, even as the precisely marked story beats reveal the writer/director's hand at work.
  15. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jun 16, 2012
    80
    It's a mark of Shelton's ability to create living characters from seemingly minor shared moments -- the ones that wind up meaning everything.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 16, 2012
    75
    More good than bad, at least until its too tidy conclusion. Since it's essentially a three-character movie, it's a good thing that the characters, and the actors who play them, can hold the screen.
  17. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 15, 2012
    75
    This extremely well-acted dramatic farce of grief and betrayal actually has a resonance beyond its target demographic.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 14, 2012
    70
    Lynn Shelton's lovely tale of swirling feelings was shot in a mere 12 days, on a budget that must have been minuscule. A couple of minutes after it's started, though, you know you're in the presence of people who will surprise and delight you.
  19. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    Very little is simple in Your Sister's Sister -- not the emotions, the naturalistic tone or the unstudied, easygoing performances. But the film's pleasures are.
  20. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 14, 2012
    80
    This film's only real stumble is its ending, which is so predictable it seems like a bit of a copout.
  21. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 14, 2012
    60
    The film's late swerves into melodrama and the neighboring region of farce feel panicky and pandering. The subtlety of the performances - Ms. DeWitt's in particular - is sacrificed for easy laughs, shallow tears and a coy trick ending. Just when it was starting to get interesting.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    Relationships are killers, and this tough, tender, deeply satisfying romantic comedy from writer-director Lynn Shelton is also bruisingly funny.
  23. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 14, 2012
    80
    There is a looseness to the dialogue that suits the mood of the story-each character gets his or her own bombshell (or two) to digest and has to figure out how to cope with it.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 14, 2012
    63
    It's pleasant as far as it goes. For all the blithe interaction among the central three performers, however, the material's conventional and predictable.
  25. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 13, 2012
    80
    In some mumblecore movies the semi-improvised dialogue can be engulfed by hipster irony, but the acting here is so skilled, and the emotional terrain so rocky, that Shelton manages to break past the genre's narrow social parameters to a moving story of grief, betrayal, and devotion.
  26. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jun 13, 2012
    58
    This time out, Shelton seems to be playing the part of someone who doesn't know how to finish what she started.
  27. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 13, 2012
    75
    The way this unfolds is surprisingly engaging.
  28. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 13, 2012
    91
    Each an actor of distinctive delicacy, Duplass, DeWitt, and Blunt do some of their subtlest, most sweetly calibrated work ever, playing off one another with the kind of ease and trust that is, in itself, a demonstration of love.
  29. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 13, 2012
    50
    This three-hander has an honesty and a momentum that I found grudgingly rewarding.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 6 out of 14
  1. Aug 10, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The ending's a bit too saccharine, but there's a great script and even better acting here, as Emily Blunt really gets to flex her muscles in this one and, in doing so, steals the movie. Full Review »
  2. Jul 13, 2012
    7
    Even though Your Sister's Sister is set mostly in the open air of a secluded area of a Puget Sound island, it feels a bit claustrophobic because of the very small cast. There are only three characters who perform 99% of the film's interactions and there are only so many combinations a screenplay can invent to pair two of them off at any given time. There are long, drawn out conversations which have an improvisational feeling about them and are enjoyable to sit back and watch. Audiences conditioned to expect quick cuts, brief sequences, and pointed dialogue may grow impatient with the extended length of scenes, but for those who relish real situations and characters who take more than a few minutes to develop will enjoy getting to know these people, quirks and all.

    Jack (Mark Duplass) appears, just by looking at him, to be having a rough time. There are bags under his eyes, he has a few extra pounds, probably from too much booze, he is unemployed, and social conversations he attempts to contribute to have a way of ending awkwardly and uncomfortable for all in the room. His brother died a year ago and he still has no idea how to move on from that. His best friend happens to be his deceased brother's ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt). Perhaps this is Jack's way of hanging on to something his brother once had. Iris cares for Jack and after one of his completely inappropriate diatribes, she orders him to get on his old bike, peddle down to the Seattle ferry, and go spend a week alone in the woods at her father's cabin. Perhaps some solitude and introspection will kick him out of his funk.

    The cabin is not empty though. Someone else with life problems decided to squirrel away there; this is Iris's sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt). Jack and Hannah recognize a bit of themselves in each other, mainly the self loathing bits, and realize that first night together at the cabin that talking about your problems to a stranger over a bottle of tequila is oddly cathartic. Hannah just walked out of a very long-term relationship with her girlfriend and all of their long-term plans they had together. Both Jack and Hannah are searching for what they should do next in life, where to go, and how to change to get there; so maybe this is why they drunkenly end up in bed together.

    The film sets itself up to go in many directions. It could have been self-destructive depression for Jack. It could have been a modern west coast version of Walden for lost souls. However, it chose to become a somewhat comedic love triangle. Iris shows up at the cabin early the next morning and Jack decides she does not need to know what happened last night with Hannah. Each of them maintains their own respective agendas and watching them emerge and conflict with one another is amusing and intriguing to wonder how it may play out. Jack is nervous about the truth being revealed, Iris has her own secrets, and Hannah may be trumping them all. This talk about secrets makes Your Sister's Sister sound devious and manipulative but it is not; somehow, the script keeps the atmosphere light and airy.

    Writer/director Lynn Shelton has worked with Mark Duplass previously (Humpday) and the summer of 2012 appears to be his emergence to a wider indie public. He has three films in theaters simultaneously (Your Sister's Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed, People Like Us) and reminds me of Jessica Chastain from 2011 who came out of nowhere and seemed to be in a new release every single weekend. British actress Emily Blunt keeps her accent for this film and the plot noticeably includes a few sentences as to why that is. Her being British is not necessary to the film so waiting to see how they end up explaining away her accent causes a bit of an eye roll but it is not too distracting. Rosemarie DeWitt comes out the winner of the three. She has the benefit of playing the most well written character and she has the acting chops to pull it off. Jack is more the clumsy oaf while Iris is more the sounding board for his issues, but Hannah is in on both of their secrets and therefore benefits screen time wise.

    Your Sister's Sister is much better than its recent cinematic cousin Safety Guaranteed and aims for more depth in its characters. The film lacks any particular punches which may have catapulted it into more profound waters; however, it is a worthwhile indie film to enjoy in an air conditioned theater on a hot day when the just the thought of another version of Spiderman will not do.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 25, 2012
    3
    My goodness, why is this movie getting reviews so high?
    Yes the setting is nice, cinematography is well done in general. By dialogs? Silly,
    empty at best.
    The acting is not convincing. I was waiting and waiting for the movie to get better. Time wasted, alas.
    Overall I find the movie just pathetic. It does not happen that often that I would disagree with critics that much. Oh well. Be warned.
    Full Review »