Directed by Jonathan Levine. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, & Anna Kendrick. 50/50 (2011) IMDB says:”A comedic account of a 27-year-old guy’s cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.”

Jess: I’ll start off by saying this is one of my favorite movies this year. It has the perfect balance of humor, emotional depth, and honesty. A lot of this is due to the screenplay written by Will Reiser who worked in his own personal experiences dealing with cancer. The script is so incredibly honest and lacking in cliches even if some of the plot is not out of the ordinary. It’s also really, really funny which I’m sure had a lot to do with Seth Rogen’s influence during filming. It does have bits and pieces of his trademark stoner comedy, but for the most part it’s steps above that brand of humor.The focus of this movie is how Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Adam deals with his onset of cancer and the important relationships in his life. Each one–his best friend, mother, girlfriend, and a new friend–all seem realistic and it’s so easy to be empathetic to each situation. JGL again proves the insane depth to his acting capabilities and his emotional capacity on the screen (aka prepare for some teary eyes). This film masters the art of being on the verge of tears one moment and cracking up laughing the next. This is bolstered by super strong supporting actors, including a more emotional Seth Rogen than we’re used to and a continuously impressive Anna Kendrick.

I was able to connect to this movie more than I even imagined and it was undoubtedly one of the most personal films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s also one of the rare opportunities when filling out a score sheet when I’ve actually seen it twice already because Lindsay and I were fortunate enough to make it to two screenings. The funny parts were just as funny and the emotional parts were just as effective. I will be watching this movie over and over when it comes out on DVD. 

Rob: This movie definitely succeeded at making a movie about a tragic event into a great mix of heavy and light-hearted moments. The serious scenes didn’t ever seem forced, like they were trying to use Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character’s disease to prop fake emotion on top of. It always felt like someone who was going through this might actually feel what the character was going through. I guess that owes a lot to the fact that it was based on the writer’s own experiences. This made for a very refreshing film because it didn’t try to force emotion, but let it come naturally.

It was almost like the movie gave you all these dark and dramatic scenes and then, right away, would give you a joke or something to break the tension and give you a chance to let something out. Like they weren’t trying to pile on the sadness too heavily. Of course, there are certain scenes that get to you despite that.

I enjoyed everyone’s performance in 50/50. Levitt was great as always and Seth Rogen brought the expected laughs to the film. This is probably my favorite role I’ve seen Bryce Dallas Howard in and Anna Kendrick fit her role well and added some charm. 

Lindsay: I’m honestly not sure what else I could elaborate on in my review as my thoughts are very much in sync with Jess and Rob on this one. 50/50 is fantastic: hilarious, emotional and one of the best movies this year. See it in theaters, because this is one of those films you will kick yourself for missing out on.



90-100% Almost perfect film. All time favorite.