(1998)

Critic Reviews

58

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
New Times (L.A.)
A genuinely affecting movie that approaches its adult themes with intelligence, maturity, and rare authenticity.
70
To its credit, the film doesn't sugarcoat its women too monstrously, and it lets real conflicts and opinions occasionally creep in.
70
Variety
Everything about the film suggests that its makers consider it a deep, emotionally probing drama, but it's merely a soap opera with elevated production values and a sterling cast.
70
It may be unfair to ask a film like this not to be shamelessly manipulative, but wouldn't it be nice if audiences could be trusted to feel things more or less on their own without layers of unnecessary hokum entering the picture?
63
Chicago Tribune
Too loud, bright and shallow for its subject: a movie that pushes too many obvious buttons to build naturally to the big, heartbreaking climax it obviously wants.
60
L.A. Weekly
Less a movie about stepfamilies than a PSA about how cancer makes everyone behave themselves at Christmas.
60
Chicago Reader
In a lumbering way, this depressing feel-good drama about the impact of cancer on two children, their divorced parents, and the father's girlfriend offers some useful insights into how feelings of jealousy and betrayal can limit the potential of family relationships.
50
Village Voice
Loathsome though Stepmom is, the eternally coltish Roberts is always a pleasure to watch and Sarandon's mordant wit occasionally comes to the fore.
50
These characters are too remote, too pretty, and too unrealistic to move us in any lasting way.
50
Chicago Sun-Times
The skill of the actors, who invest their characters with small touches of humanity, is useful in distracting us from the emotional manipulations, but it's like they're brightening separate rooms of a haunted house.

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