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The Kids Are All Right
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Kids Are All Right More at IMDbPro »

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Index 282 reviews in total 

Likable but not believable

8/10
Author: maloned from Miami, Florida
29 March 2011

The Kids Are All Right was about gay parents whom have the same family problems as hetero parents. The movie is about their children's search and attempt to have a relationship with their biological father and the problems that come along with introducing another parent into a family.

I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed it a little to much. I felt like the characters were too likable. Annette Bening's character Nic should be have been the person who we should have disliked, but I couldn't. She was too likable. Everyone was lovable. The biggest problem about that is that I couldn't buy into their dysfunction. It wasn't believable. There have been to many good movies about real dysfunction within families. I think they movie creators really wanted the unorthodox family to be liked and accepted.

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Well Acted but Melodramatic

7/10
Author: kenjha
22 March 2011

Two children of lesbian couple seek out their sperm donor, disrupting everyone's life. The expository scenes are not convincing. The film seems to be trying too hard to push the lesbian marriage as something normal, but the dialog is pedestrian and unnatural in these early scenes. It does get better as it goes along, and one does feel that the two women really do love each other and that this is a real family. Bening is quite good as the head of the family, a woman who feels threatened by a stranger encroaching on her territory. Moore and Ruffalo are also fine. It may have worked better if there was more comedy and less melodrama. The ending is somewhat unsatisfying.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good actors but the story isn't saying much.

Author: Dr_Sagan from the Edge of the Cosmos
17 November 2014

I am not sure if this deserved the 4 academy award nominations it got but if nothing else the acting from the 3 main actors is good enough.

The story though isn't saying much. 2 kids of a lesbian couple are searching for their biological father. I won't spoil you with what happens exactly but, if nothing else, the whole plot is simplistic maybe even flat, and the final outcome just sweeps under the rug any possible consequences.

The direction is nothing to write home about. Nothing really stands out except maybe the lead performances.

Some critics are praising the family values of the film, but in my opinion aren't so pronounced in this. The parents are two women and that may sell the movie to you, but after you have seen the movie you will doubt and question many things that the director/screenwriter (lesbian herself) tried to fit in her script. In my opinion this is more about egoism with some hints of guilt and remorse.

Overall: Check it out, but do not expect to see something other than an average movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The plot isn't always convincing...yet cast performs with conviction after an awkward start

7/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
25 May 2014

Director Lisa Cholodenko also co-wrote this original screenplay (with Stuart Blumberg) about a long-married lesbian couple, with one child apiece from the same sperm donor, facing a familial crisis: their teenagers have connected with the man who donated his sperm--a charming, laid-back dude--and, when one of the mothers landscapes his property, she finds him tough to resist as well. The plain-spoken dialogue is jagged and biting, but gets this scenario off to a rocky start, particularly since the f-bomb-heavy give-and-take between the characters doesn't initially jell with this cast. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore seem to struggle with their roles, and have trouble creating chemistry as co-stars; this, however, smooths out as the film moves along, improving in its second-half. Cholodenko gets some beautifully-modulated moments on the screen and, despite a few missteps or passages that don't help build momentum, she has a definite vision, allowing these characters to bloom over the course of the picture. It's a dramatic modern piece which ends up having something special to say about unconventional families. *** from ****

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good attempt but not very convincing

2/10
Author: thenekassyni from United States
9 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I understand the film is trying to showcase the life of a lesbian family however the plot is overshadowed by activities and actions that doesn't quite make sense. Other have already pointed out some of the issues; some of these being, 1. Lesbian having sex with a guy because she is insecure? It could happen but it also raises questions as to why didn't she turn to another woman for her needs? 2. Paul isn't at fault here as we soon find out. He is genuinely falling in love with her. The movie made this very clear. If anything she was the one that started the fling. Denying Pauls love and presenting it in such a horrible, demeaning way at the end was uncalled for. The general idea of gays being "more" sensitive just flew out the window for me because of this. I feel so bad for Paul and the movie ends abruptly without any remorse for him aside from him throwing his helmet about cause things got screwed up and it's a complicated situation. Oh and the cruelty of the last words spoken by Niki to Paul, just wow. That alone wiped everything that was nice about the movie for me. Those words, people, are obscenely cruel.

3. The relationship between the kids and Niki were not developed enough, especially with Laser. It was Laser that wanted the contact, wanted to find out more. However as the movie progresses it is left unknown and whatever the movie wanted to project at the end when Paul looks through the window is lost. The few scenes they have together were confusing as well, especially with Laser's most-likely gay skater friend.

4. The relationship between the two moms were so-so. Granted most of it was pleasant and enjoyable to watch. The beginning sex scene was umm disturbing. Who here has a partner providing them service while stiffing under the bed cover? As for the gay porn, I'm not sure why so many of you have issues with this. Sex is Sex. If you enjoy watching or having sex what does it matter? Seriously, why would it matter? Grow up and stop pretending you're an almighty gay person or straight person. Having that sick, twisted and ignorant discussion about sex doesn't help.

5. The Green issue. Throughout the movie we see the family being green. They eat right, they have a prius, they are conscientious. Niki, however, appears to be OK going back and forth. Granted the movie makes a reference to this because she doesn't like Pual but that's besides the point. Again, the cruelty of the words from Niki to Jules is astounding. I bet most of you missed this.

Well, going to end it here. I did enjoy the movie but was very annoyed and somewhat turned off by how the parents was portrayed and how badly Paul was treated. It certainly didn't help that Paul was essentially left out, kicked out and abandon by everyone in the family for something that he alone did not cause but he ALONE had the right to enact upon (which he didn't start btw). I mean if you agree and criticize Paul you might as well shoot cupid now and be done with it.

Lastly, after reading some of the comments here and some of the forums post I believe, with 95% certainty, that many of you have little to no idea what the hell you're talking about for being LBGT or straight. It tells me that your life must still be filled with confusion over your decision to be gay or straight.

Edit: People, Paul stated he was falling in love with Jules. He didn't have an affair with Jules, she had an affair with Paul. There is a difference. Why are so many of you missing this when the movie makes it so clear what Paul's stance was? Hell, he even quit playing around because he wants to find someone that he can grow old and have a family with!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I was about to pull out my gun...

4/10
Author: Joey Deats from United States
14 June 2013

...and shoot myself in the head, but luckily the credits rolled before I could. I don't even know why I bothered. The whole movie just didn't appeal to me. So what it's about two gay mothers who's kids are a 15 year old rebel and an 18 year old goodie two shoes? Mia Wasikowska was much better in the Alice in Wonderland remake. This film just depressed me to the very end. I thought it had some potential, but it was just disappointing. The short haired one was such a nag to the end and well at least her acting was great, but her character was just terrible. The red head was a ditzy middle aged woman who didn't like her wife's nagging so she cheats on her with their sperm donor who just happens to be a motorcycle riding big shot. One depressing moment after another. Maybe others liked this film and thought it was beautiful, but I thought it was just garbage. I would have given this a 0/10, but it had decent acting and that's why I gave it the rating I did. You don't have to agree with me, but this film was just a disappointment. Great actors in a crappy plot.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Complicated tale of love and family

7/10
Author: Malkmusfan from United States
22 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Kids Are All Right tackles some important subjects for our modern arena including the nature of love and family. Our family consists of a strong patriarchial doctor Nic played by Annette Bening, and her aloof free spirited partner Jules played by Julianne Moore. In a bid to determine where they came from, the children of Jules and Nic seek out the man who is their biological father. I found this to be an interesting take on the traditional dynamic of the family. Even with this family not being what many would consider to be mainstream.

The acting performances were excellent in this movie. Mark Ruffalo, as Paul, plays the part of the shady sperm donor to perfection. His interaction with Moore raises many questions that call into question the nature of her sexuality and her relationship with Benning's character. The teenage actors, specifically Josh Hutcherson's Laser, were very excellent perfomers and I expect them to have a bright career.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Right wing Republicans should love this movie

7/10
Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
13 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A story of modern family life that oddly lapses back into the most old fashioned and conservative of morals, The Kids Are All Right is full of beautiful performances and wonderfully realized scenes of domestic relationships. If it were about heterosexual parents instead of homosexual ones, I think folks would notice more how the plot really falters down the stretch and how the story wimps out on most of the questions that it poses to the audience. This film's strengths more than overpower its weaknesses, though, and the acting here of Annette Bennig and Jullianne Moore definitely deserves all the praise it has received.

Jules and Nic (Julianne Moore and Annette Bennig) are a lesbian couple who've been together forever and a day. They have two children, each having given birth to one from the same sperm donor. Laser (Josh Hutcherson) is Jules' son and is a moody, unsure of himself 15 year old who's as laid back as his slightly hippie-ish earth mother. Joni (Mia Wasikowska) is Nic's daughter and is the same sort of high achiever as her mother and is finding their similarities more and more grating. In the summer before Joni heads off to college and to shut up the insistent pleas of her younger brother, she contacts the guy who donated the sperm all those years ago. Paul (Mark Ruffalo) is a guy creeping toward middle age but can still live the life of a bachelor and is happy and comfortable doing so.

His biological offspring bring Paul into the orbit of Jules and Nic and he starts to fit in like some hip uncle who turned up out of nowhere. He provides Laser with a positive example of manhood that allows him to ditch a jackass of a buddy. He's a voice of wisdom for Joni's resentment at her mother overparenting her. And Paul is also somebody for Jules to have sex with to compensate for her alienation from and frustration with her "alpha male" life partner, which does kind of ruin the whole uncle analogy. That affair is eventually uncovered and the emotional explosion takes The Kids Are All Right from its touching moments of realistic drama to a simplistically sentimental ending that elevates the sanctity and inviolability of the family unit against all challenges.

There's really not enough you can say about the marvelous work here from Moore and Bennig. They're not only completely believable as a couple but they are able to convey the entire lifetime of experiences, habits and personal aggravations that exist between Jules and Nic. Mark Ruffalo isn't shabby himself as a man jolted out of his comfortable life and left wanting something more meaningful. Josh Hutcherson is solid but unexceptional and Mia Wasikowska gets caught up in this plot line that has so little to do with the rest of the movie that it feels like some autobiographical vignette snuck in by one of the writers.

My only quibble with this motion picture is symbolized by a phone call between Jules and Paul after everybody knows about them boinking. Paul foolishly think they can have a life together and Jules essentially just responds with "I'm gay" and hangs up on him. Really? I'm supposed to buy that? If a husband cheated on his wife with a dude and then blew off his male lover with nothing more than "I'm straight", would anybody accept that as a dramatically or emotionally valid move? There's a whole lot more involved with Jules' betrayal of her family and the film just pulls back and doesn't want to deal with it, which is something that happens with other aspects of the story. Another example is how it's established that Jules and Nic cannot relate to the surly hormones of their straight, teenage son and it's Paul who provides Laser with the best guidance he ever gets. But again, the implications of that are something The Kids Are All Right backs away from in a rush to get to its sappy conclusion. I don't begrudge people a happy ending but this story was building toward a more nuanced and complex resolution.

That these filmmakers went a different way to wrap things up certainly doesn't spoil anything about the movie. Watching this was as much fun as I've had with a film in quite a while. I wouldn't call it "must see" because it chickens out at the end, but there aren't a lot of light family dramas that are better than this.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

this is the sort of premise that I would use if I made a movie

9/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
3 February 2012

Around the same time that Annette Bening starred in "Mother and Child", she starred in another movie that focused on a similar topic: "The Kids Are All Right". She and Julianne Moore play a lesbian couple whose biological children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) manage to contact the sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo). But when he enters their lives, it completely upsets the household order. His involvement starts out as a nuisance, but graduates to something more severe.

Lisa Cholodenko's movie is sort of halfway between comedy and drama. The comedic scenes explore the characters' flaws rather than pull gags (although there is at least one really funny scene). Although there are some intense scenes, there's nothing particularly tragic. What we see is that Annette Bening's character compensates her flaws with a controlling attitude, while Julianne Moore's character is the one whose actions always seem to lead her astray. The children, meanwhile, want to have their own lives outside of the household's controlled world, and are taken with the sperm donor's bohemian lifestyle.

As for the question of whether or not this movie deserved to win Oscars more than "The King's Speech", it's debatable. Both have their merits. As for Annette Bening's performance versus that of Natalie Portman in "Black Swan", it's hard to say. The latter was haunting, more than anything.

Anyway, "The Kids Are All Right" is a movie that I highly recommend. If I was a director, I would probably use a premise similar to the one in this movie. Really good.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

All Right? No way!

Author: ericg-7 from UK
7 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just watched this in the UK at a community film club. It get's a 15 certificate here but if you've got a 15 year old kid, don't watch this with them, unless you really like to squirm. This is one of the most distasteful and unfunny so called comedies I've come across. It takes what should be a subject for reflection and consideration about human relationships and frailties and turns it into little more than a foul mouthed sex romp. Sadly the IMDb does not provide minus stars, so it gets a 1 from me and, incidentally, most of the other people who were with me on the night. Why this movie has attracted so many accolades is totally beyond me but I take comfort from the fact that it failed to win the most coveted awards.

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