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The Kids Are All Right More at IMDbPro »

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36 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Excellent script and performances....

Author: Red_Identity from United States
19 December 2010

The Kids Are All Right is yet another dramedy about a dysfunctional family, but it is still an excellent film with a great script and performances.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are excellent. Both are extremely versatile, and both flawed, but they play their characters with true respect for the script. Mark Ruffalo is also a nice addition, but If I had to choose the best, it would be Bening, simply because she has the most to play with. There is a great scene where she finally warms up to Ruffalo's character and starts her own rendition of one of her favorite songs in the dinner table. The best scene in the film, perfectly executed, and Bening certainly deserves an Oscar nomination for that scene alone. Mia Wasikowska also proves that she is a great talent to behold for the future. The ending is great, really touching and it rings especially with me because I am close to leaving for college next year as well.

Overall, I regret not having seen this sooner, and it is definitely worth accolades for the script and performances.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Serious Problems with this Movie

Author: Mustang92 from United States
17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the worst films I've seen this year. I don't even know where to begin...

In no particular order:

#1: I never bought the relationship between the two lesbian parents. It never felt real. It felt "imposed" by the script, the director, the movie. Maybe the problem is that you have 2 straight women playing gay... and perhaps they just couldn't pull it off. Why couldn't director Cholodenko hire at least one, if not two gay women to play the couple? Yeah, yeah, good actors should be able to play anything, but Annette Bening and Julianne Moore could not pull it off. Perhaps it was more the script and director than them.

What was the director for sure, was that she can't direct 2 women in a kissing scene. There are several times in the movie when Bening and Moore kiss, but they're short and very awkward looking. I don't need to see tongues being inserted into each other's mouth, but c'mon, at least make these scenes look & feel authentic -- which they weren't.

#2: The script IS a piece of crap. Nothing happens, really, and every single character in this film is EXACTLY the same at the end as they are at the beginning. No character development, no growth, nada. Great writing there, Ms. Cholodenko, way to go.

Not to be cynical, but this film garnered nominations and awards galore from everywhere simply because of the subject matter and premise of the story. Too bad it was executed so poorly.

#3: No one in this movie is likable, except for the two kids. Annette Bening plays a shrill and unlikable woman -- somewhat on the "dike-ish" side -- and choosing or being directed to play the character like this made no sense. And Julianne Moore plays the "wife" of the couple, the woman to Bening's "man."

Okay, now we all know that there are lesbian relationships like this, one is going to be more dominant in the relationship than the other. Gay or straight, this is a prevalent tendency. But why did it have to be so obvious, so stereotypical? It just made it seem trite, like how lesbians have been portrayed in movies & TV since the '70s or '80s.

#4: The way Mark Ruffalo's character is played -- or perhaps written/directed -- is that of a man who we don't really like and care for. He's seems like a loser, even though he owns a restaurant, and behaves inappropriately a number of times in the movie. And then by the end, he is emasculated and shunned by the lesbian parents. Well guess what? This is a prime example of a lesbian writer (Cholodenko) expressing her inner rage at straight men through this script. There's even a line in the movie, with one of the lesbian parents saying to her son -- whose all of 15 years old -- "... Too bad you're not gay, you'd be more sensitive." I mean, are you F'en kidding me??

Simply ridiculous. I've known a lot of lesbian women in my life. Some have worked out their "men issues" and don't carry a chip on their shoulder against straight men. And many have not. It appears as though Cholodenko falls into this latter category, which is a shame. It certainly affected the script she wrote in a negative way.

Sorry, but scripts this poorly written should not be funded. And I hope someday Ms. Cholodenko can look into her heart and work out the latent issues she still has with men.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Are they really?

Author: slayerholmes from Helsinki Finland
2 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After every Oscar Night I really get the urge to see all these awarded and nominated films, even if their topics (family life, Facebook, dancing...) are not on the top of my interest list. Of course in principle it's still not so much about the issues but the handling of them. And I'm sorry to say but when I started watching this movie in question my expectations dropped even more when I found out it's directed (and written) by a woman, having been repeatedly disappointed by this "feminist" approach what comes to difficult relationships and human emotions in films like "Woodsman", "Priest", "Sleepless in Seattle" etc. Unfortunately this movie turn out to be no exception. Let's just concentrate mainly on the character problems:

On their first phone call "spermdonor" Paul doesn't at first get it when his daughter Joni mentions her two moms like an everyday thing. Are we to believe that she isn't used to explain their family's situation more accurately to a stranger by now? And why is it that these two otherwise so easy-going and straightforward lesbian ladies have so much trouble to discuss about important but everyday matters like sex and alcohol with their teenage kids? So much that they even have to arrange a special "panel" to have a "serious talk"... You'd expect when 18-year old Joni comes home late from a party some teasing questions like "HOW drunk are you?" or "still a virgin"? But nooo, a court hearing again... It's a bit stretch also that in every aspect perfectly normal looking and behaving 15-yo son's ONLY friend in the average looking Californian neighborhood is a retarded punk. He even likes to play team sports!

Lesbian parents are fine, this whole natural angle with organic food processing and recycling and whatnot is fine, interracial (and even -sexual) relationships are fine. It's all fine to me, but I still don't think that even if some things are nowadays much more accepted than before and people's awareness have grown, those things have become at the same time as general as this film seems to suggest. I still would have liked to know more about the prejudices this family has to deal with society, moms at work and kids in school? And how about everyone's personal history? Was it Jules' first heterosexual affair with Paul since... ever? How could it happen in the first place? What really was the reason for kids loving Paul not to have a family of his own (the issue is touched but never fully explained)? And what is poor Paul's, who never really does anything bad to anybody, destiny at the end? Seems quite harsh and unfair if his role in this family is now irreversibly ejected. And finally: this film was promoted as "comedy-drama". Even while there is every now and then some spirited and good humored dialogue, that makes no comedy. Should not even in women's vocabulary.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Kids Are All Right: A Comedy/Drama About Life, Love and Finding Our Way Back Home

Author: bobbylabonte18 from United States
12 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Kids Are All Right is a fantastic film. The performances of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore both deserve Oscars for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in that order. Mark Ruffalo gives an inspired performance and perhaps his best since You Can Count on Me, a movie very much like this one. Annette and Julianne play a lesbian couple Nic and Jules. Nic is a nurse and the primary breadwinner in the family. Jules is a housewife with a dream of starting a landscaping business and she feels as if Nic does not have faith in her plans and feels more neglected. Their children Joni (named after Joni Mitchell) and Laser search for their father and the couples sperm donor. The realism of this story really comes in when they all must adapt to their new environment. Laser, Joni and Jules adapt well but Nic feels as if he is taking her family away from her. Paul, the sperm donor, hires Jules to do landscaping on his property and due to her feeling neglected by Nic, begins an affair with Paul. This is a film about family and how families struggle with each other and how they are a family. It shows how we all make mistakes and how those mistakes make us better people. The Kids Are All Right should be a real Oscar contender, especially in the Actress area with masterful performances from Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. See this film by any mean possible.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Just another throw everything imaginable in heap of trash

Author: patsworld from United States
24 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will start by saying I'll watch Mark Ruffalo in anything, and Annette Benning is great. But this movie was one I couldn't get past the first five minutes. In that time they had shown male homosexual sex, female homosexual sex, bi-racial sex, they threw in a kid snorting coke…and I'm certain if they'd had time they would have tossed in someone having sex with a parrot or a python…only reason they didn't is probably because they couldn't find a photogenic parrot or python. I'm no prude. I don't give a dried fig about what people do behind closed doors…what I want to know is why is there always someone with a camera behind those doors eager and willing to share everything in today's movies but decent writing. Where are the good writers who could create movies that allowed you to use your imagination rather than slapping you upside the head with everything? Mark and Annette wasted their talents on this pile of garbage.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Really really bad

Author: mariondowning-427-469344 from America
3 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pointless insulting movie.

Two lesbians have kids, then the two kids want to know who their father is...they find out. The mothers invite him to dinner for some bizarre and unnecessary reason. The "father" comes along, plays house and tries to be the father while pushing one of the mothers out of the picture (then has sex with the other mother).

For a film that is supposed to be about intelligent "liberal" lesbians, this sure makes them look uninformed and naïve. What enlightened person has sex with someone they aren't attracted to because they "want to be appreciated" as the cheating mother said rather than being a grown up and talking to your partner about needing to be appreciated?

As for the "father"... What man who donates sperm really wants to spend the rest of his life with the result of that donation without even knowing them at all beyond fun moments over food etc? What man wants to raise someone else's kids purely because they're fun? What lesbian woman wants to have sex with a man (let alone one she hardly knows beyond him complimenting her)?

What was the point of this movie? The only thing different at the end is that the kids know who their "father" is and now hate him, while their mothers are still their mothers and one of them is leaving home. Pointless and can only be seen as a token film about; A) Lesbian parent families with token making out between women B) Men being evil, opportunistic and big kids who are OK to know, but not OK to have around too long or they try to steal your lesbian partner and kids. And, C) Lesbian love prevailing in the end while the kids forgive cheating mom.

Seems like it was written by a lesbian who doesn't know many men and a man who is channeling his inner Big Daddy who wants fun kids and a wife he doesn't even know (while having no kids and wife in reality). was written by a lesbian and a man channeling his inner Big Daddy...move along nothing to see.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I was disappointed.

Author: lorisuzannedell from Maine, USA.
24 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was so looking forward to seeing this movie. I absolutely love both Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. They are two of my all time favorite actresses. I also love Mark Ruffalo and being a bisexual woman I was really looking forward to a family movie with two women raising their children. That being said...

I was really disappointed that the film maker couldn't just make this a story about two women, married to each other, struggling to raise a family and be married, through all of the struggles that are already in place for so many married couples.

What was so disappointing was the constant infusion of male sexuality throughout these women's marriage. The Gay Male Sex videos, the affair with the sperm donor, and the constant subliminal reminder that a man is necessary in a woman's relationship.

And Julianne Moore's reaction to being penetrated by Ruffalo was insulting to all girl on girl relationships.

I think there was a bigger story to be had here and I feel it was glossed over to bring in a male interaction to a female lead family.

I'm sorry it had worked out this way. I had hoped that finally someone would tell an honest and clean story about two women, married to each other, and trying to raise a family and deal with all that comes naturally to any married couple raising a family.

Very disappointing.

On a different note: Both Moore, Bening, and Ruffalo were stellar performers as they always are. Their on screen personalities were original and refreshing. Great acting, however, couldn't save this story for me, it only made watching it a bit more bearable.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not many panned this because they were afraid to appear not P.C.

Author: dmusicant from Berkeley, CA
25 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not being gay, I've come to resent the prevalence of pro-gay and actually anti heterosexual politics in my region. I'm far from conventional and quite liberal in general, and don't advocate against rights for gays, but I'm tired of feeling the anti heterosexual biases so common here. So, this is in part what I brought to this movie, having known nothing about it before viewing it.

A lot of the dialog made me cringe. Again and again. It had its strong points in places, but fell flat a lot of the time. Uneven. I thoroughly agree with the review above describing the lesbian couple as hopeless caricatures. Below is mostly a brief synopsis (with a few brief edits for inclusion here)I wrote for myself shortly after viewing the movie a few days ago.

A lesbian couple want kids so they get a sperm donor and both have a kid with the same donor. When the younger of them (a boy) gets to about 16 he gets curious who his father is and contacts the agency and they call the donor and ask him if he's cool to give out info about himself. He calls them or they call him, I don't remember and things develop from there. He's a pretty cool guy, pretty successful, but a little more freewheeling than they are ready for (motorcycle). Needless to say, they get involved and he winds up bedding one of the women (graphically, to please hardcore porn freaks) and that's what messes up everything. He's remorseful (inexplicably so, to be truthful), they reject him, the older child (girl) goes off to college, women don't split up, end of movie. I won't be watching it again.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

a waste of time

Author: wierdcoffee from United Kingdom
1 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Poor, undeveloped and absolutely awful. Turned it off after an hour due to the flat plot lines and oversexed characters with dull personalities that were not explored at all bearing no emotional connection for the viewer. There were too many sex scenes with explicit sex - which seemed to be the only stable plot line throughout: A woman cheats on her lesbian lover with their children's sperm donor and has sex with him until her partner finds out and she exclaims that she is a lesbian. He bears the brunt and she gets away essentially blame free.

The film was flat and contained no emotional connection between the characters in the movie and no emotional connection for the viewer to establish in the characters. Could not bare this movie and the sex scenes were exceedingly cringy and pointless.

A waste of money in making this movie, effort on behalf of the actors and time on behalf of the viewer. Don't bother watching this flat, pathetic excuse for a movie.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Sort of painful

Author: blindmcblind from United States
3 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't usually write reviews, but after seeing this movie I had to! Something about this movie really rubbed me the wrong way. Although it was a drama, it was sad for all the wrong reasons.

Essentially, it is a movie about a family. Lesbian mothers Jules and Nic, and their two children Joni and Laser. Right off the bat, we learn to hate Annette Bening's character Nic. Any sympathy you had for Nic is swiftly killed within the first 30 minutes of the movie. She is an overbearing terror to her spirited wife Jules (Julianne Moore) and her children seem incredibly unattached from her, as i imagine they would need to be in order to put up with her. Villain: Nic.

The children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska)and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), decide they would like to meet their biological father (each child sharing the same father, but a different of the two mothers). In steps Mark Ruffalo as Paul. A happy, life-loving bachelor who owns his own restaurant. He meets up with his children, and despite an awkward first meeting, he bonds with them and quickly becomes a part of their lives. All is well. Protagonist: Paul.

I don't want to dish out an entire synopsis, so i am going to speed this along. Jules, detached from her devil wife Nic, has an affair with Paul. Paul, recently discovering what its like to have children and a family, falls for Jules and end even considers starting a life with her. You can't blame him, Julianne Moore's character is certainly lovable. However, Nic finds out about the affair; The children overhear the mothers fighting about the affair; Now everyone hates Paul.

After a brief speech from Julianne Moore about how "it is okay that her wife is the wicked witch, because marriage is JUST HARD!", I can't help but imagine Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg (the writers) as middle- aged depressives who's marriages are falling apart; looking for someway to justify their situation through writing this script. Jules, Joni, and Laser ,ignoring all sympathy and reason, side with the horrific Nic, and poor Paul get's left in the cold. His character is quite literally KILLED OFF 'if you will'. Keep in mind, he didn't ask for ANY OF THIS.

The story should be renamed "Lets All Crap on Paul". It ends with an ever-cringing closeup of Nic forgiving Jules and holding her hand. Leaving us with a twisted moral: Don't care about your own life, or those who are in it - unless, of course, you are caring for your evil wife - because NOTHING can break the bond of a marriage!

Now had this been intentional, I would have been more sympathetic with this review. However the rekindling of love between Nic and Jules shows that Paul was MOST CERTAINLY an innocent bystander who got himself involved with the wrong FAMILY. At no point does it appear that the writers or director INTENDED to tell a "life isn't fair - sucks for Paul" type story. They simply resolved the movie on the wrong note.

The acting alone warrants a 6/10. But, as i said, this movie rubbed me the wrong way.

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