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50/50 (2011)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 September 2011 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 237,960 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 368 user | 316 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

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Title: 50/50 (2011)

50/50 (2011) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mitch
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Donna Yamamoto ...
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Yee Jee Tso ...
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Storyline

Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are. Written by Calikeane

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It takes a pair to beat the odds

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

30 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I'm with Cancer  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,644,095 (USA) (30 September 2011)

Gross:

$34,963,967 (USA) (16 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (as Datasat Digital Sound)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Adam is listing things he has never done, one of them is that he has never visited Canada. That scene, as well as the majority of the rest of the movie, was shot in Canada. See more »

Goofs

When Adam is in Dr. Ross' office with his mother and father, his mother inspects a diploma from "Washington State University Medical School". Washington State University does not have a medical school. See more »

Quotes

Adam: A tumor?
Dr. Ross: Yes.
Adam: Me?
Dr. Ross: Yes.
Adam: That doesn't make any sense though. I mean... I don't smoke, I don't drink... I recycle...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.24 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack
Written by Angus Andrew, Julian Gross and Aaron Hemphill
Performed by Liars
Courtesy of Mute Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Outstanding Film, Even Better Performances
7 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is a rule-following, mild-mannered twentysomething who lives in Seattle with his girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas-Howard), and works at Seattle Public Radio. His life takes a sudden and dramatic turn when he is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has taken over his spine. A laidback kind of guy, Adam handles each hurdle with surprising ease and levity while engaging in somewhat helpful counseling from Katie (Anna Kendrick), a young psychologist the hospital assigns him. Before long, though, his complex relationships with Rachael, his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen), and his needy mother (Angelica Huston) become even more convoluted with the introduction of chemotherapy and medicinal marijuana into his life. As the severity of his condition increases, Adam begins to reassess his life, his relationships, and the nonplussed façade he uses to get himself through.

The inevitable comparisons between "50/50" and 2009's "Funny People" are unfortunate. While I stuck up for "Funny People" more than most of my colleagues, even I will admit it is an incredibly flawed film that misses the mark on many levels. "50/50", then, plays out a bit like what "Funny People" should have been, right down to the performance of Seth Rogen. It is, first and foremost, a very funny movie and that is where "Funny People" first went awry. You can't make a comedy about cancer, or any other serious illness for that matter, and fail to produce a genuinely funny script. Laughs come often and organically. I also quite liked that writer Will Reiser (who based his script on the events of his own battle with cancer) makes it clear early on that he intends to laugh at cancer and if you're not up for that, you're in the wrong theater. That is not to say that the disease itself or the havoc it wreaks on Adam's life is disrespected or ignored; in fact, "50/50" gives a fairly realistic view of the hell that is aggressive cancer and the sometimes even more aggressive treatment. "50/50" is bold but soft, a combination that works well.

The dialogue between the characters in "50/50" flows with tremendous ease, especially in the scenes involving Adam and Kyle. This dynamic between JGL and Rogen is the meat of the film and the two play it out brilliantly. They have a chemistry that Anne Hathaway only wishes she could develop with…well, anyone. (That was an unnecessary shot at Miss Hathaway. My apologies.) They reminded me of the type of friendship I might have with any one of my closer pals if we cursed more and occasionally smoked pot. Adam's other relationships are a bit awkward but whether this was done on purpose or not, it serves the narrative well. In my mind he would have a tense partnership with Rachael because they're clearly not suited for each other and any furtherance of his friendship with Katie beyond doctor-patient would be a bit odd.

All of the supporting actors hold their own. As spot-on as I might have been with JGL all those years ago, I would have never guessed, after reluctantly watching "Twilight", that Kendrick would be an actress whose performances I truly look forward to. This isn't quite to the level of her work in "Up in the Air" but it is good and believable nonetheless. Huston's character seems a bit over-the-top in the early going but the depth of her character comes to light in the late stages and Huston pulls it together splendidly. And Rogen gives what might be his best performance to date. To be fair, I'm not much of a Rogen fan so I'm far from an expert on his value as an actor. But whereas he was completely outclassed in "Funny People" and pretty much plays the same character in almost every film, he shows a little more strength in "50/50" than he ever has before (with the possible exception of "Knocked Up"). I actually liked him and I haven't felt that way toward him very often.

But of course, the weight of "50/50" rests almost entirely on the shoulders of JGL and he holds up to the challenge. One of the best compliments I can give an actor is to say that he and his character become one and the same. That's what JGL does here and that's why "50/50" succeeds. He envelopes himself into the Adam character and makes his portrayal incredibly believable. It is almost like watching a documentary on a young cancer patient. Adam handles his disease with class and dignity but not without emotion. His outbursts are few but powerful and through them JGL sells the story beautifully. Simply put, this guy is a star and "50/50" serves as the announcement of such to those of you who didn't already know this to be fact.

"50/50" is honest and at times tough to watch but never purposefully harsh or depressing. In fact, it is generally positive but in a way that isn't all sunshine and unicorns. It is smart, hilarious, and even touching while all the time remaining respectful of the audience's ability to relate to difficult circumstances without artificial emotional fishing. It is an excellent film marked by one outstanding performance that deserves the attention received come Award Season.


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As a therapist in training, I'm appalled by this movie jsoper89
Was anybody else bothered by... verdie
That scene was great titanick2
So...Rachael. Kick to the curb or give second chance? kristp05
Comedy ? What the **** is wrong with you people ? C0rnholio
Anna Kendrick wechulipaul
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