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Brilliantly done dramedy with Hader stealing it
bmennen12 September 2014
Upstate NY is the setting for this funny and poignant film about a set of twins who split apart but are brought together by near-death experiences.

It is difficult to make a movie that can go from laughter to the depths of anguish and remain entertaining or even believable, but "The Skeleton Twins" manages it well; but without Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig the degree of difficulty would have increased significantly.

Hader plays a gay wannabe actor who is not doing well out in LA and paying his rent by waiting tables; Wiig is his twin who has stayed in the small town where they grew up and she is a dental hygienist. Although the flamboyantly gay "Stephone" was a Hader favorite on Saturday Night Live, do not expect a stereotype with Milo: this is a human and not a joke.

Wiig's Maggie is a flawed character, and both sibs are scarred by their dreadful childhood. How they eventually come to depend on each other is a thing of beauty.

Finally, cheers to Craig Johnson for the way he wrote Luke Wilson's Lance: the straight guy who just wants Maggie to be happy and have his children. Johnson makes him a noble character unlike the buffoon so many in Hollywood would have made of this type.

The chemistry between Wiig and Hader is incredible, and Wilson is a joy to behold. This is a must-see.
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A Worthy Showcase of Hader and Wiig's Dramatic Chops
blakiepeterson2 May 2015
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are such comedy wunderkinds that a dramatic role sounds like a waste. We can picture Wiig screwing around a room with the pizazz of Carol Burnett, with Hader, alongside her, spitting out wicked lines in a wacky voice. Though The Skeleton Twins has a handful of funny moments, it is first and foremost a gloomy drama; we may all love Wiig and Hader's antics on Saturday Night Live, but they are blessed with some serious acting talent. It's the Double Indemnity to their Ball of Fire, the War and Peace to their Sabrina.

Twins Maggie (Wiig) and Milo (Hader) have been estranged for 10 years. They're reacquainted, however, when Maggie receives a call from an unknown number; she is informed that Milo has attempted suicide. In one hand, she holds the phone. In the other is a smattering of pills. It's a coincidence that seems as though God set it up just for them. Maggie immediately invites Milo to stay with her and her picture perfect husband, Lance (Luke Wilson), in their suburban New York home; but just as they begin to reconnect, they are forced to face their innermost demons.

Milo has been living in Los Angeles for a decade, desperate to become a famous actor. He's seen little success, his life marred with constant disappointment. Maggie knows that she has married a good man, but she is bored with her comfortable, predictable marriage; she's partaken in several affairs and has purposely destroyed any chances of having a baby, something Lance dreams of.

The people in The Skeleton Twins aren't unstable in a melodramatic fashion. They are disappointed with their lives, ready to do something drastic just to inject meaning into their veins. Milo thought he'd be the bullied outsider that could, one day, come to a class reunion and laugh at his balding, middling tormentors. Maggie thought that she could live in domestic bliss and stay within that bliss. But it doesn't happen.

The film explores several relationships, going back and forth between Milo and Maggie, Milo and his ex-lover, Rich (Ty Burrell), who destroyed his teenage years, and the siblings and their flighty mother (Joanna Gleason). The conversations glide over and under sheer wit and blood- letting, the characters are written with hundreds of layers. They hit close to home, making us question our own self-confidence and achievements.

But it's one of those films in which the biggest successes come from the actors. If they didn't have chemistry, The Skeleton Twins would never work. Yet the emotional bonds (good or bad) between the actors in the film are so instantaneously genuine that there is a fluidity that makes the anguish all the more real. The laughs are quick, but they are consistently overtaken by the somber sequences that follow them. Because, in real life, a joke can be thrown off a roof if you open up an old wound.

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Dramatic / Comedic Balance
sssummerson18 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I went to this film at the Sundance premier based on the cast. Knowing this was a Drama with comedic talent left me hopeful but skeptical that it would not be a fish out of water (watch the film to see why I use that analogy) The movie was great. Kristin Wiig was the star she is. Bill Hader was strong in his first dramatic role and the chemistry between these two successful comedians paid off in spades. I believe Luke Wilson will not get his deserved credit in the film due to the role of the leading players, but he was fabulous. This was a drama highlighting some tough stuff. The talent of these actors and their ability to shift to comic relief was the highlight of the film. Get ready to laugh and cry. It was good.
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An amazing mix of comedy and drama from two Saturnday Night Live alums
bbickley13-921-5866415 September 2014
Laughing at the pain of two siblings who unknowingly attempt to kill themselves at the same time, reunite due to this tragedy after ten years of non-communication.

With Kristen Wig in the movie, I was expecting to laugh, but I think the best laughs came from Bill Hader. His role as Milo, A gay actor who's life is know where near what he expected in high school, sets us on a whirlwind of emotions as he tries to cope with being back home after being away for so long.

Luke Wilson's supporting role as a the likable husband to Kristen Wig's character also gave me a big chuckle as well.

Rounding out the cast is Ty Burrell, best known for his role on Modern Family. It was cool to see him do something out of Type.

It was weird laughing at people with such messed up lives but some say this is the secret to great comedy, that it comes from a dark place. The filmmakers were able to show light coming from this darkness and it was well played in a way that made the twin's issues relateable to us.

It was a great drama with a lot of comedy in it, A must see.
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Hadar and Wiig exceed expectations.
Sergeant_Tibbs8 December 2014
Always given the bit-part characters in the great Apatow comedies of 6 or 7 years ago, it was a mistake of mine to never take Bill Hadar or Kristen Wiig seriously. Sure, Wiig showed some dramatic weight in Bridesmaids, but that was a light comedy after all. The Skeleton Twins is a lot darker, looking at suicide and failure. Wiig and Hadar's conviction really elevate the material here, especially the latter as her gay brother Milo. Their chemistry is predictably a joy to watch. I just wish I related to it more. I could empathize to a point but I didn't identify with it. It's a little difficult to feel too much sympathy for characters who spend the film feeling sorry for themselves and putting themselves into situations that hurt them. Nevertheless, the consequences the film explores are heartbreaking and authentic, especially the confrontations in its final 20 minutes. It has a lovely visual style to go with the mood with a soft washed out look paired with a great soundtrack, especially a memorable lip syncing scene that whisks you away with it. Perhaps it's too familiar or too irreverent for its own good, but it's certainly a good effort from everyone.

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Unhappy Twinkies
ferguson-623 September 2014
Greetings again from the darkness. Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Ty Burrell and Luke Wilson ... prepare yourself for 90 minutes of side-splitting laughter! OK, well you can prepare all you want, but you should know that while there are some funny moments, this is one of the bleakest films of the year. Bleak as in achingly painful to watch at times due to the emotional pain most every character experiences.

Hopefully no one stopped reading after "side-splitting laughter" because here is a sampling of thematic elements covered in the film: attempted suicide, suicide of a parent, adultery, sexual abuse of a minor, rampant lying, depression, horrific parenting, drug use, animal cruelty.

If Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig of SNL fame don't spring to mind when considering those elements, please keep an open mind. Both are extremely good (and believable) in their roles as twins estranged for a decade, forced back together after a near tragedy. See, after a miserable childhood, their time apart has prevented both from establishing a strong personal relationship with anyone else. Hader plays a self-professed "gay cliché", while Wiig is pretending to have the perfect suburban life with her gung-ho, always "up", good guy husband (Luke Wilson).

The film's best humor is produced in small moments thanks to the connection between Wiig and Hader. It's definitely not in the almost shameful attempts at crowd-pleasing offered in the SNL-ish scenes of lip-synching to Starship, and over-indulging on Nitrous Oxide at the dental office.

Real emotional turmoil exists in the scenes between Hader and Ty Burrell, and the unnecessary and inexplicable reunion between Hader, Wiig and their mother (Joanna Gleason). Burrell, known for his outstanding "Modern Family" role, is intriguing as a dramatic actor. Looking forward to more of this from him.

The script, co-written by director Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman, really does capture some poignant and dramatic moments, and certainly benefits from the extremely talented cast. Just don't expect that side-splitting laughter ... unless you are susceptible to lip-synching and/or nitrous oxide.
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Warm and Enjoyable offbeat comedy
t-dooley-69-38691623 May 2015
Twins Milo and Maggie have not seen each other for ten years then Maggie gets a call to say her estranged brother is in hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

She goes to see him out in L.A. and brings him back to New York. There he gets to confront his past, their joint histories and whatever the future may hold. This is essentially them getting to know each other again after such a long hiatus and in doing so holding up a metaphoric mirror to each other.

Now this started out a bit slow but once it picked up it is really engaging. Bill Hader as Milo manages to capture the complexities of some one full of life's disappointment but still with reserves of joy that just need tapping. Kristen Wiig plays his sister who has more layers than an onion in terms of how she juggles her various needs. In other words they are both just really human with the same frailties we all have. This is a comedy but it is somewhat dark and often wry but I still found this to be extremely enjoyable for all that – recommended to those who like an offbeat comedy.
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Not an Original Bone in Its Body
downward29 November 2014
This movie is such a mash-up of mainstream indie film clichés that it almost plays like a spoof of Sundance dramedies. You know the kind I mean: a dysfunctional, cynical group of individuals is forced to spend time together and end up reconnecting with each other and, after lots of wisecracking, '80s music interludes, and moments of forced poignancy -- regain their humanity. But if it were a spoof, it would be entertaining. The fact that it premiered at Sundance says a lot about the current state of independent cinema.

The only satisfaction one can get from watching THE SKELETON TWINS is keeping a checklist of indie film conventions that this movie recycles -- from overall themes, to plot devices, to performance style, to wacky musical interlude. If you've never seen an independent film, you might be impressed by the self-consciously quirky direction, the quote-unquote dark comedy, the lovable gay character (we know he's gay because he tells us so, several times, in the first ten minutes). I wish the filmmaker had spent more time developing three-dimensional characters instead of taking other people's shortcuts.
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Nothing's Gonna Stop Them Now (Except for a Gloomy and Overly Symbolic Script)
evanston_dad27 February 2015
"The Skeleton Twins" has so much raw material to work with that it's nearly tragic it didn't turn out to be a better movie.

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig have a tremendous amount of chemistry as dysfunctional brother and sister who are brought back together by his attempted suicide after years of being estranged. The point of the movie -- which I only know because it was told to me by the film, not because it actually does a good job of conveying it -- is that these two siblings, contentious though they may be, are the best thing for each other, and that their lives are better when they're together than either's is for them when they are not.

I'll have to take the movie's word for it, because Hader and Wiig create such messed up characters that it's utterly inconceivable they could possibly help one another until they've helped themselves. I think we're supposed to think they're likable underneath their gloomy angst, mostly because they burst into spontaneous lip synch performances of 80s movie ballads, but they sure as hell aren't any fun to spend time with. The film drags on and on, giving these two talented comedians virtually no opportunities to be remotely funny, and then forces a completely implausible ending on us that we're supposed to accept as evidence that this particular brother and sister can't live without each other.

The character I identified most with was the one played by Luke Wilson, good guy husband to Kristen Wiig who she and Bill Hader treat like crap. I wanted to ditch the two tortured souls and go have a beer with him instead.

Oh, and the award for most heavy handed symbolism of the year (the goldfish) goes guessed it...."The Skeleton Twins."

Grade: B-
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Amazing on all levels. Bill Hader is fantastic
trublu21527 September 2014
The Skeleton Twins tells the story of two estranged twins, Maggie and Milo and the hardships that come with their lives. To start off, this film is one of the best films of the year, hands down. Bill Hader and Kristin Wigg prove that they are not only talented comedic actors but excellent actors all around. Coming off of their Saturday Night Live days, this film is proof that these two have more to offer than sketch comedy. The story, while dark and dreary, still manages to score some great laughs. Despite a huge theme being suicide and the reasoning behind why one would take their own life, it manages to keep the material light but still packs some heavy emotional punches in certain scenes. A film that can balance something as serious as suicide while still making you laugh is an accomplishment in its own right, in my opinion. There is only so much I can say about the story without giving too much away, but I will say that it is as close to perfect as a film can get. The actors are stellar all around the board, made up of Wigg, Hader, Luke Wilson and Ty Burrel, this cast is utterly fantastic. Luke Wilson steals the show in scenes with Hader but what Hader does with his character is takes something very two dimensional on paper and transforms it into something provocative and sharp, it would not surprise me if an Oscar nomination comes his way for this. Kristin Wigg is on point as Maggie, commanding the screen with the perfect balance of comedic sharpness and dramatic pull. She is a marvel in this film and should also get some sort of recognition for this. Overall, I cannot praise this film enough. It is sharp, witty, dramatic, funny and heart warming. It is the feel good movie that you'll walk out of and want to see it again as soon as possible.
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Not that good
bbewnylorac11 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The film attempts to tackle themes such as suicide, marriage, closet gays and family dynamics. In the end there is surprisingly little meaning, other than it's good to have relatives' support in hard times. There are glimpses of interest, such as the twins' mother Judy being a hopeless parent who couldn't make it to Maggie's wedding and who the twins don't bother to tell about Milo's suicide attempt because they know her too well -- she wouldn't be supportive or even care. Milo's former teacher Rich is a convincing character as someone who is determined not to come out publicly as gay, and who ultimately doesn't care about Milo, despite being happy to sleep with him. As Maggie's husband, Luke Wilson does well as a cheerful, loving soul who nevertheless Maggie is not satisfied with. I feel the characters too readily turn to suicide as a solution to their problems. Is that something that should be portrayed as an option in life? It doesn't make sense that late in the film, Maggie makes Milo promise not to attempt suicide -- but then she herself attempts suicide. So to me this film is more of an indie character study. Not brilliant, but not a bad film. I think it tries to hard to be deep and meaningful. It throws a lot of ideas up on screen in the hope something will stick, but I wasn't moved by this picture.
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Unfortunately, forced and self-aware.
ythomasmore8 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There was potential in the themes and statements that this film wanted to touch on, pedophile-victim relationships, suicide, monogamy, family relations, but I think that the "thematic bag" of this film was filled a little too high for these filmmakers to be able to have a profound statement about any of them. Visualize setting up all of the pins and knocking down none of them...

Or maybe it was that the director and the editors directed and cut the film in such a forced way to make the film dip into far too many "indie" tropes, like the bonding over a duet of a song. Yikes. I cringed. The flashbacks of them as children seemed like superficial indie tropes too. Maggie as a child swimming in a pool had nothing to do with her scuba diving or suicidal thoughts of drowning herself, so why were they in the movie?? Was it to connect visceral images of childhood to these suicidal protagonists to further our empathy for them? Seemed like a desperate and shallow move or something, I dunno. I also, felt that the soundtrack and the way it was used was just so typically, "indieeeeee".

Or the problem could have been in the writing! The halloween scene where the twins are drinking beers reminiscing about their childhood just drags on. The content of their conversation alienated me because there was literally nothing to relate to in what they were talking. It was all about these random people from their childhood and these random stories about those people that had nothing to do with the plot at all. It may come off as realism to some, but I just found it to be shallow writing :(

The acting was surprisingly moving from these two, though. I wanted to like the film because of Kristen and Bill, but I just don't think the writing or direction held up their end. Definitely a few laughs to be had but nothing side splitting.

This is why I had to give the film a 5 out of 10.
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Film Review: The Skeleton Twins/
lucasnochez6 October 2014
Contrary to its confusing and misleading title, The Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is NOT a horror film.

As if the title wasn't bad enough and a release date in October, this real world dramedy starring two shining comedic stars is a gut-wrenching, tender tale of sibling rivalry and love that is relatable to every person sharing half of their genetic imprint with someone else. The Skeleton Twins is an awesome little American indie with some heart, and a lot of soul.

The siblings, Maggie and Milo, played perfectly by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, are two people hiding from their greatest fears and darkest demons in completely different ways. After ten years of being apart, the siblings both share a near death experiences and decide to room up and bunk together in Maggie's idealistic suburban house outside the big apple. Hesitant and awkward at first, the two learn much about one another and the biggest challenges in each others lives: including Milo's inability to face reality and Maggie's fears of becoming a mother and loyal wife to her husband Lance (Luke Wilson).

While there isn't much slapstick excitement happening in The Skeleton Twins that would initially get fans of both stars into the theatre, the real comedy comes from the comedic genius and masterminds on the page; screenwriters Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson, who has double duty as director. Offering emotionally wrenching scenes that provide a full dose of clarity to our characters and heart-breaking scenes that could easily be a glimpse into each and every one of our lives, the writing duo opt for a more realistic and fresh look at the troubles plaguing two siblings familial life. From pitch perfect arguments about favourites between the siblings, to an over-bearing mother (Joanna Gleason), to perfect husband problems including the temptation of affairs and mid-life crisis that hit strong emotional cords with audience members, the film is a divine example of having a wonderful story carried by actors who need or do very little to convey their message.

Although Wiig is comedy gold throughout all of her scenes that should not be undermined, the real star in the film is consistently underused Hader. Hader, who has never really starred in his own film and given sole spotlight, of course excluding Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, where he plays the voice of its hero Flint Lockwood, has always stood at the side of other comedic actors and has always provided a familiar face with being 'that' guy in comedies like Superbad, Paul and yes, even her. But not this time. With The Skeleton Twins, a film that equally bills Wiig and Hader, shows the dominance of Hader's comedy and his ability as a leading man. Noticeable and glorious, Hader exudes a familiar yet original signature to Milo, the gay uncle we have known to expect and love. With his scarf wrapped around his neck in the perfectly posh position, as well as giving the perfect amount of gayness to his mannerisms and movements, Hader's homosexual role works thankfully to his real secret weapon, flamboyant comedic timing. Hader has never been better.

Naturally, given the expectant comedy of its stars, the film isn't all (surprisingly) about comedy. Dealing with grim and very serious issues such as suicide, unfaithfulness and the child molestation, the film flips its tone on a dime, thanks, no less, to its stars and cloudy cinematography in the sleepy suburban town outside New York City. Both leads are able to switch instantly from comedy to heavy drama, and really flesh out the big issues that are consuming their lives and the lives of the people they love around them–mostly one another. After being emotionally absent by their mother after the suicide of their father, Maggie and Milo experience the harsh realities of having a family and show-business all their own, given the film its real social consciousness, making for a very heavy and serious film.

The biggest boogyman in The Skeleton Twins is independence and growing up; facing truth, running away from your past and coming to terms with the people we are, and the changes we need to make in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Wiig and Hader are two exceptional actors exercising their dramatic shops in their roles of two people figuring life out, like the rest of us with a real emotional presence and response.

There isn't enough praise that could be given to the script and use of witty dialogue and relatable scenes of dysfunctional family drama. It's no surprise that The Skeleton Twins snatched up the prestigious screen writing award this year at Sundance; an award that is quite reputable given the festival's reputation of originality and artistic cleverness.

But with any good emotional family melodrama coming out of the festival of the mountains, comes some effective comedic relief. Rewarding audiences not by means of character redemptions or perfectly placed saviours, the film allows the tension and heavy set drama to designate with audiences given its highly effective comedic scenes of hope and happiness. It may not be the best scene you will see all year, but an unexpected sing-along between Maggie and Milo kicking' old school to Starship's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now will surely have you smiling and dancing your way out of your seat by the time the end credits roll.

Much like the subject matter and film itself, nothing is what it seems. With an all around solid cast, including a surprise appearance by Ty Burrell, in an unconventional role that spins his image as patriarch Phil from the television hit Modern Family on its head, The Skeleton Twins may very well be one of the best dysfunctional farm family dramady's in a long time.
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No need to get the skeletons out of your closet watching this picture!
meeza20 April 2015
Make no bones about it, the indie comedy-drama "The Skeleton Twins" is a nice little picture about two depressed siblings who reunite after not seeing each other for 10 years, and let's just say that the skeletons soon start coming out of their closets as they reveal much about themselves. The film stars SNL alumnus Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as Milo and Maggie. Milo is a struggling actor in Los Angeles who unsuccessfully attempts suicide in the film's opening scene. That near death experience brings him to reunite with his estranged sister Maggie who takes Milo to her hometown New York, so he could be in a New York state of mind. Anyways, Maggie is no bright chip of the old block either. She is unhappy in her marriage with a caring, devoted husband. She cheats on her husband and is taking birth control pills behind her husband's back. Maggie is one skeleton twin that is bad to the bone. The performances from Hader and Wiig were outstanding, and it was what brought the film to life. I also thought Luke Wilson was brilliant as Maggie's husband Lance. However, I was not too enamored with Craig Johnson's direction and screenplay of the movie. Too me it was a bit uneven and it might have needed some bare bones exuberance to the filmmaking of "The Skeleton Twins". But I am still recommending this movie as a solid viewing, and no joints are even required to get a semi-cinematic high watching "The Skeleton Twins". *** Average
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Twistedly comedic but truly a drama, brilliant performances from Hader and Wiig
ArchonCinemaReviews4 December 2014
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig allow their real life friendship to transcend the silver screen as siblings for The Skeleton Twins, a somber comedic drama.

The drama of The Skeleton Twins centers on the estranged relationship between fraternal mid-to-late twenty-something twins brought together as they are forced to address their splintered relationship.

Bill Hader is Milo who has a fraternal twin sister Maggie, played by Kristen Wiig. After being the gruesome twosome as youngsters their relationship is strained, not having seen each other for ten years. Fate brings them together when both Maggie and Milo cheat death on the same day and their reunion helps to invigorate themselves into fixing their lives and their relationship with one another.

Through Craig Johnson's masterful writing along with Mark Heyman, the screenplay provides a fleshed out and substantial adult familial dynamic based upon a dreadfully painful childhood. They find the harmonious and perfect balance of unconventional melancholic humor and serious drama that allows viewers to be completely invested in the characters and their story.

Finally, The Skeleton Twins brings forth a film with a wholeheartedly believable sibling relationship. It is innately clear that Maggie and Milo have a connection, even if it was lost somewhere along the way. Hader and Wiig's real life bond certainly plays a part in the success of their stellar performances. They emote a deep pain and turmoil while simultaneously having a cynically jaded sense of humor about it. Luke Wilson is a wonderful sincere addition as as simple man who just wants to see his wife, Maggie, happy. Joanna Gleason is also quite memorable in the sole scene as she plays masterfully against Kristen Wiig. Some may criticize that Hader's Milo plays a bit too much into gay stereotypes and while the critique comes from a valid place, his character is sincere, real and far from exaggerated.

The dynamic range of both Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader coupled with the serious themes examined by The Skeleton Twins are deep, fully formed and stretch both film and actors to a superb place.

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A Decent Film with Good Performances!
namashi_14 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
'The Skeleton Twins' offers emotional depth, but a half-baked Screenplay, takes away its glory in totality. But, the performances are good!

'The Skeleton Twins' Synopsis: Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship.

'The Skeleton Twins' begins beautifully, with the bitterness between its sibling protagonists, working well. The sub-plots are the problem here. The track involving an ex-flame is bland, while the secret-affair angle also offers nothing new. Its the main plot, which is filled with moments of true humor & emotions.

Craig Johnson & Mark Heyman's Screenplay has potential, but weak sub-plots leave you disappointed. Craig Johnson's Direcion is nicely done. Cinematography is average. Editing isn't great, either.

'The Skeleton Twins' biggest strength lies in its performances. Kristen Wiig is effective, delivering a performance of pure pain. Bill Hader is competent, as well, enacting a difficult part with flourish. And Luke Wilson steals the show. He's genius in here.

On the whole, 'The Skeleton Twins' is certainly watchable, but not very memorable.
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The sense of anguish and pain is most impressively humanised by Wiig's surprising and accomplished performance
Likes_Ninjas9021 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Skeleton Twins' strongest belief is valuing and preserving the relationship between siblings to resolve the traumatic memories and experiences of the past and a perpetual domestic crisis, where modern relationships have presently failed to become emotionally gratifying for the main characters. By the end of the film though there is a sense that the main characters, a brother and sister, would rather belong to each other rather than conceding there is a time in our lives when our siblings' path becomes separate from our own. The film's director Craig Johnson has described the film as being like a love story between the brother and sister who rediscover each other. Although a small independent film, the way The Skeleton Twins stresses the traditional values of family and childhood nostalgia is symmetrical with some mainstream Hollywood films. What these films shield from us is that departing from our families as grow older isn't a tragedy. It is a fact of life that accompanies growth and maturity as we leave our families behind to test ourselves as adults.

The film isn't an autobiography of its director Johnson but shares some of his personal values and desires. Johnson is an openly gay director who says that he connects strongly to his own sister through humour. The film itself offers clear parallels. It stars former Saturday Night Live comedians Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as Milo and Maggie, a brother and sister duo who haven't spoken to each other in ten years. The film opens with images of them as children both playing dress-ups, which signposts that in the present day Milo is gay. The siblings are reunited unceremoniously through a juxtaposed suicide attempt. Milo lies in a bath as the water turns bloody and Maggie has a handful of pills ready to swallow. A call stops her from committing suicide and she visits her brother in the hospital. She allows him to stay with her and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson). To Milo's disapproval Lance seems active and jock- like, but he is kind enough to offer his brother-in-law work and encourages Maggie to take diving lessons which lands her in trouble.

By being a small slice of life film, Johnson has compared the style of his work to other observational comedy-dramas like Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale. Despite having two comedians in the lead roles, the film has a droll, highly understated and deadpan tone, which distinguishes it from Wiig's broader comedies like Bridesmaids. The film is most honest and real when allowing its leads to make poor choices that enriches the drama and underlines the seriousness of their flaws. Unhappy with her marriage, Maggie secretly takes birth control pills even though Lance believes they are trying for a baby. She also starts having an affair with her obnoxious diving instructor (Boyd Holbrook). Milo is still envious of people in high school and bitter about failing to be an actor. He attempts to reunite with Rich (Ty Burrell), a former high school teacher to whom Milo had a relationship with when he was fifteen. Both siblings are still haunted by their father's suicide when they were children. Through their troubled relationships with other people they grasp at an unreachable past because their adult lives have been disappointing. The plot points are fairly interesting as far as they go but their scarcity also highlights the leanness of the story, meaning the film doesn't elevate to the heights of a Baumbach or Alexander Payne film.

The sense of anguish and pain is most impressively humanised by Wiig's surprising and accomplished performance. From the start of the film, her sunken body language perfectly stresses the unhappiness and the weight that she feels in her life. A close-up shot of her face shows a tear running down her cheek during her suicide attempt which further realises the sadness of her character. Additionally, there is a strong climax where Maggie's fury at Milo ignites and the transcendent way that Wiig disappears into her role as she projects this anger rates as a career highlight. There are a few laughs, mostly from the film's quiet and sly humour and a sight gag where Milo tries undertaking gardening work while wearing a t-shirt and scarf. The comedy falters when it becomes more obvious and forced. One example is when Johnson creates set pieces for the two comedians, like when they inhale nitrous oxide at Maggie's dental hygiene workplace, which isn't very funny, and a slightly better scene where their bond is expressed by miming the Starship song "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". Both sequences express the characters rediscovering the juvenility that cements them together as part of their aim to be childlike. But why are so many films today desperate to make adults into children again? It is a question further amplified by the film's troubled ending, which is contrived and dilutes the stronger ideas about the unreachable past while also bordering on wish fulfillment that siblings will always get us out of a jam. The truth is that everyone has to stand on their own two feet by themselves and learn to keep their own head above the water - even in the movies.
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Skelton Twins -did not double my pleasure
coimedia27 September 2014
I would be more interested in watching the Minnesota Twins in between innings. Never before did I feel so little about so much. Do yourself a favor, if you want to waste two hours of your life, watch grass grow, It is far more interesting and you actually begin to feel more empathy towards the aspects of being green. I wasn't sure if this movie was about suicide or they were attempting to have me consider it during this giant yawn. Seriously it is difficult to believe that such talented actors read the script and really made the decision to take it on. From the formula dialog to the moronic singing as a sort of cute bond could make most people pretty much blow lunch. The settings were beautiful, the acting was essentially good. I seriously have read more interesting ingredients on a soup can. The old cliché that the trailer was better than the movie fits. Robert Stack
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psychotic, manic-depressive, low self esteem twins with suicidal tendencies....
febru301224 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
What a premise for a movie that fails on all levels. Don't feel you can overlook the mental illnesses this movie exploits by having a good laugh or two - WRONG there are NO laughs, not a one. What a depressing and dark movie. One might even over look the darkness if the acting wasn't so amateurish, juvenile and third rate. That goes for all the actors. What a pathetic waste of good film stock or 0's and 1's if they went direct to digital. There is no common cohesive thread that binds this story together so it drifts like so much vapor for 2 hours. If you have a penchant for watching contrived bad people behaving badly, have at it. The "Skeleton Twins" are for you.
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Depressed, unethical, aimless fraternal twins consider death...the audience's.
seth-lime9 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts with fraternal twins Twinkie and Bozo (my attempt to offset this film's humor anti-matter) deciding to end it all. Their lives don't work and they've tried nothing and they're all out of ideas, so, death seems like the thing to do. And probably there's nothing good on TV either. please please please let these whining, unfunny, unself-aware pointless wastes of oxygen kill themselves! OMG! after seeing this uninspired, torpid trip through a metaphorical Mohave desert of middle class American mental masturbation and mores, I UNDERSTOOD WHY PEOPLE WANT TO JOIN A RADICAL Islamic CULTS AND GO ALL JIHAD ON OUR ASSES! If this was written by a 13 year old whose only reading material was sub-par 'Twilight' rip offs, and directed by the goth reincarnation of Sylvia Plath then, OK, I would understand. it would still suck, but I would understand why. Sadly it wasn't and so, consequently, IT JUST PLAIN SUCKS!
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Awful Twins
akoaytao123426 October 2017
I hate this film. To begin with, the titular twins are such a lame and offensive fools that is so so selfishly unaware of every one around them. To make matters worse, the story is no help. It never really show any well-rounded character except the twins that when everyone is gone, you could not care even less to whatever resolution would happen to them. And the most awful part, they try to diffuse these problems of that already awful story with so unfunny and very unnecessary sketches that bugs the overall dark mood of the film. It just meshes it into a big pile of uneven stretches that is kinda uncomfortable to watch. Kinda reminds me of 80's John Hughes , where he writes a film with his ultra-stereotypes character(that always bugs me to my core) and add annoying tropes to fill the empty void.

Overall, Skeleton Twins is a pretty awful. It tries to much to impress that it kinda misses it point of self-reflection.Clearly, NOT worth your time [1.5/5]
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A Quality Comedy / Drama
Albert_Orr10 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Skeleton Twins is an impressive comedy / drama from director Craig Johnson and starring Saturday Night Live regulars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. It tells the story of two twins who are reunited through an attempted suicide, having not spoken for 10 years. The story explores love, loss, and how, after growing up in a broken home, we cope with the challenges of adulthood in the modern world.

First and foremost, the casting was superb, with brilliant comedic performances from Wiig and Hader, who also bring great depth to their characters. Luke Wilson is also fantastic as the fantasy-football playing jock husband. There are some really great, very funny moments; the chemistry of the two leads really carries the film. There were one or two flaws to the story, but they are few and far between. And although the ending was bit too "Hollywood" and predictable, the charm of the story allows some forgiveness here, and I would definitely recommend this film.
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This is NOT a comedy
vikimor25 January 2015
I never expected this movie to be so depressing. Why Kristen Wig and Bill Hadar accepted to play such dark roles is incomprehensible. They are talented comedians and yes they did act well in this film, however, I would never have expected to watch them play such morose roles which I feel did not suit them at all. I would never recommend this film to anyone - especially if you are searching for a COMEDY! Kristen Wig had categorized this film as a "sweet drama" - I did not find this story to be sweet in the least. How can a story be sweet about depressed siblings wanting to commit suicide? Kristen, Bill, please find roles that really bring out your talented comedic sides! After watching this film, I need to see something that will make me laugh.
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Watchable. Nothing more.
santiagocosme29 December 2014
The worst thing you can do before you write your own review is to check what other people's opinions are. I just did, and I now feel like I am the only person who was not swept off his feet by this movie.

The Skeleton twins depicts the story of two twins who have not seen each other in ten years, and who find themselves trying to take their lives at the exact same moment in time. Both of them manage to cheat death and that's what gives them a chance to reunite again.

The outset is actually quite original, and I couldn't help but think I was in for something different. On top of that (normally the harshest man when it comes to evaluating actors), I really felt that Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig had been perfectly chosen. Both have this ordinary look about them that makes movies like this a bit more believable, even the story starts off on a surrealistic note. So, as a viewer, my initial impressions could not be better.

Unfortunately, as the movie went on, I couldn't help but feel a little deflated and less and less concerned about the fate of our two protagonists. The nice balance between drama and comedy made for some decent highs but it was often followed by similar moments of outright boredom, and generally speaking the movie just lacked substance. I could try to find a thousand different ways of saying how I felt about this movie, but I regret to inform that I am a little deflated again, and honestly nothing will describe what I think about this movie better than the following onomatopoeia: Meh!
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Depressing movie but really good!
Irishchatter1 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Well done to the Saturday Night Livers Kirsten Wigg and Bill Hader, they were brilliant. I say it was hard for both to actually be serious because they have been in so much comedy shows and movie's.

I found it sad that the twins were apart for 10 long years and Maggie's marriage fell apart. I was so gutted for her. Also the fact she accidentally forgot about the fish and they were left for dead, it was even more heartbreaking! I suggest people who love fish, don't watch this movie!

I felt so sorry for Bill Hader's character for not having luck to find true love. He was better off without that married man because really, he didn't want to get involved with him ever again.

At least, the twins have each other and who knows what will be around the corner for them!
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