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50/50 (2011)

50/50 review

Sometimes you must not believe everything you read. I try to read as little as I can about any movie I want to see, but I did catch some things about 50/50. Everywhere I read about this movie it was described as “a comedy about cancer”. I can imagine a lot of people being shocked about that. How can you make fun of something so serious and I was interested to find out how it was handled. Last year I wouldn’t have believed that a comedy about terrorism would be, but Four Lions showed that you can make anything funny. So what’s the verdict on 50/50?


To immediately get things clear, I wouldn’t label this movie as a comedy. Yes, it stars Seth Rogen and yes, some jokes are made, but they feel like the kind of jokes people around you would make too to handle a difficult situation. I remember a few years back when my house almost was burnt down (luckily the fire department managed to extinguish it in time so it didn’t reach my house), but I was making jokes all day, just to deal with that very taxing situation. 50/50 does this in the same way.

It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, who is suffering from a pain in his back and is diagnosed with cancer. The movie tells his story about how he deals with the processes he has to go through and the issues (with the disease, but also with the ones close to him) he has to deal with. The cast in this is excellent and Gordon-Levitt was excellent. There was a moment in this movie that he broke down and it really moved me, something which I don’t experience that often. Seth Rogen does his usual funny stuff and is entertaining as always. If you are not a fan of him, nothing in this movie will change your opinion. Anna Kendrick is excellent as his inexperienced psychiatrist and after seeing her in Up In the Air she shows here that she’s able to take on different type of roles.

50/50 review

50/50 could be a description of this movie as it is a perfect mix of comedy and drama. It felt like a realistic depiction of dealing with cancer, which isn’t surprising as Seth Rogen wrote it together with Will Reiser. Reiser had cancer and recovered and used that experience. The subject matter might not make it an inviting movie to watch at the cinema, but it’s well worth watching it.

Score: 8

Category: Comedy, Drama, Movies
  • Matt Stewart says:

    Great review! I cannot wait to see this, perfect cast and an awesome story.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:27 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot Matt!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:34 am
  • Scott Lawlor says:

    HAHA I am so happy you liked it so. I probably was a bit more taken by it than you were.

    Great review though my friend

    December 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, read your review of it. It’s not going to be my favorite movie of the year. Still have to decide which one is though!

      December 15, 2011 at 9:36 am
  • Andina says:

    I just saw the movie last week :) I liked it too, I was going to see it anyway even it isn’t about cancer, just because I wanted to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a drama comedy movie. But I guess you are right, it’s more about drama I think. And the comedy seem to just lighten the heavy feeling.

    December 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Nice to hear you also liked the movie. It’s very well made.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:37 am
  • CMrok93 says:

    Perfectly balances out drama and comedy so well and the realistic performances from the whole cast, are what makes this my favorite film of the whole year. Great review Nostra.

    December 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I think more people will have this as their favorite and I can understand why.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:37 am
  • movies and songs 365 says:

    I liked it too, though I’m not sure I loved it. The Seth Rogen character annoyed me, but I guess his unappealling attitude made the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character seem more likeable to the audience. I’m surprised really they were friends, being so different.

    from Chris

    December 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Seth Rogen always plays the same role I think and I don’t really mind that. Do you like him in other movies?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:38 am
  • rodders says:

    brilliant review, this is one of the films I definitely want to see before the end of the year.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:14 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot!

      December 15, 2011 at 9:38 am
  • Castor says:

    Honest, raw, sincere little dramedy. I liked it although I thought Seth Rogen’s character could have been given more to do than just be the comic relief guy.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:48 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, probably although the movie did show he was more invested than you’d thought and I think some people handle it like that…

      December 15, 2011 at 9:40 am
  • movies and songs 365 says:

    @Nostra: Seth Rogen was ok in freaks and geeks, the tv-show. I tend not to watch Judd Apatow’s movies, as I find his humour a bit vulgar, even if his movies do rake in millions. Humour as you know is very subjective

    Have a great Christmas! from Chris

    December 15, 2011 at 11:50 am
    • Nostra says:

      Haven’t seen him in Freaks and Geeks. I can understand that the Apatow humor is not for everyone.

      Have a great Christmas as well!

      December 19, 2011 at 10:14 am
  • rtm says:

    Nice review, Nostra, I saw this a while ago and found it very moving as well. Gordon-Levitt was spectacular, and even Rogen which I usually despise, is ok in this one. He’s so vulgar that I just cringe hearing him.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:32 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Ruth. Rogen is an acquired taste I guess….

      December 19, 2011 at 10:15 am
  • Eric says:

    I loved this movie, and I wish it were receiving more recognition here in the awards season. It was a perfect blend of drama and comedy, in my opinion. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

    December 19, 2011 at 5:54 am
    • Nostra says:

      Well, there are so many great movies this year, so I think it will be hard for this movie to win a lot of awards.

      December 19, 2011 at 10:16 am
  • ravish kumar says:


    December 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm
  • 3guys1movie says:

    I really did not want to see this movie as I thought it was going to be a downer. However, they managed to make a funny movie about cancer and I am still not sure how they pulled it off. This was one of the better films I saw this year.

    Whats with all the hating on Seth Rogen? That guy is a pisser and his character sticks by his sick friend through thick and thin. What some call vulgar humor I call keeping it real. Maybe I am just from the streets. Did you guys get raised in a convent or something?

    January 1, 2012 at 2:55 am
    • Nostra says:

      Like you said they have managed to make it a realistic depiction of how someone might handle without it completely being a downer.

      I don’t understand the hate either, I like him in almost any movie he’s in.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm

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