Box art for 50-50


comedy, drama

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen team up to beat the odds in a film that Rolling Stone calls "achingly hilarious and heartfelt."

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 17
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
1 out of 5

Cancer patient questions his life in mature dramedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fact-based dramedy (co-star Seth Rogen's real-life friend, Will Reiser, wrote the movie based on his own experiences) tackles some pretty heavy themes -- particularly the idea of facing the specter of death before the age of 30 -- that could overwhelm young teens attracted by the film's stars: Rogen and (500) Days of Summer's Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Expect plenty of strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," and more) and some sexually charged talk and scenes (including partial female nudity), plus drug use (both medicinal and recreational).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the film deals with the subject matter of chronic illness -- in this case, cancer. Is Adam's reaction believable? Does it seem at all exaggerated?
  • Did you notice any sexism or stereotypes in the movie? How do the women in this movie compare to those in other Seth Rogen movies? Is this movie more or less crude than Rogen's other films? Do you think that has something to do with the subject matter?
  • The movie is based on the writer's own experiences. How true to life do you think it actually is? Why do writers/filmmakers sometimes change facts when they're making movies?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 1
    see all 50-50 reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: In other hands, Adam might well be hard to take. But as the comedy in 50/50 turns darker, Gordon-Levitt, who's maybe the most natural, least affected actor of his generation, makes prickly plenty engaging.

- Bob Mondello, NPR, Friday, September 30, 2011

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A greatly affecting film about cancer and it's effects on the all the people involved. It has wonderful performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, as well as a couple of the supporting cast members. It's certainly a downbeat movie at times, but it takes it's subject very seriously and maneuvers between comedy and drama with a deft hand. It might even make you cry by the end.

- jlewis07, Thursday, October 18, 2012

3 stars

Directed by Jonathan Levine, Mandate Pictures, 2011. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Angelica Houston. Genre: Comedy. Drama Question: If you are given the odds of 50% when diagnosed with cancer, what is your first thought: 50% chance you'll beat it or do you think 50% chance you are going to die? The movie 50/50 represents one cancer patient's progression with discovering his diagnosis while receiving those odds. I will have to admit the movie showed a rather accurate portrayal, in my opinion. I know I put a lot of my personal life in these reviews but since movies try depicting stories we can relate to, I sometimes feel compelled to share my correlations and why I enjoyed the film or not. Although I did not have cancer, I did have a rather serious illness a few years back. While watching 50/50 I was in awe, but sometimes uncomfortable, at how close it came to reality when you to discover you are really sick. 1. You get the news: you have an outer body experience. 2. In the beginning you are irrationally calm. 3. You worry about others more than yourself. 4. Then fear slowly takes over. 5. You push people away. 6. And finally you accept the possibility that you could die. 7. Well, this last part is up to you and if you see the glass as half full or half empty... Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, the 27 year-old who receives the news that he has a rare form of cancer. For the next 90 minutes you see his life veer off a set path he had for himself. He is a fairly anal fellow who is a stickler about being on time for everything, a clean-freak and he never attempts to go out of his comfort zone. He even doesn't drive, which I never figured out why but I have my theories. It's his reactions and emotions that pulled me into this story. He did a fabulous job at playing sick, vulnerable and courageous. I don't want to share anymore details about the story specifically, but the characters that took part in Adam's illness are worth a discussion or two. Bryce Dallas Howard plays his girlfriend. She really is getting very good at playing characters you really love to hate; however, she might have played one of the most realistic characters in 50/50. Some people fear death and dying or the ill and the reactions that come from that never surprise Angelica Houston plays Adam's mother. Oh boy! She played it exactly how mothers respond when they hear their own child is ill. All mothers worry - it's a fact. However, they also keep many things to themselves and that discovery may shock some of their children. Angelica Houston did an outstanding job at portraying the worry, the fear and the self-reliance one requires when her world comes crashing down. No Terms of Endearment moments although it got close. Seth Rogen plays Adam's best friend (Kyle) who is slightly obnoxious, always trying to get laid, etc... but he ended up surprising me in this movie. Nope, I am not going to say how - see it for yourself. I am not the biggest Seth Rogen fan but have enjoyed a few of his movies. However, in 50/50 he was able to play the stereotypical best friend but with a twist. There is one scene, which I won't describe, but if you have ever had a friend and know you need proof to show them something to help them see the light - then see this scene. You will thoroughly enjoy it. It states above that this is a comedy and a drama. This is true. There was one fellow in the theatre with me that laughed out loud a lot although it only made me smile. There were a few scenes in where I choked up, but I already said this hit too close to home for me. 50/50 did a fantastic job at portraying a life and death illness with some humor and real emotions. That's sort of rare so I recommend seeing this one. My favorite part: The proof. My least favorite part: That it hit a little too close to home for me. Rating: R Length: 99 minutes Review: 7 out of 10

- katykern8261, Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4 stars

A very intense and emotional watch. It's so easy to feel for Adam and it's almost as if you're going through the process with him. You hate the people he does and feel every moment of his pain, but that's down to a great script and a great performance from Gordon-Levitt. Kyle was a well needed fun and interesting character who kept the spirits up and added so much hilarity that without him, I believe I really wouldn't have liked this film so much. It's very raw and honest and something everyone should see.

- StarCrossedVoyager, Wednesday, May 23, 2012