Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

50/50: A credible blend of lively and sombre

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (left) and Seth Rogen in a scene from "50/50"

Chris Helcermanas-Benge

3.5 out of 4 stars

Country
USA
Language
English

Directed by Jonathan Levine (USA)

Even hardened cynics will embrace the cliché – yep, you will laugh, you will cry. When doctors discover a malignant tumour in his back, Adam gets his survival odds and the movie gets its title. The rest spins his potentially terminal cancer into a buoyant romcom, an unlikely partnership that, dancing adroitly between the drama and the laughs, works remarkably well. Seth Rogen is there to dole out his trademark yuks, Anna Kendrick doubles as a callow counsellor plus the budding love interest, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is touchingly restrained in the victim's role. You'd expect black comedy here, not these brighter hues, but with a few exceptions – the bad-girlfriend subplot, an antic car crash – the colour scheme is a credible blend of lively and sombre. Expect this to be a huge crowd-pleaser – I'd put the odds at 90/10.

Sept. 12, 6 p.m., Ryerson; Sept. 13, 2 p.m., AMC 7

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Film critic

Rick Groen is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.