Mini-Review: The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Yaya DaCosta, Eddie Hassell, Zosia Mamet, Kunal Sharma

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko

Expectations: None. This is one of those movies I’m curious about only because of hype.


The kids may be all right, but the parents need some help. When the curious kids of two lesbian mothers (Annette Bening & Julianne Moore) contact their sperm donor father, it widens the simmering rift between Bening and Moore and causes everyone involved to reevaluate. Some other stuff happens along the way too, but that’s basically it. Thankfully, The Kids Are All Right features some great, witty dialogue that livens up the entire process. The frank depictions and conversations surrounding sexuality were especially enjoyable, but your mileage may vary depending on your sensitivity to that kind of stuff.

The film is adequately filmed, but could have benefited from more two or three-person shots instead of featuring one person per shot (for no good reason) in a four-person conversation and then editing between them constantly. It wasn’t enough to completely throw me over the edge, but it did annoy. The performances from the entire cast are good, with special notices given to Mia Wasikowska, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo. I enjoyed The Kids Are All Right but I find the heaps of praise to be somewhat unwarranted. While it’s a good, competent movie, it’s nothing overly special that is deserving of all the Best Picture awards and nominations. I think a lot of people will find the film lacking the punch required to live up to that kind of hype, and that’s really a shame, because I think the film plays well without any expectations.

Overall, The Kids Are All Right is an enjoyable film that left me satisfied, even if the ending was a bit weak. The tone stays relatively light throughout, allowing the comedy and the drama to coexist well, making for a unique film that is sure to please many.

9 comments to Mini-Review: The Kids Are All Right (2010)

  • I’m one of those people who found the movie a bit lacking as I ended up being quite bored with it. I really don’t get why it’s getting so much acclaim. Also, while Annette Bening gave a good performance, it was really nothing all that different from the usual character she has played over the years.

    • I totally agree about Annette Bening. I’ve never been a big fan because she’s always so similar, but she is good at it. I can understand being bored too, there’s a lot less movie here than you would expect from all the hype.

  • Mike_D

    >>>>The film is adequately filmed, but could have benefited from more two or three-person shots instead of featuring one person per shot (for no good reason)… …It wasn’t enough to completely throw me over the edge, but it did annoy.

    What a sad excuse for a film. You shouldn’t just find it annoying, but also offensive.

    (Whats with these security questions? You getting a lot of spam? They’re getting incraesingly hard.)

    • This is totally the kind of thing I am offended by, but I was caught up in the well-written dialogue exchanges enough to only be annoyed.

      I was getting hundreds of spam comments a day…like 3,500 since Jan 1. I didn’t want to go with a security question and I despise captchas, so I figured some simple math would fit the bill. I wouldn’t mind all the spam so much because I have a filter, but sometimes it mis-reads a good comment as spam and I’d have to dig it out. Think of it as a reason to brush up on your addition.

      • Mike_D

        Wow… I didn’t realize that! The security measure is no big deal, actually. It’s helping me sharpen up on my single digit arithmetic skills.

        You know what’d be cool, if some programmer incorporated a built in Trading Card Game with the user security threshold. Like the security challenge is a hand to play and the hand is part ongoing user deck. Those Trading Card Games have a healthy history as a video game format for a while now.

  • The whole cast does an amazing job bringing this material up, but I just wish it was a lot more emotional and involving, but still it had its moments. Good Review!

  • Laura

    Winter’s Bone was more interesting TO MEE.
    The under-cover oral sex scene is what really impressed people (the men who run Hollywood, at least) with this movie, whether they know i not. And, aren’t all movies that touch on “what it’s like to be gay” at least moderately successful? Awards-wise, anyway.

    Will, would you have preferred over-the-shoulder shots instead?
    (I’m curious.)
    I agree, the security question isn’t as annoying as spam.

    The bad kids ruin it for the whole class.

    Besides, working on arithmetic is good for synapses and such.

  • I would prefer good editing between two person shots with closeups for emphasis, but if I have to choose I’d go with the one person shots over over-the-shoulder shots. I don’t know though they’re both bad.

  • Mike_D

    It’s the movie equivalent to music’s ProTools syndrome.

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