My Sister's Keeper 2009

Critics score:
48 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies: I have a heart. I just don't want schlock. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: You may cry at the film's designated crying times, approximately every 10 minutes, like the traffic and weather. Or you may not, and wonder instead why some high-gloss weepies treat their source material quite so shamelessly. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Surrounding and ultimately subsuming this ethical struggle is a fair amount of pediatric-cancer horror and mush, though Cassavetes is frequently bailed out by his cast. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: For all its awkward structure, the film is heartfelt and deeply affecting. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: It would take a heart of stone not to be affected by My Sister's Keeper, but the film's unceasing manipulation has a Medusa effect on the organ. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: A lot of things don't work that well in My Sister's Keeper, a tearjerker adapted from Jodi Picoult's best-seller. But one thing is guaranteed: The movie practically forces you to shed a tear or two. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: This book hasn't been adapted, it's been taken outside and shot. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Where restraint might have raised up My Sister's Keeper, a heavy hand has brought it down. Read more

Mick LaSalle, Houston Chronicle: My Sister's Keeper has a gutsy premise, but no guts. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: My Sister's Keeper humanizes vexing questions about medical ethics without sacrificing rattling family drama. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A surprisingly lovely movie about an absolutely awful subject, My Sister's Keeper features what also may be the year's first performance worthy of Oscar mention. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Their message in My Sister's Keeper? Cancer sucks, but there's always the balm of beach scenes and an emo soundtrack. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: It's a family melodrama that never misses the opportunity for a heartbreaking, acoustic musical montage that brims with portent, as if we could forget that losing a child is hard and terrible. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A moving story, but the film's overly romantic tone rings hollow. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Don't avoid My Sister's Keeper because it's a film about a serious issue. Avoid it because it approaches that issue like a very special episode of Grey's Anatomy -- complete with whining pop songs and all the comforts of cliche. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: A shameless attempt at manipulation that wants but doesn't earn audience tears. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: My Sister's Keeper targets tear ducts so ruthlessly, it might as well be sponsored by Kleenex. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The writing team of Jeremy Leven and director Cassavetes have joined forces with a great cast to bring the best-selling book by Jodi Picoult to life with a purity that can only be called inspirational. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Films that present a moral dilemma and make us consider the unthinkable are as rare as bargain popcorn in the summer. Cassavetes manages that feat and turns this weeper into a keeper. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: My Sister's Keeper offers a couple of twists, one of them crucial and the other cruelly unnecessary and melodramatic. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: My Sister's Keeper is an immediate audience-grabber. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The infuriating cop-out ending reduces the premise to mush. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Uneven but deeply moving. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Although the compelling courtroom drama gets forgotten for much of the movie, My Sister's Keeper also is relatively realistic about the physical and emotional toll of disease. Read more

James Adams, Globe and Mail: Less an exercise in catharsis than an obstacle course of premise-heavy, flashback-drenched plot points, it's an emotional flat-liner, even though virtually every character (including Alec Baldwin as the lawyer) carries some hurt or grief. Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: With solid performances and an intelligent script, My Sister's Keeper offers a moving and powerfully realistic portrait of a family stalked by tragedy that somehow manages to emerge from crisis battered but intact. Read more

Vadim Rizov, Time Out: Diaz is a whiny irrelevance, but sharp supporting work from Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack makes the proceedings tolerable for boyfriends. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: My Sister's Keeper is a shameless weepy, one of the most manipulative and fundamental of genres, but it also raises some surprisingly difficult and thought-provoking ethical questions. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: My Sister's Keeper takes a compelling ethical dilemma and turns it into formulaic pap by trying relentlessly to ensure an emotional reaction with sentimental exploitation and plot contrivances. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Unsubtle, uneven and undeniably effective. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: Makeup department realism alone can't redeem the dramatic fallacies surrounding it. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: An adaptation that, although departing dramatically from such key elements as the book's ending, will please fans. Read more