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Dan in Real Life Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… fake warmth oozes, dumbness prevails. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Dan in Real Life takes a pleasant premise and calls upon the talents of engaging actors and generally squanders both.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Pleasing moments don't add up to a feature film, even though this one strives desperately for substance and coherence by slathering its slender story with treacly family values.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Provides Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche with comic roles that fit them like designer threads.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    As a director Hedges is smart enough to allow his actors to share the frame and interact and let the material breathe.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A nimble and supple and moving comedy.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Dan in Real Life reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Love hurts in predictable rom com. OK for teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this Steve Carell comedy is fairly tame overall, it does include some violence, innuendo, and other iffy behavior (Dan and Marie share a shower, they lie to Dan's family, and Dan flirts with Marie inappropriately in front of his whole family). Dan also gets a black eye and a broken nose and is in a minor car accident. A mother's death is mentioned, and a teenager lies to her father about dating a boy (he sneaks up to make out with her on the family vacation). One character makes jokes about "self-love" and "unclogging the pipes," which may lead tweens to ask about sex and masturbation. Language includes one use of "f--k."

  • Families can talk about the difference between how love is portrayed in movies and how it is in real life. Why do you think so many movies pair depression and misery with love? Is it funny to watch romantic movies like that? Why or why not? How fun do you think it would be to actually be in a relationship like that? In this movie, Dan and Marie lie about their attraction and end up hurting a lot of people. Remind kids that anyone you have to hide or lie to your family about probably isn't the right person for you.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Dan gets several tickets and has his license revoked for poor driving. He flirts with his brother's girlfriend. Dan and Marie lie about their attraction. The family makes up a song making fun of how a woman looked in grade school. Cara uses an anti-gay slur in passing. Eventually, Dan learns to be honest and trustworthy.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some comic pratfalls, including Dan falling out a second-story window and getting hit in the face with a football. Mitch punches Dan. Dan backs into a police car.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Cara makes out with her boyfriend. Marie undresses and gets in the shower with a (clothed) Dan (only her bare shoulders are visible). Clay makes veiled references to masturbation. Dan and Marie kiss.

  • language false3

    Language: One use each of "damn" and "f--k." Cara says something is "so queer."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Dan mentions the TV show Bonanza.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some wine drinking by adults, but no one gets drunk.