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Diminished Capacity Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    54

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice

    It's the kind of lite movie you go and see with your mom, and she'll say she liked it--but then a year later, you're both trying to remember what it was even about. Two and a half shrugs.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    Touches earnestly on heart-heavy issues of loss: loss of memory, of love and, perhaps because of the local angle, of (or rather by) the Chicago Cubs. But Mr. Kinney, a founder of the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago and a familiar face from film and television, never gives his movie a sustained pulse.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A mild pleasure from one end to the other, but not much more. Maybe that's enough, serving as a reminder that movie comedies still can be about ordinary people and do not necessarily have to feature vulgarity as their centerpiece.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Alda actually is kind of interesting as the mentally unstable uncle, but Broderick appears to be sleepwalking. Madsen has little to do, and everyone else plays things far too broadly.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Striving for low-key character comedy, Diminished Capacity ends up diminishing its returns.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A road movie that never really takes off.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Jan Stuart

    All of the actors convey the ebullience of old friends convening for an on-the-cheap reunion. The shared good spirits result in a diminutive comedy with a bounty of charm and shrewd humor.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    The result is fairly silly slapstick, but Alda, hair disheveled and brow knit with stubborn intent, is both fierce and quietly heartbreaking.

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  • See all Diminished Capacity reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Bland indie comedy has some iffy alcohol content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this indie comedy probably won't be on most teens' radar. Perhaps that's just as well, considering that it's pretty unflinching about alcohol abuse (and its negative effects) and revolves around characters dealing with severe memory loss and the loss of some mental function -- whether due to a concussion or Alzheimer's disease. One character veers between charming befuddlement and full-on dementia, which might be unsettling for viewers who've watched relatives suffer through Alzheimer's. There's some salty language ("s--t ball" is as strong as it gets) and some fairly mild violence, some of which is played for humor.

  • Families can talk about how the film depicts alcohol use and abuse. What are the consequences of drinking too much in the movie? Are they realistic? How does the media affect our perception of drinking?
  • Discuss the film's essential question: "How much are your memories worth?" What would you do in Cooper or Rollie's place?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Discussion of fitting into social norms/expectations; discussion of divorce and family tension. Lots of contrast between small-town values and big-city speed. Much of the plot revolves around a valuable rare baseball card and attempts to steal or swindle it.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters are, on the whole, flawed, though most at least have fairly good intentions. Characters are trying to overcome a number of challenges, from addition to Alzheimer's.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Warning shotgun blasts are fired; characters scuffle and fight; one character strangles another (non fatally) with shoelaces; guns are pointed. A Cubs fan has a screaming, TV-smashing fit over the team's poor play.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some kissing.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "goddamn," "bulls--t," "pissant," "craptacular," "s--t ball," "hell," "son-of-a-bitch," and the like.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Some real-world brands are in the background at a grocery store; some major brands and professional sports teams are visible and mentioned as part of a sports collectible show. Contextual mention of fictional branded characters Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man; discussions of Starbucks.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One supporting character is a recovering alcoholic who seems to be gaining relief through Alcoholics Anonymous; another alcoholic character is seen being shepherded into recovery. Alcohol abuse is seen to have clear ramifications. Characters drink beer and liquor in a bar. Cooper received his concussion at the hands of a friend on a drunken tear.

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