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My Sister's Keeper Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Summer Bummer '09! Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva are terrific. But the performances by the older actors are largely forgettable.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Their message (Cassavetes and screenwriter Jeremy Leven) in My Sister's Keeper? Cancer sucks, but there's always the balm of beach scenes and an emo soundtrack.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    If you're going to make a weepy, there's no reason you can't make it with intelligence and insight as the makers of My Sister's Keeper have done.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    For all its awkward structure, the film is heartfelt and deeply affecting.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie never says so, but it's a practical parable about the debate between pro-choice and pro-life. If you're pro-life, you would require Anna to donate her kidney, although there is a chance she could die, and her sister doesn't have a good prognosis. If you're pro-choice, you would support Anna's lawsuit.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Sad drama has heavy themes about illness, family.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tearjerking drama explores some heavy themes that younger audiences may find difficult to process without guidance. A teenager is terminally ill, and her march to the end is painful: She vomits after chemo, her hair and eyebrows fall out, and more. The effects of her illness on her family are are similarly heartbreaking to watch. The film also touches on teenage sexuality and drinking and has some fairly infrequent swearing, including "f--k" and "s--t."

  • Families can talk about how a serious illness can change a family's dynamics. Does the movie accurately portray a family in distress? Does it find any bright side in a very sad story? How do movies generally depict terminal illnesses? Is this one any different?

  • Families can also discuss the consequences of teenage drinking, which the movie touches on briefly.

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A child sues her parents for medical emancipation while her terminally ill sister waits for her to donate a kidney. It sounds grim, but there's actually a lot of love here -- the family is supportive of one another, though they're also suffering from the worries and fears attendant to the situation.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Family members stick together through thick and thin and are able to mine a deep wellspring of love and understanding.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A mother screams in anger and frustration at her husband and tries to block the van he's driving. A mom slaps a child.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A teenage girl falls in love with a boy and nearly consummates their relationship (they're shown under covers holding each other, but later on, she intimates that she didn't go all the way). They also kiss and make out. Parents trade mild sexual innuendoes.

  • language false3

    Language: "Goddammit," "s--t," "bitch," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and one "f--k."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Products shown/mentioned include 7-Up, Dr. Pepper, and Chevrolet.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A teen is briefly shown tipsy and holding a bottle, seemingly having gotten drunk because she's angry at her condition. Social drinking by adults.