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Smashed 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.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Smashed is quietly affecting, though sometimes difficult to sit through. The saving grace is Winstead's smashing performance.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is a serious movie about drinking but not a depressing one. You notice that in the way it handles Charlie (Aaron Paul), Kate's husband. He is also her drinking buddy. When two alcoholics are married, they value each other's company because they know they can expect forgiveness and understanding, while a civilian might not choose to share their typical days.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Its sharp writing and essential credibility make this small, intimate tale fresh and involving.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What's new about the unsensationalized portrait of one-day-at-a-time progress (and setbacks) is the low-key energy of this drunks' tale, by and for a generation with a high tolerance for humor and a low tolerance for soapiness.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Intense alcoholism study shows difficulties of recovery.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Smashed is a gritty drama about a woman who's an alcoholic and tries to stop drinking. (Her husband is also a heavy drinker, and he doesn't stop.) Though the main character's alcoholism is really only shown during the movie's first third, it's intense, and the horrifying side effects of her drinking start to outweigh whatever fun she's having. She also smokes crack in one scene. Language is the movie's other big issue, with several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." There's no physical violence but expect lots of shouting and arguing; there's no nudity, but viewers see a married couple kissing and initiating sex with one another. There's also a failed attempt at sex. Overall, this is a well-made cautionary tale with hope as well as harshness, and it could be a good way for teens to learn empathy for people facing addiction.

  • Families can talk about how Smashed portrays alcoholism. Do you think it's realistic? What impact does seeing the consequences Kate faces have on you as a viewer?
  • At one point, Kate explains that she used to be fat, but that she lost weight when she started drinking. In what ways is this unhealthy? What does it have to do with Kate's body image?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Smashed has the complicated, difficult message that if an alcoholic quits drinking, the rest of his or her life might not automatically be improved. In fact, things could get worse. But the main character continues to struggle and look forward, in spite of much misfortune.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The main character is a chronic alcoholic. She struggles to overcome this addiction and sometimes stumbles in the midst of continuing obstacles and misfortune. She tries to correct her past behavior, including admitting a lie, though it costs her a job. She could provide an opportunity for teens to learn about the struggles and hardships of alcoholism, and she could provide a character to empathize with.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Characters fight and shout at one another, but no hitting or physical violence is shown.

  • sex false4

    Sex: No nudity is shown, but a married couple is shown kissing and initiating sex with each other. One attempt at sex is thwarted because a drunken lover keeps falling asleep. In a brutal scene, a violently drunk woman tries to initiate sex with her husband.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language throughout, including many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "damn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: McDonald's is shown and mentioned. The main character explains how, when they were poor, her mother used to stock up on McDonald's hamburgers and freeze them. Later, viewers see that the mother still does this; she thaws out a plate of burgers to serve to guests.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Chronic alcoholism is the movie's main subject. The main character drives drunk, gets violently angry with others, passes out and wakes up in strange places, urinates in her bed and on the floor, and throws up in front of a classroom full of children. She drinks upon waking up in the morning and hunts for last sips of alcohol in a table full of empty bottles. She's shown to be unable to stop drinking once she starts. In one scene, another woman goads her into smoking crack. At about the one-third point, the character realizes she has a problem and starts attending AA meetings. She falls off the wagon once.