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Things We Lost in the Fire Review Critics


Dave White Profile

It almost works. 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

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    An unstable mix of a tearjerker, junkie-recovery story and odd-couple pairing. The film marks the American debut of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, whose European films show a strong affinity for stories of human frailties and of families unraveling.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    No matter what panache Bier adds, Things We Lost is still a TV-scaled tear-duct drama about a beautiful woman who pushes past sadness in her House & Garden home.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. Del Toro is a fearless actor, and his Jerry, a heroin addict lurching toward redemption, is the heart and soul, as well as the haunted, rubbery visage, of a story of grief and loss that would be fairly lifeless without him.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The movie makes some missteps, most of them in pacing and length, and the story veers occasionally into melodrama, but it is saved by the powerful performance of Benicio Del Toro.

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  • See all Things We Lost in the Fire reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Story of death and redemption too much for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this emotional drama isn't likely to appeal to kids or teens. The director is Danish and relatively unknown to American audiences, and despite Halle Berry's popularity, the trailer and ads clearly highlight the mature dramatic themes -- which include death, murder, drug addiction, and grief. Several scenes show Benicio Del Toro's character doing (or already high on) heroin and Berry's widowed character sobbing. The language is strong (and includes "f--k," "s--t," and more), but it's not excessive, particularly taken in the context of the movie's powerful emotions.

  • Families can talk about loyalty and friendship. How is Brian an example of unconditional friendship to Jerry? How does Jerry help Audrey move forward -- and vice-versa? The movie's Danish director, Susanne Bier, is known for her naturalistic, realistic style. Is it obvious that the movie wasn't made by a mainstream American filmmaker? Why or why not? How do movies and TV shows reflect the culture that produces them?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Brian remains a loyal friend to Jerry, even though he's a drug addict. He also intervenes in a domestic abuse situation. Audrey and her family and friends help Jerry get clean after Brian's death.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Disturbing scenes of junkies getting high and a very upsetting double-murder suicide. Audrey pushes and pounds on Jerry in anger.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Audrey and Brian kiss, fool around, and embrace in bed before going to sleep.

  • language false5

    Language: Expletives -- including "f--k," "s--t," etc. -- are strong and fairly frequent, but said mostly out of grief.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Volvo SUV, Coldstone Creamery.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several scenes show Jerry getting high and strung out on heroin. Other drug addicts also shown.