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Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Good. Then leave me out of it. 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.

  • 60

    out of 100


    Perry's latest emotional roller coaster starts with considerable promise and a high-wattage cast, including Taraji P. Henson and singers Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige, before giving way to melodramatic predictability.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times Neil Genzlinger

    Mr. Perry has his moviemaking machine running smoothly, which is to say somewhat predictably.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Part musical, part love story, part family melodrama, part inspirational treacle, Tyler Perry's latest movie, I Can Do Bad All by Myself is something of an unholy mess. Alternately stupefying and entertaining, the film does benefit from a strong cast.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    What works best, though, is that it's practically an R&B/gospel musical.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    It's probably the impresario's best-made movie yet, his most joyful, and his most moving.

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  • See all Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Sometimes-gritty dramedy has some moving moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parent need to know that this dramedy based on a play by Tyler Perry is both gritty and righteous. Although, like Perry's other films, it ends on a decidedly optimistic (if unsurprising) note, the main character is an iffy role model throughout much of the movie -- she smokes, drinks, and shows no compassion toward her sister’s young children, who all need her help. The movie also examines the tragic toll of child abuse and includes a scene of near-sexual assault on a teenage girl.

  • Families can talk about April. Is she meant to be considered a role model? What prevents her from embracing those who need her and/or care for her? Why does she have so many vices?
  • What message do you think the movie is ultimately sending? Is Perrysaying that you need to have a partner by your side to take on life’schallenges? Is that par for the course for more mainstream Hollywoodmovies?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Perry’s messages of faith and hope shine through, which many viewers may find inspiring. But his chauvinism does, too: Main character April can’t seem to be saved without a man, and though she’s a strong character, a not-so-subtle undercurrent leaves the impression that a woman needs a “good man” to make her way through this world intact.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The main character spends much of the movie being cold and selfish, even heartless (and her boyfriend is even nastier) -- but she ultimately experiences a huge sea change/epiphany. The supporting characters are actually far more appealing, with big hearts and obvious (to the point of being nearly one-dimensional) goodness.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A married man makes inappropriate, aggressive advances toward a teenager -- to the point of almost raping her. Two men end up in a bloody fight. A woman nearly kills a man by electrocuting him. Two comic characters jokingly threaten to dispense corporal punishment to set kids straight.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A woman messes around with a married man, but the audience doesn’t really see anything except them in bed under the covers. In another scene, a man and a woman share a gentle kiss.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild swearing, including one use of "s--t" and several instances of words like "ass," “hell,” "damn," and “shut up.” Also "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: While characters are seen dressed to the nines, there’s little mention of brands -- though the Heineken label gets screen time.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A woman practically chain smokes her way through the movie; she also drinks so much that her friend calls her on it. A joint is mentioned but never seen on screen.