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Unfinished Song 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Robert Abele

    Unfinished Song is a movie so geared toward hitting its spots, it amounts to emotional Muzak rather than something truly played live.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The movie, originally titled “Song for Marion,” has more emotional clout than you might reasonably expect from a piece of inspirational hokum.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Village Voice Ernest Hardy

    Shamelessly manipulative, it's a highly effective if not very good film, its success entirely due to the talents of its cast. They bring heart to a script that is unabashedly about pushing buttons.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    There's something off in its scenes of Arterton's romantically unlucky loner showing up at Arthur's home, in the rain, distraught. If the movie weren't so determined to placate, you'd think you're in for a daring exploration of an affair between a 30-something emotional cripple and a 70-something sexy beast, unchained at last.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bruce Ingram

    There’s not too much sentiment, but not too little, either. Just enough to make you feel misty-eyed in a way that doesn’t necessarily indicate incipient glaucoma.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The movie works mostly because of the artistry of its stellar cast and heartfelt script by writer-director Paul Andrew Williams.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Sweet dramedy about illness has intense, emotional moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Unfinished Song is a heart-rending dramedy about an ill woman's quest to live a little -- and her husband's lessons on how to live at all, despite huge challenges. Because a central theme of the movie is facing imminent death from cancer, it sometimes gets too intense for younger kids, though teens should be able to handle it. There are many deeply sad and affecting moments, so bring plenty of tissue. Expect some innuendo, and some of the lyrics of the songs that Marion's choir sings (to an audience that includes kids) are raunchy. Dialogue includes words like "s--t" and "bloody," and there's some smoking and drinking.

  • Families can talk about whether Marion is a role model. If so, how? What about the other characters?
  • What does Unfinished Song bring to the table when it comes to movies about characters and their loved ones dealing with imminent death? Is it cliched or inspired?
  • Why are there so few movies and TV shows that feature older characters? Teens: Does a movie's appeal to you depend on the age of its cast/characters? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Life will defeat you sometimes, especially when it involves losing someone you love, but you shouldn't allow yourself to be defeated. Also, cancer shouldn't get the last word by robbing you of your ability to enjoy life and the things you love. Music has a way of paving over bumps in the road -- embrace it, and let it.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Marion is a strong, caring, empathetic woman who, despite her illness, is able to step outside of her own pain and suffering and enjoy the times when she's feeling healthy. Elizabeth, though sometimes nosy, means well and tries to make people's lives better.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Arguments sometimes gets loud. A son shouts at his father, and vice versa.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Sexual innuendo. Songs about sex are sung by seniors in front of an audience that includes children.

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional use of "s--t"; more frequent use of "bloody." A person shows someone the middle finger.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: One character uses an iPod.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking in a pub. One character smokes cigarettes.