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Why Stop Now Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Village Voice

    An unbearable 90-minute trip with a trio of loud, needy egotists.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Robert Abele

    Why Stop Now? feels trapped in the limbo between comedy and drama where many indies gamely venture, but from which few emerge with any resonance.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Once Why Stop Now? has exhausted its bag of tricks, there is a screeching of brakes as it approaches the edge of the cliff. Having expended all that stamina, the film collapses from exhaustion and settles for an abrupt, feel-good ending that is as perfunctory as it is preposterous.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Why Stop Now takes large themes much manhandled as movie cliches, and treats them with care and respect. It likes the characters. So did I.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Young man's very bad day includes drugs, swearing, more.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Why Stop Now is an indie dramedy about one very bad day in the life of a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to make it to an important audition. His plans are disrupted when his drug-addict mother drags him into a series of misadventures involving drug dealers, Revolutionary War reenactments (complete with faux gunshots), sibling disputes, and more. Expect frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," etc.), a fair bit of drinking, and lots of drug references.

  • Families can talk about how Why Stop Now portrays addiction. How has Eli's mother's addiction affected his life? Do you think these are realistic consequences? How does the media typically portray drug addiction?
  • What about alcohol? How is drinking depicted here? Do you think Eli has a drinking problem?
  • Do you think this movie is more of a comedy or a drama? Who do you think it's intended to appeal to?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Eli is doing his best to keep his family together, despite the daily dramas of his mom, a drug addict, and his younger sister, who's got some emotional issues. He wants to check Mom into rehab and reclaim his life, if he can just get through one very bad day and make it to an important audition. He must walk a fine line between taking care of others while not neglecting his own needs.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Eli is a dutiful son who wants to care for his mom but is trying not to lose his own identity while possibly sacrificing his future to keep his family together. Penny, on the other hand, is the height of narcissism as a drug-addicted mom who creates conflict and drama all around her while believing she's doing what's right and refusing to recognize that she's the source of all the problems. Together, they make up a dysfunctional family, but only Eli recognizes that it's broken and needs to be fixed.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Several heated arguments, sometimes involving pushing and shoving, and one scene featuring faux gunshots during a Revolutionary War re-enactment.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some mild flirting.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "butt," and more. Almost every conversation includes blue language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the main characters is a drug dealer, and the main plot drivers are putting together a large drug buy and helping a character get high. Another character gets bombed on Oxycodone and blows an important audition. Some people smoke cigarettes. College-age kids get wasted at a keg party. Other people drink tequila shots at a bar.