Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Uneven dramedy about mourning has mature content.

Movie R 2016 100 minutes
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Kids say (4):

Only about halfway successful, this quirky drama has fine performances and many moments of appealing sweetness, but it also suffers from ill-fitting tonal choices and heavy-handed metaphors. The story and themes are strikingly similar to those of the bittersweet dramedy About Schmidt, but in DEMOLITION, director Jean-Marc Vallee -- whose films (The Young Victoria, Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) are usually pitched at Oscar voters -- opts for hand-held cinematography with a grayish, overcast feel, nullifying most of the potential comedy or warmth.

Vallee ticks off the appropriate points on the main character arc's, but he fails to discover who Davis actually is. Where we should find sympathy for Davis' mourning, we're instead slightly alarmed by his behavior. The actors often rise above the material through sheer personality and goodwill, but then the use of metaphor kicks into high gear, and the movie leaves us with more message than feeling.

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