Parents' Guide to

Why Stop Now

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

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

Movie R 2012 87 minutes
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WHY STOP NOW is like a soufflé: The ingredients are tasty, the concept lofty. But as with many soufflés -- as any ambitious baker can attest to -- execution is crucial, and this one sadly falls flat. The central problem isn't the cast; the stars are all in fine form. Morgan, for starters, shows more depth than he's usually entrusted with. (One particular scene at a high school reminds the audience that he has a backstory, and it's worth knowing.) As Eli's mother, Leo is a complicated train wreck, and Eisenberg is perfectly twitchy and uncomfortable; we feel genuine sympathy for his Eli as the conflagrations that require his tending pile up.

Nonetheless, the pile-ups strain credibility, not only because they're colossal but there are just so many -- too many -- of them. And try as the filmmakers might to imbue the familial cost that addiction racks up with new insight, it's a difficult endeavor. The movie doesn't add anything to the conversation, as interesting its attempt may be.

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