The story of The Upside reads: “Phillip is a wealthy quadriplegic who needs a caretaker to help him with his day-to-day routine in his New York penthouse. He decides to hire Dell, a struggling parolee who’s trying to reconnect with his ex and his young son. Despite coming from two different worlds, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom as Dell and Phillip rediscover the joy of living life to the fullest.”
What do critics say about The Upside?
The Upside has an underwhelming score of 37 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The critics’ consensus reads: “Preachy, manipulative, and frustratingly clichéd, The Upside showcases Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart’s chemistry without ever taking full advantage of it.”
Mara Reinstein from Us Weekly:
“All the hijinks and bonding go down like warm honey as long as you don’t consider this film as any sort of authentic present-day statement on American racial dynamics.”
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The Upside: The movie is based on a true story
Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Among other problems, the overlong story is stuffed with unnecessary and momentum-blocking detours…”
Justin Chang from the Los Angeles Times:
“The Upside was probably never going to be a good movie, but it needn’t have been such an unfortunate, spectacularly ill-timed one, the victim of circumstances it ultimately has neither the wit nor the imagination to transcend.”
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky from the AV Club:
“A repetitive series of artificially inflated character conflicts and tossed-off resolutions, interspersed with slapstick and jokes about prissy rich snobs, ultimately adding up to far less than the sum of its well-worn parts.”
Christy Lemire from RogerEbert.com
“A hollow replica of its source material. The only upside is that this will probably be just a blip in retrospect for everyone involved.”
SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE REVIEWS: WHAT DO CRITICS HAVE TO SAY?
Jeannette Catsoulis from the New York Times:
“Jon Hartmere’s script has genuinely funny moments and is blessedly short on crassness: even a scene involving catheters and colon hygiene is less cringey than you might expect.”
Candice Frederick from TheWrap:
“In other words, Kevin Hart’s Dell is a stereotype; even worse, a stereotype with no other purpose than to illuminate the humanity of his white counterpart.”
Mark Kennedy from the Associated Press:
“Few films in memory have squandered so much acting talent in such a cliche-ridden, exploitative and dishonest way. It deserves its frozen grave.”
Eric Kohn from indieWire:
“No surprises here, folks; just half-hearted punchlines and unadventurous sentimentality readymade for marketplace consumption.”
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The Upside: Bryan Cranston and Kevin hart star in The Upside
Jordan Mintzer from the Hollywood Reporter:
“There’s something so disarming about Phillip and Dell’s relationship that you’re gradually sucked into it without asking too many questions.”
Scott Tobias from Variety:
“So little has been done to update or refresh The Intouchables for American culture or a new audience that The Upside has no integrity as a separate piece of work.”
Mike Reyes from CinemaBlend:
“The Upside isn’t bad enough to be totally panned, nor is it good enough to be recommended.”
Alissa Wilkinson from Vox:
“The proudly clichéd way it deals with class, race, and especially disability feel tin-eared at times.”
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The Upside: Nicole Kidman also features in the film as Bryan Cranston’s wife
Tim Robey from the Daily Telegraph:
“Contracted to end on a high, The Upside winches its sagging weight skyward with barely-concealed strain.”
Geoffrey Macnab from the Independent:
“This remake of the 2011 French box office hit The Intouchables has its share of toe-curling ‘what on earth were they thinking’ moments.”
Dominick Suzanne-Mayer from Consequence of Sound:
“Although its leads find the odd moment of charm together, The Upside fumbles far too often when it attempts to enlighten or edify its audience.”
Don Kaye from Den of Geek:
“A badly conceived scene where Dell exhibits an inordinate amount of gay panic over changing Phillip’s catheter – and even saying the word ‘penis’ – couldn’t be more poorly timed for the actor.”
The Upside is out in cinemas on January 11, 2019.