A cancer comedy? Surely not. And yet, 50/50 works extremely well, the film striking just the right balance between laughs and sombre moments.

Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is a young radio journalist given a 50/50 chance of survival after being diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. The people in his life have no idea how to handle the news; best friend Kyle (Rogen) suggests he tries to get sympathy sex, while uptight girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to run away but feels guilty. Thrown into the mix is inexperienced counsellor Katherine (Kendrick), who starts falling for Adam. Despite the subject matter, Jonathan Levine’s film never becomes too mawkish. Gordon-Levitt puts in such a wonderfully understated performance that when Adam finally cracks, it packs a huge emotional punch. Rogen is spot-on as his slacker mate who shoots from the lip, while there is also a memorable turn from Anjelica Huston as Adam’s mother. Thanks to an excellent script, the cast has a lot to work with, from a hilarious, cringe-inducing scene where Adam and Kyle try to pick up sympathetic women to Katherine’s awkward counselling sessions. Turns out Rogen was right to get Reiser to put pen to paper. 

Good for: a different take on dealing with cancer. See our Interview with Seth Rogen.

FILM review by Pierre de Villiers

Starring: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick | 15 | 100mins


Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead,
Joel Edgerton | 15 | 102mins 

The original The Thing, a horror classic released in 1982, featured Kurt Russell as his most awesome, doing battle with a shape-shifting alien in Antarctica. Nearly 30 years later, along comes the prequel. This time, there’s a sexy female scientist in the lead role – how scrupulously modern – with ‘Australia’s own’ Joel Edgerton riding shotgun. There’s one golden rule: if you don’t see the alien in the first 40 minutes, it will be a shitty film. Now that’s science.


In the past 12 years, George Miller, the Aussie director behind Mad Max and Babe, has only made a couple of films. There was 2006’s Happy Feet and now its sequel. But if your all-singing, all-dancing penguins rake in £400m at the box office, why work more than you need to? Elijah Wood – who, a method actor to the last, actually appears in the film in full penguin costume and make-up – leads an all-star voice cast.
On general release from December 2