A comedy about cancer might sound like a tricky proposition, but "50/50" is winning rave reviews from critics as it heads into its opening weekend.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a man in his mid-20s who learns he has a tumor on his spine, a rare form of the disease that gives him a 50-percent chance of surviving. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire wrote in her four-star review: "'50/50' is consistently, uproariously funny, written with humanity and insight and directed with just the right tone every time."
Also opening nationwide is the comedy "What's Your Number?" starring Anna Faris as a woman who worries that she's slept with too many men. AP Movie Writer David Germain gave the movie one and a half stars out of four, saying: "As she usually does, Anna Faris comes through with a spirit and quirkiness far more engaging than the material merits."
The thriller "Dream House" wasn't shown to critics before opening day, which is surprising, given its starry cast led by Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. Things weren't looking too promising, though: It had zero percent positive reviews early Friday on Rotten Tomatoes.
In limited release, the family drama "Take Shelter" is earning excellent reviews. Michael Shannon stars as a working-class husband and father who is haunted by apocalyptic nightmares. Lemire gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying of writer-director Jeff Nichols: "His film is both daring thematically and striking aesthetically, even as it pierces at the heart of the most relatable, everyday anxieties we all experience."
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
— "50/50": Metacritic, 72; Movie Review Intelligence, 78.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 92. Average: 80.8.
— "What's Your Number?": Metacritic, 34; Movie Review Intelligence, 38.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 24. Average: 32.
— "Take Shelter": Metacritic, 85; Movie Review Intelligence, 83.3; Rotten Tomatoes, 95. Average: 87.8.
— "Sarah Palin: You Betcha!": Metacritic, 43; Movie Review Intelligence, 48.9; Rotten Tomatoes, 30. Average: 40.6.
— "Margaret": Metacritic, 53; Movie Review Intelligence, 61.7; Rotten Tomatoes, 47. Average: 53.9.