Juno - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Juno Reviews

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April 19, 2019
This is one of Jason Reitman's finest films with the snappy writing of Diablo Cody, Ellen Page's career-defining performance and some surprising character turns combining to create an iconic coming-of-age tale. I don't think it's as good as Young Adult (2011) because the in the end everything wraps up too neatly and Charlize Theron's performance as Mavis eclipses Ellen Page's as Juno but they both exist as their own great Reitman-Cody collaborations. This is a film that I love, a relief after having to live through New York, New York (1997).

Everybody knows the story but I'll rattle it off to you anyway, an acerbic teen, Juno, Ellen Page, gets pregnant by her longtime boyfriend Paulie, Michael Cera, then considers getting an abortion and then adoption. She has a loving Father, J. K. Simmons, and an understanding Stepmother, Allison Janney, and finds a kindred spirit in the potential adoptive Father of her child, Jason Bateman, whilst clashing with his wife, Jennifer Garner. Her friendship with Leah, Olivia Thirlby, also suffers under the weight of her pregnancy which emotionally distances her from those around her.

Diablo Cody won Best Original Screenplay in her feature film screenwriting debut and she earned it with the style that would become her signature on full display. The witty prose that Ellen Page delivers has a snap to it that isn't found in other coming-of-age films like Now and Then (1995) as she describes everything from her hamburger phone to the insecurities that teenagers face everyday in her tellingly self-deprecating way. In particular the treatment of Garner's character Vanessa shows a sensitive, intelligent script as the protagonist's view of a woman whom she saw as uptight and difficult morphs as she begins to understand what taking on responsibility means. In a lesser screenplay this shift in perspective could have felt jarring but here it is touching and helps us understands Juno's character development.

The capturing of unique characters and relationships is wonderful overall with the depiction of teenage love and the difficulty of having a step-parent portrayed with a delicate touch that belies how much the film cares about it's characters. The scene in which Juno and Paulie are seen conceiving the child that will be the central problem of the film is beautiful because it is not aggressively awkward or overly sexualized it is sweet and gives us a real sense of how much these teenagers care about each other. When she tells him "Do you know how long I've waited for this?", we see the character be vulnerable for once in the film and their love and sexual desire for one another is made clear. Her relationship with her Stepmother also feels real as there is initial tension between them that is eventually cut as they work together to get Juno through her difficult pregnancy. Janney plays a role that she can practically phone in at this point, she's been doing it since the late 1980s, but she has an ability to be a softie with a tough exterior like few actresses and she really works in this role.

In terms of Reitman's career this really launched him as an up-and-coming director after the positive critical reception to Thank You For Smoking (2005) and a polite box office haul of $39.3 million on a $10 million budget this film's stratospheric success put him in another league. It earned $231.4 million on a $7.5 million budget and earned 4 Academy Award nominations for it's screenplay, Page's lead performance, Reitman's direction and a nomination for Best Picture, only the screenplay would win in it's category but the message was clear: Reitman was one of the most popular new independent film director. He would further his status as an awards favorite with Up in the Air (2009) but this is the film that first made him wildly popular and I believe that this critical praise is deserved.

This is definitely a film that deserves a viewing if you want a surprisingly nuanced coming-of-age tale that contains great writing and performances and brought Reitman to the mainstream. I loved it in a way that many do and it is a film that speaks to most audiences, not just vulnerable teenagers, through it's poignant but funny tone. This is one of his best and possibly his most famous but in my opinion it does not equal Young Adult (2011).
March 25, 2019
All too realistic as a pregnant teen
½ February 20, 2019
I cannot stand Ellen Page anymore. She used to be an actress, now she's just an annoying full time LBGXYZ activist. One more on my list of SJW snowflakes I'm gonna avoid in the future...
December 30, 2018
Funny, light and heartwarming; Juno succeeds in resolving problematic characters in its ending, which comes to be very relatable and sincere such that was elevated by a smart storyline and empathetic portrayals.
December 8, 2018
Pretentious nonsense designed to fool the viewer into thinking it is deeper than it is. This is no ocean, it is a puddle. J.K.Simmons was good, but that is like saying grass is green. Playing airy folk tunes doesn't make something clever and I felt like every time an actor delivered a line they were pausing for a round of applause. Utter nonsense.
December 5, 2018
A smart, funny, touching, and different coming-of-age dramedy that is very well-acted, especially from Ellen Page and J.K. Simmons, really good dialogue written by Diablo Cody, and good direction by Jason Reitman.
½ November 30, 2018
Ellen Page gives a great performance in a movie who's hipness constantly feels forced.
½ November 30, 2018
Funny, sometimes gentle and however ironically genuine.
½ November 12, 2018
This film was solid.
November 11, 2018
A unfortunate turn of events turns into a unforgettable film.
October 25, 2018
Humerous and quirky, but the storyline isn't entirely gripping.
September 12, 2018
AMAZING. Completely original. Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janey, and Jennifer Garner have all never been better
½ August 29, 2018
The girls were fun to watch and hilarious but the story is a bit off and I don't see this ending with these people the way it was played.
August 24, 2018
I think the only thing worse than having to hear Diablo Cody's ham fisted script is to have it read by ham faced Ellen Page. Great now I want a ham sandwich.
August 11, 2018
funny, sweet, real, emotions going up and down and sure tears by the end of the film, 10 years later and its still my favourite film! Juno won't let you down and gives you a little bit of everything you need in a film such as this.
July 18, 2018
This movie gets rave reviews but l find it charmless. The main problem for me is having a lead character who is a smart ass. Just irritating.
½ July 15, 2018
Juno is a perfectly enjoyable, if awkward and uncomfortable teen comedy that definitely gets the job done. It's funny, touching, and it feels a little bittersweet and condescending but overall it's pretty great. Ellen Pages turns in what has to be her best performance to date, and the rest of the eccentric cast fits well with their oddball characters. It's an eccentric and quickly little film that a lot of people took liking to, and for good reason...it's probably one of the best teen rom-coms of its decade, and even though the ending isn't as satisfying as it think it is, it still works and Juno ends up being very worthwhile.
½ July 9, 2018
I thought this was supposed to be a comedy, but it's not, it's a drama, There is nothing funny in this movie, It's dull and boring.
½ May 18, 2018
This is an absolutely wretched film. The main character is arrogant and obnoxious and downright rude to everyone around her. Apparently this is her being quirky. She also loads herself up in random hipster props, which is to Personality what MSG is to Flavour. It's fake and by the books and filled with unlikeable jerks and doormats.
May 16, 2018
I understand there is a little bit of a backlash with this movie and I might rethink my thoughts if I see it again. The idea of someone going through the process of giving birth and finding genuine love has been done millions of times but with a good director like Jason Reitman on board, a number of well done performances, and a smart, witty, and even touching script, Juno is a neat coming of age story that I actually liked a lot.
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