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This feel-good ensemble comedy tracks a quartet of suburban siblings and their families over the course of a single summer. Hardworking Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) and his stay-at-home wife, Karen (Mary Steeenburgen), have just a few months to help their oldest son, Kevin (Jasen Fisher), overcome his high-strung behavior problems before he'll be relegated to special-education classes. Gil's difficult relationship with his own father, Frank (Jason Robards), has led him to become a would-be super-dad for his three kids, so he takes his son's difficulties more than a little personally.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The fulcrum of the film is Martin. It's an adventurous and successful stroke of casting that takes advantage of what the audience expects from him."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The remaining cast, young, old and in-between, is lovely."
‑ Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
"It's hard to imagine a theme more universal and filled with human pitfalls than parenthood. And it's hard to imagine a movie treatment of that theme more humane and filled with gentle sympathy than director Ron Howard's Parenthood."
‑ Dennis King, Tulsa World
"As Parenthood reveals within its charming, two-hour running time, the pitfalls and quandaries of child-rearing are universal -- and the joys and the heartaches remain lifelong concerns."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Here is a comedy that treats the problems and delights of real life with respect, insight, warmth and remarkably sustained wit."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"This movie has its share of laughs, but it's also Ron Howard's most personal film, and clearly his most ambitious."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"With Parenthood, Howard as a director has discovered weight, but not gravity. For all of its admirable seriousness, the film finally floats away."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"Ambitiously probing every anxiety-ridden corner of the suburban mum-and-dad experience, some of its interconnecting story strands work better than others."
‑ Paul M. Bradshaw, Total Film
"This feel-good family ensemble piece from director Ron Howard manages to avoid being oversentimental, and the result is an affectionate, leisurely comedy about the joys (and otherwise) of bringing up children."
‑ John Ferguson, Radio Times
"Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"Parenthood easily could have focused exclusively on yuppie parents and their kids; however, the script by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel is more sophisticated than that, remembering that every parent is still a child too."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"There's not a scene in Parenthood that isn't involving: The actors keep reaching into themselves and coming up with gold."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Parenthood gets a lot of emotional mileage out of kiddie antics, but Howard has, thankfully, given us a little more."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"There are good jokes and funny observations about middle-class life. The picture is too long and predictable, though."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Howard juggles all the characters effortlessly, showcasing troubles left and right without losing the film to gloom. It's nimble work, blessed with a cast that knows exactly what they're reaching for in their performances."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
More reviews for Parenthood on Rotten Tomatoes

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