The Playroom
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
In 1970s suburbia, Maggie and her younger siblings spend the night telling each other stories in the attic. Downstairs, as their parents entertain guests over the course of a gin-soaked evening, truths are unearthed and betrayals come to light. With standout performances from John Hawkes, Molly Parker, and a cast of talented young actors, Julia Dyer's second feature is an honest and challenging look at the reality behind the fašade of a seemingly perfect American family. -- (C) Freestyle

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You have your basic family psychodrama, except there's no real heat either downstairs or up."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"The film uses the upper-middle-class setting effectively, even as it resorts to heavy-handed symbolism and melodrama in its dour, mostly unforgiving portrait of parental dysfunction."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"Molly Parker is Oscar-worthy in the juicy role of John Hawkes' alcoholic, stylish, sexy/pathetic wife."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"It's a misfire from screenwriter Gretchen Dyer and director Julia Dyer, who can't connect the puzzle pieces, resulting in a movie of attentive performances working through ill-defined storytelling."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Parents seek joy, ignore kids in difficult, powerful drama."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"Standout Olivia Harris and Parker are heart-wrenching as the vitriolic mother and neglected teen daughter."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A detailed, and depressing portrait of grim, forced independence. Lightened only by the sense that if these kids are learning anything, it is how to survive."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"The stuff with the adults is drab and stale, but the kids' scenes are excellent."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"If The Ice Storm was a band, think of this as the minor-chord, label-unsigned, opening act for its opening act. Lovingly captured but dramatically inert."
‑ Brent Simon,
"A chamber piece cousin to The Ice Storm, The Playroom hones in on the mentality of so many irresponsible '70s era parents whose children grew up to be much better people than their parents."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Modest in scale, it's the kind of American independent film that brings some honor to that shopworn descriptor."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"This imitation "Ice Storm" is as refreshing as a step into a puddle of slush."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"In the tradition of The Ice Storm, The Playroom revisits 1970s suburbia, when the chilly civility between husband and Stepford wife bumps up against the sexual revolution."
‑ Annlee Ellingson, Paste Magazine
"A reliance on melodrama prevents a deeper and more insightful glimpse into the characters and subject matter."
‑ Todd Jorgenson,
"Lacking much in the way of character depth, the film attempts to fill the gap with melodrama."
‑ Tomas Hachard, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Playroom on Rotten Tomatoes