Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment (1983)

Terms of Endearment covers three decades in the lives of widow Aurora Greenaway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger). Fiercely protected by Aurora throughout childhood, Emma runs into resistance from her mother when she… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: November 23, 1983
DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A classic tearjerker, Terms of Endearment isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings -- but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist.

Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News

It takes all of perhaps five minutes to fall in love with the leading characters in Terms of Endearment and from that point on, the audience is just putty in the extremely capable hands of writer-director James L. Brooks.

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James Harwood

Brooks' dialog is wonderful throughout and all the characters carry off their assignments beautifully, even down to Danny De Vito and Norman Bennett as MacLaine's other suffering suitors.

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People Magazine

In his directorial debut, Brooks proves himself a master with actors.

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Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune

Terms of Endearment is about three relationships and students of screenwriting would do well to study the way in which these three stories are told completely and effortlessly in a movie of average length.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

[Writer-director James L. Brooks] has television in his soul: his people are incredibly tiny (most are defined by a single stroke of obsessive behavior), and he chokes out his narrative in ten-minute chunks, separated by aching lacunae.

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Paul M. Bradshaw
Total Film

Its soppy story is freed from cheap tear-jerking by Brooks' confident direction, Larry McMurtry's poignant script and a flawless ensemble.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Its quirky rhythms and veering emotional tones are very much its own, and they owe less to movie tradition than they do to a sense of how the law of unintended consequences pushes us ceaselessly through the years, permitting no pause for perspective.

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David Pirie
Time Out

Then The Illness strikes, and the film changes gear completely, pulling out all the stops and almost incidentally delivering one of the best-acted, most moving death-bed scenes in recent memory.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

There's not enough substance to support the sentiment of this longish comedy-drama.

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More reviews for Terms of Endearment

Flixster Audience Score: 84% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
A wonderful drama that finds a perfect balance between sweet, humorous and sad with sublime performances by the whole cast (mainly MacLaine and Nicholson),… More
Chris Weber
Spanning several years, this is the story of a mother and daughter, their sometimes intense love/hate relationship, and the quest each one goes through to find… More
Lucas Martins
Heart-warming, this classic chronicle about family problems and platonic love. Together with finest actings and an intelligent script, Terms of Endearment gonna… More
♥Robyn M♥
"Terms of Endearment" is most definitely a romantic comedy but one with a difference. It will make you laugh, smile, and fall in love with the… More
Jameson Worley
A great film! So touching. Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger both give great performances! I had originally given this film a 4/5 rating. However I have… More
Aj V
A fantastic drama which stars a bunch of great actors, this is one of my favourite dramas ever. I highly recommend it.