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REVIEW: The Upside

Review by Dustin Heller

The Upside is a new comedy-drama film starring Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman, and the one and only Kevin Hart.  It is a remake of the ultra-successful 2011 French film, The Intouchables.  Directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless), the film is inspired by the true life of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo.  The supporting cast includes the talents of Genevieve Angelson, Aja Naomi King, Julianna Margulies, and Tate Donovan.  The Upside is rated PG-13 for suggestive content and drug use.

Phillip Lacasse (Cranston) is a billionaire quadriplegic who is in need of a live-in caretaker.  Dell Scott (Hart) is an ex-con who is in need of employment, but is hardly qualified for such a job.  Phillip makes the decision to hire Dell because he is obviously the worst candidate.  You see, Phillip is depressed because of his current health situation and also the loss of his wife to cancer; his logic is to hire the worst possible person for the job in hopes that something bad might happen to him.  Little does he know that the relationship they form will change both of their lives for the better.

The Upside is without a doubt the feel good movie of the year.  I say that tongue in cheek since we’re only a week into the new year, but it is a heartfelt film that is going to hit big with audiences.  The characters and their situation are probably not relatable to most, but the film is very funny and has heart which is relatable.  The on-screen chemistry between the three leads is off the charts.  Both Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston seemed like they were really having a blast making this movie.  It’s worth the price of admission to see the two of them banter back and forth with one another. The storyline is heavy-handed and somewhat cliché, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is entertaining.  The Upside is a delightful and uplifting start to hopefully a fantastic 2019 at the movies.

Grade:  A-

The Upside opens in theaters on Friday, January 11.

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