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What They Had (2018)



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From first-time writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, WHAT THEY HAD centers on a family in crisis. Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother's (Michael Shannon) urging to deal with her ailing mother (Blythe Danner) and her father's (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together.


Hilary Swank
as Bridget
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Critic Reviews for What They Had

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

Chomko refreshes the formula with vividly grounded writing that never forces her actors to summarize where they've been, emotionally speaking, or where they're going.

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This captivating family drama is anchored by actors-Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster-who truly are as good as it gets. You laugh as much as you cry, which means you believe in the movie's truth.

October 18, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Though occasional bursts of spikiness suggest that Chomko has a more unexpected story to tell, the narrative beats of this one - even without its eye-rolling final shot - are audible well in advance of the end credits.

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…

The real triumph is its refusal to descend into mawkishness, even when a third-act tragedy takes place. It's blunt and bold, just like its characters.

October 17, 2018 | Full Review…

In the overcrowded field of indie dramas about intergenerational family struggles, What They Had feels inessential; it rarely rises to the level of its performances.

October 17, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

If it's a good cry you're after, What They Had will more than do the trick. I just wish that this particular tearjerker jerked its tears with something subtler than a crowbar.

October 16, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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