Movie Review: ‘The Skeleton Twins’ is a Delightfully Engaging & Poignant Tale of Siblings

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Preston Barta // Critic

skeleton_twinsTHE SKELETON TWINS | 93 min. | Rated R | Director: Craig Johnson | Stars: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Boyd Holbrook, Ty Burrell, Luke Wilson, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Joanna Gleason

Rating: ☆☆☆½

It is difficult to make a movie that can go from laughter to the depths of anguish and remain entertaining or even believable, but THE SKELETON TWINS manages it very well. This is greatly due to the spark that is generated by the pairing of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.

The film tells of two estranged twins (Wiig and Hader) who reunite to mend their relationship after coincidentally cheating death on the same day.

When you think about SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE veterans Hader (SUPERBAD) and Wiig (BRIDESMAIDS) teaming up for a movie, a realistic and hard-hitting drama seems far away from what you would expect. However, thankfully THE SKELETON TWINS is distant from their usual schtick, because it’s one of the finest films of the year.

Hader gives his best performance as a gay wannabe actor named Milo. Even though, Hader’s flamboyantly gay Stefon was a favorite on SNL, do not expect a stereotype with Milo. Hader makes Milo human and not a joke.

Wiig also showcases a first-rate performance as Milo’s twin, Maggie, who has stayed in the small town where they grew up. Maggie is a flawed character, and both her and Milo are scarred by their unsmiling childhood. But how they eventually come to depend on each other is a striking aspect, and one of the reasons why you should not miss this film. It’s movie therapy.

THE SKELETON TWINS is playing in theaters today.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.