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


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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.