My Sister's Keeper review

Clunky voiceovers, corny music and maudlin montages.

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It’s not just the illness that’s terminal in a mawkish weepie that sees director Nick Cassavetes defaulting to John Q/The Notebook territory after the refreshing Alpha Dog.

Part family meller, part courtroom drama, it tells of a young girl (Abigail Breslin) who refuses to donate the kidney which might save her cancerous sister’s life.

Given she was only conceived to provide spare parts for her older sibling, her mother – Cameron Diaz in full-on bitch mode – is understandably put-out, forcing judge Joan Cusack to intervene while dad Jason Patric prevaricates.

Alec Baldwin has his moments as Breslin’s slick attorney, but he’s a rare bright spot.

Full of clunky voiceovers, corny music and maudlin montages, this manipulative yarn plays with issues of medical morality and parental duty only to discard them in favour of a manipulative paean to valuing life and accepting death.

Alas, the latter really can’t come fast enough.

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.