"The Fault in Our Stars": What critics are saying

Ansel Elgort, left, and Shailene Woodley appear in a scene from "The Fault In Our Stars." AP Photo/20th Century Fox

Tissues will be a must-have accessory this weekend for moviegoers heading to see "The Fault in Our Stars."

The film, based on John Green's bestselling novel of the same name, follows two cancer-stricken teens who meet at a support group and fall in love.

Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel Grace Lancaster, while her "Divergent" co-star Ansel Elgort plays Augustus "Gus" Waters. Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Willem Defoe and Sam Trammell all co-star in supporting roles.

Fans of the book have been eagerly anticipating the film's Friday debut, and they'll be happy to hear that many critics have praised the adaptation as doing its source material justice.

Read on to see some of their takes on the film (though, if you're one of those people who read the book and can quote it from memory, let's be real here -- chances are you'll see the it no matter what the critics say).

"The movie, like the book before it, is an expertly built machine for the mass production of tears. Directed by Josh Boone ('Stuck in Love') with scrupulous respect for John Green's best-selling young-adult novel, the film sets out to make you weep -- not just sniffle or choke up a little, but sob until your nose runs and your face turns blotchy. It succeeds." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times.

"The greatest strengths of the film clearly come from Green's novel, which resolutely refuses to become a cliched cancer drama, creating instead two vibrant, believable young characters filled with humor and intelligence, both facing complex questions and issues unimaginable even to people twice their age. Turning the screenwriting over to adaptation experts Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber has preserved the distinctly literate tone of the book, even if they do occasionally deliver scenes that feel overwrought." -- Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter.

"'The Fault in Our Stars' brims with the kind of adolescent goofiness, searching and spiky anger that marked the John Hughes and Cameron Crowe films of another era. But, as Hazel informs the audience at the film's outset, this story won't be neatly ended 'with an apology and a Peter Gabriel song.'" -- Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post.

"It walks a knife's edge between heart-on-sleeve sensitivity and crass exploitation for its entire running time, and the fact that it largely stays on the right side of that divide has to mark it as a success. Soulfully acted, especially by a never-better Shailene Woodley, and several degrees smarter than most films aimed at teenagers, this Fox melodrama ought to strike a resonant chord with young audiences." -- Andrew Barker, Variety.

"The film does, however, have the best weapon in the world against the perception of slickness: an actress without a smidgen of actressiness. Woodley has a face that can look plain in repose and startlingly beautiful in motion, when her delicate pink skin becomes near translucent." -- David Edelstein, New York Magazine.

"'The Fault in Our Stars' is, despite the occasional misstep in tone, largely a solid success -- a film that not only manages the transition from page to screen nicely, but also navigates with skill that hugely tricky line between the touching and the trite, the moving and the maudlin. And that latter task ain't easy. But there's one major reason that the movie succeeds in this regard. Her name is Shailene Woodley." -- Jocelyn Novek, Associated Press.

"'Stars' is an unabashed tearjerker, though it's also about celebrating life. The movie is well-written, well-acted, acerbic, funny and wisely observed. Fans of the book will be glad to hear it is faithful to Green's tale." -- Claudia Puig, USA Today.

Tell us: Do you plan to see "The Fault In Our Stars"?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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