Isabella Biedenharn
May 07, 2015 AT 08:56 PM EDT

5 Flights Up

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
92 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/08/15
performer
Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Cynthia Nixon
director
Richard Loncraine
genre
Drama

We gave it a B-

Over 48 hours, long-married couple Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keaton) must begrudgingly sell their beloved fifth-floor Brooklyn apartment, put their old dog through surgery, and visit frenzied open houses across the city to find a new home. All the while, New York is on alert, as news reports distort the story of a missing Muslim cabdriver into a terrorist-on-the-loose case. Based on Jill Ciment’s wry novel Heroic Measures, the film is at its best when it sticks with the everyday: When Ruth’s insufferable niece (Cynthia Nixon), a broker, refers to buyers by their outfits (e.g., Blue Leggings, Matching Sweaters), Alex quips, “It’s like we’re talking about Indians in the Old West.” Flashbacks illuminate the couple’s early romance, and the weekend’s scuffles bring their flaws to the surface. Alex, an artist, can be stubborn and insecure; Ruth is a worrier (“It keeps me calm!”). Freeman is funny as a lovable crank, but Keaton’s neurotic performance wears thin. While the terrorist subplot may have worked in the book, it seems unnecessary here: Ruth and Alex’s well-worn love story is enough. B–

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