Sisters (2015 film)

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Sisters (2015 film poster).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJason Moore
Written byPaula Pell
Produced by
CinematographyBarry Peterson
Edited byLee Haxall
Music byChristophe Beck[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • December 9, 2015 (2015-12-09) (Ziegfeld Theatre)
  • December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18) (United States)
Running time
118 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
  • $33 million (gross)[3]
  • $25.5 million (net)[3]
Box office$105 million[4]

Sisters is a 2015 American comedy film directed by Jason Moore, written by Paula Pell and is the second collaboration between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler following the film Baby Mama (2008). The rest of the cast consists of Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, John Cena, John Leguizamo, and Dianne Wiest.

The film centers on adult sisters Kate, an irresponsible single mother, and Maura, a kindhearted nurse and recent divorcee, who are summoned back to their childhood home by their parents to clean out their bedroom before the house gets sold. Upset and angry that all their childhood memories are going to be gone, Kate convinces Maura to have one last wild house party, but things soon get out of control.

The film was released on December 18, 2015 by Universal Pictures, received mixed reviews, though most critics praised the chemistry of the lead actresses, and grossed $105 million on a production budget of $33 million.


Maura Ellis, a recently divorced, hardworking nurse, is asked by her parents Deana and Bucky to return to her childhood Orlando home and clean out her bedroom before the house is sold. Her parents also ask that she tell her sister Kate, an irresponsible stylist whose teenager daughter Haley secretly lives with Maura.

Maura calls Kate but instead convinces her to come to Orlando, as Kate has been kicked out of her apartment. Upon reaching their childhood home, the sisters discover the house has already sold with every room emptied except their bedroom. The parents inform them that they need to finish cleaning out by the end of the weekend. Kate convinces Maura to throw one last party in the house.

The next morning, the new homeowners tell the sisters that the home needs to be in perfect condition to sell. Moving forward with their party plans, Kate and Maura invite most of their friends from high school, excluding Kate's rival, Brinda. While looking for party decorations, they have a run-in with Brinda, who is upset about not being invited. Maura invites her nail stylist to the party and tries to convince Kate to apply for a nail salon job. Kate convinces the owner to pretend to hire her.

During the sisters' shopping for dresses, Haley calls Kate to check in with her. Kate hands her phone to Maura, who convinces Haley that Kate has changed for the better, so she buys a plane ticket to Orlando to surprise her. Kate forces Maura to ask James, a man they hit on earlier, to come to their party and reluctantly agrees to remain sober.

The sisters' high school classmates arrive but have matured and do not want a wild party. Kate and Maura give a speech to their guests and ask their friend Dave to invite his drug dealer Pazuzu. More of their friends show up, and the party becomes more lively. Brinda arrives uninvited, and Kate kicks her out. James also arrives, and he and Maura try to hold a conversation but keep getting interrupted. Seeking revenge, Brinda calls in a noise complaint to the police, though Kate and Maura flirt and talk their way out of trouble.

As the party spins out of control, Haley calls her mother to surprise her about being in town but, upon learning about the party, lashes out at Kate for her lack of responsibility. Kate starts drinking since Haley already suspects she is drunk. After Brinda again sneaks in, she and Kate resolve their mutual dislike. Meanwhile, Maura sneaks off with James, but she falls through the ceiling, and James falls on her childhood ballerina music box, prompting him to leave.

Kate learns that her parents have decided to give her a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the house to allow her to attempt a fresh start. She tries to end the party early despite the recent destruction to the house. She calls the police with a fake noise complaint, but the responding officer recalls that Maura was kind to his disabled cousin years ago and declines to shut down the party. Maura leaves her room and is horrified to see the mess as well as a drunk Kate. At the same time, Kate learns that Maura has been housing Haley and is incensed.

As the sisters fight, Haley, Deana, and Bucky arrive. The backyard pool suddenly becomes a sinkhole, Haley falls in, and Kate jumps to the rescue. After expelling the guests, the parents tell Kate and Maura that they need to get their lives in order.

The next morning, Deana and Bucky refuse Maura's offer to help pay for the damages, but reluctantly allow Kate to stay for two weeks while she and James begin home repairs. Maura and Kate reconcile, and Kate convinces Maura to try reconnecting with James. The parents ultimately sell the repaired house with Brinda as their real estate agent. Kate opens a nail salon in Orlando while Maura and James begin dating. The film closes with the Ellis family and James celebrating Christmas at the parents' new home.



The film was initially titled The Nest. On December 3, 2014, Universal Pictures announced it had been retitled to Sisters.[5]


On June 5, 2014, Ike Barinholtz joined the cast of the film to play the male lead.[6] On June 11, James Brolin was added to the cast to play Fey and Poehler's characters' father.[7] On June 12, Greta Lee was added to the cast to play Hae Won, a nail stylist who gets a pity invite to the party.[8] On June 13, Maya Rudolph joined the film to play the childhood friend of both sisters.[9] On June 17, Madison Davenport joined the film to play Kate's daughter Hayley.[10][11] On July 1, wrestler John Cena was added to the cast of the film, with Deadline reporting that he would play a villainous role.[12] On July 16, Renée Elise Goldsberry was added to the cast to play Kim, a longtime friend of Poehler and Fey's characters.[13]


Principal photography commenced on June 9, 2014 in White Plains, New York when director Moore tweeted some photos from the set.[14][15] It was filmed in New York City through the end of July.[16] On June 18, the crew shot some scenes in Haverstraw, New York.[17] Fey and Poehler were spotted filming in Pearl River, New York.[18] On June 24, filming was underway around Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York.[19] Filming also occurred at the Jon Megaris hair salon in nearby Huntington, New York on January 22, 2015.[20]


Sisters was released in the United States on December 18, 2015. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 15, 2016.


Box office[edit]

Sisters grossed $87 million in North America and $18 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $105 million, against a budget of $33 million.[4][3]

In North America, Sisters opened on December 18, 2015 with box office projections expected to be hurt by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In its opening weekend, the film was projected to gross $11 million from 2,961 theaters.[21] The film grossed $5 million on its first day and $13.9 million in its opening weekend, finishing third at the box office behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip ($14.3 million).[22]

Critical response[edit]

Fey received a Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in a Comedy nomination for her performance

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 178 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sisters' sharp blend of pathos and vulgarity, along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's effervescent chemistry, are more than enough to make up for the handful of laughs this coming-of-age comedy leaves on the table."[23] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a positive review, writing: "Beneath the film's entertainingly crude hijinks, there are actual human stakes here, as the two sisters recognize in each other the growing up they themselves need to do — though Pell’s script keeps the hugging and learning to a reasonable minimum."[25] Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post also reacted positively, saying, "It takes superior artistry to take the rude, crude and socially unmentionable and make it feel upliftingly wholesome. Such is the magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the dynamic duo at the playful, prurient, occasionally perverse heart of Sisters."[26] Many critics have positively compared the film to other recent successful female-centric comedies, such as Bridesmaids, Spy and Trainwreck.[27][28]

Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times had a more mixed reaction, saying, "There is so much about its package – the stars, the premise, the talented supporting cast – that would make for a film of warmth, humor and insight on the struggles of leaving the past behind and getting out of your own way on the path to fulfilment. Instead, the movie settles for being a party comedy and little else."[29] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one and a half stars out of four, but praised Fey and Poehler's performances, saying "though they look nothing like sisters, they’re believable as sisters. Every once in a while when we take a break from the thuddingly unfunny slapstick stuff, there’s a nice and genuine moment."[30]


Year Award Category Recipients Result
2016 Critics' Choice Movie Awards[31] Best Comedy Sisters Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Tina Fey Nominated
EDA Special Mention Awards Movie You Wanted to Love But Just Couldn't Sisters Nominated


  1. ^ filmmusicreporter (January 21, 2015). "Christophe Beck to Score 'Sisters'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  2. ^ "SISTERS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c MacDonald, Adrian (May 2016). "2015 Film Study" (PDF). Film L.A. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Sisters (2015)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Ge, Linda (December 3, 2014). "Tina Fey-Amy Poehler Comedy 'The Nest' Retitled 'Sisters'". TheWrap. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; Kit, Borys (June 5, 2014). "'Mindy Project' Star Lands Lead in Tina Fey Comedy 'The Nest'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Yamato, Jen (June 11, 2014). "James Brolin To Play Dad To Tina Fey & Amy Poehler In Universal's 'The Nest'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  8. ^ Yamato, Jen (June 12, 2014). "Greta Lee Joins Universal's 'The Nest'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (June 13, 2014). "Maya Rudolph Reteams With Tina Fey, Amy Poehler in 'The Nest'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  10. ^ The Deadline Team (June 17, 2014). "Reid Scott & Christina Scherer Cast In 'The Intern'; Madison Davenport Joins 'The Nest'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  11. ^ McAloon, Jonathan (July 15, 2015). "Sisters trailer: watch SNL stars throw an epic party". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Yamato, Jen (July 1, 2014). "WWE Star John Cena To Turn Heel In Universal Comedy 'The Nest'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  13. ^ Yamato, Jen (July 16, 2014). "Renée Elise Goldsberry Lands In 'The Nest'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Varikos, Joanna (June 12, 2014). "Tina Fey Begins Filming 'The Nest' with Amy Poehler". Greek Reporter. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  15. ^ Perez, Ashley (June 11, 2014). "Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Are Back Together And All Is Right In The World". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Christine (June 11, 2014). "Tina Fey and Amy Poehler begin filming 'The Nest' in New York". On Location Vacations. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  17. ^ West, Latoya (June 18, 2014). "Movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler filming in Haverstraw". The Journal News. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  18. ^ Rankin, Seija (June 19, 2014). "Here's The First Look At Tina & Amy's New Movie". Refinery29. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  19. ^ On Location Vacations [@olv] (June 24, 2014). "The Nest is filming around Five Towns College" (Tweet). Retrieved July 1, 2014 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Giannotta, Meghan (January 22, 2015). "Tina Fey, Amy Poehler film 'Sisters' at Huntington hair salon". Newsday. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  21. ^ Brevet, Brad (December 17, 2015). "Forecast: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'... Will Box Office Records Feel the Force?". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  22. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony; Busch, Anita (December 21, 2015). "'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Sets Its Sights On A $125M-$130M Friday & $250M-$260M Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  23. ^ "Sisters (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Sisters Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  25. ^ Lodge, Guy (December 10, 2015). "Film Review: 'Sisters'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  26. ^ Hornaday, Ann (December 16, 2015). "Fey and Poehler get down, dirty and disarmingly funny in 'Sisters'". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  27. ^ Lemire, Christy (December 18, 2015). "Sisters". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  28. ^ Scheck, Frank (December 10, 2015). "'Sisters': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  29. ^ Olsen, Mark (December 17, 2015). "Review 'Sisters,' with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, is not as funny as it looks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  30. ^ Roeper, Richard (March 6, 2016). "'Sisters': Tina Fey, Amy Poehler get down, get dirty, get dumb". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  31. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 14, 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 14, 2015.

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