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 party at the house, 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.


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Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is told by her parents Deana (Dianne Wiest) and Bucky (James Brolin) that they are planning to sell their Orlando home and is asked to come and clean out her childhood bedroom. Her parents also ask that she tell her sister, Kate (Tina Fey), because she does not take bad news well.

Maura, a recently divorced nurse, is constantly trying to help people, and Kate is a disorganized, irresponsible stylist staying at a friend's place while her teenage daughter Haley (Madison Davenport) lives elsewhere and refuses to tell Kate where she is staying. Maura calls to tell her the news, but stops short of telling Kate that their childhood home is being sold, and instead convinces her to come to Orlando for a while, as Kate has just been kicked out of her apartment. Kate and Maura meet at the airport, and on the drive home they hit on a man, James (Ike Barinholtz), doing yard work outside of his home.

Upon reaching their childhood home, they discover the house has already sold and their parents have already packed up and sold all of the family's belongings, except for the things in the sisters' room. Furious, Maura and Kate find their parents and confront them. The sisters are told that the deal is done and that they need to be out of the house by the end of the weekend with everything completely moved out. As they are going to sleep, Kate convinces Maura to have one last party in their childhood home.

The next morning, the sisters are awakened by the new homeowners coming to see the house in order to begin to plan all of the things they want to change when they move in, and tell them that the home needs to be in perfect condition in order for the sale to go through, causing great distress to Maura and Kate. Moving forward with their plans to host a party, Kate and Maura invite most of their friends from high school, excluding Brinda (Maya Rudolph) whom Kate hates.

The sisters go shopping in order to prepare for the party. While looking for decorations, they have a run-in with Brinda who is upset about not being invited. The sisters then go to a nail salon where Maura invites her nail stylist to the party, and tries to convince Kate to apply for a job there. Kate speaks to the owner and he refuses. Kate convinces him to pretend to give her a job so that Maura will think that she is taking responsibility.

While shopping for dresses, Haley calls Kate to check in with her. Kate hands the phone to Maura, whose conversation with Haley reveals that Maura has been housing Haley for the past several months, unbeknownst to Kate. Maura convinces Haley that Kate has changed for the better, and Haley buys a plane ticket to Orlando to surprise Kate. The sisters finish up their shopping, and stop by James' house where Kate forces Maura to ask him to come to their party, and he agrees. While preparing for their guests to arrive, Maura asks Kate to remain sober for the party, so that she will be able to enjoy herself. Kate reluctantly agrees.

As the party begins, the sisters realize that all of their high school classmates have matured and do not want a wild party. To prevent the guests from leaving, they give a speech to their guests and ask Dave (John Leguizamo) to invite his drug dealer Pazuzu (John Cena) over so they can buy marijuana. More of their friends show up, including their nail stylists, who are able to turn the party around into the epic celebration they were hoping for. Brinda arrives uninvited and is promptly kicked out by Kate. James also arrives where he and Maura try to hold a conversation but keep getting interrupted by the rowdy guests.

As revenge for getting kicked out, Brinda calls in a noise complaint to the police, though Kate and Maura are able to flirt and talk their way out of trouble. As the night progresses, the party spins out of control. After failing to stop the party, Brinda tries again by adding blue paint to the water system for the pool and sprinklers. Haley calls her mom to surprise her about being in town when she learns that Kate is at a party. Haley lashes out at her mother for her lack of responsibility, refusing to believe that Kate is sober. Kate decides to drink since Haley already suspects she is drunk.

With Kate no longer watching over the guests, the party becomes increasingly destructive. Brinda again sneaks in. This time, she and Kate are able to resolve their dislike for one another and Brinda is allowed to stay. Meanwhile, Maura has snuck off with James hoping to having sex with him, but things keep going awry, with Maura falling through the ceiling, and later, James landing squarely on her childhood ballerina music box. James leaves the party with the music box painfully stuck in his rectum.

Kate learns that her parents were planning to give her a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the house so allow her to attempt a fresh start. Kate realizes that the house is no longer saleable due to the widespread destruction and tries to end the party early. 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 the party down.

After failing to have sex with James, Maura leaves her room and is horrified to see the mess from the wild party. Maura angrily discovers that Kate has gotten drunk, despite her earlier promise to remain sober. At the same time, Kate learns that Maura has been housing Haley and is incensed. As the sisters fight, Haley, Deana, and Bucky arrive at the party and are horrified by what they see. Kate has failed to park the car properly, causing it to roll forward into a tree, knocking it down and destroying part of the house. The backyard pool suddenly becomes a sinkhole, and Haley falls in. Kate jumps to the rescue and helps Haley out after she refuses to climb a ladder. Once the parents kick the guests out, they tell Kate and Maura that they are fed up with caring for both of them and that they need to get their lives together.

The next morning, Deana and Bucky refuse Maura's offer to help pay for the damages so that they will not have trouble selling their home. Kate tells her parents that she doesn't have a place to stay and would like to live in the house. They reluctantly allow her to stay for two weeks while she, along with James' help, begins home repairs. Maura and Kate apologize to each other, and Kate convinces Maura to try and reconnect with James. Kate successfully fixes up the place, with her parents now able to sell it with Brinda as their real estate agent.

Kate opens a nail salon in Orlando while Maura and James have begun dating. The movie closes with Kate, Maura, Deana, Bucky, Haley and James celebrating Christmas at their 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

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

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