Unexpected (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes


Unexpected (2015)



Critic Consensus: Unexpected proves a thoughtful and well-acted -- if somewhat mild -- look at worthy, thought-provoking themes.

Unexpected Photos

Movie Info

An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.

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Cobie Smulders
as Samantha Abbott
Gail Bean
as Jasmine
DuShon Monique Brown
as Principal Clements
Tyla Abercrumbie
as Ms. Bryant
Kevin Anderson
as Little Kevin
Audrey Morgan
as Ms. Taylor
Khyla Davis
as Science Girl 1
Marshelle Kellum
as Science Girl 2
Jonathan Kitt
as Mr. Hope
Rengin Altay
as Mrs. Parlow
Michael Geartner
as Mr. Garrett
Sean Kirkpatrick
as Coach Harwell
Robyn Coffin
as Melanie - University Advisor
Tim Mason
as Steve - Ultrasound Tech
Beatriz Jamaica
as Ultrasound Tech
Basel Ajaj
as Convenience Store Employee
Natalie Sullivan
as Woman Checking Out
Sharon Wentz
as Yoga Instructor
Joan Kohn
as Judge Shoreham
Dwayne Taylor
as Social Security Employee
Hunter Hughbanks
as Newborn Emma
Ada Freer
as Baby Emma
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News & Interviews for Unexpected

Critic Reviews for Unexpected

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (26)

With a 90-minute running time, Unexpected would fit comfortably, with room for commercial breaks, in a two-hour network time slot. How did it ever find a theatrical release?

August 20, 2015 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…

Smulders gives one of the most natural performances of her career, and Bean's subtle, strong work announces her as a young actress to watch.

July 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4

A well-intentioned snooze. ... The script's high point for adrenaline is when Samantha and Jasmine make the impulsive decision to - wait for it - litter.

July 24, 2015 | Rating: 50/100 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Except for a bit of contrived conflict that arises toward the end, the connection between these two expectant mothers-who are at vastly different points in their lives-rings with a mutual kindness and compassion.

July 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Thanks to an intelligent script and the performances of Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean and Elizabeth McGovern, the minutiae of everyday life in this small, lovely film will capture your interest.

July 23, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Unexpected features fine performances from both women and I'd love to see more from newcomer Bean, showing grace and maturity onscreen.

July 23, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Unexpected


Sometimes calling a film "mild" or "pleasant" isn't damning with faint praise. Unexpected is one of those films. Telling a simple story in a beautifully, genuine and humanistic way, with warmth, wit and truth, Unexpected is a gem. Cobie Smulders, following Results and The Intervrntion, is really doing interesting and memorable work and is flawless here, and Gail Bean will be one to watch.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer


The Mumblecore movement has produced some really amazing talents in the last ten years. The Duplass Brothers have made a handful of really great films, and have even begun producing some seriously radical indie projects. One of the freer examples is Joe Swanberg, whose wife Kris Swanberg directed this film. Completely separate from her husband's style, and an innovator in her own right, Swanberg has forged ahead with this story of two separate environments with two distinct women in the same situation. Colbie Smulders plays a passionate high school science teacher named Sam, who finds herself at a loss when the school she is teaching at announces it's going to close. Soon after she realizes she is pregnant. Scrambling to figure out a plan that balances her need to work outside the home and make her life work with her current situation, Sam is at a loss at understanding how her life has been unexpectedly changed. At the same time a student of hers learns that she is pregnant, and has to adjust from her previous goal of getting into college, and also raising a child. Both try to understand their limitations and new outlooks on life with the addition of a child. There have been a great many films in the past several years that delve into female issues that haven't been addressed before. Indie filmmaking really is a great space for women to tell stories that studios don't want to put their heft behind, thinking that male audiences won't respond to female perspectives. How children are brought into the world, and raised, is a seminal issue for everyone, not just women. This story focuses mostly on Sam's convictions, but also does a great job of showing how men are as involved in these decisions as women. It also speaks to the guilt that modern feminists feel for wanting more outside the home, and how much pressure it is to choose between your child and your work life. There always being a drawback to either choice. Having a second character dealing with their own unique issues relating to raising a child shows how everyone's situation is different, and priorities are shaped by situation more than desire. This may not be the best film to deal with such issues, as it doesn't always tackle race, poverty, or other options besides having the baby, it does smartly juxtapose WOC and white feminism's separate issues in an intersectional way not always seen by mainstream film's standards.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Unexpected is not offensively bad. The actors try and the script is well intentioned, but the film's shallow screenplay, awkward dialogue, and lack of conflict makes Unexpected a disappointing movie, despite a promising premise.

Joey Traverso
Joey Traverso

Super Reviewer

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