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Josh and Sam are two brothers facing change, their mother is about to marry a French accountant and the kids are sent to go live with their father in Florida. Meanwhile Josh tells Sam that he is a "S.A.M." that is going to be sent to Africa to fight in a war and that Canada is a safe haven for any S.A.M. unwilling to fight. The cross-country journey begins when the 2 boys think they killed a drunk and steal his car en route to Canada where they encounter The Liberty Maid. Will Josh & S.A.M. make it to Canada or will they wish they should have never left home. Written by
Ryan Harder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'Josh and SAM' is an interesting little film that deals with a variety of issues in a manner that draws in the audience and endears them to the characters.
It revolves around two young brothers, twelve-year-old Josh and seven-year-old Sam, who live with their divorced mother. When she goes on intends to marry her fiancé and relocate to France, the boys are shipped to Florida to live with their father Thom. Although he doesn't intend to, Thom can't help but favour the sporty and energetic Sam over his quiet, geeky elder son and things turn even more sour for Josh when he clashes with his stepbrothers and then learns of his mother's plans to leave them. Bitter at the world, Josh tells his brother that he is a 'SAM', a robot child soldier who must escape to Canada before he is shipped to fight in the war-torn depths of Africa. And when Josh thinks he's accidentally killed a man, he puts his plan to runaway into action.
The two young leads, Jacob Tierney as Josh and Noah Fleiss as Sam, give excellent performances despite their ages and relative inexperience in acting. Tierney portrays Josh's anger and jealousy as well as his vulnerability while Fleiss is effective in depicting Sam's naivety and love/hate relationship with his elder brother.
This is a film that is not only a Boys' Own adventure that takes the two brothers across the country but it is one that looks at family relationships (fraternal bonds as well as dysfunctional parenting and the turmoil of step-families) and the coming-of-age of a pre-adolescent who is very insecure in his world. Although 'Josh and SAM' is obviously aimed at a younger demography, I imagine older teens and adults would enjoy it too as I certainly did both when I saw it aged about thirteen and again when I saw it again around twelve years later. It's a film that has something for everyone and is definitely one of the better lesser-known films of the Nineties.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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