Homegrown (1998) Poster

(1998)

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8/10
a fun romp
donndahlia27 December 2003
A fun romp...a lot of good twists and turns! (and we were not even baked!)

Didn't know this movie even existed until watching the extra trailers on a Monty Python DVD...(oddly it was there along with The City of Lost Children, and The Adventures of Baron Munchauhsen)

The plot keeps you wondering throughout.

The acting was awesome...Hank Azaria shows his talent again, Bill Bob is Billy Bob...(wecis?)

Definitely worth watching.
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Follows in the footsteps of a classic
mrk329 October 1998
This is a pretty good movie heavily influenced by John Huston's "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" with Humphrey Bogart, but original in its content and conflict. It is not so much a comedy as a quirky drama, like Treasure, though its point is not as sharp at the end. You should see Treasure (again) before or after seeing this.
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Don't be fooled.
billybrown4121 May 2001
This film was marketed as a comedy but anyone who went into it expecting "Half Baked" was probably dissapointed. Instead of a mindless stoner-comedy, we get a good solid film that is equal parts drama/comedy/thriller. It's the story of a group of pot farmers who, after seeing their boss murdered, decide to cash in the crop for a cool 3 million. Needless to say, things turn out to be a bit more complicated than expected and getting the money takes a back seat to getting themselves out of this bind that they have done such a good job of getting themselves into.

The three central characters, Jack (Billy Bob Thornton), Carter (Hank Azaria) and Harlan (Ryan Phillipe) are working for Malcomn (John Lithgow), manning the pot farm, when Malcom is killed by his own helicopter pilot. Thinking they know way more than they actually do, they decide to take charge of the situation and finish out the job. Jack poses as Malcomn (none of Malcomn's customers have ever actually seen what he looks like) and becomes the natural leader while Carter and Harlan bumble around doing the grunt work.

Things go a little over Jack's head when mob boss "Gionni the wop" (played hilariously by Ted Danson) enters the picture. Pretty soon it's paranoia time for the three stooges and their mutual girlfriend Lucy (Kelly Lynch), fighting off rippers, avoiding hitmen, and trying to find a buyer, all without getting caught by the feds (all the local cops are paid off).

There are many plot twists in Homegrown and the acting is great from a huge ensemble cast. Hybrids like this rarely work completely and Homegrown does sputter occassionally. There are a few scenes that leave you wondering if they are supposed to be funny. One thing that is highly overlooked and misunerstood about this film is how it makes you feel just like the characters. It totally succeeds in putting you in the same boat with them and making you feel the same things that they are feeling.

All in all, I give this movie a 9/10 and I highly reccomend it. It DOES NOT glorify the use and distribution of marijuana (many would like to argue that point) but merely uses it as a backdrop for what is going on. Give it a run. I especially reccommend this one to Billy Bob Thornton fans. He is so perfect in his role that you can almost smell the weed on him.
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Cool and Funny
Alex-3721 April 2003
Homegrown is a very nice and inspirational film about three farmboy dope growers and their "community" of likeminded folk. After their boss Malcolm (John Lithgow) is assassinated, the hapless and frequently high trio have to try and improvise to get paid.

Homegrown is also a strongly feminist movie, in the best sense of the word, in that all the women are in fact the real actors behind the events as they unfold. What do our three hapless heroes do when they get in trouble and need a place to crash? Lucy (Kelly Lynch) is the first port of call, and she isn't afraid to use sex to get any info she needs. Who is really taking care of business when the community is threatened to be invaded by mafiosi?

All in all, this is a very inspirational movie. It makes you feel you want to go out and grow some of your own herb. I can see how a lot of people got nervous about a movie where the main characters are pot growers. However, if you take into account that pot is just another plant, it's hard to see what the trouble is about. The producers tried to sell this as a "comedy", and there are plenty of laughs, but don't wait for canned laughter or any other cues.

There are several marijuana inspired songs, Bob Marley's "Smoke Two Joints" and Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie", just to name two.

It is more of a caper/suspense/comedy movie.
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7/10
A fun movie, a little sick, that is the way we like it
bjornar.narland26 January 2000
Not your ordinary movie, but a good one. Billy Bob is very funny in this movie, the way he talks, what he says etc. I was kind of surprised when i saw it, cause i just thought it was a normal comedy, but it was more than that. It had a very good story, great characters and a good balance.

Favorite part: Probably when Billy Bob is running around in his robe shooting at the rippers
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Oddball NON-COMEDY Entertainment
roscopekoe18 June 2004
Well, it's a weird movie. That Stephen Gyllenhaal seems to LIKE weirdness, really.

The fact that the film is billed as a comedy should not be considered an indictment. A film is made because someone decided to try to share this particular story with you--NOT because he wanted to add another movie to some given drawer/shelf in a video rental store, nor because he wanted to make things easy for the marketing department.

I know the film wasn't well-promoted, but looking at the movie itself, I think it's actually a pretty innovative piece of work.

What really makes the film work is the ambiguity and (ok, I admit it) PARANOIA of it.

If you've found yourself wondering what any particular scene adds to this movie, I fear you've fallen victim to lack of imagination. The characters never know "who knows what," and that is the single most essential premise of the movie. The film uses a far stronger perspective of first-person perspective than such bubble-gum fare as the Matrix. When the hapless dope-growers meet the first distributor they're looking to do business with, they don't know whether he's "in on everything." When BB Thornton talks to Sienna, he has no idea what SHE knows about the situation...and in fact, no matter how you choose to interpret that particular scene, you really ought to acknowledge that perhaps the "reality" (cinematically speaking) is the complete opposite of what you first thought when you watched it. Almost every meaningful dramatic scene in the film is completely ambiguous in possible interpretation. At least up until the climax.

This is a film that truly does get better with repeated viewings, IF you have the patience for a movie that doesn't spell everything out for you. If you want a heavy musical score and a didactic moral "point," stick with Spielberg. He'll never disappoint. If you want to WONDER what the characters are really up to in a film, check this one out.

The cast is terrific, the story is novel if not earthshaking, and the polish and presentation are first-rate. It has a few minor editorial flaws--I could've done without Lithgow's late appearance, or some of the "feel-good" moments laced into the script early on, but I certainly don't think someone else would have done a better job with the concept and script...unless Kubrick or Fassbinder were still alive.

8.5 out of 10.
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7/10
Takes a while to get into, but a decent drama in the end
robsellke4 September 2000
The first half hour of "Homegrown" was rather boring and not absorbing, but as the film progressed, so did my interest in the characters and the plot. Several scenes are really scary and you fear for the main characters who you actually grow attached to. The story is about three hired hands on a hidden illegal marijuana farm in southern California. They witness the murder of the farm's owner, Malcolm (John Lithgow), and they take over the weed for their own. The three rather simple-minded farm hands soon get swept up into a scary world of mafia and local interest, while all of the time trying to convince everyone that Malcolm is still alive. While the movie had several faults and a slow beginning, it turned out to be worthwhile. 7/10 stars.
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5/10
Not really very good...but Billy Bob is a star
moonspinner555 March 2006
The tabloid fodder and poor film choices aside, it's still pretty clear why Billy Bob Thornton is considered a quirky actor of genuine merit. Here he heads up a strong cast of low-keyed eccentrics, and he's the best thing in the picture--a bona fide movie star for perhaps the first time. Director/co-writer Stephen Gyllenhaal is an odd filmmaker: the subjects he's drawn to and the crazy spin he puts on the situations can be fascinating, even while he takes his time mounting his story. "Homegrown", about three not-too-bright marijuana growers who try taking over their boss' business affairs after the guy is murdered, is a rather thin black comedy helped by a frazzled, funny last-act. For the first hour, however, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot happening, even though the actors hold interest. It's sadly too disconnected and too minor to make the grade. ** from ****
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8/10
a fun romp
donndahlia27 December 2003
A fun romp...a lot of good twists and turns! (and we were not even baked!)

Didn't know this movie even existed until watching the extra trailers on a Monty Python DVD...(oddly it was there along with The City of Lost Children, and The Adventures of Baron Munchauhsen)

The plot keeps you wondering throughout.

The acting was awesome...Hank Azaria shows his talent again, Bill Bob is Billy Bob...(wecis?)

Definitely worth watching.
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Quality production of an amusing story line.Well worth the effort to see it
mike-38116 October 1998
Another example of a really good small film that didn't get the promotion or distribution it deserved. Billy Bob Thornton just gets better and better. This little film about the Northern California Dope Growers, is great. I disagree with the categorization of the film as a comedy. It is more of a drama with moments of comic relief, but it certainly entertains. There are no great life lessons to be taken from it. (well maybe there is one lesson. If you're doing something illegal, it's best not to have a gunfight in the parking lot thus calling attention to yourself) An incredibly good cast, cleverly written and well performed I'd give this one a solid 8.
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8/10
farmers who are going broke should watch this movie
idunno3 October 1998
Anyone who gives this movie less than 8 needs to step outside & puff a couple. Great story.

Reality is for people who can't handle drugs.
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10/10
Classic Movie, Stoner or Not
pberghuis23 October 2004
This is an awesome movie, and if you haven't seen it, you should go to the video store right now and rent it. First off, the cast is superb. Not only does it have current stars, like Ryan Philippe and Billy Bob Thornton, but it also has your stars of yesteryear like Judge Reinhold. It also has numerous cameos by actors like Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Danson, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Second off, the story was quite good also. It was interesting how they took a plot for a stoner movie, and almost made it dramatic. It takes the drug situation in the United States, and instead of giving it a comedic face like in "Half Baked" it has a true, life lesson image like "Traffic". So watch this movie, if you're a stoner it will give you insight into something you love, if you don't do drugs it will give you a more realistic view of drugs than either side wants you to see.
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Smart, sharp little film
JOHNBATES-19 July 2003
Kinda like an independent flick but with some money and production behind it.

Really puts the viewer in the deep woods (literally) with three ner'do'well pot growers, as their aimless world is suddenly blown apart. Thornton's cool-headed character manages to contain the panic and steer their efforts into capitalizing on the situation. But boneheads being boneheads, the ball manages to get fumbled.

Jon Bon Jovi's small role was smoothly done. Billy Bob Thornton – ever since ‘Trouble Bound' this commenter felt that here was a solid, off-beat talent waiting to happen.

Overall, well cast with good location filming. Captures the spirit of the thing.
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5/10
OK in a pinch
Lee Eisenberg15 February 2007
"Homegrown" is a look at marijuana farming in northern California, and the often unpleasant things that go along with it. The cast is pretty funny, but the whole movie seems a little bit like they got together for the weekend to party and just filmed what happened. In a way, the movie seems a little bit more relevant nowadays, as political action committees challenge the government's "war on drugs". The best part is really the end scene; "Saving Grace" has a similar ending. Overall, it's an OK way to pass time. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Ryan Phillippe, Hank Azaria, Kelly Lynch, John Lithgow, Judge Reinhold, Jamie Lee Curtis and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
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8/10
Lawdy, WE thought it was funny
Grand9 December 1998
If it wasn't meant to be a comedy, the filmmakers sure goofed. If they intended for it to be a comedy, they hit the mark. Our critic says Homegrown is a wonderful film filled with family values and community spirit, recommends it for all audiences, and says that he really liked Jamie Lee Curtis's performance. It deserves a theatrical re-release.
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Billy Bob Thornton - Funny name great actor
mike-38111 November 1998
Homegrown is not a comedy. That said, the film is a marvelous little drama. Billy Bob Thornton just seems to get better and better. The film features a number of cameo appearances by some remarkable actors, John Lithgow, Jamie Leigh Curtis, Ted Danson, but the real genius is Billy Bob. His timing is impeccable, His delivery and body language perfect. The plot is clever and engaging and the performances excellent. I wish I'd seen this one in the theatre. But I can recommend it most highly as an evenings entertainment at home.
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10/10
A pleasant surprise! A must for Thornton and Azaria fans.
EricRous19 October 1998
Homegrown is one of those movies which sort of fell through the cracks, but deserves better. When I first saw it, I had a luke-warm reaction. But, over time, it's really grown on me--no pun intended ;-). The more I see it, the more I appreciate it. The writing is top-notch, as is the acting. Throw in a few surprising cameos and good direction, and you end up with a great little film.

It's also good to finally see Hank Azaria get a chance to shine in a starring role. And Thornton delivers his usual quality performance. Even relative newcomer Ryan Phillippe delivers, playing a friendly innocent with wit and subtlety.

On a side note, Homegrown is simply a "must see" if you're a Billy Bob Thornton fan. It appears Stephen Gyllenhaal was influenced by earlier Thornton projects like One False Move and Sling Blade (though Homegrown is certainly a lot more tongue-in-cheek than either). And Thornton's role as a character who is both sophisticated and down-to-earth is a perfect match for the actor.
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A strange mix of tragedy and comedy that doesn't quite come off.
TxMike7 September 1999
Now I appreciate well-done, unusual movies. Fargo, A Simple Plan, Chasing Amy, Jackie O, Cruel Intentions, those sorts of quirky movies. But Homegrown came over as a bit of a mess. Someone dies unexpectedly, and the foxes try to run the henhouse. But the whole movie has too much yelling, profanity, and silly situations that the overall effect is less than satisfying. I kept asking myself how these guys could be so incompetent. That, of course, is the point of the movie. But its timing and delivery just don't add up. What's the message here, anyway? Maybe it has none. I give it a "5" of 10. See it if you're looking for something different, but don't be surprised if you come away disappointed.
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A killer flick, a surprise all around.......
mr white-530 March 1999
What a great film. Any movie that can be advertised to look like a CHEECH AND CHONG-type weed comedy and than turn around to be a stone-cold suspenseful drama is automatically an A+ in my grading book.

Billy Bob Thornton is as usual unbelievably good. I am a huge fan of his work, ONE FALSE MOVE is probably one of the most low-scale thrillers in the history of film, a well-written flick which doesn't rely on cheap thrills for quality and leaves out the shocking violent portion of the film until the last scene. His performance in A SIMPLE PLAN should have earned him more than an Oscar nomination, and SLING BLADE was possibly one of the best indie flicks I've ever seen. He is a talented actor/screenwriter/director and brings a great deal of flair to this movie.

Azaria and Philippe bring good supporting roles as well, and Ted Danson is hillarious as a hot-tempered Mafioso. Lithgow has a small role, but brings interesting twists to the film whenever on screen.

All around I was surprised by HOMEGROWN, for originally I expected it to be a comedy on par with HALF BAKED and DAZED AND CONFUSED, while the only comedy intended in the flick is tongue-in-cheek, the best kind of all.
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Nice scenery, pity about the people
Philby-323 March 1999
Saw this one by accident on TV, where it fits perfectly. It's a meek little B movie with some A list stars, generally dumb characters, a mundane script, quite a few slow moments and some nice shots inside a Northern California coastal forest. It would make an interesting double bill with "Reefer Madness" though.
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Should have left it on the store shelf
mrfrane22 March 1999
This was tagged and shelved as a comedy, but someone forgot that a comedy was supposed to make you laugh. And someone likewise forgot that any movie was supposed to have a point. Achingly boring film about a group of pot growers trying to harvest and sell their boss' dope after he is mysteriously assassinated. If you have ever seen even one caper film, in which a group of shlubs come into a substantial amount of ill-gotten money, you can pretty well guess how this one turns out.

I managed not to fall asleep during the film, but it was close. Interesting but pointless performances by the major actors and really pointless cameos by John Luthgow, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ted Danson, a lot of beautiful homes on the California coast, some gorgeous bud, yeah, but a point?
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6/10
Flawed, but pretty good
kellytunes1 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie will never be confused with Casablanca or The Godfather, but it's not the bad film that a previous reviewer thinks. Is it a touch far-fetched? Sure. But is life really like that in Humboldt Co. California? Yeah, pretty much. Marijuana is grown in many places, and the money the growers and dealers make does go to other places than just their own pockets. So the bit in the diner with Hank Azaria and Judge Rheinhold is not far fetched at all.

I found the character Malcolm a bit much, but the characters portrayed by the other principle actors (Billy Bob Thornton, Hank Azaria, Ryan Phillipe, Kelly Lynch) were pretty much spot-on, as far as I could tell (and I have been around the trade a bit). As far as the mob connection and the growers being all in a twist about things--well, I don't know. There is certainly a degree of "pride of ownership" with the hardcore growers, but a profit is a profit.

As to the ending, well, I've often said I thought it was sad--but that's just my take on things. A shame to see a ton of ultr-primo weed go to waste (even if it is fictitious weed).
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10/10
the final scene is a dream of mine
real movie views15 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
what a great little film, lots of good roles from some random stars. Basically there are these pot growers that get caught up in a comical adventure. At points the film makes you believe everyone is going to end up dead! Which adds to the comedy. When the character of John Lithgow (3rd Rock) re-appears - its impossible not to imagine the trip, this may have caused, like a total paradox. The film is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing all the way to the end. Billy Bob Thornton Astronaut Farmer) is brilliant, in fact looking back, the character is fairly similar in the fact he holds the family of pot growers together. Everyone involved in this film should get a big thumbs up.

As i say' the final scene is a dream; however a nightmare at the same time. I love it when Hank Azaria (carter) says at the end do you think we should do this every year? I felt my self wishing they would.

I'm not going to say this film is good for everyone, but as a lover of stoner movies i give it 10/10. - My advice have a joint ready; kick back and enjoy!
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Really enjoyed this, well acted, good drama, with some comedy and cameos
iDeb19 September 1999
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. I tend to like Billy Bob movies and this was no exception. Good cameos by actors, playing roles much different than what we usually see them as. Believable too. I especially liked the community angle of the growers. I also live in a small community and it was funny to see the town stand behind each other the way they did.
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7/10
Not a comedy for stoners--a drama about stoners.
bg106928 September 1998
After seeing the trailer it was an easy decision not to see this film. I mean, I don't care for stupid "stoner comedies." I'm sure it was also an easy choice for a lot of people to get together, smoke a bowl and go check out this flick with the guy from The Simpsons and some guy named "Billy Bob." Should have been a good time, but the film's just not that funny--too bad somebody had to go and bum their high.

Unfortunately, I found out that the trailer was misleading after it had already left the theaters, so I had to wait for the video. I really enjoyed it. Nice locations, quality production and excellent performances from the entire cast. Looking back at it, the plot twists weren't totally unexpected, but I didn't find it cumbersome because the premise was so engaging.

So why was this absorbing drama marketed as a comedy? Did something happen to the producer, leaving the associate producers to do the marketing by themselves?
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