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Tully (2000)

R  |   |  Drama  |  14 April 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,704 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 44 user | 23 critic | 20 from

Tully Coates, Jr., with his good looks and chiseled body, is the local heartthrob, and while he has a new girlfriend virtually every night, he's incapable of getting close to anyone. His ... See full summary »


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5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Coates
Tully Coates Jr.
Bob Burrus ...
Tully Russell Coates Sr.
Ella Smalley
Wendy Adams
Joe Smalley ...
Clarence Heiting
Aaron Zavitz ...
April Reece
Vivek Kumar ...
John Durbin ...
V. Craig Heidenreich ...
Burt Hodges
Natalie Canerday ...
Kathryn Gayner ...
Irene Duffy (photos)


Tully Coates, Jr., with his good looks and chiseled body, is the local heartthrob, and while he has a new girlfriend virtually every night, he's incapable of getting close to anyone. His younger brother Earl, the shy and sensitive type, frequents the local revival house. The only common bond between these disparate siblings is Ella Smalley, an intelligent and even-tempered young woman who returns to their Nebraska hometown to intern at a local veterinarian's clinic. Meanwhile, their father, Tully, Sr., a rancher who gets by with the help of his two sons, carries a brooding sadness, a hint of past wounds too long in healing. The family dynamic is changed forever when several secrets surface. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content




Release Date:

14 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Truth About Tully  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,162 (USA) (1 November 2002)


$433,264 (USA) (28 March 2003)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It was originally titled "The Truth About Tully" but was changed when Jonathan Demme's The Truth About Charlie (2002) was announced to be released around the same time. See more »


While Tully Jr. and April are on the hood of his Cadillac, her cigarette pack and lighter move around the roof between shots. See more »


Tully: You know what? Why don't you just go fuck yourself?
See more »


Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

An honest farm tale that is filled with the sentient juices of emotions!
3 January 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Produced by Hilary Birmingham, Annie Sundberg, and included in the Best Feature nomination of the Independent Spirits Awards, this film is definitely a must-see movie.

The film's themes are not too distant from those of About Schmidt, but comes through within incredibly heartfelt and genuine feel about the story. It's easy to get totally hooked to all the characters. It's brilliantly shot, the characters molding in with the landscapes in a manner that exposes their soulful moods.

Truly a solidly good story with an honest, thought provoking, and poignant coming-of-age revelation. Absolutely top-notched performances from a lovely cast ensemble of actors! It's a farm drama that creeps with hidden dark family secrets that gradually unravel – at a cool, quiet, and awesomely engaging pace. Watching the mesmerizing performance of charismatic Julianne Nicholson alone is worth the price of a regular tix. For me, she's the American version of Leslie Carron; for a friend, she's the American version of Emily Watson! Awesomely poised, simple, and charmingly charismatic, she's extremely captivating! And Glenn FitzGerald and Anson Mount – in their roles as the Coates brothers - are two gorgeous youths who couldn't be more different in their personalities and traits, will sweep the audience along a truly heartfelt journey of unsuspecting events that are beautifully knitted together to their final twists. Catherine Kellner's haughty April character is just as credible as the rest of the fine cast of actors. One will even find Natalie Canaday's counter-sales lady a real sweetheart! But Bob Burrus in the role of Tully, Sr. is overwhelming in his performance as the father with the bottled-up feelings. Yep he's definitely more convincing than Jack Nicholson's Schmidt role!

This is one of those few movies that deserve a mighty applause for the good foresight of the casting agent(s). Every once of action, event and expression seems so realistic. It's easy to get so totally swept away by every character. The film does succeed in delivering honest moods of romance, parental and sibling relationships, love, seduction and jealousy, or relationship. There exist that unique sensibility that does not equate with cheesy sexual exploits or crudity. It's not even plastered with any of those distasteful hip-hop extravaganzas to draw the younger viewers. Nice easy dialogue to follow.

According to Director Hilary Birmingham at the Q&A session I attended, the unfortunate delay of the film's release was caused by unforeseen mishaps in distribution deals; firstly by an American-Canadian distribution partnership that went sour, and subsequently by one that went bankrupt. I understand that this film will be released here, sometime in January. As a low-budget film, it definitely deserves no less than a solid A rating!

Saw this movie twice and would be willing to see it again!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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