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Undertow (2004)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,571 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 64 user | 73 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

The Munns, father John and sons Chris and Tim, recede to the woods of rural Georgia. Their life together is forever changed with the arrival of Uncle Deel, though the tragedy that follows ... See full summary »

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Title: Undertow (2004)

Undertow (2004) on IMDb 6.7/10

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bern
...
Officer Clayton
...
John Munn
...
Tim Munn
...
Deel Munn
...
Wadsworth Pela
...
Amica Pela
Charles 'Jester' Poston ...
Hard Hat Dandy
Mark Darby Robinson ...
Conway
...
Grant the Mechanic
...
Muriel the Cashier (as Leigh Hill)
Alfred M. Jackson ...
Dock Worker
William D. Turner ...
Dock Worker
Edit

Storyline

The Munns, father John and sons Chris and Tim, recede to the woods of rural Georgia. Their life together is forever changed with the arrival of Uncle Deel, though the tragedy that follows forces troubled Chris to become a man. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Undertow  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,354 (USA) (22 October 2004)

Gross:

$24,947 (USA) (22 October 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(one scene)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Gordon Green originally wanted to title the film "The Narrow Pilgrim," focusing on Tim in his pilgrim costume at Thanksgiving. The original story was going to put Tim more in the focus, along with his eating disorder. He is thin and ratty, due to his pica condition, and in a pilgrim costume: "The Narrow Pilgrim." However, he quickly began to change it due it him discovering that it would not be a very marketable title. See more »

Goofs

Chris and Tim start down the staircase to escape the house, Tim has a backpack slung over his left shoulder. The backpack is gone when they reach the bottom of the steps. Later, when they run up to their room, Chris packs some items in the backpack that is lying on the bed. See more »

Quotes

Tim Munn: Knock-knock.
Chris Munn: Who's there?
Tim Munn: Interrupting Cow.
Chris Munn: Interrup -...
Tim Munn: Mooooo!
See more »

Crazy Credits

[at the start of the film] The following film was made with the assistance of the Drees County law enforcement agencies and the surviving family of John W. Munn. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Under the Undertow (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

A Bubble Saved from Boiling
(2004)
Written by David Gordon Green
Performed by Josh Lucas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intense, brooding, grimy – this is the best film I've seen in a long time
26 July 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Director David Gordon Green's critically acclaimed Undertow is a strange but gripping experience. I don't know any other film quite like this. We've seen the slow pacing build up tension in the plot before in films, but it's so much more than that in Undertow – it's the pace of a family's life in the deep backwoods of Georgia and it it patiently lets us absorb everything. Maybe I was in a sensitive and impressionable frame of mind when I saw it, because I remember being so shaken and touched by this fare that its visuals and mood still haunt me.

But this patient, slow pace is the calm before the storm as it comes to an end when the brother of the father of the family comes to visit, newly released from prison. Josh Lucas is this brother, and he captures the shady nature of his character with effortless conviction. His presence is felt in scenes he is not even in. Upon arriving to the family, the film just takes a completely different turn and we follow the two brave kids in the family on the run in the south from their uncle.

This is further emphasized by attention-grabbing frames that freeze whenever intensity builds up. This may seem anti-climactic, but it's extremely effective and it makes the chase sequences very exciting and 1970s-influenced. So it essentially shifts between chase mode and (eerily) quiet South-paced calm in a genius way. If you like your films fast-paced and action-filled however, its brilliance may be lost on you – but if you give it time, Undertow will surprise you as it's unpredictable, even in style. This is just how meticulously-crafted it is.

The film is grimy, dense, brooding and realistic and it zooms in on the deep necks of Georgia, featuring some gorgeously striking visuals, making you feel the dirt and heat of the deep south as if you were right there, breathing the murky warm air from the brown rivers. Some say Green's directing style is reminiscent of Terrence Malick (it is very visually-driven) but I don't think so – rather it is an insult to the former; Green clearly knows what he's doing and lets nature visuals facilitate the story he tells, while Malick lets the story facilitate his pointless nature visuals.

I loved Undertow more every minute it progressed and am now prepared to give this film a 9 out 10. I also have it firmly stapled in my top 10 films of all time list and that is quite a feat for such a low-key dark horse.

9/10


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