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Sideways (2004)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  21 January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 142,783 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 831 user | 282 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 117 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Erganian (as Shaké Toukhmanian)
Mike Erganian (as Duke Moosekian)
Miles's Building Manager
Gary the Bartender
Stephanie's Mother
Frass Canyon Pourer


Miles is a failed writer living a meager existence in San Diego as an English teacher. With his career seemingly fading and the fate of a book hinging on a publisher's decision, Miles is depressed with himself and what he hasn't achieved. Jack is a television actor whom some recognize but not many do, as if he were a minor actor who got a taste of success. With his best friend Miles, the two embark on a road trip through California's wine country. Miles wants to give his friend a nice sendoff before married life, while Jack simply wants to have a fling beforehand. As they're both nearing middle age with not much to show for it, the two will explore the vineyards while ultimately searching for their identities. Written by mystic80

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some strong sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:






Release Date:

21 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entre copas  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$207,042 (USA) (22 October 2004)


$71,502,303 (USA) (13 May 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Voted movie of the year by Empire magazine in 2005. See more »


Miles unwraps the bunch of money he finds in his mother's drawer.In the next shot it is clear that the currencies he is holding were never wrapped. See more »


[first lines]
Miles Raymond: Fuck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No California oak trees were harmed during the making of this production. See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


Written by Pat Thrall and Pat Travers
Performed by Pat Travers
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving
14 November 2004 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer/Director Alexander Payne was the creative force behind one of my favorite films from the past couple of years with "About Schmidt". With "Sideways" he proves his insight into human nature was no fluke, but instead, an amazing gift. He captures many Hollywood stereotypes such as mid-life crisis, groom-to-be cold feet, post-divorce confidence crunch and the overall desire to be loved, or at least liked. What makes Payne's work so unique is his ability to deliver multiple messages, with brilliant comic twists, using little more than unlikeable lead characters and sizzling dialogue! Moral bankruptcy is at a peak in "Sideways" as one of our leads (the magnificent Paul Giamatti from "American Splendor" and "Man on the Moon") steals cash from his mother and the other (Thomas Haden Church from TV's "Wings") is on a mission to have his bachelor party last an entire week while claiming we just don't understand his plight. Also delivering a wonderful touch to the film is Sandra Oh (Diane Lane's pregnant buddy in "Under the Tuscan Sun"). Oh has very unique looks and mannerisms, but is terrific as one of Church's conquests. The soul and spirit of this film belongs to the drastically underrated Virginia Madsen (if you have never seen "The Hot Spot", make it priority viewing). Madsen (sister to cult favorite Michael Madsen of "Kill Bill" and "Reservoir Dogs" fame) literally jumps off the screen with her eyes and smile. Her character wants so much for a better life, but is strong enough to avoid her past mistakes. She is the one we root for. This is an excellent film and nice character study with a snappy jazz score. Payne has proved he should be considered among the best filmmakers of today - now could someone please help his film obtain better distribution!!!

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