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The Boys Are Back (2009)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,605 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 35 user | 103 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A sports writer becomes a single parent in tragic circumstances.

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(novel), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Nicholas McAnulty ...
...
Barbara
...
Tom
...
Digby
Natasha Little ...
Flick
Lewis Fitz-Gerald ...
Tim Walker
Nakia Pires ...
Lucy
...
Mia
...
School Housemaster
Georgina Naidu ...
Paula
Daniel Carter ...
Digby & Paula's Child
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Storyline

The Boys Are Back is a confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter who, in the wake of his wife's death, finds himself in a sudden, stultifying state of single parenthood. Joe Warr throws himself into the only child-rearing philosophy he thinks has a shot at bringing joy back into their lives: "just says yes." Raising two boys - a curious six year-old and a rebel teen from a previous marriage -- in a household devoid of feminine influence, and with a lack of rules, life becomes exuberant, instinctual, reckless... and on the constant verge of disaster. The three multi-generational boys of the Warr household, father and sons alike, must each find their own way, however tenuous, to grow up. Written by Miramax

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Growing up can be the adventure of a lifetime See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

De vuelta a la vida  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$49,342 (USA) (25 September 2009)

Gross:

$783,013 (USA) (30 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first time that South Australian Director Scott Hicks has filmed a movie in his home state of South Australia since 1996's Academy Award winning Shine (1996). See more »

Quotes

Katy: Will you do one more thing for me, Joe?
Joe Warr: Anything.
Katy: Buy that convertible.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 26 September 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sea is a Siren
Written by Brendan Gallagher, Stuart Eadie, Amber Weedon (Universal Music Publishing/Copyright Control)
Performed by Karma County
Licensed courtesy of Karma County
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Good, but...
18 September 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

There is much to admire in this film.

The acting is superb. In fact it is Oscar worthy, whether from Clive Owen or either of the young actors playing his sons. (I fear the 6 year old will get all the praise, but the 14 year old's performance was simply brilliant and more difficult.)

The story is honest, fresh, and touching. This isn't a, "What happens if..." movie. This is not just a true life story, it is a true to life story. You can see that Scott Hicks had one goal, honesty. He succeeds at every level and this is perhaps the most honest film you will ever see.

So why did I debate giving this film a 6 or 7 and not an 8 or 9 or 10? Because in this quest for truthfulness, it often fails to satisfy. It is, in many ways, a movie that only asks questions and provides no answers. They did their best to reach inside this story and create a beginning, middle, and end, but the truth is that at the end you are left without any of your needs met. I absolutely did not want Hollywood elements tossed in, but the story is simply incomplete. It is real. And real stories are incomplete. I suppose I want to praise this movie for being brave enough to not satisfy while warning friends, "Look, this is a very good film, but it's focus is honesty even if that means ignoring your needs as an audience."

Perhaps over time I will come to see this as brilliant. The characters are often not getting their needs met, and neither does the audience. But how do you recommend someone pay $10 to not have their emotional needs met? At the screening I attended, there was a Q&A with Scott Hicks and Clive Owen. Many people joked about a sequel with their questions, because clearly there could never be a sequel. Even Clive joked about sequel titles. You know what? I believe all the sarcasm about a potential sequel came from the truth that this story is unfinished.

So...

If you feel like seeing honesty and emotional truth, if you want a break from Hollywood BS, if you want to see a slice of real life without any pretense or falsehood, rush to this movie. And I do hope you enjoy it more than I did because of these warnings.


53 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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