$5 a Day (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,617 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 30 critic

The son of a thrifty conman begrudgingly joins his father on the road.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Real Estate Lady
Bar Manager
Gregory Chase ...
Reporter (as Greg Chase)
Judith Greentree ...
IHOP Waitress


In L.A., Flynn Parker loses his job as a health inspector when his time in prison comes to light, his girlfriend Maggie moves out because of his prevarications, and his ne'er-do-well father, Nat, summons him to Atlantic City with a tale of a malignant cancer. Flynn doesn't like Nat, a small-time hustler and the cause of Flynn's jail time, but Nat cajoles his son into a cross-country trip through family memories toward New Mexico where an experimental treatment awaits. The trip is not just about the past, but whether either can tell the truth - and then what to do with those truths. From time to time, Flynn calls Maggie to leave messages. And what about Flynn's mother? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Relationships don't come cheap! See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Dollars More  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the 8 weeks of preproduction, they tried many others, before Sweet'N'Low finally agreed. But they didn't benefit otherwise from product placement. See more »


When Nat and Ritchie start out on their trip Nat makes Ritchie pull over quickly to get a hair cut. In the background you can see a toll booth. Later in the film you can see them swerve off the freeway with the same toll booth in the background. See more »


Features Old Yeller (1957) See more »


I Don't Mind
Written and Performed by Marcus Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

"$5 a Day" is the best of indie film-making
19 September 2010 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"$5 a Day" is a father-son road trip movie. You may think you've seen that done way too many times before, but it plays out as if it's completely original. This is, quite simply, one of the best indie films ever. It may not be completely independent as it does have an all-star cast behind it.

The handsome and completely endearing Alessandro Nivola is Flynn, the son, who is just trying to live a normal life. Christopher Walken, still on top of his game, is Nat, the father, who schemes and lies his way into living and travelling on just 5 dollars a day. After Flynn loses his job and Nat insists he's dying, Flynn agrees to drive his father across the country for treatment. There are plenty of hilarious cons and schemes, but also some touching honesty, along the way.

"$5 a Day" is a fantastic dramedy. It is billed as a comedy and it does have some low-key humour and many laughs. But by just calling it a comedy, that doesn't seem to give the film full credit for the brilliant character writing. There is a lot of intelligent undertones in the actions of the characters as they each mature in the journey. And the writer did that with subtlety and humour, no melodrama here.

This film was done better than I ever thought a relationship road trip movie could be done. I laughed all of the way, just enjoying the characters, and I didn't find all of the subtle lessons on relationships until after it was over. Walken and Nivola had great chemistry and completely won me over. I now expect them to play father and son in all of their future movies.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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