Up 627 this week

Personal Effects (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  27 March 2009 (Taiwan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,744 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 12 critic

Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (short story "Mansion of the Hill")
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 04 Sep 2011
a list of 21 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
a list of 23 titles
created 29 Mar 2013
a list of 48 titles
created 17 Jun 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 07 Jan 2014

Related Items

Search for "Personal Effects" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Personal Effects (2009)

Personal Effects (2009) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Personal Effects.
1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Spread (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A sex comedy centered on a serial womanizer and his jilted lover.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche, Margarita Levieva
Chéri (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The son of a courtesan retreats into a fantasy world after being forced to end his relationship with the older woman who educated him in the ways of love.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates
Guess Who (2005)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A sarcastic father (Mac) has plenty to say about his daughter wanting to marry a white boy (Kutcher).

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On a flight from Los Angeles to New York, Oliver and Emily make a connection, only to decide that they are poorly suited to be together. Over the next seven years, however, they are ... See full summary »

Director: Nigel Cole
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Taryn Manning
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Deep End of The Ocean is a film about a family's reaction when Ben, the youngest son is kidnapped and then found nine years later, living in the same town, where his family had just moved.

Director: Ulu Grosbard
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Whoopi Goldberg
Killers (2010)
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A vacationing woman meets her ideal man, leading to a swift marriage. Back at home, however, their idyllic life is upset when they discover their neighbors could be assassins who have been contracted to kill the couple.

Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A mother falls for a younger man while her daughter falls in love for the first time. Mother Nature messes with their fates.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Saoirse Ronan
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year's Eve.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man and a woman are compelled, for legal reasons, to live life as a couple for a limited period of time. At stake is a large amount of money.

Director: Tom Vaughan
Stars: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

"King Lear" set on a farm in Iowa.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Just Married (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A young newlywed couple honeymoon in Europe, where obstacles challenge their ability to sustain the marriage.

Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy, Christian Kane
The Guardian I (2006)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward


Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Hudson ...
John Mann ...
Kyle Toy ...
Brock Johnson ...


Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and goes to the trial of the accused murderer. He becomes friends with Linda, her husband murdered; she's raising a teen son, Clay, who's deaf. Walter gets Clay into wrestling. He accompanies Linda to events at a center where she works. He sees her at the courthouse. They wait for verdicts. Walter's mother takes her daughter's things to a rummage sale. Clay has his father's pistol. How will grief express itself? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The space between loss and love.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

27 March 2009 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Efectos personales  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was given a very limited release in theaters despite its A-list cast. See more »


When Linda and Walter are riding on the bus, she spots someone on a side street. They start yelling for the bus driver to stop, which he eventually does. But when we see them stepping off the bus, it's right at the corner of the street where the person is. They would have had to walk back at least a block. See more »


[first lines]
Clay: I collect goldfish. I keep them in a small tank in my bedroom. Other kids my age like dogs - if they like animals at all. But for me, it's goldfish. I understand them, living under water in a little bowl, hearing nothing, just watching everything through glass.
See more »


References Late Show with David Letterman (1993) See more »


The Sweetheart Stone
Written by Dave Caughey and Lauren Connor
Performed by Dave Caughey
Courtesy of Indy Hits Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Personal Effects
31 July 2009 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

I suppose Ashton Kutcher is a shoo-in for his role here. Given a romantic relationship between a young man and a much older woman, Kutcher's real life experiences would have probably given him a head start in the auditions (if there was one), since he has walked the talk, and this aspect of the story would come off as no surprise. Then again, for writer-director David Hollander, this could have been getting this talked-about area out of the way, because the story here is richer than what the synopsis had painted, offering an engaging tale about the connections found between lost, broken souls.

The entire film is shrouded and draped in deep melancholy, and even the art direction and sets are nary bright and dandy, despite having weddings, an occasion for happiness, interspersed throughout the narrative. Hollander had crafted a series of multi-faceted characters and they got fleshed out brilliantly through the wonderful individual nuances to bring out the uniqueness of each one, with a common thread between them in having to be found holding onto things from the past, or plagued by the unhappy nightmares that life had dished out to them. For those who have lost someone dear, you'd probably feel just about the same way as the characters here, and especially in that seeking of justice when a crime has been committed against a loved one.

For those who equate Ashton Kutcher with his popular P'unked gag series, you'd probably already know about his flair for comedy, having his fair share of films like What Happened In Vegas and Just Married providing that showcase for his comic timing. For me, there's always this much under-exploited aspect of Kutcher's talent for dramatic flair. Glimpses of it are seen in The Butterfly Effect, one of my favourite films in recent times, and that same angst, despair and sheer quiet determination become more prominent here.

As for Michelle Pfeiffer, who wouldn't welcome her luminous presence? Last seen in Stardust after an extremely long hiatus from the silver screen, her role as the widow Linda brings about a certain sense of regal frailty, being the single parent to bring up a mute son Clay (Spencer Hudson) against difficult odds. Attracted to Kutcher's Walter, their relationship is actually nothing to scoff about, what being a cradle snatcher and all, but because of that instant connection that they share in the pain of having lost someone dear, and having to sit through agonizing court cases that could swing in anyone's favour.

And of course rounding up the star-studded cast is Kathy Bates as Walter's mom, attending therapy sessions to cope with the pain of loss, and learning to let go. Special mention too goes to Spencer Hudson's performance as the gentle giant Clay, who gets to show that he's no pushover when he gets cornered. While that led to some predictable elements toward the end, it wrapped up pretty nicely (though some may say cop-out), in having a rather confusing start iron itself out properly. Hollander managed to bookend the film going full circle, and I thought it was a neat spark of interest at the front in keeping things very fluid to engage the audience's attention.

Personal Effects is quiet, effectively emotive film that got blessed by a great cast highlighting that in moments of grief, there are always those whom we can turn to for comforting solace. It has potential to make it to my end of year shortlist of favourite films, and without a doubt, recommended!

17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
1 of the Worst movies of 2009 - favorite candidate Orcuna
Did anyone else love this movie? Mellowcide
Lack of subtitles - real bummer locoowl
Rating ianmic-1
saw the movie last night CRfolks
They're filming this at my school! Viewtiful_John
Discuss Personal Effects (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: