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Third Star (2010)

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James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.



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James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.

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Release Date:

25 June 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barafundle Bay  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£1,500,000 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


Benedict Cumberbatch originally wanted to shave his head to better portray a man dying of cancer, but wasn't allowed as he was filming "Sherlock" at the time. See more »


Beachcomber: I lost a friend to cancer. My best friend ever.
Davy: Sorry.
Beachcomber: It's not your fault. It's just really, really, really, really unlucky.
Davy: Right.
Beachcomber: I have other friends. People find me attractive. But I started looking for a new best friend in my existing friends and then acquaintances and then new people.
Davy: How long are you going to carry on looking?
Beachcomber: For a new best friend?
Davy: No for the, uhm...
Beachcomber: Oh. Uhm, no, I tend to look for things.
Davy: Yeah.
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Cherokee Shuffle
Performed by John Campbell, Mansel Kedwood, and Kevin Lewis
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User Reviews

Cumberbatch gives a star-making performance that didn't make him a star
22 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Third Star" was released in 2010 and, had it been a bigger film, would have won Benedict Cumberbatch an Oscar. Stardom for him was inevitable, however, as shortly afterward, he shot to stardom as "Sherlock" in the PBS series. Now he's everywhere. And he deserves to be.

Made on a small budget and directed by Hattie Dalton, "Third Star" is about James, a 29-year-old (Cumberbatch) dying of rhabdomyosarcoma, a horrible cancer that attacks the muscles. He has very little time left and is dependent upon painkillers. He wants to go to his favorite place, Barafundle Bay in West Wales. So his three best friends Davy, Miles, and Bill (Tom Burke, J.J. Field, and Adam Robertson) take him, even though it's not a good idea. James is weak and has trouble walking due to the disease in one of his legs. The guys push him in a cart that also contains their luggage for the trip.

En route, we learn about them. Davy has been taking care of James since he became ill; Miles is a writer turned businessman, whose father was a successful novelist. Miles, once a very close friend of James', hasn't been in touch for a while, and we learn that he's written a book he hasn't shown anyone. Bill is living with a woman who is not the love of his life, but he can't seem to break up with her.

These guys fight, have outbursts of anger, tell each other off, laugh, and joke, each dealing with James' illness in his own way. And James deals with life and impending death in his own way. "I don't want to die. I want more time," he says, and tells his friends off for being "safe." "Life isn't about the hand you're dealt, but the hand you feel safe playing." Some tough confessions emerge. ("Your illness disgusts me.") but eventually James asks them for a final favor.

"Third Star" is beautifully acted, but the first 45 minutes or so are slow and a disorganized, if that's the right world -- by disorganized, I mean there's a lot of the guys fooling around and trading barbs, and it becomes a bit much.

Cumberbatch gives a breathtaking, heartfelt, devastating performance, but everyone is excellent. The very handsome J.J. Fields is a standout as well -- his role is a little larger than that of the other two friends, and there's an excellent cameo by Hugh Bonneville.

Stick with it, and you'll be inspired and uplifted. Caution: You'll want a large box of tissues nearby.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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