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I can barely express myself about this movie
sydniejimerson16 February 2012
In giving a movie ten stars I feel like I really have to explain why but I'm not sure I even can. The first reviewer on this movie talks about how boring most of the movie is but I have to say I disagree. Although I can see how some people might not be enraptured by parts of the film I really enjoyed all of it, even the parts that seemed unimportant. I thought the acting was amazing, everyone did a perfect job, there were humorous parts that sort of caught you off guard and you CANNOT help but sympathize heavily with these characters.

And then there's the ending. I have to agree that the ending is the best part of the film, and I also have to say that I never cry at movies.

I really don't. I might get teary eyed at a sentimental or touching scene but I have only actually cried at a movie maybe twice in my life. I cried at this movie a LOT, and rather heavily. And at the end I sat through the entire credit reel just crying and crying. I generally don't like sad movies but this was beautiful and tells an amazing story about friends and what they'll do for each other even in terrible situations no one should have to deal with. It's short, and perfectly so.

And I'm just not sure I can express beyond this how much this movie has EFFECTED me. I will buy it at some point and it will be in my list of top ten movies of all time. I'm shocked by the low viewer ratings but I do realize a lot of people have a hard time with "slow moving" films and I suppose this could qualify as one but the slow moving plot really sets the mood and gets you attached to the characters before the end. And I just must say I loved this movie.
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Beautiful, memorable, heartrending, and transcendent
mayadreamer1 June 2011
The performances are intriguing and, in particular, Cumberbatch is memorable and often mesmerizing as James, a terminally ill young man. The scenery is beautiful, and the backdrop of the Welsh coastline thematically frames the friends' journey to help James visit his favorite place on earth. Although death is often the emphasis of reviews, the film plays up the importance of love and friendship, highlighting just what makes us alive.

The audience likely will recognize or identify with a personality or two among the four friends making the journey to Barafundle Bay, but the film doesn't resort to "types." The friends have different opinions about their own--and each other's--lives, but they share a bond that can't be broken.

As other reviewers have noted, you should stick with the film for the final payoff. Undoubtedly you'll be left with something to think about--and shouldn't that be one aim of a good film?
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Beautiful film with excellent performances!
zebidee3225 May 2011
I really enjoyed this film. The script is written with warmth and compassion, sensitively realized by Hattie Dalton and is very impressive for a first feature. It's beautifully shot and really showcases the stunning Pembrokeshire locations. The acting is strong from the whole cast, with an inspiring central performance from Cumberbatch. Hugh Bonneville's cameo appearance is unexpected and very funny - a must see for fans! With a sharp script and well drawn, believable characters the film takes a refreshing approach to the material and stays with you long after leaving the cinema. Definitely worth a watch.
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A bit more than a day at the seaside
Chris_Docker27 June 2010
Third Star could almost be described as viewer reverse-engineered. Once you've seen the ending, it's fairly easy not only to justify the tedium of the rest of the film but to see meaning and relevance in material that almost sent you despairing to the nearest emergency exit. Several people even walked out in the press screening I attended, which is unusual. If I had just gone out for a nice evening's entertainment, I'm sure I would have headed off or even used my seat to grab a quick nap. I'm relating this in case you find yourself in a similar dilemma: if you do, my message is, DON'T LEAVE BEFORE THE END.

Four 30-something male friends set off for a remote area of Wales. One of them, James, is seriously ill with cancer. His mates are taking him for a holiday send-off in his favourite part of the world. External events soon make it plain they have bitten off more than they can chew. They have to surmount their insecurities to come clean and build a deeper level of trust based on total honesty. But that is only the start . . .

This is a film dedicated to the iPod generation. The society of urbanites who are more concerned with whether their iPhone will sync across several platforms than matters of life and death or even whether relationships need to be ideal when most people can, after all, "just settle for something that will do" and so let them get on with the day-to-day business of 'life.' Perhaps some people can relate better than I can to the bulk of this movie (some people did chuckle at the occasional humour). I love the beautiful opening, with the air blowing through the grass, the seawater, the fire of birthday candles flaming and then being extinguished. From thereon it seemed all horribly downhill until the end scenes – which, in total contrast, practically induce a state of shock.

Characters are routinely introduced, their backstories rather artificially introduced into the dialogue. They go off on their rather boring adventure, have boring little interludes such as a village fete turning into a brawl, and a meeting with a daft beachcomber searching for washed-up Daath Vader memorabilia. Of his parents, James says, "Sickness may be mine but the tragedy is theirs." And mine too, I think, for sitting through this stuff. Hair-pulling inanities abound in the trivial conversation. How can intelligent men mouth off such superficial rubbish? I allow myself to be distracted by the nice (if totally unoriginal) sunset photography. Halfway through, as a further treat for sitting there that long, I let my mind dwell on the most fascinating thing so far, a ferry price list that says, "Ferry £3. Return £6.50." This occupies me long enough to get through the next round of male hissy fits as they argue over individually failing lives. Another bit of pleasantly contrived photography comes up as they get to their destination – dancing and splashing in the sea, sunlight reflecting and sparkling (whoopee) classically off the water. Sound and vision is generally faultless, I should mention, and there's some good incidental music. What a waste (or so I thought).

Then the plotwinder kicks in with a vengeance. Dilemmas presented with frighteningly diminishing time-scales. Third Star is here fulfilling a major practical use of narrative art: making us ask, what would I do in such a situation? Any preliminary conclusions are rapidly challenged, as events shift the goal posts. Superficiality in the long lead-up becomes both a necessary factor for the denouement catching us off-guard; as well as providing commentary on how we push important questions aside for another day that (we think) never comes.

Third Star was shot in Wales on a budget of £450,000 using Super 16. Talented director Hattie Dalton and deviously clever scriptwriter Vaughan Sivell have, by accident or design, done annoyingly well. If you find yourself in a cinema watching their film, I advise you to either enjoy it or sit through it until the end. DON'T give up. Like James, 'feel the fight' in yourself one last time. You know it'll be worth it.

I am reminded of another excellent movie from a totally different genre that succeeded in misleading audiences just as as well as this one. Horror fans will recall Audition, an apparently laid-back, low-budget Asian effort. It lulled me into a sense of being able to handle with one eye shut anything such patently 'struggling filmmakers' might come up with. Only to revise my opinions with large helpings of humble pie that stuck firmly in my throat. I can't quite put Third Star in that category, but it is a damn clever movie. Even the less-than-shattering revelations mid-film, retrospectively become like the car backfiring in a noir movie (heralding a gun going off) or a door slamming in a slasher movie (heralding a bigger fright to come). But Third Star's issues are not from other-worldy fiction: they are a commentary on how we live, and how we routinely refuse to communicate on deep levels until almost too late.
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Subtle and real. Perfection.
vivi_120118 March 2012
Four friends, one of whom (James) is terminally ill, go off on a last trip to James's favourite place, Barafundle Bay in Wales. The plot therefore is simplicity itself and the film captures this simple idea and makes it shine. One reviewer described the first half as 'tedium', in my opinion nothing could be further from the truth. While the dialogue may seem trivial at times, it is exactly the kind of exchange one would expect of four friends under these circumstances. Light-hearted banter, foolishness and fun offset the looming tragedy, sorrow and pain. Very rarely have I seen a film that from the first frame just felt real. This one does. No over-elaborate flashbacks to explain a backstory that isn't really needed, the actors manage to establish the friendship just through their interactions, chemistry and dialogue. The performances are excellent, especially Benedict Cumberbatch as James is truly remarkable. Four male friends on a last adventure. Fun, revelations, regrets, redemption, grief and the subtle realism of it all. Definitely worth watching!
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Genuine and heartfelt
kriszcsiki13 May 2012
How often do we get to watch a movie and laugh in one minute, cry in the other? When emotions run so deep that we smile through our tears and tear up when laughing at a joke... This is what this movie did to me. Kudos to the cast for a brilliant performance, each in their own role, and to the director to provide a wonderful audio-visual background to the beauty that lies in the friendships of these four young men.

After seeing it, we ask ourselves: would we be able to do what Davy did? Could we be this strong and brave? Maybe if we love someone that much. Maybe.

Another question is: how would we deal with a serious illness? How CAN we? The alternative is wait until it vanquishes us and steals everything from us that we used to be, that used to make us what we are, or... or take the upper hand and go out screaming. Choose how we want to end it. Choose to miss many important events and great moments... because we want to feel capable... just once again. James poses this question and we are left wondering up until the end which alternative he chooses.

I strongly, highly recommend this film to everyone who loves genuine human emotions portrayed without sentimentalism, who thinks that friendship is not over-rated and that there can be times when friends are all that's left to rely on. Because in friendship, we have a choice.
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Heartbreaking Art-house-cinema
heidiguard-nanookie13 April 2012
Great film, powerful and moving. It ranges somewhere between "A Single Man" and "Tree of Life" and definitely belongs into the "Arthouse"-section. If you enjoy slow-paced, poetic storytelling and are not opposed to the odd figurative metaphor this is definitely a good tip.

Anyway, at first I was frustrated because I didn't understand a lot of the dialogue. But the subtitles distracted me from the scenes and so I turned them off. I only realized about half-way through the film that it was really quite unimportant what they were talking about. It was the mood that counted, the emotions and the dynamics between the characters. To me, their emotional journey was beautifully illustrated and underlined by the gradual loss of their luggage - their worldly possessions, so to say - and artificial means of help, leaving them literally on their own with barely anything besides their naked emotions in the end, and here only the stuff that really mattered. I think one can safely say that the film truly "boils down" to its ending. Here I have to say that ALL actors were brilliant. The breathtaking Benedict Cumberbatch might have had the leading role and the most screen time in total but EVERYBODY did a fantastic job at showing the conflicting emotions that occur in this kind of situation. I also thought that everything was pretty realistic, thanks to a fabulous script. The anger, being envious of the people around you for the time they still have, the regret and bitterness but also the peace and the feeling of security that comes with knowing your destination are all feelings that one can relate to.

Besides, the film was beautifully shot and edited. The quiet pictures of the sea or of birds wheeling overhead alternating with the scenes of emotional tension, the soundtrack... it all fitted together perfectly. Anyway, prepare a big box of tissues if you plan to sit through this one. BC's performance will break your heart.
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Beautiful and heartwrenching, keep the tissues close
bangel54602 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The premise of this movie is pretty simple and straightforward - four good friends decide to go on a sort of backpacking journey, simple enough except that one of them is dying and this trip is his last wish in a way. For a movie that starts of a bit slow it packs a big emotional punch in the end, surprising you completely. The performances by all four leads were exceptional and you really believe these four people have been friends for years, their interactions and gestures are very believable. But Benedict Cumberbatch stood out from the rest with his subtlety and emotion that pulls you in without saying much yet making a point (the scene in the tent after he wakes up in the middle of the night with everyone sleeping comes to mind). Also the actor that played Miles was great, the last scene between him and James at the beach was almost painful to watch because it just felt so real, which is a testament to great acting on their parts. All in all, a great little gem of a movie well worth seeing, if you can pull through the slower parts it will reward you with great scenery, heartbreaking performances and a thought provoking ending.
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Cumberbatch gives a star-making performance that didn't make him a star
blanche-222 August 2012
"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.
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"Since I was little, this is my favorite place to come"
Marta8 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Well, on the surface this is a no-nonsense film about the last days of a young man who is terminally ill and his three best friends ("I'm 29, won't be 30").

Take a step back though and approach the film as a story about growing up and leaving your childhood beyond, and suddenly a lot of things in the film acquire a new meaning (to me at least).

The title of the film is referring to Peter Pan, thus I think I can say with some certainty that I am not stretching the subsequent analysis beyond belief: James symbolizes the childhood/youth of the main characters (it is a fact that he will never grow up just like Peter Pan) and his death symbolizes the loss of said childhood.

The acting is brilliant all around,and should be noted for it's subtlety (Benedict Cumberbatch, I'm looking at you). The script is quite good, the scenery is beautiful and the symbolism is a little heavy handed from time to time. Let me just mention: The angel throwing away the watch in the beginning (nice touch), the lonely seagull leaving the flock then disappearing, the tunnel with the light,the older guy looking for star wars figures (yes- looking for his childhood, never giving up his dreams. And representing what will happen to our main characters if the are unable to let James go)).And finally, of course, the old boatman. Yes- we even get the boatman of the dead. I guess one way to see the eye makeup-thing is a reference to Charon's flashing eyes).

In conclusion: I like to be heavily manipulated sometimes, so I like this film. As a modern take on Peter Pan it's actually quite good.
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Barafundle Bay, a beautiful place to expose yourself
Reno Rangan2 September 2013
Not so long ago I saw another British children's movie called 'Ways to live forever', what I was gonna say is this movie was kinda same but belongs to adult men. I have read somewhere online that a British newspaper quoted about it 'Facing death like men: with beer, jokes and a holiday', yes it was the movie will give you joyful time you spend for it simultaneously will break the heart. A true friendship movie which had an adventurous quest, the characters reveal their true nature while they all different from each other but one gang. When they came to know each other what happen between their long term relationship is lay on the question mark.

The story follows when four friends take a camping trip to a coastal region called Barafundle Bay. While the journey bit by bit everything starts to reveal behind their trip which includes love, friendship and sometime pain. What comes at the twilight of the story was the emotional tale. The places where the movie takes were breathtaking and stunningly captured on camera.

The screenplay was well written, the movie kick starts slowly without much development to what's going on, then constantly picks up the pace towards its destined. Phase by phase it often delivers some laughing out loud comedies to not to fall on boredom side.

Couple of mysterious characters enters into the story, one was a winged boy like an angel and another one was a man on his quest to expose what he heard from someone who lost it. These two makes temptation on quick turn and twist to the story which was already in constant flow. It all brings the surreal to keep things moving and make audience to keep guessing on what's coming next. Believe me you don't wanna miss this movie, I know it was not a masterpiece but a pleasant surprising tale about four guys.
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Scary but Real
djnever0030 September 2013
I am not at the point this film displays, but I am 21 and face a tumour almost touching my brain. I'm nowhere near suicide tho so no worries there. This film felt obnoxiously real tho. I watched this because of Cumberpatch's performance as Holmes. An incredibly gripping film, I hated watching, until I watched the end. All actors played their role to perfection. The realities of facing the challenges that come up in life are so well portrayed. Messy situations lead to making a decision based on what we think is right now. All this leads up to the modern collapse of all morality. No one knows what is right and what is wrong anymore. Everything is right. Nothing is wrong.
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Entrancing and Fantastically Done
Emma Nickles19 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the few films I will give a 10/10. The film was all around fantastically done, the directing and cinematography was executed very well, and the performances by the actors(especially Benedict Cumberbatch)gave this film life. It is a heartbreaking tale of four friends who go to visit Barafundle Bay in Wales after their friend James, who has terminal cancer, makes it one of his last wishes to see it again. The story follows them on their adventure there and the friendship they have created and bonded through. In the end James tells them his plan of drowning himself in the water so he can end his life happy and feeling something, instead of slowly fading away into his illness. It is devastating to see the group have to come to terms with his inevitable death and how much pain James is truly in. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays his character sublimely and makes you want to cry out with him. The ending is truly what brings this movie together and while it is heart breaking, it is hauntingly beautiful. I can tell you I hardly cry while watching movies, but this really touched me in a way that no other movie ever has. I sobbed, tears ran down my face during the credits. I'm shocked by how some people think it is "slow" or "uneventful" because it is really a beautiful film that can be a life changer. When this movie ends, you'll want to go see the world, live your life, and hug your family because it shows or short and precious your time on earth really is. Watch this movie, and I promise you won't regret it. (Keep some tissues near by!)
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Poignant, Beautiful, Thought-provoking
heidee717 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"I'm 29 today. I won't see 30."

This is how James starts off the film. Right away it strikes a chord in me because that is my age at this moment. How would it feel, to have to say that? "I'm 29 today. I won't see 30." Suddenly I want to berate myself for panicking about turning 30. It's lovely to reach 30. Not everyone gets the chance.

James goes on to introduce the other important characters in his life, who have all come together to celebrate his birthday - his last one. His three life long best friends Davey, Bill and Miles. His sister Chloe, who is taking it pretty badly but tries to hide it. His parents, who keep a brave face but... no one should outlive their children. Then he utters the next line that tugs at my heart.

"The sickness may be mine but the tragedy is theirs."

Barely five minutes into the film and I am already in tears. Great. Just great.

The rest of the film is about a trip to James's favorite place on earth, Barafundle Bay. His best friends give him this wish... and all of his wishes, as it turns out, in the end. The trip is no easy one, no simple road trip. They actually had to hike up these mountains while pushing their things, and sometimes James, in a makeshift cart. At some points they lose some of their possessions, including the cart, so they have to carry James. As I watched them doing all these things for their friend, tears slid down my cheek in appreciation of their love for him.

I came undone at the scene with the fireworks. His friends had the idea that since James liked looking at the stars and "dancing in the cosmos" that they would put on a fireworks display for him. So they do just that and as the sky lights up, so does James, in that way that people do when they are in genuine awe of something beautiful and spectacular. I just knew what he was thinking then - "My God it's beautiful. I'm glad I get to experience it one last time." It was a true testament to Benedict Cumberbatch's acting skill that he was able to convey this much with merely his facial expressions. I cried for him. And I cried for his friends, who did this for him.

While there's a lot of laughter among them, there are also tension-filled moments, some even ending up in fisticuffs. James tells off his friends, telling them that he is angry at them for living a life that is watered down. "It's not about the cards that life deals you, it's about the hand that you feel safe playing," he tells Davey. James get his own reprimands, though, from Miles, who reminds him that he only started writing his novel when it became too painful to stand up. "You never finish anything."

Despite all setbacks, they eventually do manage to reach Barafundle Bay.

And they're all happy as they enjoy a romp in the water until that night, when James springs something on them. "Tomorrow I'm going to swim out into the middle of the bay and I'm not coming back. I know the enormity of this and I am asking you to let me swim," he says quietly. "No!" is their instant indignant reply. He tries to reason with them, saying, "Gradually I'll slip further and further into thinking solely about pain, and that's not worth living for." Davey recounts with, "Everytime I saw your family, I would know that we could have had you for another day, to say goodbye properly." James tries to dissuade him by saying, "That's just it, there won't be a better goodbye than the one we just had. I have never been so alive and now I want to end it. I want to finally finish something."

This does not convince them. His screams of pain later on in the night does the trick, though. And the movie ends with a really really really really really heartbreaking last shot of the four friends on the beach, James dead.

No wait, that wasn't the last shot. The last shot was of the sky dotted with stars, and a voice-over of James saying his final heartbreaking piece:

So I raise a morphine toast to you all. And, if you should happen to remember it's the anniversary of my birth, remember that you were loved by me and that you made my life a happy one. And there's no tragedy in that.

I couldn't seem to stop crying after that. The movie made me think a lot. I keep flashing back to that moment when James breaks down and confesses:

"I don't want to die. I want more time. I want more time. Take any of your pointless, consumer f***ing lives. I was going to do so much. I was going to be special."

I'm 29 today. I won't see 30.

If that were true, would I be happy with my life right now?
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Bittersweet emotional treat
Aprodia8 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I watched Third Star perhaps two weeks ago, but realised that it is one of those movies you have to step back from before expressing an opinion out in the open.

The movie tells the story of four friends, one of whom diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, to a faraway place filled to the brim with happy, cherished memories.

From beginning to end, the tale is full of emotions, all shapes and sizes, climbing on top of one another and dashing across the spectrum, slurred by the simple, yet powerful dialog.

There are elements present that one expects when reading a summary for 'one of them diagnosed with cancer". They are, however, presented honestly and simply, without redundant drama. Furthermore, it is not James that leads the movie as the sole figure of interest. All four friends have unique stories, unfolding with varying severity and overtones, and each becomes dear to you by the end.

I will finish this review by saying that the movie harnesses great sadness together with immeasurable happiness, and it touches your heart, as all good movies should.

"And there's no tragedy in that."
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Strong and painful story with predictable ending
Bene Cumb16 May 2013
Seeing this film coincided with the current euthanasia debate in my homeland, giving food for thought about this serious and ultimate solution. How far should a person involved go? And how right for him/her is to initiate the people close into these plans? The viewers have to decide, but I liked that the topic of religion was not included. The cast is also strong, leading by Benedict Cumberbatch (as James), who is really one of my favorite actors as he is able to shine in versatile roles - both weak and strong characters are not easy to play. A fine supporting role here is carried out by fine landscape of Wales in and around Pembrokeshire.

Third Star is a strong male film with serious topic in the background - probably not for everyone. Moreover, it is difficult to say, how the people with similar fate or experience are able to follow the story.
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A gorgeous, yet tragic indie film
Lisa Muñoz22 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
James, a 29 year old man who is ill with terminal cancer, is taken in a carriage with his three best friends to his favorite place: The Barafundle Bays in West Wales.

The film starts out as a fun and hilarious road movie, with the four young men enjoying their time trekking forests, goofing about and getting into bar brawls with locals, all the while trying to find a special beach that James loves.

However towards the end of the film, things start to get less funny, as James's illness worsens, he has fits of chronic pain that can only be treated with morphine. All four friends have different issues with their love and professional lives, which affect their relationships with each other.

The film looked and felt very similar to Alfonso Curaon's Y Tu Mama Tambien, another funny road movie which included cancer and the enjoyment of life before it's too late in its themes. Only in the last fifteen minutes of this film, the scenes get more and more difficult to watch as it comes to its inevitable tragic end.

The title is a reference to a mistake the friends make about the location of Peter Pan's Neverland. ("Second star to the right." "I thought it was third star?") The story of an immortal boy who never grew up, which is the opposite of James, the mortal man did not have long to live.

Third Star is ultimately about the celebration and embrace of life and that the true enemy is not death itself, but the waste of life by constant pain and worry.
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Story of youth
Furuya Shiro1 December 2013
Benedict Cumberbatch. His name is unique, so is his face, which perfectly suits a young man with terminal cancer. On his 29th birthday, this man (James) starts on a journey with his 3 friends to Barafundle Bay, West Wales. All characters are introduced in the beginning, and the plot is simple. Therefore it is easy to follow the story. You can easily spot Barafundle Bay on the Google Map. It is a quiet and beautiful beach open between cliffs. It is a part of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, very long cliff of lime rock. After dropping off their van, they walk top of the cliff several days, carrying the terminal cancer patient on a cart. According to the Google Map, it seems cars can reach only 2 kilometers away from the bay. They deliberately made a wild journey plan. They could be high-school mates. They are candid each other and reckless to do wild things, burning a tent, dropping important items. During the journey with James, who is fighting with death fear and strong pain, gradually the problems each one has are revealed. Personally, recently I often see movies about the people facing death. But this one is the story of youth.
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Heart wrenching
rojakrojak1 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The emotions evoked from this movie is just too powerful. Benedict's performance; his every wince and moan at the pain suffered by a cancer patient, his glossed-over eyes depicts those of a person falling in and out of morphine daydream. His performance is just brilliant.

This movie also brings out the question of morality. Do you or do you not help a person in this much of pain? Could you bear to see your friend suffer for the sake of adhering to what society deems as moral?

The questions that James asked his friends about what they're doing with their lives makes you think whether you are doing enough with yours. Would you wish you'd have more time to do the things you always put off doing, or would you be able to die with no regrets, with no urgency or need to tie loose ends.
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Brilliant, but painful
Robin Rolt31 October 2015
This is an incredibly brilliant movie, from the acting and directing, to the beautiful scenery of Wales. It could have been cheesy, but instead is thoughtful and insightful, with some great humor mixed in. There's a great cameo scene with Hugh Bonneville ... so very different from his Downton Abbey character.

However, the movie was very painful to watch -- anyone who has ever done a "last trip" will understand why; even the "good" last trips hurt. But I'm extremely glad I watched it.

Be prepared to laugh and cry; to feel exhilarated, angry, and frustrated -- all at once.

No spoilers here ... just my opinion that it's a fantastic movie and well-worth watching.
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It Will Seize Your Breath
tgiovenella30 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I cried like a baby, and I think the fact that you learn minimal information about the characters actually works in the film's favor because you can imagine yourself in the story. The chemistry between the four actors is what makes the film worth watching. There's certainly enough to make you believe that James is beloved and irreplaceable to all of them.

Honestly, few dramas I've ever watched have made it so difficult to breathe. You don't want the inevitable to happen, and just like the characters, you (the audience) are powerless to stop it. Cumberbatch is a master at making you love him and then hanging in the balance between life and death. If you can find it, folks, see it. It's a rare beauty. I'll be thinking about it for days.
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A wonderful celebration of manhood
auralstudent9 February 2018
To summarize, this is a feel-good movie that encompasses pretty much everything I look for in a movie.

There's silly boy humor and pranks on one end of the spectrum, deadly serious discussions about life on the other, and everything in between. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and serves as a nice backdrop for a bunch of boys being boys while camping in the woods.

The camaraderie between the four friends feels genuine and is very entertaining to watch. I don't remember too many dull moments in the movie. There are a lot of light moments full of spontaneous boyish silliness that will keep you laughing pretty much throughout. And yet, there are also those touching moments when the depths of the meaning of life are explored, secrets are revealed, and loyalties are tested.

This is just a wonderful celebration of manhood that would give any viewer a taste of what it's like to be a young man in the prime of his life, surrounded by his best buddies. As a man myself, I enjoyed it very much.
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Is there a hidden meaning in the title THIRD STAR?
Whitewraithe1 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Just finished watching this poignant story of a group of friends from Great Britain that begin a somewhat perilous journey to a beach in Wales to satisfy the last wish of their terminally ill friend.

Along the journey they seem to meet many hazards with others as well as the elements, but they also have a lot of fun acting like barbarians around a campfire, as well as, having painfully honest conversations between themselves which is rare for men in any situation even bad ones.

Although I will not disclose the final end of the story as I was somewhat shocked myself, I can say it was in the face of human determination that all prevailed since I believe it is everyone's right to make decisions about their life regardless of the circumstances.

Which got me thinking about the movie title, "Third Star." Why this title unless in the end you may come to the same conclusion as I did; that third star is actually a metaphor for life. Therefore, first star would be birth and childhood, followed by second star which is adulthood and finding one's way into society, and finally third star which might be a metaphor for death and renewal meaning reincarnation.

Most religious and spiritual people believe that only the body dies in death, yet the soul lives on and once it is released from the flesh it transcends to other realms possibly a heaven type place or a hellish place depending on the state of the soul as in whether it's evil. After death renewal is possible if not available for when the soul is ready to reincarnate.

I'm not an expert on these matters just a ravenous reader that has studied these philosophical ideas on spiritualism and religion for decades. Once you watch the movie and listen to the narrations you will understand what I believe the author/writer was attempting to convey. I believe I know but I will leave the answer up to the viewer.

The film is very true to life almost like watching reality t.v. but thankfully it wasn't. Burke and Cumberbatch were excellent as always yet it was very strange seeing them playing these kinds of roles, yet it was a pleasure because it literally shows you the range these magnificent actors have acquired in almost any situation.
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purplehorse-0027622 July 2017
This was the most beautiful heart-breaking film that I have ever watched. This story will stay with me until I am dying myself. This masterpiece has comedy and tragedy mixed together so perfectly, I cannot express it in words. I am blown away. The ending was amazing. I think this is a film about sacrifice, secrets, life but most of all friendship, and what these four men mean to each other. Honestly this will linger in my thoughts for the rest of my days. It made me cry so much, I just sat and watched the credits with tears rolling down my face. This is a profound masterpiece, especially if you have been through something like this yourself. Watch it, and it will change your perspective on life.
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A Beautiful Last Adventure
ypomoni1327 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This film would have had more stars had it not been for the amateur direction of Hattie Dalton. 20 min in I almost gave up on what I initially assumed to be a bad, made-for-TV feature. However I persevered and for that I was rewarded. I loved this short feature. Four friends go on a physically challenging road trip to appease their dying friend's last wish. Laughs, arguments, revelations and redemption are all part of the escapade, done with sincerity in the beautifully written dialogues and avoiding over-the-top sentimentality. All four characters are present in this feature, all are different, flawed and believable. As the film progress so does our insight into these people, in each of whom we can recognize a bit of ourselves or of somebody we know. Emotional as it may be, it is not a sad film. Days later I was still musing over the characters actions and reactions to one another. The acting of all 4 main characters is superb (Cumberbatch, in particular gives a powerful and yet subtle performance as the cancer-stricken protagonist). The ending is fitting for this poignant film.
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