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The Motel Life (2012)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  8 November 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 2,631 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 21 user | 47 critic | 19 from

A pair of working-class brothers flee their Reno Motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.


, (as Gabriel Polsky)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Lee ...
Young Frank
Boss Man
Jenica Bergere ...
Polly Flynn
Earl Hurley
Al Casey
Barry Hurley
Officer Cook
Officer Mori
Jim Gray ...
Boxing Sportscaster


Two brothers who are forced to leave Reno after being involved in a hit-and-run accident. Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, this moody thriller is a searing and profound examination of brotherhood set in the timeless Sierra Nevadan frontier. Written by Polsky Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They will do anything to find the truth

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language, some nudity, brief violent images, and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida em Motéis  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alan Polsky and Gabe Polsky were initially unsure about casting Stephen Dorff as Emile Hirsch's brother until Dorff asked to do a test alongside Hirsch. Dorff was always convinced that he would be perfect for the part, having met Hirsch at a party a few years before and telling him that they would play brothers one day. See more »


[first lines]
Jerry Lee 16 years: Can you tell me a story, Frankie? Tell me something good. Make me the hero. Maybe I can get the girl.
Frank - 14: I got one. A long time ago, you and me were fighter pilots in the war. The Flannigan brothers. We were famous. One morning we were heading over to Germany when we got ambushed. You and me versus 20 German fighters. It was a mess. Real dog fight. It was touch-and-go, but we were winning until a Nazi came out of the fog and started firing away at you. Luckily I came down and blew the...
See more »


Features Bonanza: Dark Star (1960) See more »


A Thousand Miles
Written by Brandy St. John
Performed by The Long Wives
Courtesy of Renee Marie Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Bad Luck
8 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Plot abstract - brothers grow up with bad luck always looking for them; almost every imaginable thing that can go wrong does. But, they still have each other's back and their storytelling. From an acting, filming and creative storytelling pov it's a four or five but a couple of things moved it down the charts for me. First, no subtitles and for a film which is storytelling dependent that is a no-no. Not only difficult for any hard of hearing, etc. but the enunciations and unique dialogue were difficult to follow anyway. Second, the pacing and over redundancy of the main theme made watching really slooow. Perhaps intended to embellish the cold desolate mood which the director also provided with other filming techniques but it turned out to be too much. Like having the same meal repeatedly, it loses it's taste eventually.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Dorff + Hirsch: AMAZING itssosublime
Release date? benkiely93
How do I get on the IMDb credits?I was craft services. capt-x
Willy Vlautin sure as hell better be doing the music for this! booknerd1970
Any news on a release? Karen-mackis
fun story, crazyhooligan
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