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The Motel Life (2012)

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


, (as Gabriel Polsky)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Boss Man
Polly Flynn
Andrew Lee ...
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 | Plot 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:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle Fanning has also starred with the film's star, Stephen Dorff in Somewhere. 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 »


Give Em Hell
Written by Anthony Catalano, Celeste Spina
Performed by little hurricane
Courtesy of Unknown Breakthrough
See more »

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User Reviews

It will either put you to sleep or make you commit suicide
21 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

Argh! The Motel Life looked like it might be a cool indie film thanks to the trailer with all the fun animation. Unfortunately, the cartoon segments are the only parts of this interminable snoozer that were enjoyable at all (and the only source of female nudity). The movie is a titanic bore, unremittingly depressing, with unlikable characters doing--well, not much of anything. They act like losers for the entire run time, bad things happen as a result, and there are no surprises how it ends, except how it took so long to get there. It reminded me of Leaving Las Vegas it was so utterly bleak and dull.

The cast is fine, the direction and production values are fine, but the script, man! Oh, the script! Any comparisons to Midnight Cowboy, Drugstore Cowboy, or any other "once in a generation" movie (with or without "cowboy" in the title) are completely unfounded. The Motel Life will either put you to sleep (as it did me) or depress you enough to want to commit suicide.

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