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Standing Up
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Reviews & Ratings for
Standing Up More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A great film that is , unfortunately, very relevant.

Author: OliverGbyrne from Neverland
1 August 2013

It's a difficult task to make a film about bullying , especially in today's world , with news on the TV of children who takes their own life after having being bullied.Bullying is , unfortunately , still very much relevant , perhaps more now then ever before.Twitter,Facebooks and the likes are new weapons used by bullies everyday. DJ Carusco tackles this difficult subject in a very subtle and intelligent way. Instead of concentrating on the pain that bullying cause , his film is more about overcoming bullying. The story is simple and to some similar to "Moonrise Kingdom" (Although I do find the comparison out of context). In the 80's (Although the film could have taken place any time , the director wisely decided not to overly use the 80's setting to avoid distracting audiences from the story itself) two kids at a camp , a boy and a girl who do not know each other , are victim of a vicious pranks by their fellow campers.They are stripped away of all their clothes and are left in the middle of an Island.The two kids eventually bond and decide to not stay for when the other campers come back to make fun of them or even worse take pictures of them as a "Trophy" , instead they run away and that is where the film and their adventures really begins. This film really feels like a journey , you see the kids slowly building confidence after each stop they take before getting back home , although at that point they are note sure what "home" will be. The two leads , Analise Basso and Chandler Canterbury (Who was also in the very good "A bag of hammers") are pitch perfect as Grace and Howie.They deliver a very true performance , they are absolutely believable , you absolutely believe this is happening to them.The dialogs also help a great deal , the kids speaks like normal kids , they don't have cheesy lines. I will spare you too much details because I do not want to risk spoiling the film for you but I must say , I rarely get teary eyed watching films but the last scene of "standing up" was an exception thanks to Analise Basso , this girl has a bright future ahead of her. I know this film was based on a very popular children book but I was not aware of this book so I cant really say how the film stand up when compared to the book. All I can say is that on it's own merit , this is a very heartfelt , sensitive , well executed , hopeful film and I urge parents to watch it with their kids or teachers to show it to their pupils because it might gives bullies a taste of what it is like on the other side of the spectrum. I am very sensitive to the subject of bullying and I feel this film , beside being really well made , is important.For theses reasons I give it a 9 out of 10 stars.

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26 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly sweet and good-natured for a DJ Caruso movie.

Author: Roland Jakobsson (rolandddd) from Sweden
20 April 2013

Based on Brock Cole's "The Goats", Standing up is the story of two geeky kids, a girl and a boy, who are the victims of a mean holiday camp prank. Stripped naked and left marooned on an island, the boy and girl are left to their own devices and decide to leave the camp and embark on an adventure on their own.

I like that the main characters are geeks and outsiders, and they are ably played by Chandler Canderbury and Annalise Basso. They are experienced TV actors despite their young age, and the chemistry between them is good. I certainly could identify with the awkward feeling of being a lonely young outsider searching for yourself and for companionship.

I like the general theme of the film, that you can learn from all your experiences, good and bad, and discover yourself as a result. I think this is a good message, especially for young adults. However, the world view is a bit too optimistic, the kids never really are in real danger despite their dangerous decision to live on their own for a few days, and the lack of any real antagonist means the film lacks an exciting edge.

Nevertheless, it is a good-natured film without nudity or swearing, and works well as family entertainment. Personally, when it comes to coming-of-age movies, I prefer Stand By Me.

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Great Film

Author: cbfilm from United States
18 August 2013

I was able to get to see this film at a local theater, almost by accident. It was wonderful, very emotional, and made me think about all the times I hear people complain that there are no good movies being made anymore - it's not true, you just have to find films like this one.

As other reviewers have said, this is a coming of age drama about two young kids who are the victims of summer camp bullies. Rather than return to the camp and face humiliation, they take off on an 2-3 day adventure, as the kids try to come to terms with the traumatic events and the hand that life has dealt them both. Together they find strength and comfort in friendship, and take one step closer to adulthood.

This is a very emotional film. I cried many times.

One warning: while this is a family film, I think it may not be appropriate for kids under 8-9 years old. But older kids and adults will find this a deep film and deeply moving.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Rare to find a movie with a positive message

Author: leroilaw from Denver, CO
5 December 2013

The other viewer's bashing of this movie shows that people can "read into" a movie or any situation their own preconceptions and their own misconceptions. I am a father of two daughters and found this movie highly inspirational about how not only children, but adults, can gain self-confidence and self-reliance relying on their inner strength. The bullying that occurred in this movie was extremely realistic and happens at schools, camps, clubs, and sports on a regular basis. The fact that a bullying tactic was to disrobe two adolescent children was to humiliate the children in front of their peers, not to serve some pedophile's interests. To take that away from this movie is shocking and discouraging, that someone would "see" everything that happens in life as "sexual" and "unholy."

In stark contrast to the other viewer's comments, this movie had the strength and inspiration of older movies like "My Girl." One of the most poignant parts of the movie is one of the runaways asking a stranger in another camp why the camper was being nice and the response was "why wouldn't I be." Those are words to emulate and live by. The other main character talks with another stranger about why people have to be mean to each other and put someone else down to feel better about themselves. These are 12-year-old kids who are asking questions that we as adults and parents can't effectively answer for our own children.

Yes, the movie shows the "bond" that the two develop over a period of three days - one of respect, one of admiration, and one of confidence. I wish that there were more movies being made like this - addressing "real" issues in our society.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Falling for a trick and standing strong in their own.

Author: Reno Rangan from Somewhere
12 November 2013

I was just stunned, totally speechless. How come this movie is not so popular is a million dollar question asked myself. This movie must reach everyone especially the family audience and the kids. A best children's movie I have seen after a long time, maybe after 'Bridge to Terabithia' and 'A Little Princess'. I mean I liked many others between these movies but this one gave me kinda rare experience to feel the depth of the problem that faced by the tween kids. Yeah the movie talks mainly about the physically weak kids who are easy targets to bully. From their perspective 'Standing Up' tells the victims self discovery.

If there is an award for children's movies in Oscar similar to animation movies and foreign movies, I would give to this one without thinking twice. This movie is not only a simple movie but a fine message deliverer like the rare movie like 'October Baby' etc. These kinda movies require more recognition, sadly fails to do as commercially. But if you get a chance to see don't miss it and recommend to others as well.

'Standing Up' was based on the young adult novel called 'Goat Island'. It centers around two characters Howie and Grace who are the victims in their summer camp prank. These two are stripped naked and left alone in an island by their mates. Instead returning back to the camp in the morning they run away in order to avoid the humiliation. During their journey to nowhere they successfully achieve that what have to be done to survive. They find the strength in their unity and also the self discovery. The journey that changed their lives forever.

Both the lead kids were supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I felt they already gave their career best performances in their early age. Excellent direction from the director of 'Eagle Eye'. I don't know what others say but I consider it is his best movie so far from his filmography. The background score was very catchy and melodic, perfectly fitted with the presentation. The second half was emotionally appealed a lot and music was one of the reasons for that. There was a scene I liked the most in the movie where Grace phones her mother and her mother says something about Howie. On that particular scene she turns towards Howie, wow, that was the amazing one, emotionally touching. There are only a few movies in the world that makes us to have more and more and never want to end. Yeah this movie did that to me. 'Standing Up' is rare and must see movie, hope y'all won't miss after reading my review. An highly recommended by my side.


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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Love this movie so so so so so so so so so so so so so much!!

Author: Lisa Esch from south carolina
13 October 2013

OK, so if the producers do not make a 2nd movie for this super, fantastic, amazing, adorable, cute, movie, i will be so mad! i really loved the characters, the relationship between the kids. I really love the characters. This movie is such a good movie, I think they should make another with the same characters! The end really leaves you hanging though........ That is why I think there should be movie #2! Because if there is not, I will be a sad, broken hearted little teen, who needs to see the 2nd movie, but can't because the producers will not make another! I strongly believe there should be another movie, same same same characters!!!! Because if Chandler Canterbury, is not in it, you will be sorry! I really really really loved this movie, but it needs another. Im sorry, i do not know what the second part of a movie is called, but there needs to be one! Thank you! And I will make sure there is another one!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The Sweetest Thing

Author: cnycitylady from Brooklyn
16 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is sweet and heartfelt. The two leads are beyond adorable and charming and if they so chose they could have done nothing else, but they don't don't rely on their charm to tell you their story. They each show you how their characters are tough, scared, outcast and united; All of these things that you aren't sure children can feel so keenly. They teach the audience how kids think and they tell you that cruelty (even unintentional cruelty) can really hurt and shape how a person behaves. The starting plot is sad and makes you really feel for their characters but the two kids quickly show you that they can handle what the world throws at them and you forget the harsh melancholy that overcame you. Their independence and confidence grows as the movie goes on as does their comfort with each other.

The setting is beautiful; the camp sites are full of colour and lush nature that just seems so serene and peaceful. You don't find yourself worrying for these kids as they travel through the undergrowth because they've proved that they can take care of themselves but you do root for whatever it is they want to come from this. I phrase it that way because the kids don't really seem to want anything tangible; they just want to stay together. And who can blame them? They are the only two people at camp who know what they have been through (humiliation, hunger, etc.) and before this experience they were each alone.

Its really an amazing story because you see how the two grow to rely on each other and by the end of the film they have broken down the wall of just plain politeness/cold truce because they really care for each other and are very invested in each others lives. The ending wraps up the story nicely (something changed from the novel "The Goats" on which this was based) and you just know that these two kids will be all right.

Overall, I was impressed with the adaptation and I would watch it again and again and again. 9/10

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A sweet family film that will make you see the good in people.

Author: Jesse Boland from Burnaby, BC Canada
21 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I feel like I have a sever head cold as I write this. My sinuses are only just starting to recover from this movie. I only wish I had the words to describe the vibrant beauty with which this movie was shot, always bright, and alive the forest is always a welcome, and soft texture framing the story. This is a dear sweet coming of age film about love and the invisible umbrella of protection that a story can be. These two children are so frail, and fragile, but are as adept as any seasoned actor at becoming more like a dog getting it's mane up, these kids learn to Stand up, and learn that trusting in each other can get you through the toughest times. Val Kilmer is hilarious in his dead pan performance that could not have seemed creepier if he had tried. I am so jealous of these two children, and the fact that they found each other in the exact time on this earth when I was looking for my perfect "Grace" that I still have yet to meet. You will enjoy this story, and see the truth in a lot of our worst childhood fears and how small they get when brought out into the light of day.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Captures an awkward age quite well

Author: Timothy Shary from United States
2 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have published three books on the roles of teenagers in movies, and I can say with confidence that few of them depict early adolescence as delicately as this film. Some viewers may find it too delicate in that regard-- there's little violence and no sex, no drugs or drinking, no insanity-- yet it shows the calculated anxiety that teens deal with when they are bullied and ostracized.

Young viewers should be happy that the protagonists do not play into their victim roles, and learn to gain confidence in a slowly realistic way. Sure, it's a boy and girl on the edge of their sexual awakening, but sex has yet to become an issue in their lives; self-esteem and survival are much higher priorities.

Parents will be happy that the taboos of so many teen movies are not broached here, and that the only parent shown in the film is not bumbling or mean but actually accomplished and concerned.

The novel the film is based on is probably better, because you can just feel the character development that it must have conveyed in many words which is here reduced to a few lines of dialogue and the actors' behavior. Still, there is plenty here to interest and provoke young people-- as other comments have indicated-- and it's a nice alternative to many of the harsher, commercialized films that Hollywood pushes on youth today.

And just in case you get to the ending hoping for a bigger resolution (spoiler alert...), the final lines of the film are written and not spoken, and they powerfully convey perhaps the greatest kind of longing and confession that young teens have so energetically packed inside themselves, roaring to get out.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Though bullying is what brings them together, strength and a sort of interdependency is what holds two young person's bond together.

Author: Amari-Sali from
14 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For whatever reason, stories like this, Bridge to Terabithia, Little Manhattan and etc., I just find so cute. Mostly because it is so rare they are made, since really who wants to watch two unknown kids deal with bullying and running away, but at the same time a lot of good actors start off as kids. And to me, both Chandler Canterbury and Annalise Basso give the type of performance where you can see that, with the right agent, they both could have fruitful careers in the entertainment business.

Characters & Story

The story of Standing Up deals with two outcasts. One being Howie (played by Chandler Canterbury) and the other Grace (played by Annalise Basso). Both are going to this camp which has a tradition of hazing in which a "goat" is left on this island a mile away from camp and stripped naked. But, the two goats this year, Grace and Howie, don't stick around for the ridicule. Howie, being resourceful, and a bit of a kleptomaniac, guides them on a 2-3 day journey in which as their bond grows stronger, so do they.


Despite the whole bullying thing being what is talked about when it comes to this movie, thankfully it isn't really the main focus. If anything, Standing Up reminds you that as much as bullying is a problem amongst peers, part of the issue isn't just the bully that is the child's age, but parents which are the bullies as well. However, though the topic of bullying is a part of the film, the real focus is the journey Grace and Howie have in which both Basso and Canterbury really display a good emotional complexity which is often absent in adolescent characters.

The reason I say this is because though children are often apart of stories in which dramatic, or rather traumatic, things happen, they are usually place in a supporting role so while their feelings are present, they often are secondary. With Standing Up though, you can see these two young people portray the trauma of being ostracized, the awkwardness of receiving kindness from a stranger, and even watching them become interdependent is strange, but at the same time entertaining. Basso, for instance, grows as a character from this sniveling little mouse into a girl who seems to have learn what confidence is, and though Howie surely helped, at the same time you can't say what she learns is fully based on her mimicking him. As for Canterbury, quite honestly, I think he could easily follow in Josh Hutcherson's shoes and maybe have a career like him, or maybe even better. And I say that because he shows the same type of emotional depth Hutcherson did in the movies mentioned above in which a boy is allowed to show his emotions, cry about his situation, and find this weird sort of way to show that despite how often we undermine kids, that they can easily feel like they have as much on their plate as people older than them.


When it comes to critiquing this film, I must admit I did find it weird how the kids survived for the days they ran away. I mean, the adults seem pretty oblivious. Between them sneaking into a summer camp and them getting a motel room for the night, I'm not sure if you have to stretch your disbelief or if someone could really do this, and it is just I haven't heard of such a tale yet. Outside of that though, really there are no major issues.

Overall: Rental/VOD

It is rare for movies like this to be made when kids aren't trying to be cute or are made to be comical, and seemingly just like when popular comedians get to do dramatic roles, certain kids in dramatic roles just flourish. And lest we forget, be it Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, and those of a younger generation like Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb, movies like this one are what help people discover great actors. And that is why I say this is worth renting or seeing on Video on Demand. For though you may not watch an award worthy performance, you certainly can see potential in the two leads and who doesn't want to see talent at a starting stage and watch it grow?

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