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Straight A's More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie

Author: matt-sickle from United States
19 July 2013

I watched this movie with a grain of salt, due to all the negative reviews here on IMDb. I was expecting nothing and just killin' some time.

I had to come back to the reviews here to double check that the negative reviews were actually for this movie.

This was an excellent movie. The story is superb, like a really good short story I didn't notice the time and it was over before I realized it.

I don't know if people were expecting something like True Blood or maybe reacting to some of the character's behaviors they didn't like or what. But let me tell you what, this is one well made, well acted and well directed movie. The filming and "artful" effects are done in just enough of a way that really tied it together as well.

I was genuinely surprised that I had not heard of this movie before. I just came across it on Netflix at random.

My conclusion is: it is a very interesting story that I found to be far more real and interesting than the last 30 big Hollywood movies I have seen... Maybe more.

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30 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

A surprisingly good low budget sleeper that deserves a bigger audience then it will get. I really enjoyed this. I say B+

Author: Tony Heck ( from United States
8 February 2013

"Mom told me to come." After his mother tells him to visit the family he abandoned, Scott (Phillippe) surprises his sister in law (Paquin) and her kids. Decidind to wait for his brother to come home Scott stays and begins to form a relationship with Katherine's kids in spite of her requests. When Scott begins to act like his old self she wants him out, but he is determined to listen to his mother's advice...even though she is dead. I know what your thinking, a man hears his dead mother and listens, that can't make a good movie. You would be wrong. The acting in this is really good, but the story of each character is so well written and thought out that it really makes the movie that much more enjoyable. 99% of movies like this are very predictable and for the most part this one is too, but there is a twist in this I did not see coming, which also adds to the enjoyment of the movie. This is a surprise sleeper that is very much worth seeing. I recommend. Overall, a little low budget movie that proves good movies can be made with a good script. I give it a B+.

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

An interesting near miss

Author: aGuiltySoul from United States
20 January 2013

I rather enjoyed this film. It's too bad it seems to have been given a half hearted production. The film has so much going for it, but seems to have stopped short of what it would have taken to really make a go of it, namely, cohesion and a really good edit. There were some problems with continuity too. Was Scott gone 9 or 10 years because both were mentioned and it turns out to matter. Mr. Phillippe's Scott seemed to also have had a tattoo that came and went. It's those little things that show a lack of attention that reflect a failure of…what? Talent? Devotion? Funding? I don't know. But the end product is unpolished. In fact it plays better as a series of scenes than as one film. It tells the story of one family, William(Luke Wilson), his wife Katherine(Anna Paquin), and their two young children. The marriage is struggling. They have all the trappings of wealth and status but William is constantly away on business and Katherine is becoming robotic and cold, just going through the motions. The children are responding with eccentric behavior. Charles, for instance, wears a suit and carries a brief case to elementary school. There is also William's father(Powers Boothe) living nearby who has succumbed to Alzheimer's. But most importantly for this film, there is William's brother, Scott(Ryan Phillippe), who has been missing for some years but shows up one afternoon riding a horse onto the property. This film is classified as a comedy and it is funny, but in the old fashioned comedic method of amusing circumstances rather than manic behavior or convoluted plots. The comedic circumstances all center around the character of the prodigal brother, Scott. He is definitely the cuckoo in the nest of this buttoned down family. He drinks too much, smokes pot and has very little censor. He is utterly charming man, but immature and often inappropriate, especially in his vocabulary. He soon wins over the children and has Katherine struggling with feelings she once had for him. Scott has returned home at the request, he insists, of his dead mother who tells him he is needed. And except for total lack of conformity and his habit of lighting up a joint and/or a cigarette constantly as well as trying to drink the drink cabinet dry, he's not a bad house guest. However that's not how Katherine sees it, he's rather more spontaneous than she can tolerate. Yet we see that people are like moths to his flame, and Katherine is no more immune than her children. I found the acting really well done, not surprising given the cast, but the supporting cast doesn't lag behind either. (How they managed to cast a little girl who looks so much like she could be Anna Paquin's daughter I don't know.) The musical score added much to the atmosphere. I'm a big fan of well done musical scores. I've mentioned this is funny; I laughed out loud several times while watching it. I enjoyed this film. It's been a long time since I saw Ryan Phillippe act with child actors and I want to point out that he does it singularly well. Overall his portrayal of Scott drives the whole film. But I'd have liked this effort to be more than a direct to video pass off. It seems a betrayal of all the work and talent that went into it. And last but not least the ending is a really hackneyed cliché. Hate that.

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25 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Not even close..

Author: roadstar06 from Los Angeles
5 February 2013

This will be brief. The cast,with many quality proved works behind them can't be blamed for what is obviously a poorly directed, badly written and horrendously edited hack-job. The stunted and forced direction, film- school camera angles and poorly written dialogue are just too much to overcome for even this group of fine actors.

This had to be agony for the actors to sit through if there actually was a premiere, and the wasted storyline that could have been compelling or at the very least engaging was finished off by a lazy cable-network soundtrack and bad staging.

This could have been a very nice story. If this director ever gets another chance to do something like this he need to watch the last Hallmark Hall-of-Fame productions... they do this infinitely better.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Only the Editor needs to Walk the Plank

Author: robdavis381 from United States
20 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie was choppy in places and the ending "scene" was sloppily done. Otherwise it was a charming little movie devoid of violence and gore. I don't understand the R rating as all I saw was a few curses and one joint-smoking. This movie isn't something children would enjoy anyway; it's what years ago would've been marked as M for mature. One brother brings home a girl and the other brother ends up marrying her - then many moons later the story we see begins (as the poster already suggests).

Ryan Phillipe and Anna Paquin were good in this movie; Luke Wilson seemed strained the whole time, though. I enjoyed the plot, the story and the locale. I don't watch Hallmark TV novellas so I don't know anything about them; this was a sweet trip through a nice story.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

Author: dumasbj from Seattle, WA
19 August 2013

Although it is classified as a "comedy" there is absolutely nothing funny in this movie. That being said, I enjoyed every minute of it. Ryan Phillipe is really good in this movie and so is the kid. The rest of the characters are somewhat irrelevant in my opinion. Without giving too much away, the ending where they're just sitting the two are sitting enjoying eachtohers company reminds me of my wife and I and really was a great moment. I recommend this movie to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I watched this film on netflix and to be honest I am kind of used to watching crappy movies on there but today was definitely a pleasant surprise.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Return of a Prodigal Son

Author: 3xHCCH from Quezon City, Philippines
21 March 2014

You will not really get the whole story of this film by its title, nor by the poster. It was good that I saw this film without any idea what this was all about, not even what genre it was. I thought it was a romantic comedy. It was not exactly one. Once the film started, I thought I would not like it. But as it went along, I was pulled in, all the way to its end. This is one good little film that deserves more attention.

Put simply, the story of "Straight As" is about how the lives of the Henderson family was affected when long-estranged Scott (Ryan Philippe) makes a surprise return, supposedly because their late mother had convinced him to. His sister-in-law Katherine (Anna Paquin) is flustered by Scott's unwelcome visit right when his brother William (Luke Wilson) was out of town on business. But it was with his nephew Charles and niece Gracie that Scott made his biggest connections. However, with his foul language, cigarettes and drugs, will Scott ever be welcomed back by the family he left more than ten years ago?

The actors of this film worked very well. I loved that the acting in this film is very understated and restrained There were no big hyper- dramatic scenes as family melodrama are mostly prone to having.

I have not seen Ryan Philippe act in a lead role for a long time. His career had never really recovered since he and Reese Witherspoon broke up. He was outside his usual zone playing the black sheep of the family. I believed he played the multiple levels of his complex character very well.

I had not seen Anna Paquin act in a straight dramatic role ever since she won the Oscar as a precocious child in "The Piano"! It was a welcome break from notable recent roles with supernatural powers. I liked her subtle attack on a role which could have been a showcase of histrionics in a lesser actress.

Luke Wilson's role was rather right up his old alley, but it was good to see him in a dramatic role. The actors who played the two kids, Riley Thomas Stewart and Ursula Parker, were both very cute, natural and moving. Powers Boothe, who played the Henderson patriarch, also had his shining moments.

I liked how the whole story unfolded. Yes, the story elements were all soap opera staples, but they way they were woven together by director James Cox was interesting and involving. The musical score and the songs were all very emotionally apt to the scenes they accompanied. The cinematographer liked to play with lights and glare, which were good. As a whole, the unheralded film was a pleasant surprise which more people should know about. 7/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great movie

Author: jenna Alani from united states
20 February 2014

I loved the movie and love the story line. Really surprised with the low ratings. The movie was touching and well put together and the acting was good. I loved the kids and how they played their parts well. Loved all of the characters in the film and the music was fitting and it was touching too. Could have been done better? maybe. Probably with a larger budget it could have been more of a hit but it was a quite touching and not too loud kind of a film. I have seen bad movies win rewards and trophies and get high ratings but honestly this one should have won something because it was touching and worm and spoke of how sometimes death could bring a family together.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Worth a watch

Author: KattB from United States
28 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this movie and it's unexpected ending.

The children were very good and I thought the ending wrapped things up nicely.

The acting was very good and it had great music throughout the movie.

It had some humor but was quite realistic and not your typical romantic comedy. It's not a thriller or has any heavy plot or message but an enjoyable movie to watch. Ryan Phillippe's character was endearing to a point and Anna Paquins portrayal of the uptight Katherine was spot-on and I always love Powers Booth. Great job by the entire cast. The sets, locations and wardrobes all complimented the movie. I would recommend it .

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

slow prodding triangle

Author: SnoopyStyle
19 October 2013

Family black sheep Scott (Ryan Phillippe) comes home on a horse. His brother William (Luke Wilson) is away on business. His sister in-law Katherine (Anna Paquin) was his high school sweetheart. William and Katherine have two kids, but their marriage is a shell. Scott's father (Powers Boothe) is suffering from dementia.

There is a little heat coming from Phillippe and Paquin. It's too bad that Wilson is away from home for most of the movie. The small amount of heat is never nurtured to bring on any fire. This movie moves at a snail's pace. Obviously the little boy has problems. Scott is completely inappropriate. It had promise, but no follow through.

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