Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
Robert Downey Jr.,
Eight year old Anthony is somewhat uneasy about spending the weekend with his alcoholic, down-on-his-luck carpenter dad Walt while his mom Bonnie and her new husband Kyle go to a Catholic ... See full summary »
When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Vincent is an old Vietnam vet whose stubbornly hedonistic ways have left him without money or a future. Things change when his new next-door neighbor's son, Oliver, needs a babysitter and Vince is willing enough for a fee. From that self-serving act, an unexpected friendship forms as Vincent and Oliver find so much of each other's needs through each other. As Vincent mentors Oliver in street survival and other worldly ways, Oliver begins to see more in the old man than just his foibles. When life takes a turn for the worse for Vincent, both them find the best in each other than no one around them suspects. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Naomi Watts originally thought she was reading the script for the role as Maggie (Oliver's mom) as it was more similar to her actual personality. See more »
During Oliver's presentation, he says that Vincent fought in the Ia Drang valley campaign as part of the 5th regiment and without specifying a division. On the US side, the battle was actually fought by 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division. See more »
So this Irish guy knocks on this lady's door and says, you know, "Have you got any, uh... Any, uh... work for me?" And she says, "Um, well, you now, as a matter of fact, you could paint the porch." 'Bout two hours later, the guy comes back and says, "I've finished, ma'am, but just for your information, it's not a porch, it's a BMW."
[bar patrons stunned]
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The credits play over a scene with Vincent trying to have a cigarette in his backyard and then later watering the lawn. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Moments after Bill Murray's Vincent cracks a rare on screen "Chico and the Man" reference, we get our first glimpse of scrawny Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher), and we immediately know where this story is headed. The fact that we never lose interest is thanks to Mr. Murray, the rest of the cast and writer/director Theodore Melfi (his first feature film).
Though this is ultra-predictable and even strains credulity, we nonetheless connect to Murray's Vincent - a grumpy, drunken, slobby, chain-smoker who has a bond with a pregnant Russian prostitute/stripper. Melissa McCarthy plays Oliver's mom Maggie, who has separated from her philandering husband, and is intent on making a life for her son. It's here where it should be noted that Ms. McCarthy plays the role mostly straight - none of her usual funny-fat moments. Instead, she excels in a scene with an emotional dump on Oliver's principal and teacher (a standout Chris O'Dowd).
Surprisingly, this could even be described as a message movie. Vincent quickly notices that Oliver is lacking street smarts and sets out to correct this. The story reminds us that all people are multi-faceted. The good have their rough edges, and the "bad" likely have a back-story and some redeeming value. Vincent is so cantankerous that it takes a kid as appealing as Oliver to balance the story. Even knowing a feel good ending is coming, we as viewers don't mind being dragged through the sap.
Murray is outstanding, and if the script had a bit more heft, he would probably garner some Oscar consideration. McCarthy deserves notice for going against type, and Naomi Watts flashes some real comedic timing (maybe the biggest surprise of all). O'Dowd has some of the best one-liners in the film, and shows again that he is immensely talented. Terrence Howard seems a bit out of place as a loan shark, but he has limited screen time, as does Ann Dowd as the nursing home director.
Prepare for the feel-bad-then-good ride, culminating in a school auditorium event that reunites the key characters, and allows the child actor to draw a tear or two from the audience. Good times that end with classic Murray over the closing credits.
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