When teenage son Jacob is being accused of murdering his girlfriend, the well-respected and close-knit Ryan family is in turmoil. Jacob flees, father Ben destroys possible evidence, the village community turns hostile and mother Carolyn is forced to temporarily close her doctor's practice. Then Jacob gets arrested and soon finds himself and his family entangled in a web of truth, trust and lies, all on his way to court.Written by
Swie Tio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Ryans were originally going to be a wealthy Jewish-American family and the hatred towards them after their son may have committed a murder was going to be related to Anti-Semitism. But the studio didn't want to deal those issues, and also didn't think that it made sense to have Liam Neeson in particular playing a Jewish character, so the family was made into a generic group of Caucasians. See more »
When Ben and Jacob pull to the side of the road and get out of the car to talk, the right blinker is on. When they get back in, the blinker is off. See more »
A Moderately interesting character study of a family in crisis.
"Before and After" has a fine premise - the girlfriend of their 16-yr-old son is found apparently murdered in the snow and the parents struggle with what to do. Eventually, when the son goes A.W.O.L., they suspect he commited a murder, and the whole family struggles with what to do. The father finds bloody items in the trunk of the car and is able to dispose of them before the sheriff returns with a search warrant. Eventually the son shows up, the father and mother disagree on what to do, the younger sister gets upset.
"Before and After" also has some of the finest actors of our day - Liam Neeson as the father, Meryl Streep as the mother, Daniel Von Bargen as the sheriff.
But, somehow the movie only works moderately well. Some of the dialog is a bit dubious, some of the scenes are over-dramatic. I suppose it is a function of so-so writing and directing.
Still, it is a film that kept my interest very well. The story got me to thinking what I would have done if any of my teenage children had gotten into a similar bind. With a great writer and director this could have been a "10" movie. I rate it 7 of 10.
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