6.9/10
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36 user 104 critic

The Boys Are Back (2009)

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A sports writer becomes a single parent in tragic circumstances.

Director:

Scott Hicks

Writers:

Simon Carr (novel), Allan Cubitt (adaptation)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen ... Joe Warr
Emma Booth ... Laura
Laura Fraser ... Katy
George MacKay ... Harry
Nicholas McAnulty Nicholas McAnulty ... Artie
Julia Blake ... Barbara
Chris Haywood ... Tom
Erik Thomson ... Digby
Natasha Little ... Flick
Lewis Fitz-Gerald ... Tim Walker
Nakia Pires Nakia Pires ... Lucy
Emma Lung ... Mia
Steven Robertson ... School Housemaster
Georgina Naidu ... Paula
Daniel Carter Daniel Carter ... Digby & Paula's Child
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Storyline

The Boys Are Back is a confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter who, in the wake of his wife's death, finds himself in a sudden, stultifying state of single parenthood. Joe Warr throws himself into the only child-rearing philosophy he thinks has a shot at bringing joy back into their lives: "just says yes." Raising two boys - a curious six year-old and a rebel teen from a previous marriage -- in a household devoid of feminine influence, and with a lack of rules, life becomes exuberant, instinctual, reckless... and on the constant verge of disaster. The three multi-generational boys of the Warr household, father and sons alike, must each find their own way, however tenuous, to grow up. Written by Miramax

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Growing up can be the adventure of a lifetime. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Films | Hanway Films | See more »

Country:

Australia | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

De vuelta a la vida See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,342, 27 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$809,752, 8 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of script-writing, screenwriter Allan Cubitt said in publicity for this picture: "One of the tricks of being a writer of drama is to empathize with those characters and feel their feelings, their joy and pain and so on, so I am frequently in tears when writing," he explained. "In fact, if I am not actually crying while I'm writing then I worry it's probably not working." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Warr: [narrating] I don't know whether you've ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting. But catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There is zig-zag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card. And these are probably roads in the island, for the Neverland is always, more or less, an island.
See more »

Connections

References Home Alone (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Ára bátur
Written by Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jón Þór Birgisson), Orri P. Dyrason (as Orri Páll Dýrason), Georg Holm (as Georg Hólm), Kjartan Sveinsson (Universal Music Publishing Ltd.)
Performed by Sigur Rós
Licensed courtesy of EMI Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Good, but...
18 September 2009 | by heffay111See all my reviews

There is much to admire in this film.

The acting is superb. In fact it is Oscar worthy, whether from Clive Owen or either of the young actors playing his sons. (I fear the 6 year old will get all the praise, but the 14 year old's performance was simply brilliant and more difficult.)

The story is honest, fresh, and touching. This isn't a, "What happens if..." movie. This is not just a true life story, it is a true to life story. You can see that Scott Hicks had one goal, honesty. He succeeds at every level and this is perhaps the most honest film you will ever see.

So why did I debate giving this film a 6 or 7 and not an 8 or 9 or 10? Because in this quest for truthfulness, it often fails to satisfy. It is, in many ways, a movie that only asks questions and provides no answers. They did their best to reach inside this story and create a beginning, middle, and end, but the truth is that at the end you are left without any of your needs met. I absolutely did not want Hollywood elements tossed in, but the story is simply incomplete. It is real. And real stories are incomplete. I suppose I want to praise this movie for being brave enough to not satisfy while warning friends, "Look, this is a very good film, but it's focus is honesty even if that means ignoring your needs as an audience."

Perhaps over time I will come to see this as brilliant. The characters are often not getting their needs met, and neither does the audience. But how do you recommend someone pay $10 to not have their emotional needs met? At the screening I attended, there was a Q&A with Scott Hicks and Clive Owen. Many people joked about a sequel with their questions, because clearly there could never be a sequel. Even Clive joked about sequel titles. You know what? I believe all the sarcasm about a potential sequel came from the truth that this story is unfinished.

So...

If you feel like seeing honesty and emotional truth, if you want a break from Hollywood BS, if you want to see a slice of real life without any pretense or falsehood, rush to this movie. And I do hope you enjoy it more than I did because of these warnings.


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