6.6/10
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The Greatest (2009)

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2:32 | Trailer
A drama that is centered around a troubled teenage girl, and a family that is trying to get over the loss of their son.

Director:

Shana Feste

Writer:

Shana Feste
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carey Mulligan ... Rose
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Bennett Brewer (as Aaron Johnson)
Pierce Brosnan ... Allen Brewer
Susan Sarandon ... Grace Brewer
Johnny Simmons ... Ryan Brewer
Kevin Hagan Kevin Hagan ... Priest
Amy Morton ... Lydia
Deirdre O'Connell ... Joyce
Miles Robbins ... Sean Brewer
Cara Seymour ... Janis
Ramsey Faragallah ... Dr. Shamban
Jennifer Ehle ... Joan
Colby Minifie ... Latent
Maryann Urbano Maryann Urbano ... Cheryl
Zoë Kravitz ... Ashley
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Storyline

Teenagers Rose and Bennett were in love, and then a car crash claimed Bennett's life. He left behind a grieving mother, father and younger brother, and Rose was left all alone. She has no family to turn to for support, so when she finds out she's pregnant, she winds up at the Brewer's door. She needs their help, and although they can't quite admit it, they each need her so they can begin to heal. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

The Greatest Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 2009 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Pour l'amour de Bennett See more »

Filming Locations:

Rockland, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,616, 4 April 2010

Gross USA:

$114,766

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,344,544
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although Johnny Simmons is four years older than his Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he plays his younger brother. See more »

Goofs

When Allen is in the lecture theater, the writing on the blackboard behind him switches a few times from saying 'maths 220' to 'maths'. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bennett Brewer: All right, I have a secret to tell you.
Rose: You're in the middle of the road.
Bennett Brewer: I know. Do you wanna hear it?
Rose: Do you want to move your car first?
Bennett Brewer: No, not really. I just wanna tell you one more thing.
Rose: All right.
[takes a Polaroid picture of him]
Bennett Brewer: What? That's not gonna be good.
Rose: [laughing] Okay, tell me.
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

House of Lies
Performed by The Broken West
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very emotional but very predictable movie
26 September 2013 | by jafar-iqbalSee all my reviews

A family is torn apart with grief when the eldest son is killed in a car crash. All the members of the family deal with the loss in different ways, alienating each other in the process. Things get even more complicated when a young woman turns up, pregnant with the dead son's child.

For a lot of the time, 'The Greatest' is a very depressing movie. There's a lot of crying, or people on the verge of crying, or people trying their best not to cry, and that isn't the most pleasant viewing experience in the world. However, to give credit where credit's due, writer/director Shana Feste has done a solid job of making it engaging and watchable. The subject matter is very interesting – how do a mother and father cope when their son dies? How does a young boy cope without his older brother? How does a young woman cope without the love of her life? Feste does a very good job of portraying the different expressions of grief and, while it's a bit depressing, it's also a bit cathartic.

Annoyingly though, the film starts to go a bit downhill in the final third. There's a since of harsh reality in that first two-thirds, but it gets a bit hokey towards the end. The film is immediately predictable, which is tough to avoid. But rather than offer some surprises, the movie gives you exactly what you expected, and does it with a healthy dose of Hollywood-esque melodrama.

Probably the most interesting character is Grace Brewer, played by Susan Sarandon. Obsessed with knowing every detail about her son's death, she seems to border on insanity at times. Ryan (Johnny Simmons) is also excellent as the younger brother, who is living in denial. It is a subtle performance from the young actor, and his eventual breakdown is one of the most emotional moments of the entire film.

And then you have the big let-down and the big show-stealer. The let-down first: Pierce Brosnan. The guy makes a great 007, a great one. But here, he felt really out of place. Brosnan is a good actor, don't get me wrong, but he has an AWFUL American accent and just isn't emotive enough. And on the opposite end of the spectrum is Carey Mulligan, the show-stealer. I love watching this girl act; she is a fantastic actress who never seems to put a step wrong. While her character in the movie might not have a lot of depth, she still manages to breathe life into it. Her personal journey is the one I felt most attached to and, again, it's predictable but interesting.

'The Greatest' is a very typical independent movie. A strong cast with good performances, an unconventional story that's solidly told, but with a number of flaws that stops it from getting better commercial success. It does have enough to warrant a watch, though. You might even shed a tear or two.


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